Roberto Martinez blames poor performance on tired legs

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Everton manager Roberto Martinez blamed his side’s 1-1 draw with Hull City on fatigue.

“There were a few tired legs,” Martinez said.

“The amount of games has been incredible. It’s different to play a role where you are sitting in deep and defending you can cope with it a lot better than when you have to be expansive and use a lot of energy to break a team down.

“When you look at the stats and see the opposition have just one shot on target and get something out of the game, it’s frustrating. But I couldn’t be happier with the character of my players, they gave everything they had.”

Everton enjoyed a strong first half performance where they linked up well in the offensive third and were unfortunate not to score more than once. The goal they did get was one to admire, Romelu Lukaku flicking on a long ball to Kevin Mirallas who dribbled to the by-line before finding his countrymate to slam home from 8 yards out.

But the level dropped substantially in the second half and Hull manager Steve Bruce smelled blood, inserting Sone Aluko for Mo Diame and the former finding the back of the net within minutes. It was punishment for a slack effort and one the Toffees thought they could get away with in front of their home crowd. But four matches in 10 days caught up with the Toffees and they were justifiably punished, much to the fans’ dismay.

“The expectations are huge and rightly so,” Martinez said of the fans. “The fans have been magnificent. After such a dominant first half you expect the points to be in the bag and all of a sudden you lose two points and that’s a really hurtful action, so you can understand the fans reacting like that.

“We know the style of football we want to play and it’s been very successful so we won’t change that. It’s important when you want to play a certain way that you are full of energy, but we couldn’t show that today.”

And yet despite grueling schedule and acknowledgement of tired legs, Martinez played a nearly identical starting lineup to Sunday’s loss at Spurs, with only Samuel Eto’o getting a rest in favor of Leon Osman. Everton will need to rest up before their next match, a Saturday clash with Manchester City at the Etihad.

EURO 2024 qualification live! EURO qualifiers schedule, updates, standings

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EURO 2024 qualifying is here, and you’re in the right spot for groups, fixtures, and results.

Italy outlasted England in penalty kicks to win EURO 2020 and is bidding to become the first repeat winner since Spain in 2008 and 2012.

[ MORE: Breaking down Premier League title race ]

England is still seeking its first European Championship and will be favored to emerge from Group C with aforementioned Italy as well as Ukraine, North Macedonia, and Malta.

Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions started off 2024 qualifying well as Harry Kane snapped a tie with Wayne Rooney atop England’s all-time goals list with a 2-1 win in Italy, the nation’s first in the country since 1961.

Netherlands and France are also in a spicy group that has dark horse Republic of Ireland and former champions Greece, as well as Gibraltar.

[ MORE: Live scores, updates, standings from EURO 2024 qualifying ]

A number of nations have guaranteed themselves no worse than a playoff spot due to their performances in the UEFA Nations League: Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Spain, Scotland, Georgia, Croatia, Turkey, Serbia, Kazakhstan.



EURO 2024 qualifying schedule

Thursday, March 23

Kazakhstan 1-2 Slovenia
Slovakia 0-0 Luxembourg
Italy 1-2 England – Video, player ratings as Kane breaks Rooney record
Denmark 3-1 Finland
Portugal 4-0 Liechtenstein
San Marino 0-2 Northern Ireland
North Macedonia 2-1 Malta
Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-0 Iceland

Friday, March 24

Bulgaria 0-1 Montenegro
Gibraltar 0-3 Greece
Moldova 1-1 Faroe Islands
Serbia 2-0 Lithuania
Austria 4-1 Azerbaijan
Sweden 0-3 Belgium
Czech Republic 3-1 Poland
France 4-0 Netherlands

Saturday, March 25

Scotland 3-0 Cyprus
Israel 1-1 Kosovo
Armenia 1-2 Turkey
Belarus 0-5 Switzerland
Spain 3-0 Norway
Croatia 1-0 Wales
Andorra 0-2 Romania

Sunday, March 26

Kazakhstan 3-2 Denmark
England vs Ukraine — Noon ET — Live updates, video highlights
Liechtenstein vs Iceland — Noon ET
Slovenia vs San Marino — Noon ET
Slovakia vs Bosnia and Herzegovina — 2:45pm ET
Northern Ireland vs Finland — 2:45pm ET
Luxembourg vs Portugal — 2:45pm ET
Malta vs Italy — 2:45pm ET

