VIDEO: Mauricio Pochettino feels questionable penalty decisions cost Tottenham a point, or three

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For 65 minutes on Saturday, Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur side looked destined for three invaluable away points against Crystal Palace. Harry Kane’s 49th-minute goal put Tottenham up a goal and Palace were on the ropes as they struggled to create more than a couple early chances.

[ FULL RECAP: Crystal Palace 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur in Pardew’s PL debut ]

Then, in the 67th minute, Spurs midfielder Benjamin Stambouli was whistled for a questionable foul (upon further review on replay) against Joe Ledley inside the penalty area. Dwight Gayle stepped up to the spot and there was absolutely nothing Hugo Lloris could do to keep the ball out of his net. 1-1, and suddenly all the momentum was with the home side.

With Spurs now down 2-1, Kane was then denied in the 85th minute what looked to be an even more obvious penalty than the one given to Palace earlier in the game. After the game finished 2-1, Pochettino was fairly adamant that the two penalty decisions were the game’s key moment (above video).

Bayern, Dortmund ready for monumental Klassiker

Der Klassiker preview
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Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc is a living legend for the black and yellow side, a one-club man who’s distaste for Bayern runs deep.

Zorc knows Der Klassiker as well as anyone, and Tuesday’s 12:30 p.m. ET derby in Dortmund could be a veritable title decider.

While his league derby successes as a player weren’t many, Zorc was part of some of Dortmund’s most memorable Klassiker wins, including the 1998 Champions League quarterfinal, a German Cup, and a German Super Cup.

[ MORE: Latest Bundesliga news ]

And with so much of the world still in isolation, there’s a spotlight on this derby more than any other since Bayern beat Dortmund in the 2013 Champions League Final.

“Every football fan in Germany is looking forward to this match,” Zorc said of the occasion, later adding that “We must believe in ourselves and not make any cheap mistakes in possession. … We need to ride out the spells in which Bayern are dominant. We’ll need to defend very well together as a team and be aware of our own qualities going forward. We can always score goals against them. And we can beat them”

Bayern star Thomas Muller feels the import of the occasion and momentum for both clubs.

Experiencing a resurgent season with a league-best 17 league assists, Muller is aware that growing Bayern’s table advantage to seven with a win in Dortmund would put the Bavarians on the precipice of an eighth-straight Bundesliga crown.

“We are marching, Dortmund is marching, we can look forward to Tuesday,” Muller said, via Bild. “I hope that we can show what makes us strong and that in the end we will leave the Dortmund stadium with a smile. But it will be hard work.”

The last away win in this derby came seven matches ago, a 3-1 Bayern win at the Westfalenstadion on Nov. 4, 2017. Will Bayern do it again, taking a seven-point lead on all chasers regardless of what happens on Tuesday and Wednesday around the league?

Lyon asks French prime minister to reconsider early end of Ligue 1 season

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Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas is asking French authorities to backpedal on their decision to end the football season prematurely amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The men’s league was canceled four weeks ago with 10 rounds remaining, Paris Saint-Germain declared champion, and Lyon finished outside the European places in seventh.

In a letter on Monday to French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu, Aulas argued the premature conclusion of the season will have catastrophic consequences for French clubs, which could face losses of “700 to 900” million euros ($760 million to $980 million).

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Alongside Amiens and Toulouse – the two clubs demoted to the second division – Lyon took action against the league decision but their case was thrown out last week by a Paris administrative court. Lyon now wants France’s highest administrative court, the Council of State, to issue a ruling on the matter.

In the letter, Aulas said the fact that the French league was the only one among the seven biggest European leagues to opt for an early end should convince authorities to reconsider their move.

In Europe, the Dutch and Belgian leagues have also ended their 2019-20 seasons early.

Aulas has argued for the French league to be given a chance to be completed by late August with a temporary playoff system, but with PSG staying the champion given its large lead before play was stopped.

