Premier League roundup: Man City rides 5-goal Aguero, Chelsea loses again

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So what if many traditional powers were set for high-profile matches on Sunday? The Premier League didn’t need them to provide high drama.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

That isn’t to say Chelsea and Manchester City didn’t dominate the day’s headlines for different reasons, but Saturday morning Stateside did not disappoint viewers on the NBC family of network.

[ MORE: Standings | schedule | stats ]

Sure, it may’ve started with a relative dud at Selhurst Park — Thanks Tony — but it shaped up quickly.

Manchester City 6-1 Newcastle United — RECAP

Newcastle boss Steve McClaren trotted out an ambitious 4-4-2 formation that paid dividends for a while. Aleksandar Mitrovic scored early and could easily had a hat trick if not for Joe Hart and a questionable offside call. But Sergio Aguero netted before half time, and five times in 20 minutes of play. Kevin De Bruyne also scored, and he was a key playmaker for City in the blowout. That five times ties a Premier League record, one a mildly-injured Aguero didn’t get to break.

Chelsea 1-3 Southampton — RECAP

The Blues look relatively-wretched, and sit in 16th place after sacrificing a 1-0 lead which came courtesy of another golden Willian free kick. Saints looked more like their 2014-15 standard, with Sadio Mane probably the best player on a Saturday pitch not named Aguero.

Sunderland 2-2 West Ham United — RECAP

Dick Advocaat may be done at the Stadium of Light, and it’s difficult to imagine a more Sunderlandy-way for him to go out. The Black Cats looked resurgent, with goals from Steven Fletcher and Jeremain Lens putting the stadium into throes of ecstasy. Many of those fans left before it was over, as Carl Jenkinson and Dimitri Payet found the goals needed to snare a point.

Norwich City 1-2 Leicester City — RECAP

Oh, those Foxes! Leicester is a Top Four team for the time being after running Norwich ragged in building a two-goal lead via a Jamie Vardy PK and a Jeffrey Schlupp finish. The Canaries pulled one back, but couldn’t do what it takes to find a point.

Aston Villa 0-1 Stoke City — RECAP

Tim Sherwood’s side is lacking just about everything, and Villa is again flirting with relegation early in a season. Meanwhile, Stoke is coming around after a very difficult stretch of matches to start the season. Mark Hughes‘ Potters got a goal from Marko Arnautovic, and it should’ve been two if not for an offside call.

Bournemouth 1-1 Watford — RECAP

Heurelho Gomes had an up-and-down time during his time with Tottenham Hotspur, but he’s been mostly up for the Hornets. The Watford keeper was beaten by Glenn Murray once, but he stopped the Bournemouth striker on a PK attempt. As for Watford, you know who scored (Odion Ighalo).

Crystal Palace 2-0 West Bromwich AlbionRECAP

There is little appealing about the way Tony Pulis sets up his side, and Alan Pardew‘s boys rightfully broke them down twice. Yohan Cabaye is a wizard in the Premier League, and Palace is third in the Premier League. West Brom has 8 points, three which came when they barely inched by a 9-man Stoke City side. Bad things, man.

Sunday
Everton vs. Liverpool — 8:30 a.m. ET
Arsenal vs. Manchester United — 11 a.m. ET
Swansea City vs. Tottenham Hotspur — 11 a.m. ET

LIVE — USMNT seeks ‘payback’ v. Canada in CONCACAF Nations League

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The USMNT’s CONCACAF Nations League hopes are on the line when it meets Canada in Orlando at 7 p.m. ET on Friday.

[ FOLLOW: USMNT on Twitter ]

The Yanks seek to avenge a 2-0 loss to the Canucks in Toronto last month, one that heaped pressure on coach Gregg Berhalter.

If the USMNT fails to win on Friday, a match Canada also needs for its World Cup qualifying hopes, it will bow out of the tournament before the semifinal round.

There’s no place for DeAndre Yedlin in the back line, as Tim Ream‘s been chosen to play right back with a center back pairing of John Brooks and Aaron Long. Sergino Dest starts on the right.

