Hull City 0-0 Manchester United: Tigers go down after squandering chances

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Hull City were relegated to English soccer’s second-tier on Sunday, as the Tigers drew 0-0 with 10-man Manchester United at the KC Stadium.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Steve Bruce’s side threw everything at United but after scoring just 33 times all season, it was clear that Hull’s lack of composure in front of goal is the main reason they will be playing in the Championship next season.

“It is one of those awful experience,” Bruce said. “This is a particularly low time. We are not in the big league.”

The Tigers had two goals disallowed in the first half, squandered some glorious chances and tested a shaky Victor Valdes in goal for United.

“Too many times I have come out and said we have not done bad but we have not scored,” Bruce said. “That is 17 or 18 times we have not scored.”

 

Hull’s failure to win meant they were relegated, as Newcastle’s win against West Ham hammered the final nail in their coffin. The Tigers finished the season on 35 points in 18th and United finished in fourth on 70 points.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Predictably, Hull came flying out of the traps early on as Dame N’Doye headed an effort towards goal but then Wayne Rooney clipped the bar at the other end shortly after.

Angel Di Maria and Ahmed Elmohamady collided which saw the later come off injured in the first half despite getting his first start since March. Hull continued to push for the opener and Chris Smalling cleared at the back post with Nikica Jelavic crashing in. Then Hull thought they went ahead in the 19th minute as Victor Valdes fumbled the ball under pressure from David Meyler and Paul McShane tapped home but he was offside. No goal.

Moments later Hull again had an effort ruled out for offside as Valdes first made a wonderful save from Elmohamady and then Stephen Quinn’s shot was deflected in by N’Doye but the Hull striker was in an offside position.

In the second half Meyler somehow put the ball over the bar from eight yards out after a wonderful knockdown from Jelavic in what was a huge chance for the Tigers to take the lead.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Hull continued to press and Valdes completely missed a cross and then Daley Blind hacked off the line as United survived. After that both McShane and N’Doye went close as the Tigers didn’t give up but were running out of time.

Sone Aluko’s shot was then flicked towards goal by Jelavic but Valdes made a wonderful reaction stop as Hull just couldn’t go ahead. N’Doye somehow stayed on the pitch after appearing to punch Phil Jones in the stomach, and then all hell broke loose in Yorkshire.

[ MORE: ‘Exhausted’ Bruce says future not in his hands ]

Substitute Fellaini was sent off for a terrible challenge on McShane as United played the final 15 minutes with 10-men at the KC. Valdes then parried down another ball and Hernandez somehow missed the ball completely  as another big chance went begging for Hull.

The game finished 0-0, as Hull’s stay in the PL ended after being promoted in 2013.

LINEUPS

Hull City: Harper, Dawson, Chester (Hernandez, 70′), McShane, Elmohamady, Brady, Huddlestone, Meyler (Robertson, 86′), Quinn, N’Doye (Aluko, 71′), Jelavic.

Manchester United: Valdes, Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Rojo, Blind, Herrera, Di Maria (Januzaj, 23′), Mata (Wilson, 73′), Young (Fellaini, 59′), Rooney

Red card: Fellaini (77′)

Josef Martinez scores 2 more in win, including sensational solo work

AP Photo/John Minchillo
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Josef Martinez scored his 25th and 26th goals of the MLS season, and if he challenges his MLS record of 31, he may also stare down soccer royalty.

The Venezuelan striker scored two more on Wednesday in a 2-0 defeat of FC Cincinnati in Ohio to give him goals in 15-straight league contests.

He now has 76 goals in 80 MLS games, which is good.

[ MORE: Champions League wrap ]

On the season, he’s six goals shy of matching the Major League Soccer record he set with last season’s 31 regular season goals.

According to MLSSoccer.com, he’s six games shy of tying Lionel Messi’s world record for consecutive league matches with a goal.

Even that’s a little tricky: Messi scored in 21-straight games in which he was eligible for selection, but 19-straight before missing two matches for injury. In that remarkable run of 21, he also had a run of six-straight braces.

It’s not really worth it to attempt to compare the two streaks: If Martinez gets to 21 (or even 19), it’s amazing stuff and worth celebrating on a worldwide level. Everyone has a bad game every now and again, but Martinez still finds the score sheet in ’em.

