Premier League roundup: Man City’s title hopes dashed by Burnley; Arsenal, Palace win


UEFA’s Champions League and Europa League have many of the Premier League’s best playing their league games on Sunday, but there was still plenty of Saturday entertainment on the docket.

QPR saw a stunning distance goal in defeat, Aston Villa embarrassed a fellow relegation struggler and Arsenal cruised through a London Derby amongst other results on Saturday.

And then Burnley. Oh my, Burnley.

Let’s dig in.

Burnley 1-0 Manchester City – RECAP

Ladies and gentlemen, Sean Dyche’s Clarets are not going down without a fight. George Boyd’s second-half goal boosted Burnley to within a point of 17th place Sunderland and three points of 16th place Aston Villa. Burnley has a tough road in, but finishes the season with a final weekend visit to Villa Park.

The story for City fans will be the inability to break through Burnley’s stacked banks of players, as well as a late non-call after Pablo Zabaleta was taken down in the box by Ben Mee.

Crystal Palace 3-1 Queens Park RangersRECAP

The day started with another strong note sounded by Alan Pardew’s resurgent Crystal Palace side. The Eagles built a 3-0 lead before hitting their only speed bump, a thrilling distance strike from Matty Phillips. Still, the Eagles are all-but-safe from the drop while QPR’s plight remains quite dire.

Sunderland 0-4 Aston Villa – RECAP

Did we just see Gus Poyet’s last match as Sunderland manager? It’s hard to put it on him, as a listless Sunderland side looked almost devoid of creativity in going down 4-0 by halftime. On the other hand, Tim Sherwood is the toast of the town after Christian Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor each netted twice to get Villa closer to ensuring its Premier League safety.

source: Getty Images

Arsenal 3-0 West Ham United – RECAP

Sam Allardyce’s Irons are struggling and Arsene Wenger’s Gunners are hitting their stride. While West Ham was missing a forward due to a broken tea cup (Enner Valencia), Arsenal saw classy goals from Olivier Giroud, Mathieu Flamini and Aaron Ramsey in battering their London Derby rivals.

West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Stoke City – RECAP

Brown Ideye continues to love the Tony Pulis era at the Hawthorns, with the Baggies record signing heading in Craig Gardner’s cross to pull once-desperate West Brom well clear of the drop. Stoke remains in eighth place, two points ahead of Swansea City, which plays Sunday.

Leicester City 0-0 Hull City – RECAP

There wasn’t much to this one other than a late red card to Tom Huddlestone. Even playing up a man only allowed Leicester City to total three shots on frame. The Foxes remain in the Premier League’s basement slot, with Hull inching closer to safety.

Atletico Madrid roster for MLS All-Star Game includes Felix

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Major League Soccer fans will get a good luck at one of the hottest prospects in world soccer when the MLS All Stars take on Atletico Madrid in next week’s MLS All Star Game.

Joao Felix, the $142 million 19-year-old, is among the roster announced by Diego Simeone for the match.

[ MORE: Newcastle in for $28M Saint-Maximin ]

Felix scored 20 times with 11 assists in 40 matches for Benfica before moving to Atleti in the summer. Those numbers include a hat trick against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League quarterfinals first leg.

The other stars will be there, too, provided no transfers happen in the interim. Koke, Thomas Lemar, Diego Costa, and Saul Niguez are in the squad.

New Atleti defender Kieran Trippier and longtime El Tri hero Hector Herrera will also be sure to help drive attendance in Orlando City.

The full roster is here.

Leagues Cup preview: MLS gets its next shot at Liga MX

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It’s not a typo; The s is very real.

The Leagues Cup — not the League Cup — is the new competition pitting Major League Soccer sides against some of the top sides from Mexico’s Liga MX.

The tournament has been expanded before it’s even seen a ball kicked in competition, as the second edition with go from eight to 16 teams.

[ MORE: Newcastle in for $28M Saint-Maximin ]

For now, though, we’ve got four American and four Mexican sides meeting over the next two months in a bid for North American supremacy not unlike a CONCACAF Champions League stripped of all the minnows.

Much like the CCL, the Mexican sides will be expected to triumph, even with all of the quarterfinals being staged in the United States.

Chicago Fire hosts Cruz Azul on Tuesday, followed by the LA Galaxy’s visit from Club Tijuana.

Wednesday will see the Houston Dynamo host Club America, and Tigres UANL at Real Salt Lake.

The winners meet Aug. 20, while the final will be played Sept. 18 in Las Vegas.

There’s a lot of promise in this, and it gives MLS another chance to make some statements about the distance between it and Liga MX. The Mexican sides have flat out dominated the CCL, and it’s not difficult to make the same prediction for this tournament.

But, like many tournaments, it also gives success-starved clubs a chance to give their fans something big and their players a tonic. For Bastian Schweinsteiger‘s Chicago, for one, it’s a huge opportunity. And for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the Galaxy, it’s a look toward another piece of silverware for one of the world’s biggest trophy cases.

USMNT prospect Ledezma earns praise from van Nistelrooy

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Even for talents of the highest levels with top soccer education, sometimes a kid’s gotta learn how to eat.

Richard “Richie” Ledezma, 18, is in the midst of his first year at Eredivisie side PSV Eindhoven, a spot which beckoned after a five-match, one-goal season in the USL with Real Monarchs of the USL.

[ MORE: Chicago adds USMNT hero ]

Ledezma starred for U.S. U-20 team at the World Cup after his first half-season with PSV, which saw him play with the U-19s while trying to lose some weight.


“PSV help me with my nutrition, with my food and how I eat. It’s the quantity of food you eat, I guess,” he added. “Because I came a little chubby, when I got here, I guess. They all called me ‘fatty’ and stuff, so I was like, cool, you know? So no more McDonald’s.”

Goal’s James Westwood had a wide-ranging interview with Ledezma and also spoke with soccer royalty: longtime Real Madrid and Manchester United scorer Ruud van Nistelrooy was Ledezma’s coach with the U-19s.

“He’s making a difference in midfield with very quick-thinking passes, movement, can score a goal, play people in, he’s creating chances for the whole team.”

That’s not just good praise from a legend, but a solid sign for fans of the United States men’s national team. A proper No. 10 or playmaking midfielder could allow Gregg Berhalter or another future USMNT coach to use Christian Pulisic on the wings.

Ledezma has some work to do before he breaks into the first team of the Dutch runners-up, who have signed former Stoke City man Ibrahim Afellay and has Gaston Pereiro in the fold as well.

Newcastle reportedly in for $28M mercurial Nice attacker

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L’Equipe says that Newcastle United have returned to Nice in the hopes of landing Allan Saint-Maximin.

The Ligue 1 outfit wants $28 million for the playmaker, who could team up with Miguel Almiron and (maybe) Joelinton to give the Magpies a much-improved attack.

[ MORE: Chicago adds USMNT hero ]

Saint-Maximin, 22, has 10 goals and 10 assists across his last two seasons with Nice, and played everywhere in attack for Patrick Vieira: both wings, center forward, second striker, attacking mid… even some left and right midfield.

The player, however, has been a headache for Vieira at times, with the manager saying Saint-Maximin believes that he has enough talent to reach the highest level without the required amount of work.

That said, the youngster’s skill set is electric. He’s a March birth date, too, so a relatively young 22. That $28 million would be another transfer record broken for Newcastle, assuming it happens ahead of the Joelinton move.

Or… as Newcastle fan knows, neither could go through.