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Premier League roundup: Leicester, Man United roll; Spurs leap Arsenal

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We know the managers don’t love the schedule congestion in the Premier League, but after a day like Tuesday we’re thrilled to have a midweek like this.

Manchester United looked like the Red Devils of old, Leicester City continued its incredible run, Arsenal continued its tumultuous table run and Spurs looked ready to the bright lights.

Those were just four of the teams toiling on Tuesday.

Manchester United 3-0 Stoke CityRECAP

The combination of Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney will receive a lot of the accolades, but Juan Mata put forth an all-world effort in orchestrating the other two members of his power trio. United scored first half goals at home for the first time in 11 matches, and Old Trafford was, at least for a day, the Theater of Dreams.

Leicester City 2-0 Liverpool — RECAP

Jurgen Klopp won’t be pleased, but Jamie Vardy banged in a pair of goals to give the Foxes a three-point table lead heading into the weekend. England coach Roy Hodgson was in attendance, and it’s hard to imagine he isn’t salivating at the thought of in-form Vardy and Rooney in an attack with Raheem Sterling this summer in France.

“Apologies, normal-sized human, but it seems I have robbed you of a trio of points.” (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Arsenal 0-0 Southampton — RECAP

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is understandably frustrated that his side couldn’t find the back of the goal, but he’ll watch the tape and realize Saints goalkeeper Fraser Forster was guilty of robbery on so many occasions that he’d get a life sentence from any sensible judge.

Sunderland 0-1 Manchester CityRECAP

Sergio Aguero scored early, and that’s all the league’s No. 2 team needed to advance past Sam Allardyce‘s side, as the big English manager slumped back in the dugout, wondering what his team will look like once the transfer buys hits the pitch together.

West Browmich Albion 1-1 Swansea City — RECAP

Opinion here, but Tony Pulis spent another afternoon robbing soccer fans of entertainment before Gylfi Sigurdsson broke through and put Swans up top. Baggies striker Salomon Rondon snared a point late, but West Brom was unconvincing again and sits just a trio of points above Swansea.

Norwich City 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur — RECAP

The Canaries could be in real trouble, but Spurs sure have made a lot of teams feel that way. Dele Alli scored, won a penalty for Harry Kane to convert, and then watched as Kane added a second goal as the North London side ran through Carrow Road with ease. Spurs now have the best goal differential in the Premier League (25).

West Ham United 2-0 Aston Villa — RECAP

Poor Remi Garde. We’re sure he’s a better manager than this, and Jordan Ayew‘s needless and vicious elbow had the last-place Villans down a man for most of this one. Dmitri Payet was again a string-puller for the Irons, who got goals from Michail Antonio and Cheikhou Kouyate.

Crystal Palace 1-2 Bournemouth — RECAP

Alan Pardew‘s Eagles are struggling, and now sit closer to the drop zone than the Top Four after coughing up an early lead provided by Scott Dann and Wilfried Zaha teaming up. Selhurst Park watched in horror as Marc Pugh dizzied the Palace ‘D’ for one goal and Benik Afobe buried his third in three games for the eventual match winner. That’s five-straight losses for Pardew’s Palace.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02: Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace is challenged by Charlie Daniels of Bournemouth during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and A.F.C. Bournemouth at Selhurst Park on February 2, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Standings

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Leicester City 24 14 8 2 44 26 18 7-4-1 7-4-1 50
Manchester City 24 14 5 5 46 23 23 9-1-2 5-4-3 47
Tottenham Hotspur 24 12 9 3 44 19 25 6-4-2 6-5-1 45
Arsenal 24 13 6 5 37 22 15 7-3-2 6-3-3 45
Manchester United 24 11 7 6 31 21 10 6-4-2 5-3-4 40
West Ham United 24 10 9 5 38 28 10 5-5-2 5-4-3 39
Southampton 24 9 7 8 32 24 8 6-2-4 3-5-4 34
Liverpool 24 9 7 8 30 34 -4 4-4-3 5-3-5 34
Stoke City 24 9 6 9 24 28 -4 5-2-4 4-4-5 33
Watford 23 9 5 9 27 26 1 5-2-5 4-3-4 32
Crystal Palace 24 9 4 11 25 29 -4 4-2-7 5-2-4 31
Everton 23 6 11 6 40 34 6 3-4-5 3-7-1 29
West Bromwich Albion 24 7 8 9 23 31 -8 4-4-5 3-4-4 29
Chelsea 23 7 7 9 32 34 -2 4-4-4 3-3-5 28
Bournemouth 24 7 7 10 29 39 -10 3-4-4 4-3-6 28
Swansea City 24 6 8 10 23 32 -9 4-4-4 2-4-6 26
Norwich City 24 6 5 13 28 46 -18 4-3-5 2-2-8 23

Newcastle United 23 5 6 12 25 41 -16 3-5-4 2-1-8 21
Sunderland 24 5 4 15 28 47 -19 3-3-6 2-1-9 19
Aston Villa 24 2 7 15 18 40 -22 1-4-6 1-3-9 13

Chelsea needs to wait “48 hours” to assess Mount

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Mason Mount‘s move from the Championship to the Premier League has been nearly seamless.

His adjustment to the Champions League was cut down too quickly to get an understanding of whether it would be too big of a jump.