Monday, March 27

Montenegro vs Serbia — 2:45pm ET
Netherlands vs Gibraltar — 2:45pm ET
Poland vs Albania — 2:45pm ET
Austria vs Estonia — 2:45pm ET
Sweden vs Azerbaijan — 2:45pm ET
Moldova vs Czech Republic — 2:45pm ET
Hungary vs Bulgaria — 2:45pm ET
Republic of Ireland vs France — 2:45pm ET

Tuesday, March 28

Georgia vs Norway — Noon ET
Wales vs Latvia — 2:45pm ET
Romania vs Belarus — 2:45pm ET
Switzerland vs Israel — 2:45pm ET
Kosovo vs Andorra — 2:45pm ET
Turkey vs Croatia — 2:45pm ET
Scotland vs Spain — 2:45pm ET


EURO 2024 qualifying standings

Group A

Spain — 3 pts, +3 GD
Scotland — 3 pts, +3GD
Georgia
Norway — 0 pts, -3 GD
Cyprus — 0 pts, -3 GD

Group B

France — 3pts, +4 GD
Greece — 3 pts, +3 GD
Republic of Ireland
Gibraltar — 0 pts, -3 GD
Netherlands — 0 pts, -4 GD

Group C

England — 3 pts, +1 GD
North Macedonia — 3 pts, +1 GD
Ukraine
Malta — 0 pts, -1 GD
Italy — 0 pts, -1 GD

Group D

Turkey — 3 pts, +1 GD
Wales — 1 pt, 0 GD
Croatia — 1 pt, 0 GD
Latvia
Armenia — 0 pts, -1 GD

Group E

Czech Republic — 3 pts, +2 GD
Faroe Islands — 1 pt, 0 GD
Moldova — 1 pt, 0 GD
Albania
Poland — 0 pts, -2 GD

Group F

Austria — 3 pts, +3 GD
Belgium — 3 pts, + 3GD
Estonia
Azerbaijan — 0 pts, -3 GD
Sweden — 0 pts, -3 GD

Group G

Serbia — 3 pts, +2 GD
Montenegro — 3 pts, +1 GD
Hungary
Bulgaria — 0 pts, -1 GD
Lithuania — 0 pts, -2 GD

Group H

Northern Ireland — 3 pts, +2 GD
Denmark — 3 pts, +1 GD
Slovenia — 3 pts, +1 GD
Kazakhstan — 3 pts, 0 GD
Finland — 0 pts, -2 GD
San Marino — 0 pts, -2 GD

Group I

Switzerland — 3 pts, +5 GD
Romania — 3 pts, + 2 GD
Israel — 1 pt, 0 GD
Kosovo — 1 pt, 0 GD
Andorra — 0 pts, -2 GD
Belarus — 0 pts, -5 GD

Group J

Portugal — 3 pts, +4 GD
Bosnia and Herzegovina — 3 pts, +3 GD
Slovakia — 1 pt, 0 GD
Liechtenstein — 1 pt, 0 GD
Iceland — 0 pts, -3 GD
Luxembourg — 0 pts, -4 GD

Kevin Paredes scores spectacular goal as US U20s fall to England (video)

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A day after the United States men’s national team pumped home seven goals against Grenada, Wolfsburg phenom Kevin Paredes showed them a bit of what could be in store for the program.

The U.S. U-20 men ultimately fell 4-2 to England in Marbella, Spain, on Saturday, but Paredes scored an acrobatic goal before cuing up an Owen Wolff finish to tantalize American fans.

[ MORE: Dual national Folarin Balogun meets with U.S. Soccer ]

Paredes, still a teenager until early May, made his U-20 debut going 68 minutes on Wednesday as the Baby Yanks were smacked 4-0 by France in a friendly.

He’d find the scoresheet twice via his goal and assist against England, however, and both showed off the technique and power that has USMNT fans tickled by the potential of the left-sided man.

Paredes’ goal is the stuff of wonder, a scissor kick goal to finish off a wonderful turnover-and-counter. He left DC United for Wolfsburg last season, making two appearances before really finding his footing this season.

Wolfsburg’s called his name 18 times this season, 16 of those coming in the Bundesliga, and Paredes has responded with a goal and two assists. He’s appeared in nine of Wolfsburg’s last 10 matches, missing once for illness.

Leeds’ Mateo Joseph scored a brace for Leeds, while Chelsea starlet Harvey Vale and Liverpool’s Jarell Quansah also bagged goals in the win.

The U.S. U-20s finish the international break with a friendly against Serbia on Tuesday.


Kevin Paredes goal video: Acrobatic finish pulls one back

Jack McGlynn forces a turnover and drives the 18 before laying off for Wolff.

The Austin FC kid’s cross is hammered home by Paredes with a scissor kick.


