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Europa League roundup: Spurs cruise to win group, Dortmund stumbles

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The Europa League knockout round is set with the finality of the group stage. Both Liverpool and Tottenham won their groups and will be seeded in the knockout stage, while Borussia Dortmund stumbled on the final day and fell to second, finding itself unseeded despite progressing.

Monaco and Ajax were the biggest names to find themselves eliminated from the competition, as none of them were able to find victory on the final day.

Tottenham 4-1 Monaco

Erik Lamela scored a hat-trick in 35 minutes – one more goal than he has in the entire Premier League season thus far – and Spurs cruised over the French side easily in the North London rain. Heung-Min Son was outstanding in attack for the Premier League side, and Mauricio Pochettino‘s gang won Group J with four wins in six.

Sion 0-0 Liverpool

There was little excitement in Liverpool’s visit to Switzerland, but it was enough for the Reds to top Group B as both these teams progressed into the group stage. Australian left-back Bradley Smith was impressive on his debut as Liverpool faced just one shot on target all match, while Divock Origi was bright in the attack, but could not convert a few half-chances.

Borussia Dortmund 0-1 PAOK

Adnan Januzaj was kept quiet on the wing and Borussia Dortmund fell at home, still progressing to the knockout round but unable to top Group C as they miss out on the head-to-head tiebreaker with Kuban Krasnodar. Robert Mak was the match’s lone goalscorer just past the half-hour mark as the Greeks earn their first and only win of the group stage.

Slovan Liberec 2-4 Marseille

Undeterred by a miserable start to the year, Olympique Marseille has improved its fortunes both home and abroad. Amid four unbeaten in Ligue 1 play to push them back into the top half of the table, and they won three straight to finish group stage play and salvage a place in the knockout round, completed with today’s storming win in the Czech Republic. Four goals from four different scorers put them through, led by Moroccan international Abdelaziz Barrada who put one home and assisted two more.

FC Midtjylland 1-1 Club Brugge

Having embarrassed Southampton in the playoff stages to make it this far, Danish side FC Midtjylland has surprisingly advanced to the knockout rounds ahead of their Belgian opponents who needed a win today to progress. They were led by this insane goal from 20-year-old Danish international Pione Sisto.

https://vine.co/v/iZbdTurHIDa

Napoli 5-2 Legia Warsaw

The Italians had already wrapped up the top spot in Group D weeks ago, but they completed the perfect six wins in six by rolling Legia Warsaw. Chelsea loanee Nathaniel Chalobah opened the scoring 30 minutes in, while Dries Mertens bagged a pair and Jose Callejon got on the scoresheet as well. Napoli finished with a perfect 18 points in group stage play.

Ajax 1-1 Molde

This scoreline completed a pair of surprising finishes in Group A: Norwegian club FC Molde topped the bunch to ensure a seeded position in the knockout round, while the Dutch giants are out of the competition. Ajax needed a win to catch Fenerbahce, but could not procure all three points, while Molde finished as the only team in the group with three wins.

Schalke 4-0 Asteras Tripoli

The Germans stormed their way towards victory in Group K as they finished all six matches without a loss. Franco Di Santo had a first-half hat-trick and Kaas Jan Huntelaar added a fourth as the Germans secured a two-point margin atop the group.

Rapid Wien 2-0 Dinamo Minsk

35-year-old Stephen Hoffman scored the winner 54 minutes in and Rapid Wien topped Group E ahead of Villareal with 15 points.

Ljungberg hails ‘amazing’ teen Saka after game-changing performance

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Arsenal phenom Bukayo Saka‘s big day spurred the Gunners to a top seed in the Europa League knockout rounds.

Arsenal went behind on two deflected goals in the second half’s first 25 minutes, but Saka answered with a goal and an assist in three minutes to take a point from Belgium in a 2-2 draw at Standard Liege.

[ RECAP, VIDEO: Standard Liege 2-2 Arsenal ]

Saka was at the heart of it of all good things Arsenal, the 18-year-old handed plenty of responsibility. despite his tender age.

“He was amazing,” said interim manager Freddie Ljungberg. “He was a bit upset with me before the game that he had to play wing-back and full-back. He’s a tremendous talent.”

Saka had four key passes to go with his goal and assist, winning six of eight duels while producing two tackles and an interception.

Ljungberg said Arsenal hasn’t sent its young players on loan enough, though that hardly applies to Saka given he was 17 until September.

The injured Gunners used Konstantinos Mavropanos, Emile Smith-Rowe, Joe Willock, and Reiss Nelson in the Starting XI, and brought Gabriel Martinelli off the bench.

“I feel sorry for our young players,” he said. “A lot of them haven’t been on loan, they’ve not had that exposure to men’s football. Some of them made mistakes but they’ll learn from those mistakes and won’t do them again.”

Smith-Rowe was loaned to RB Leipzig last season and Nelson starred on loan at Hoffenheim. Mavropanos played first team football for Greek Super League side PAS Giannina in his late teens.