[ MORE: Match recap | Barkley drama ]

Mount, 20, was chopped down by Valencia’s Francis Coquelin, the former Arsenal man, and had to leave the game after just 16 minutes.

Here’s Frank Lampard, from ChelseaFC.com:

“He’s got an ankle injury but we don’t know how bad it is. We’ll have to assess it in the next 48 hours to see the scale of the injury. It was a shame because he started the game well and it meant we had to make the change early on.”

Mount scored nine times with four assists on loan under Lampard at Derby County last season, and has already chipped in three goals for Chelsea this season.

Lampard turned to Pedro off the bench on Tuesday, but any lengthy absence for Mount will spell more time for American youngster Christian Pulisic.

UEFA Champions League Wednesday preview: Man City, Spurs debut

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Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur begin their UEFA Champions League campaigns on very different results and with very different vibes.

City is coming off a stunning 3-2 loss to injury-hit Norwich City, and is set up in Ukraine to face Shakhtar Donetsk for the third-straight season, a side which beat Pep Guardiola once in four tries between 2017/18 and 2018/19 in the UCL.

[ MORE: UCL Tues. wrap ]

But on Wednesday, Guardiola’s men are going to carry a similar feel to one of his old Barcelona teams, as Pep seemingly will have Fernandinho pull a Javier Mascherano and drop into the back line.

Yes, Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi are Manchester City’s hopes at center back, now that John Stones has joined Aymeric Laporte on the shelf.

“For me as a manager it’s an incredible challenge,” said Pep Guardiola. “But I believe a lot, people don’t know the spirit and resolve to solve this problem. The players going to come back with Dinho, Eric Garcia, Taylor Harwood-Bellis. … It’s happened, but what we are not going to do is complain. We have to have 11 players on the pitch and I like it, to find a solution. For the players as well to find an incredible step forward.”

Spurs, meanwhile, will simply be trying to build on any momentum gained by a 4-0 demolition of Crystal Palace at the weekend, a win which came after manager Mauricio Pochettino begged his side to “re-focus” after a relatively poor start to the season.

Now a bit more relaxed, Spurs head to Greece as the clear favorites against stingy Olympiacos. These are, after all, the finalists of last season’s tournament.

Pochettino won’t be sleeping on the challenge, from The London Evening Standard:

“They have good players and if we are not focused and don’t take our best game we are going to suffer. But last season we played in the final of Champions League, so it’s normal people think before the game, Tottenham is one step above Olympiacos but in the end you need to show it on the pitch.”

Spurs are one of two early kickoffs on Tuesday.

Full UCL Wednesday schedule

12:55 p.m. ET
Club Brugge v. Galatasaray
Olympiacos v. Tottenham Hotspur

3 p.m. ET
Bayer Leverkusen v. Lokomotiv Moscow
Paris Saint-Germain v. Real Madrid
Atletico Madrid v. Juventus
Dinamo Zagreb v. Atalanta
Bayern Munich v. Red Star Belgrade
Shakhtar Donetsk v. Manchester City

American coach Marsch speaks after landmark Champions League day

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Jesse Marsch made his UEFA Champions League debut on Tuesday, a historic first for not just the Wisconsin native but also his country.

Marsch, 45, oversaw Red Bull Salzburg’s 6-2 demolition of Genk, becoming the first American to win a UCL match as manager.

[ MORE: Champions League Tues. wrap ]

“We knew we were going into the match full of confidence,” he said, via the Salzburg site. “We knew too that we could put in a performance of this quality. I wasn’t pleased with a few situations, such as conceding for 3-1. That shows our incredible mentality though as it prompted us to give a few more percent and immediately score two goals.”

The ex-New York Red Bulls manager and RB Leipzig assistant manager got another three goals from incredible 19-year-old striker Erling Braut Haland, who nows has 17 goals in nine matches this season.

“It is an absolute joy to work with this team. We have a lot of players who just know how to battle, and that rubs off on the others. You can see that on the pitch on nights like tonight.”

There will be tougher nights ahead for Marsch, who is in a group with Liverpool and Napoli, but Tuesday was a fine start for the tactician. And it was a banner moment for American coaches abroad, who’ve been led by past and present USMNT coaches Bob Bradley and Gregg Berhalter.

Maybe one day that’ll be Marsch’s title… but it seems like he may have some loftier ground to cover on his path through world soccer.

Klopp: Liverpool made wrong decisions; Penalty also incorrect

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is going to bat for his left back after Andrew Robertson gave away what became the decisive penalty in a 2-0 loss to Napoli in UEFA Champions League action on Tuesday.

“I don’t think it’s a penalty,” Klopp said. “What can I say, for me, it is clear and obvious no penalty. He jumps before any contact, we can’t change that.”

[ RECAP: Napoli 2-0 Liverpool ]

For what it’s worth: It sure seemed like both a foul on Robertson and a comical embellishment from Callejon, but we digress.

Liverpool just didn’t have it on the day, like when Sadio Mane played a terrible pass to Mohamed Salah on what could’ve been an easy 1-0 lead.

In the moments they did have it, there was Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret making a splendid save.

“We played a lot of good football but didn’t finish it off. We controlled moments but had not enough chances in the end. We made decisions that were not right and have to accept the result. It was very often the final ball that was not right.”

Also, forgive Klopp if he has stopped enjoying the beautiful country of Italy.