“The Bundesliga resumed matches on May 16, Spain will resume matches on June 8. Italy, Russia and Portugal have resumed collective training and England is working on a resumption after June 19,” Aulas wrote. “How can France not be downgraded very quickly and see its professional football devalued?”

On June 2, the French government is expected to make further announcements related to France’s lockdown exit strategy.

“Many developments and hopes are expected on this date, so that France can gradually regain a good dynamic,” Aulas said. “Could we imagine that June 2 is also a great opportunity to rectify the mistake concerning French football and to allow, with a health protocol used everywhere, to give the starting point for a gradual resumption of training (in June) and, why not, a resumption of the 2019-2020 season over the months of July or August?”

Lyon, meanwhile, still hopes to reach the quarterfinals of the Champions League after beating Italian champion Juventus 1-0 in the first leg of their round of 16 match on Feb. 26. The return leg in Turin was suspended.

Transfer news: Jimenez, Coutinho to Arsenal; Higuain to Wolves

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The latest transfer news has linked both Raul Jimenez and Phillipe Coutinho with moves to Arsenal, while Gonzalo Higuain has been linked with Wolves and Newcastle.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

First up, Arsenal are once again front and center as Raul Jimenez has been linked with a move to the Gunners, as both Man United and Real Madrid are said to be chasing the Mexico star.

Per a report from Tuttosport in Italy, Jimenez is said to be valued at $70 million, which seems a little low even though he’s 29 years old. Juventus and Barcelona are also said to be interested in the Mexican striker but how could Arsenal afford him?

If they offload Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (who has one year left on his current contract) this summer then it’s possible. Add in that Alexandre Lacazette could also be leaving Arsenal and Mikel Arteta will have two big earners off the wage bill and will need some attacking reinfrocements.

Jimenez has said he’s happy at Wolves for now and even though he is a hero at Molineux with 39 goals in 88 games in all competitions over the last season, this summer would be the perfect time to cash in.

Talking about that, a report from the Daily Express claims that Wolves are interested in signing Gonzalo Higuain from Juventus.

Okay, Wolves fans probably aren’t going to be overjoyed with this given the fact that Higuain struggled badly during a loan spell at Chelsea. However, in the right system he can still deliver goals and the 32-year-old has scored 303 goals in 630 appearances throughout his career.

Higuain holding the ball up and getting on the end of crosses from Diogo Jota and Adama Traore makes sense. He’s similar to Jimenez, but less mobile, and even though Newcastle are said to be interested in Higuain, it appears Wolves would be the frontrunners for the Argentine striker and he would be a good back-up option to Jimenez if he does stay at Wolves. River Plate and a potential move to MLS are also options for Higuain.

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Rounding off the transfer news, Arsenal are said to be in talks with the agent of Philippe Coutinho, Kai Joorabchian.

Coutinho, 27, is currently on loan at Bayern Munich from Barcelona but the Bavarian giants will not be spending big to sign him permanently. That is where Arsenal come in as a report from Le 10 Sport says that Mikel Arteta wants to add Coutinho on loan.

Per the report, Arteta is keen on Coutinho being central to his rebuild of the Gunners and if he’s available on loan, it may be his best option of regular minutes in the Premier League. A return to Liverpool seems very unlikely, while Chelsea are reportedly interested but they have a host of attacking options and Frank Lampard seems to prefer his younger stars.

If the finances align, Coutinho to Arsenal is a very good deal for everyone. He can rip it up in the Premier League and if it is a loan deal, what do Arsenal have to lose here?

USMNT: Youngsters ready for busy Bundesliga week

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Week 28 of the 2019-20 Bundesliga season has some huge clashes and USMNT fans will know there are plenty of young American players to keep an eye on during the midweek action.

[ LIVE: Bundesliga scores ] 

Bundesliga games will of course be played in empty stadiums, which is the plan for the rest of the season and beyond, and USMNT stars will feature in plenty of them.