The midfield will have Jackson Yueill lying deep, with Weston McKennie and Sebastian Lletget also getting the call.

Gyasi Zardes starts at center forward with Jordan Morris and Paul Arriola on the wings.

EURO qualifying wrap: Sweden joins Finland in qualifying

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Finland and Sweden have qualified for EURO 2020 after posting big wins on Friday, the former doing it at home to relative minnows Liechtenstein while the latter scored an impressive win away to Romania.

[ WATCH: G. Jesus’ comical penalty miss ]


Romania 0-2 Sweden

Marcus Berg and Robin Quaison scored first half goals as Sweden qualified for its sixth-straight EURO. Both are having decent starts to the club season. The veteran Berg has scored five times for Krasnodar, while the 26-year-old Quaison has scored four times for Mainz this season.

Spain 7-0 Malta

The Spanish had seven different goal scorers beginning with Alvaro Morata and Santi Cazorla providing a 2-0 halftime lead. Spain out shot Malta 25-1, with Pau Torres, Pablo Sarabia, Dani Olmo, and Gerard Moreno also scoring for an experimental squad.

And what if we told you Jesus Navas scored? Cause he did.

Denmark 6-0 Gibraltar

Christian Eriksen scored twice in the final five minutes after Robert Skov’s brace came sandwiched around Christian Gytkjaer and Martin Braithwaite goals. The Danes climbed to the top of Group D, one point better than the Swiss and three better than Republic of Ireland (who it meets on the last match day).

Switzerland 1-0 Georgia

Granit Xhaka went 90 minutes and Cedric Itten scored the game’s lone goal as the Swiss joined the Danes in climbing above Republic of Ireland.

Bosnia and Herzegovina 0-3 Italy

The Azzurri were clinical on Friday, with Francesco Acerbi, Lorenzo Insigne, and Andrea Belotti bagging

Elsewhere
Norway 4-0 Faroe Islands
Finland 3-0 Liechtenstein — RECAP
Armenia 0-1 Greece

WATCH: Gabriel Jesus comically misses penalty; Messi pots winner on Argentina return

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As long as Lionel Messi is on the field, Argentina and Brazil is going to be must-watch no matter the location.

Messi converted a rebound of his own won and saved penalty to score his 69th international goal in Argentina’s 1-0 win in a Saudi Arabia-hosted friendly on Friday.

[ MORE: Finland makes history ]

It was Messi’s first match with Argentina since the summer, when he was banned three months for claiming the 2019 Copa America tournament was fixed for hosts Brazil.

Let’s be real, though: You should be here for this terrible penalty miss from Gabriel Jesus.

The Brazilian also won his penalty, but his miss was a dreadful dribble wide of the frame. It clicked three boxes of terrible: no direction, no conviction, no technique.

Pique: Griezmann growing into Barca role “little by little”

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This summer, there was plenty of talk that Barcelona’s players wanted Neymar in town and quite the opposite regarding Antoine Griezmann.

The Atletico Madrid star was the player purchased by Barcelona.

[ MORE: Finland makes history ]

Griezmann, 28, has four goals and three assists in 15 matches, but the bulk of that outlay came in two matches and he’s without a goal or assist in the UEFA Champions League.

A bit different from his 21 goals and 10 assists in 48 matches last season, at least on the goals end, but the Frenchman is settling into a new club and city.

While it’s not like his new teammates think he’s garbage, they aren’t sugarcoating their opinion of his transition nor downplaying their lofty opinion of Barca.

Here’s Gerard Pique, via AS.com:

“Real Sociedad and Atlético were teams who played for Griezmann. That’s not the case at Barca, because the level is higher and he has to find his place in the side. Little by little he’s finding it. He’s got the quality and talent for it.”

Pique also blew off Barca’s extra rest before the new El Clasico date, and talked about Leo Messi’scontract talks as well as his relationship with Sergio Ramos. It’s all here.