Premier League roundup: Man United win, Burnley down, basement boys scrapping

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Phew, what an epic Saturday in the Premier League we have just had.

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Manchester United beat Crystal Palace 2-1 away from home to all but secure a top four place, while the main headlines were being made at the bottom of the table.

Wins for Aston Villa, Sunderland and Leicester complicated the relegation picture further, while Burnley is officially down and the likes of Newcastle United and Hull are getting pretty nervous.

[ RELATED: Standings | videos | schedule

For recaps, reaction and analysis on every game, look no further than below.

Crystal Palace 1-2 Manchester UnitedRECAP

United took the lead through Juan Mata’s penalty but Jason Puncheon curled in a free kick to level things up. Late on Marouane Fellaini headed home the winner as a Liverpool defeat on Sunday to Chelsea means United’s place in the top four is secured.

Leicester City 2-0 SouthamptonRECAP

Riyad Mahrez struck twice in the first 20 minutes to give the Foxes their sixth win in seven matches as Saints’ slide continued. With two games left Leicester is three points clear of the relegation zone. Can they finish off the “great escape?”

Everton 0-2 SunderlandRECAP

The Black Cats got lucky on Saturday but they will not be too worried about it. Dick Advocaat’s side has two lucky deflections off Danny Graham and Jermain Defoe to thank, plus errant finishing from Everton, as they have won two on the spin and are now two points clear of the relegation zone with three games to go. Sunderland hosts Leicester next weekend in a massive clash.

Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham UnitedRECAP

Tom Cleverley scored the game-winner, his third goal in three games for Villa, as they move four points clear of the drop zone with two games left. Tim Sherwood’s side gutted this one out and have now won three of their last four matches. West Ham’s slide continues as Big Sam’s boys drop to 10th.

Newcastle United 1-1 West Bromwich AlbionRECAP

The Magpies went 1-0 down after Victor Anichebe gave West Brom the lead but groans soon turned to cheers from the home fans at St James’ Park as Ayoze Perez equalized just before the break. In the second half Newcastle pushed hard for the winner but couldn’t grab it. John Carver’s side stopped the eight-game losing streak but remain just two points clear of the bottom three, while West Brom is officially safe. Mission accomplished for Tony Pulis.\

Stoke City 3-0 Tottenham HotspurRECAP

Big win for the Potters as Charlie Adam‘s header set them on their way and goals from Steven Nzonzi and Mame Diouf finished off 10-man Spurs who had Vlad Chiriches sent off. Stoke is up to ninth and could finish eighth, while Spurs are doing their best to blow a top six spot. They really don’t want that Europa League spot, do they?

Hull City 0-1 Burnley – RECAP

Burnley were officially relegated on Saturday, but they went down fighting. The Clarets beat Hull 1-0 thanks to Danny Ings second half strike but it wasn’t enough to save Sam Dyche’s men from heading straight back down to the Championship. As for Hull, well, they are in a mess as Steve Bruce’s side have two games to save themselves as they dropped into the bottom three. Can they beat Tottenham and Manchester United in their final two matches? It’s a big ask.

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.

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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.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

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?