Look at the magician’s tricks he used for this one, including a back heel first touch and two freeze-frame cut moves. That’s not even mentioning the finish.

USWNT announces final matches of World Cup-winning year

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CHICAGO (AP) The Women’s World Cup champion U.S. team will wrap up 2019 with matches against Sweden and Costa Rica.

U.S. Soccer announced Wednesday that the U.S. will face Sweden in Columbus, Ohio, on Nov. 7 and Costa Rica in Jacksonville, Florida, on Nov. 10.

[ MORE: Champions League wrap ]

The team is wrapping up its World Cup victory tour next month with matches against South Korea on Oct. 3 in Charlotte, North Carolina, and on Oct. 6 in Chicago.

Coach Jill Ellis is stepping down following the match in Chicago after leading the team to a pair of consecutive World Cup titles.

The United States is 15-1-2 this year and currently riding a 14-game winning streak.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Report: Mane to get big raise, Liverpool contract through 2025

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Liverpool’s Senegalese sensation looks set to stay at Anfield deep into his 30s.

Sadio Mane is in talks with the Reds hierarchy over a new deal that will run through 2024-25, and pay him more than $15 million per season.

[ MORE: Champions League wrap ]

Mane, 27, currently has a deal through 2023, but surely wouldn’t mind a raise. And Liverpool will be happy to tie him down on Merseyside a bit longer.

He’s scored six times in seven matches this season, also grabbing an assist. That’s on a better pace than his 26 goals and five assists over 50 appearances in 2018/19.

Mane has 70 Premier League goals at the moment. Do you tip him to eclipse 100 while still at Anfield? 125?

Europa League preview: Man Utd, Wolves, Arsenal begin group stage

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The Europa League begins its group stage on Thursday, with the three Premier League combatants taking on clubs from Kazakhstan, Portugal and Germany.

Manchester United’s kids are gonna get some playing time when Astana visits Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Teenager Mason Greenwood and 21-year-old Axel Tuanzebe will start, and Sergio Romero will be between the sticks.

[ MORE: Champions League wrap ]

And the Manchester Evening News notes that Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes could also start at Old Trafford, meaning the veterans in the fray will be quite important.

Enter Fred, the forgotten $68 million man from Shaktar Donetsk. The 23 minutes he played last week versus Leicester City account for his lone time on the pitch this season.

Here’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer:

“I’m sure we’ll see more and more of Fred. We spoke about it earlier, he’s had some great games in midfield with Scott against PSG and Arsenal, for example, and we’re just waiting for that to flourish.”

Fred had an odd record under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last season, barely in the squad when the team started hot but trusted against PSG and Barcelona in the Champions League.

Speaking of little-used midfielders, Arsenal boss Unai Emery is getting a little grief for leaving Mesut Ozil behind for the Gunners’ trip to Germany for a big match with Eintracht Frankfurt.

Ozil made his first start of the season in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Watford at the weekend, playing 71 minutes and departing with the club up 2-1.

So why not even bring him abroad? Rest.

“Because we are going to play another match on Sunday,” Emery said, via The London Evening Standard. “My decision is because he played and also I’m thinking tomorrow the focus and the first 11 and after that I decided who are the players who can be the best for tomorrow and also the players not and that is Sokratis and Mesut.”

Sokrastis Papastathopoulos is also out, having played a big role in the embarrassing performance at Watford.

There have been tough times for Wolves as well, who sit in the relegation zone after five matches of the Premier League season.

They’ve been quite good in Europa League, though, dispatching a pair of minnows before winning both legs against Serie A side Torino.

Why the inconsistency? It’s not fixture congestion, according to Ruben Neves:

“I don’t think fatigue has anything to do with it, Neves said, via The Birmingham Mail. “We’re all top players, we’re used to it, we’re used to playing a lot of games in quick succession. I don’t think the Europa League has (anything) to do with our position in the Premier League. Obviously, we haven’t had the start that we’ve wanted, but it’s been a beautiful journey into the Europa League. This is a historic moment for Wolves and we’re going to do our best in this competition.”

Nuno Espirito Santo‘s men are in Portugal to meet Braga, one of three tricky opponents in Besiktas and Slovan Bratislava.

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