Premier League Roundup: Yedlin debuts, Leicester snares lifeline, Arsenal triumphs, Sunderland shellacked

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Saturday was a fitting appetizer for Sunday’s duo of derby games, as teams at the top, middle and bottom of the table tried to create room for themselves to advance upward.

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Aston Villa may’ve pulled clear to safety and Leicester City sent a message not to count them out as a Premier League club for 2015/16, while West Bromwich Albion, Sunderland, Hull City and Burnley are left to lick their wounds and hope their points come on another day before the season lets out.

Oh, and a certain USMNT defender from the University of Akron made his Premier League debut.

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West Bromwich Albion 2-3 Leicester City – RECAP

Don’t count out Nigel Pearson and the Foxes. For one thing, the Leicester City boss might hold you down by the throat for it. For another, David Nugent and his teammates are proving to be resilient, and could be out of the drop zone if they use their match-in-hand for all three points. The Foxes trailed 1-0 and 2-1 but scored twice in the final dozen minutes to pick up three huge points, and leave Baggies boss Tony Pulis mentioning relegation as an option (despite a seven-point lead on the drop zone).

 

Sunderland 1-4 Crystal Palace – RECAP

Alan Pardew is feeling his oats after doing something Newcastle fans wish he could’ve in his last four tries as Magpies’ boss: beat Sunderland. Pardew’s Eagles, led by a Yannick Bolasie hat trick and yet another goal from resurgent Glenn Murray, tore up the Black Cats. The only goal Sunderland scored came in the 90th minute, and Dick Advocaat’s crew is just three points ahead of the drop despite its 1-0 win over Newcastle last week.

Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Aston Villa – RECAP

source: APChristian Benteke is on fire! Five goals in three matches and eight in the past month and a half don’t begin to tell the tale of the big Belgian, who looks like he’s finally found his form post-knee surgery. Benteke is not only scoring powerful goals, but he’s also slipping his teammates on for prime chances. Of course, Tim Sherwood’s taking credit for that, as well as a win against the club that sacked him last May.

Of note to United States fans, DeAndre Yedlin made his Premier League debut. The right back played a dozen minutes or so in relief of Vlad Chiriches, and may’ve shown enough battle to win some more time over the sometimes-shaky Romanian.

Burnley 0-1 Arsenal – RECAP

The Clarets had their chances, but Arsenal got its goal early and didn’t need much more to beat Sean Dyche’s charges. The Gunners remain in second place, hoping for a Chelsea stumble, while Burnley remains two points shy of safety.

Southampton 2-0 Hull City – RECAP

It took a while, but Saints broke through against a plucky, gritty Hull City side. Alex Bruce gave up a penalty that James Ward-Prowse converted, and Graziano Pelle netted in the 81st minute to salt away the win and leave the Tigers barely hanging on to a safe place in the standings.

West Ham United 1-1 Stoke City – RECAP

Never rule out Mark Hughes’ Stoke, and never consider a lead safe for Sam Allardyce’s Hammers. At the death, Marko Arnautovic canceled out Aaron Cresswell’s wonderful free kick to keep the sides level on points (but West Ham in ninth on goal differential).

Swansea City 1-1 Everton — RECAP

There weren’t a lot of exciting moments in this one, as Seamus Coleman handled a ball late to give Jonjo Shelvey the penalty kick that equalized Aaorn Lennon’s 41st minute goal. Garry Monk’s Swans probably deserved better than a point, but hard work and good soccer doesn’t always put the ball across the line.

Saint-Maximin absence to ask more of struggling Almiron, Joelinton

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Newcastle United lightning bolt Allan Saint-Maximin is going to miss a month with a hamstring injury suffered late in the Magpies’ 2-1 defeat of Southampton at St. James’ Park.

The ebullient Saint-Maximin played deep into the match despite a minor injury, and was on of the main reasons Newcastle won. He helped set up the winning goal, but left the stadium on crutches.

That left Steve Bruce questioning his decision to keep “ASM” in the match.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Now the electric Frenchman is set to miss fixtures against Burnley, Crystal Palace, Manchester United, Everton, Leicester City, and an FA Cup third round match versus either Boston United or Rochdale.

Saint-Maximin’s absence will hurt Newcastle all-around, but especially when its counter-attack tries to take down bigger sides. His 4.5 dribbles per match makes him one of just three players in the Premier League with more than 3.1 (Adama Traore and Wilfried Zaha).

Ultimately, though, this could provide struggling Joelinton more looks at performing on the wing opposite of Miguel Almiron. The Brazilian will have to work center forward at times as Andy Carroll certainly can’t go every game, and Dwight Gayle, Christian Atsu, and Yoshinori Muto could also be asked to play prominent roles.