Arsenal joins Premier League sides Wolves and Manchester United in the knockout rounds, having lost the Europa League final to rivals Chelsea at the end of last season.

The Gunners beat West Ham on Monday and host Manchester City at 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday.

Arsenal uses thrilling comeback to win Europa League group

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Nothing Arsenal-related is allowed to be easy, it seems.

The Gunners used a goal and an assist from Bukayo Saka to come back from a two-goal deficit and draw Standard Liege 2-2 in Belgium on Thursday, winning its Europa League group when Vitoria came back to beat Eintracht Frankfurt on a wild afternoon of soccer.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Arsenal trailed on second half goals from Samuel Bastien and Selim Amallah, but rallied behind Bukayo Saka and Alexandre Lacazette to score a second-straight win for interim boss Freddie Ljungberg.

Saka sent in a laser cross in the 78th minute and Lacazette did quite well to power it under the bar.

He’s loving this competition, having made a serious entrance earlier in the tournament versus Eintracht Frankfurt. The 18-year-old now has two goals and five assists across all competitions this season.

The Gunners needed just three more minutes to tie the score on a day they outshot the hosts 15-11.

Saka showed his nose for goal to tie the score five minutes later with a dribble to the top of the 18 and a sly finish to the keeper’s left.

This was all happening around the same time Vitoria scored twice in three minutes to take a 3-2 lead on Eintracht Frankfurt.

Standard Liege goes from the knockout rounds to nothing in a blink, while Eintracht goes from winning the group to second.

The field for the Europa League is looking fierce, with Inter Milan, Benfica, Ajax, Club Brugge, Olympiacos, Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen, and Red Bull Salzburg joining the competition via transfer from the UEFA Champions League.

Arsenal joins Premier League sides Wolves and Manchester United in the knockout rounds, having lost the Europa League final to rivals Chelsea at the end of last season.

The Gunners beat West Ham on Monday and host Manchester City at 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday.

Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks

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Matchweek 17 is here in the Premier League as the games continue to come thick and fast during the festive season.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

If you, like me, love to dissect all the games and predict what the score will be and which team will win, I encourage you to get involved in the comments section below. Let’s have a bit of fun.

Okay, so I’ve consulted my crystal ball and here’s how we see things panning out. Listen carefully, because this is very specific.

While you can download the NBC Sports Predictor app (below) and play the Premier League Pick ‘Em game yourself to predict the scores and win the prizes.

DOWNLOAD NBC SPORTS PREDICTOR

With the first section labelled “basically, free money” for the picks I think are dead certs. The section labelled “don’t touch this” means if you’re betting I advise you to stay clear, while the “so you’re telling me there’s a chance” section are the long shots. If it is better odds you are after, those are the picks to go for.


BASICALLY, FREE MONEY

Chelsea 3-0 Bournemouth – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

Liverpool 3-1 Watford – (Saturday, 7:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM] 

Crystal Palace 3-1 Brighton – (Monday, 2:45 p.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

Leicester 3-0 Norwich – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM]


DON’T TOUCH THIS…

Southampton 1-1 West Ham – (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET, NBC) – [STREAM]

Sheffield United 2-1 Aston Villa – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM

Man United 2-1 Everton – (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM


“SO YOU’RE TELLING ME THERE’S A CHANCE…”

Arsenal 3-3 Man City – (Sunday, 11:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]

Wolves 1-2 Tottenham – (Sunday 9 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]

Burnley 1-2 Newcastle United – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM

Premier League TV, streaming schedule

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Matchweek 17 of the Premier League season is here, as the busy festive season continues.

Get in there.

[ MORE: Sign up for NBC Sports Gold ]

The full TV schedule for the games this weekend are below, plus you can watch every single second of every single game live online via NBC Sports.com,the NBC Sports App and by purchasing the new “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold.

Gold also includes an extensive selection of shoulder programming such as Premier League News, Premier League Today, Sky Sports News, NBC Sports originals such as Premier League Download and much more.

[ STREAM: Premier League live here ] 

You can also watch Premier League “Goal Rush” for all the goals as they go in around the grounds. Goal Rush is available via NBC Sports.com and the NBC Sports App.

[ MORE: Premier League “Goal Rush” ] 

If you’re looking for full-event replays of Premier League games, you can find them here for the games streamed on NBCSports.com and here for the games on NBC Sports Gold.

Here’s your full TV schedule for the coming days.


FULL TV SCHEDULE

Saturday
7:30 a.m. ET: Liverpool v. Watford – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Chelsea v. Bournemouth – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Burnley v. Newcastle – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Leicester City v. Norwich City – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Sheffield United v. Aston Villa – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
12:30 p.m. ET: Southampton v. West Ham – NBC [STREAM]

Sunday
9 a.m. ET: Wolves v. Tottenham – NBCSN [STREAM]
9 a.m. ET: Man United v. Everton  – NBC Sports Gold[STREAM]
11:30 a.m. ET: Arsenal v. Man City – NBCSN [STREAM]

Monday
2:45 p.m. ET: Crystal Palace v. Brighton – NBCSN [STREAM]