Owen Wolff backheel goal video: Kevin Paredes assist for 2-2

Paredes then turned provider for Wolff after the Baby Yanks drove the ball from the back through the midfield with Colorado Rapids product Darren Yapi helping it along to Hajduk Split phenom Rokas Pukstas.

Pukstas, 18 and a squad regular, found the Wolfsburg man on the right. Paredes then dribbled inside from the right, finding Wolff for an improvised backheel finish.

England vs Ukraine, live! Score, updates, stream, video highlights, lineups

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England host Ukraine in a UEFA EURO 2024 qualifier at Wembley with an extremely emotional atmosphere expected in London.

[ LIVE: EURO 2024 qualifying scores – England vs Ukraine ]

As the war rages on across Ukraine following the Russia invasion just over a year ago, the United Kingdom have been one of Ukraine’s key partners in the fight against Russian forces.

The English Football Association have given away close to 1,000 free tickets to Ukrainians (and their sponsor families from the UK) who were forced to flee their country and resettle with families in the UK. Over 4,200 Ukraine fans will be in the away end at Wembley amid a sea of blue and yellow and you can expect plenty of mutual respect and support from fans of both countries towards each other. This match is Ukraine’s first of 2023, as they narrowly missed out on qualifying for the 2022 World Cup after losing to Wales in a playoff last summer.

[ MORE: Full EURO 2024 qualifying schedule, standings ]

England beat Italy 2-1 in Naples on Thursday as Harry Kane became their all-time leading goalscorer with his 54th goal for the Three Lions and they held on after going 2-0 up as Luke Shaw’s red card with 10 minutes to go complicated matters. Gareth Southgate’s young side are developing but will they be able to finally win a major tournament?

They have to qualify for the Euros in Germany next summer first, but a first win away in Italy since 1961 was a great start to this qualifying campaign.

Here’s everything you need for England vs Ukraine.


How to watch England vs Ukraine live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 12pm ET, Sunday (March 26)
Updates: Via NBCSports.com
Stadium: Wembley Stadium, London
TV: FS1


Key storylines, in-form players

The last time this nations met England ran out 4-0 winners in the quarterfinals of EURO 2020. They will be the heavy favorites in this game but Ukraine should not be underestimate as the No. 26 ranked team in the world have the likes of Oleksandr Zinchenko, Mykhailo Mudryk, and Vitalii Mykolenko all playing in the Premier League.

England’s forwards ran riot in the first half against Italy with Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka sensational, plus Jude Bellingham’s driving runs from midfield give this Three Lions side an extra dimension. There is more creativity and cutting edge about this England side compared to recent years and it feels like they are ready to win something. There will be a ceremony before this game to honor Harry Kane becoming England’s all-time goalscorer as he passed Wayne Rooney with his goal in Italy on Thursday.


England team news, lineup options

Luke Shaw will be suspended for this game after his red card in Italy, so Ben Chilwell comes in at left back. Jordan Henderson enters for Kalvin Phillips in midfield, while Phil Foden misses out after undergoing appendix surgery. Reece James is also out, but Jude Bellingham perseveres through an injury to start and James Maddison is also in the XI.

Ukraine team news, lineup options

Andriy Yarmolenko (three goals away from equalling Andriy Shevchenko as Ukraine’s all-time leading scorer) has been struggling with a hamstring injury and misses out, while Bournemouth’s Ilya Zabarnyi and Shakhtar’s Oleksandr Zubkov are both out. Roman Yaremchuk offesr real quality in up top while Arsenal’s Oleksandr Zinchenko is the heartbeat of this Ukraine side and Chelsea’s Mykhailo Mudryk will drive the left side in front of Everton’s Vitalii Mykolenko.


Phil Foden has appendix surgery, to miss Manchester City vs Liverpool

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Manchester City star Phil Foden will be unavailable for the club’s big Premier League match with Liverpool, and he may be out longer.

Foden, 22, withdrew from the England squad in order to undergo an appendectomy, and City says he has returned to Manchester to begin recovery.

His recovery means he will not feature for second-place City when it hosts rivals Liverpool on April 1.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ] 

Foden’s nine goals put him into a tie for 12th on the Premier League’s season goals list, and he’s chipped in four assists in league play.

City has 61 points, eight fewer than leaders Arsenal but with a match-in-hand on the Gunners.

Man City’s bidding to win a third-straight Premier League Trophy, something that hasn’t been done since Manchester United completed a “three-peat” at the end of the 2008-09 season.

England plays Ukraine at Noon ET Sunday.