And, of course, this will demand much more from industrious but sloppy Miguel Almiron, whose expected goal total is 2.5 (he has zero).

Sessegnon beats Neuer to score first Spurs, Champions League goal

Photo by Peter Kneffel/picture alliance via Getty Images)Photo by Peter Kneffel/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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Ryan Sessegnon has his first Spurs goal, which also happens to be his first UEFA Champions League goal, and he’ll love telling the tale of it.

The 19-year-old Englishman ripped a rocket past Manuel Neuer of all people, collecting a deflection to equalize early in Tottenham’s match against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.

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Sessegnon entered the day with an assist in 30 minutes spread across three appearances for Spurs, and needed just 20 more minutes to find a goal.

He made a big money move from Fulham this summer, having made a remarkable 120 senior appearances. Almost all of those came before he turned 19, and he’s scored 25 times with 18 assists.

Kingsley Coman has Bayern’s goal as the teams remain locked at 1 after Bayern hung 7 on Spurs in England earlier in the group stage.

 

Jesus hat-trick downs Dinamo Zagreb, Atalanta qualifies for knockouts

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Manchester City looked sluggish again, but Gabriel Jesus made sure it didn’t matter.

The Brazilian cropped up at a critical juncture for Pep Guardiola, sending Manchester City through into the knockout stage on a winning note as his hat-trick sealed a 4-1 come-from-behind victory that knocked Dinamo Zagreb from European competition altogether.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

The first half was especially lackluster for the English visitors to Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb, with lots of possession but little to show for it. The hosts went in front early on, punishing Man City on the counter on a fabulous volleyed finish from former Barcelona youth product Dani Olmo.

That was the best goal of the day, but Man City picked itself up and pulled back level before the break, with Jesus grabbing his first via a header as Dinamo Zagreb shut off, screaming for Man City to put the ball out with a Zagreb player down. The visitors rightly did not, and Dinamo was punished by the equalizer.

After halftime, Man City was much better, hammering the left flank to take a commanding lead. The second came on excellent work by Jesus in the box to shake a defender and finish with his right, while the third flew in minutes later on a pinpoint Benjamin Mendy cross that Jesus met with a flying karate kick. Pep Guardiola had one eye on the festive fixtures, withdrawing Jesus soon after the hour mark, replaced by Oleksandr Zinchenko who curiously took Jesus’s place at the striker position.

Phil Foden was the best Manchester City player throughout, and finished off the scoreline with seven minutes to go. An excellent buildup down the right saw Bernardo Silva sprung through, and he cut back to Foden at the top of the six-yard box who slid to meet the ball with pace and poke home the cherry on top.

Elsewhere, Atalanta topped Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0 in the Ukraine on goals by Timothy Castagne, Mario Pasalic, and Robin Gosens, meaning the Italians secured the second spot in Group A, qualifying for the knockout stage. The Ukranians were left dead in the water after right-back Dodo was sent off 13 minutes from time, leading to the second goal to seal things up. Atalanta’s advancement marks a stunning comeback given the Italian side failed to secure points in any of their first three group stage matches.

That left Shakhtar in third, dropping to the Europa League, while Dinamo Zagreb was left at the bottom of the group, on the outside looking in.

Charlotte MLS club files trademarks for eight potential names

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It is being heavily reported that Charlotte is the next city to earn a club in the rapidly expanding Major League Soccer landscape, and Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper has taken the next step towards that possibility.

The new club needs a name, and they appear to be nearing a selection. Tepper filed for eight different name trademarks, according to multiple reports, including The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue who confirmed the filings were made under Tepper’s Panthers address.

Here is the list of names he filed copyright requests for:

“Charlotte FC” would be a bare-bones and generic name that follows in the footsteps of recent MLS expansion clubs such as Orlando City SC, NYCFC or LAFC. Others are a little more colorful, including “Carolina Gliders FC” or “Charlotte Monarchs FC,” while a few others like “Charlotte Town FC” or “Charlotte Athletic FC” clearly call forth thoughts of smaller English clubs.

Rodrigue speculated that the relative lack of “Carolina” encompassing names is potentially due to the possibility of an expansion bid from Raleigh down the road, and a Carolina team would potentially provide an unnecessary roadblock to that future prospect. There is a clear lack of region-encompassing names in Major League Soccer, with “New England Revolution” the only example, and there’s no real reason to break that mold with another potential bid city down the road.

Which name is your favorite? What would you have gone with if you could name the club?