Southampton 4-0 Arsenal: Gunners blown away; title race murky as ever

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Remember Monday, just five days ago, when Arsenal beat Manchester City and we thought, wrongly once again, that the Premier League title race was beginning make a bit more sense?

[ MORE: 3 things we learned

Here’s the thing about that: forget all of it. Southampton’s 4-0 hammering of the Gunners at St. Mary’s Stadium on Boxing Day puts everything right back where we started — Leicester City top, Arsenal two points back and Man City a point behind them — just a week ago.

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Southampton opened the scoring was opened with one of the goals of the season (WATCH HERE), scored by backup right back Cuco Martina. The Dutch defender unleashed a wicked, outside-of-the-right-foot strike on a bouncing ball more than 25 yards from goal. It swerved through traffic and Petr Cech could do nothing as Saints took the lead on 19 minutes.

Arsenal’s best chance to equalize in the first half came in the 39th minute, when Theo Walcott sent a header needlessly wide of the near post without a single defender within three yards of him. The ball into the box came from a corner kick, but Walcott altogether failed to put his effort on target.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

It was very nearly 2-0 in the 43rd minute, when Shane Long raced past Per Mertesacker are the Arsenal defense, and found himself one on one with Cech. The Irish striker went for the fancy chip over top of the Czech ‘keeper, but could only watch helplessly as the ball floated two or three goals’ height into the air and over the crossbar.

Not long after the halftime restart, Saints thought they had doubled their lead when Virgil Van Dijk headed the ball past Cech. The Dutch defender was (correctly) ruled to have been in an offside position when the free kick was taken, thus the score remained 1-0.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

That scoreline lasted just five more minutes, though, as Sadio Mane set up Long for a simple finish at the back post to give Saints a much-needed two-goal lead on 55 minutes. Mane burst down the right wing, played the ball through Mertesacker’s legs found Long all by his lonesome at the far post, where a simple tap-in past an outstretched Cech made it 2-0 in favor of the home side.

Jose Fonte made it 3-0 to Southampton in the 69th minute, when the Saints captain headed home Ryan Bertrand‘s in-swinging corner kick.

It was long who next went inches from making the score 4-0 in the 89th minute. The Irishman once again raced past Mertesacker, but his shot found only the front side of the far post after slipping by the onrushing Cech.

Long eventually did make it 4-0, on 91 minutes. Dusan Tadic played him through between the center backs and, from a similar angle to his previous chance, Long slotted the ball between the legs of Cech for a famous and emphatic South Coast triumph.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

With the defeat, Arsenal miss out on an opportunity to return to the Premier League summit, instead remaining two points behind Leicester. Southampton, on the other hand, remain 12th in the league table, still two points behind Stoke City for 11th, but also just three points back of Liverpool in 7th.

Follow Live: Jamaica hosts Honduras in first Gold Cup match in Kingston

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With Curacao v. El Salvador as the undercard, host Jamaica will make history on Monday evening ahead of its match v. Honduras in Kingston.

The evening at the National Stadium at Independence Park represents the first time that Gold Cup will be held in the Caribbean, an historic achievement as CONCACAF looks for ways to continue growing the game across the entire region.

[ LIVE: Latest Gold Cup scores ]

Although it struggled in World Cup qualifying, Jamaica seems like it has turned a new leaf and after a 2-0 win over the U.S. Men’s National Team in Washington D.C. earlier this month, the Caribbean nation is riding plenty of confidence and is looking to make yet another deep run at the Gold Cup. Standing in its way is plucky Honduras, who always seems to come up with goals when it’s least expected and manages to put together a strong defense to make things difficult for opponents.

It should be a fun opener in front of a partisan, but decidedly local crowd in Jamaica.

Report: Barcelona in negotiations with PSG to sign Neymar

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In a stunning development, Neymar could be returning to the Camp Nou as early as this summer.

Brazilian media giant Globo Esporte reported Monday afternoon that Barcelona is currently negotiating with Paris Saint-Germain over the signing of Neymar. According to the report, the deal could include a payment of around $112 million along with one or more players moving to Paris, including Ivan Rakitic, Ousmane Dembele and Samuel Umtiti.

