Swansea City 2-1 Manchester United: Swans comeback stuns Red Devils

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  • Juan Mata bagged the opener just after halftime
  • Andre Ayew equalized on the hour mark
  • Bafetimbi Gomis gave Swansea the lead 6 minutes later

A pair of goals in six minutes gave Swansea City a stunning comeback as they down Manchester United by a 2-1 scoreline for the third straight time in Premier League play.

Juan Mata had given Manchester United the lead shortly after halftime when Bafetimbi Gomis and Andre Ayew grabbed the game by its horns and set the Liberty Stadium alight after an hour.

Off the opening whistle, with Swansea initially looking to play on the break, Manchester United held much of the possession in the opening 20 minutes. Mata came closest when he picked up a loose ball in the box and lashed it just wide of the near post.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Swansea nearly caught United’s high back line off guard but Bafetimbi Gomis ripped his effort well over the bar on the 24th minute break. Moments later Gylfi Sigurdsson should have put the Swans one-up but he put his low shot just wide. The Swans continued their bright spell as a clearance by Sergio Romero went right to Jonjo Shelvey, and the midfielder tried an audacious chip that Romero just got his hands to. Gomis then hit the outside of the post with a strong shot under pressure.

[ RELATED: Manchester City signs Kevin de Bruyne ]

Rain began to pour down near the half-hour mark, and both sides looked bogged down as the first half wound down.

But just three minutes into the second half, Manchester United went ahead with their third goal of the season. Luke Shaw burst down the left side and delivered a cross into the box. Wayne Rooney, waiting at the near post, stuck a foot out but missed the ball, and with the defenders converging on Rooney, Juan Mata was left alone at the far post to punch the ball home from close range.

[ MORE: Click here for full lineups, stats, box score

Manchester United settled in to preserve their lead, but Swansea had been dangerous on the counter, and Garry Monk brought on Ki Sung-Yeung to change the home side’s shape. It worked to perfection.

They equalized on the hour mark with a brilliant header by Andre Ayew. A cross from the right came into the box with Ayew and Gomis out-gunning just one defender on the counter, and the Ghanan cannoned his header into the ground and over Sergio Romero’s head on the bounce.

With United back-pedaling, they stunned the Red Devils by taking the lead just six minutes later. Ayew got the ball down the right and sent a ball forward to Gomis one-on-two. The Red Devil defense somehow let it through, and Gomis poked a ball past Romero from a tight angle for the lead and his trademark panther celebration.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Manchester United brought on Marouane Fellaini and began to hoof it forward, but the attacking intent seemed more out of desperation than inspiration. There was one last big chance, but referee Martin Atkinson waved away a penalty shout from Wayne Rooney after the English international was clean through on goal but waited too long before going down under pressure from Ashley Williams.

The loss is Manchester United’s first of the season, but they remain without more than one goal in any game thus far and sit on seven points. Swansea, thanks to Gomis’s fourth goal in four games, move into the Premier League table’s top four.

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.

From Goal.com:

“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.

Clark County “declines to prosecute” Ronaldo for rape

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Cristiano Ronaldo will not face sexual assault charges for a June 2009 incident in the United States, attorneys say.

An American woman filed a civil lawsuit against the Juventus superstar last year, claiming that Ronaldo forced himself upon her while she was in a prone position in his hotel room.

[ MORE: Bayern keen on Zaha ]

Ronaldo had expressed belief that he would be cleared of the claims, and claimed that graphic documents produced by German publication Der Spiegel were altered and fabricated.

Las Vegas police issued a warrant in a bid to get Ronaldo’s DNA, and the DA’s office says the woman’s refusal to name her attacker stopped them for collecting “vital evidence.” The woman reached a civil settlement with Ronaldo in 2010.

From News3LV.com:

“Based upon a review of the information presented at this time, the allegations of sexual assault against Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” the D.A.’s office said. “Therefore, no charges will be forthcoming.”

Bayern Munich kicking the tires on big Zaha bid

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A sensational report is linking Wilfried Zaha not just with a move away from Crystal Palace, but a move clear of the Premier League altogether.

90min.com says that Bayern Munich has turned to Zaha, having been rebuffed in their pursuit of Manchester City’s Leroy Sane.

Palace wants $100 million for Zaha, but so far has only received a $50 million offer from Arsenal for his services. Reports Monday said Arsenal is upping its bid, and offering a loan of Reiss Nelson as a make-good. Palace has had good Fortune with loans from the big boys of the PL, in particular with Ruben Loftus-Cheek two seasons ago.

A lot of this makes sense for all parties, apart from Sane, and it will be interesting to see if the report brings a bigger bid from the Gunners.

Zaha is a sensational player, and has created chances year-after-year for the Eagles. He wants to taste the Champions League, but Palace is not willing to let him go for (much) less than its asking price given its sale of Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United.

Bayern will spend less on Zaha than it would on Gareth Bale or Sane, and get a determined player who is very much in his prime. Zaha would also get the chance to showcase himself with actual breathing room on the pitch, thanks to Serge Gnabry, Robert Lewandowski, and others.

And Palace, of course, will end up with between $80-100 million and the knowledge that it won’t need to mark Zaha on a Premier League pitch. More importantly, the money raised from Zaha and Wan-Bissaka will allow them to strengthen at nearly every position (above what they have now, not above AWB and Zaha).