From Giovanni Reyna to Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie to John Brooks, plenty of USMNT stars are going to play pivotal roles as their teams battle for the Bundesliga title, European qualification and against relegation.

[ MORE: Bundesliga latest news ] 

BTW, if you’re new to Germany’s top-flight, here’s a guide to help you pick a club to support.

Below is a look at what lies ahead in midweek for the USMNT stars, as you can check out the full schedulestandings and find out how to watch the action, while we will have you covered right here on ProSoccerTalk.


Tyler Adams, RB Leipzig – Came off the bench in the second half of Leipzig’s 5-0 win away at Mainz and played in his preferred role of central midfield. Some really good defensive work, interceptions and calm passing. Will play a key role in the coming weeks as Julian Nagelsmann rotates his team as they’re well in the title race. Hosting in-form Hertha will be tough, as they are very dangerous on the counter. With Dortmund and Bayern playing one another, great chance for Leipzig to gain ground in the title battle.

Matchweek 28: v. Hertha Berlin, Wednesday, 12:30 p.m. ET

Gio Reyna, Borussia Dortmund – Came off the bench in Dortmund’s win at Wolfsburg, with some nice touches and high-pressing out wide. Reyna, 17, could start against Bayern Munich in the biggest game of the Bundesliga season. That would be a massive moment for the young playmaker who was supposed to start against Schalke before he picked up an injury in the warm up.

Matchweek 28: v. Bayern Munich, Tuesday, 12:30 p.m. ET

Weston McKennie, Schalke – Has worked hard in the humbling defeats at the hands of Dortmund and Augsburg but subbed off in the latter and Schalke are a bit of a mess. Their Europa League push has been hit without a win in nine games and David Wagner’s teams usually fade at the end of a season. McKennie needs a bit more direction and a lot more help in midfield. He does the simple things well but he’s lost his spark and cutting edge.

Matchweek 28: @ Fortuna Dusseldorf, Wednesday, 2:30 p.m. ET

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John Brooks, Wolfsburg – Had a very solid outing against Dortmund as for the most part he kept Erling Haaland quiet. He was caught a little out of position for Dortmund’s first goal but overall a 7/10 display. Wolfsburg are in the hunt for Europa League qualification and coming up against local rivals Bayer Leverkusen will be a big test as Kai Havertz and Co. are ripping teams apart. Brooks v. Havertz will be a fine battle to watch for USMNT fans.

Matchweek 28: @ Bayer Leverkusen, Tuesday, 2:30 p.m. ET

Josh Sargent, Werder Bremen – Started in Bremen’s big win away at Freiburg which keeps them in touch with a bunch of clubs above the relegation zone. Sargent needs plenty of service and Bremen do create a ton of chances, so he will be hoping Monchengladbach’s open style gives him plenty of chances on the break.

Matchweek 28: v. Borussia Monchengladbach, Tuesday, 2:30 p.m. ET

Timothy Chandler, Eintracht Frankfurt – Defeats against Monchengladbach and Bayern Munich have been tough for Frankfurt to swallow in the first two weeks of the restart. Chandler has come off the bench in both games and could start on Tuesday given Frankfurt conceding eight goals in their last two games, sucking them back into the relegation battle.

Matchweek 28: v. SC Freiburg, Tuesday, 2:30 p.m. ET

Alfredo Morales, Fortuna Dusseldorf – Started and played the full 90 minutes as Fortuna coughed up a 2-0 lead in the 88th minute to draw 2-2 at Cologne. That was a massive disappointment as Uwe Rolser’s side need wins to get out of the relegation playoff spot, especially with Bremen now breathing down their necks.

Matchweek 28: v. Schalke, Wednesday, 2:30 p.m. ET

Fabian Johnson, Zack Steffen: Did not feature in Week 27. Fortuna’s Steffen is recovering for a knee injury. Johnson has not been in Monchengladbach’s squad.