[READ: USWNT: We have the best, and second best team]

There’s so many layers to this deal, so let’s break it down.

The news that Neymar could return to Barcelona comes on the heels of an interview by PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and France Football, in which he called out Neymar, stating “nobody forced him to sign here,” and that Al-Khelaifi said earlier in the interview he didn’t want “to see stars anymore.”

“I want players willing to give everything to defend the honor of the jersey and to join the club project,” Al-Khelaifi told France Football. “Those who do not want, or do not understand, we see each other and we talk to each other. There are of course contracts to be respected, but the priority now is total membership of our project…nobody forced him to sign here. Nobody pushed him. He came knowingly to join a project.”

Meanwhile, Neymar has plenty of time now to think of his future. Ever since moving to PSG, it feels like he’s been stricken by the injury bug. While he’ll probably go down as a Brazil legend when he retires, he’s on the precipice of being a what if player, as in, what if he wasn’t injured for parts of the last two World Cups, and for picking up an ankle injury that’s kept him out of the 2019 Copa America.

It’s been ankle injuries as well in February of each of the last two seasons at PSG that has effectively ended his season just as it was reaching the important stages, the start of the UEFA Champions League knockout stage.

Remember, Neymar decided to force his way out of Barcelona and move to PSG in an effort to break the hegemony of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to win the Ballon d’Or and truly write his name in the history books. Instead, his time in Paris will be remembered abroad more for his antics, injuries, and of course, the incident with the fan at the Coupe de la Ligue final.

Of course, that’s not to say Neymar didn’t have success in France. He’s scored an incredible 49 goals in 55 games in all competitions, including in both Ligue 1 and the UEFA Champions League. But ultimately, Neymar wasn’t able to score goals when it mattered, like in the Champions League knockout stages or in high-pressure games.

At Barcelona, Neymar achieved some of his biggest club success and took his game to new heights after being a raw diamond needing polishing at Santos in Brazil. Perhaps Neymar has realized that it’s better to play in Messi’s shadow, and potentially win the UEFA Champions League again, than try and stake it out on his own. Neymar has a good relationship with Messi and Luis Suarez, among other South Americans on the team, and on paper he’d clearly be a big upgrade at left wing over the duo of Ousmane Dembele and Neymar’s Brazil teammate, Philippe Coutinho.

The deal makes sense for both sides, but will it get done? That’s the big question this summer, and it will remain unanswered until the second of September, the close of the Spanish transfer window.

Watch Live: Copa America — Japan v. Chile

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It may be hard to remember, since it didn’t qualify for the 2018 World Cup, but Chile is actually the twice-defending Copa America champions.

[ LIVE: Watch every single Copa America game ]

La Roja look to defend their title with the final opening game of the tournament, facing Copa America invitee Japan at the Estadio Morumbi in Sao Paulo. After both Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal announced they were leaving the national team following the failure to qualify for the last World Cup, both veterans are back and starting as Chile looks to find its 2015 and 2016 form under new manager Reinaldo Rueda, the former Colombia, Honduras and Ecuador coach.

Chile will face an interesting test in Japan, as the Samurai Blue have taken mainly an Under-23 side as it prepares for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, and potentially making a deep run. Many of the starters are making their first senior international caps for Japan, as it looks to gain crucial international experience against a strong side.

Hit the link above (or click HERE) to watch Monday’s primetime fixture (in Spanish) and check back on PST for a full roundup of the day’s action down in South America.

You can watch every single game from the tournament live online in Spanish via Telemundo Deportes and via the NBC Sports App. All you have to do is click on the links below.

How Twitter reacted to VAR decisions in France v. Nigeria

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The introduction of Video Assistant Referees to top level soccer has been criticized at times, but more often than not has been given the benefit of the doubt.

That seemed to change on Monday, as France was aided by two controversial VAR decisions, which helped the European nation defeat Nigeria, 1-0, in the final group stage game for both countries at the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

Both VAR decisions, the first to award a penalty and especially the second, to award a retake, were planned by both journalists, fans, and even former players on social media in real time.

Here’s some reaction below to the big controversy from this afternoon’s match.