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Premier League roundup: Leicester, Sunderland results could shake up both ends of table

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Jurgen Klopp said the era of single-team dominance of the Premier League is over, and after another wild day in the league, well, how could we argue?

[ MORE: Arsenal’s Oxlade-Chamberlain out for “months” ]

Sunderland and Bournemouth boosted their hopes for PL safety while Leicester City opened the door for another team to take the table lead by the close of business Wednesday.

All that and more in our PL roundup.

Norwich City 1-2 Chelsea — RECAP

The Canaries went from zero to panic in 39 seconds after Kenedy buried an early chance to put Norwich City under the knife. Diego Costa made it 2-0 for Chelsea before Nathan Redmond pulled one back for the hosts in the second half. The win moves Chelsea to eighth, five points back of fifth, while Norwich is in 18th thanks to the next game in our rundown.

Sunderland 2-2 Crystal Palace — RECAP

Dame N'Doye‘s first half goal had the Stadium of Light energized for a move out of the drop zone. While that move materialized, a win did not. Palace got goals from suddenly-hot striker Connor Wickham in the 61st and 67th minutes to stun the Black Cats, but Fabio Borini netted a beauty with moments to play to level things up. Sunderland is out of the drop zone on goal differential, but cross-town rivals Newcastle have played two less matches and have the same amount of points. An absolutely massive Tyne-Wear Derby looms March 20.

during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion at The King Power Stadium on March 1, 2016 in Leicester, England.
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Leicester City 2-2 West Bromwich AlbionRECAP

Tony Pulis loves to put a dent in title bids, and the West Brom boss did it again on Tuesday as the Baggies pulled a point out of King Power Stadium. Leicester City had come back from Salomon Rondon’s early goal to take a lead through Danny Drinkwater and Andy King, but Craig Gardner stayed hot with a curling free kick to ensure the point.

Bournemouth 2-0 Southampton — RECAP

Benik Afobe‘s Cherries career is looking pretty good after the striker capped off a big New Forest Derby win with his second half goal. Steve Cook also scored for Bournemouth on an off-night for visiting Saints. The Cherries are eight points clear of the drop.

Aston Villa 1-3 Everton — RECAP

Romelu Lukaku now has more Premier League goals in a single season than anyone in Everton history after his 17th of the season helped Everton to a 3-0 lead. Rudy Gestede scored for last-place Villa, while Aaron Lennon and Ramiro Funes Mori also scored for Everton. Funes Mori added an assist.

Premier League Friendly Roundup: Leicester, Norwich in action

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Ayoze Perez got off to a great start for his new club on Tuesday, as Leicester topped Scunthorpe United, 1-0.

Perez, who arrived earlier this month from Newcastle in a $38 million transfer, scored on a first-time strike in the box that proved to be the difference in the game.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Brendan Rodgers side got a chance to get minutes for plenty of first-team regulars. Johnny Evans, Jamie Vardy, Perez and Youri Tielemans all started. Wes Morgan, new signing James Justin, Rachid Ghezzal all came off the bench.

An interesting note was that Harry Maguire, the target of serious transfer interest from Manchester United, came off the bench at halftime and played the second half of the game. According to the latest reports, Man United and Leicester City are still very far apart regarding a transfer fee, so Maguire looks set to remain for the time being.

Elsewhere, Norwich City continued its preseason tour of Germany with a friendly match held behind closed doors. Norwich beat Bonner SC, 4-1, with goals from Adam Idah, Onel Hernandez and Teemu Pukki.

UCL Roundup: Red Star, The New Saints (Wales) advance to second round

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Second legs are underway in the UEFA Champions League first qualification round, and both Red Star Belgrade and The New Saints from Wales are through to the second round.

Here’s a short roundup of UCL action on Tuesday:


Red Star Belgrade 2-1 Sudova (2-1 on Aggregate)

The Serbian giants advance to the next round with a big 2-1 win over Lithuanian Champions Sudova. Richmond Boakye and former Chelsea midfielder Marko Marin both scored in the first half. Red Star Belgrade was set to keep a clean sheet but Sudova scored late.

With the win, Red Star Belgrade moves on to face HJK Helsinki in Finland in the second round.


The New Saints 1-0 Feronikeli (3-2 on aggregate)

Welsh Premier League side The New Saints defeated Kosovan club Feronikeli, 1-0, thanks to a goal from Irish forward Dean Ebbe. Ebbe came off the bench and headed home a lofted ball into the box.

Feronikeli had chances to take the lead early, including twice in the first ten minutes, but blasted shots in the box well over the wall.

UEFA Champions League Second Leg Results

Shkendija 1 – 2 Nõmme Kalju 
Saburtalo 1 – 3 FC Sheriff
Valletta 1 – 1 F91 Dudelange
HB 2 – 2 HJK 

Solskjaer: ‘We just need consistency’

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In a vague, general word, Manchester United manager knows exactly what his club have been missing. Consistency.

More specifically, consistent success.

In a sit-down interview with the BBC, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer mentioned striving for consistency in performances on no less than four occasions, including when speaking about Alexis Sanchez. Man United won eight straight matches in all competitions and 10 of its first 11 under the Norwegian manager.

[READ: De Ligt lands in Turin ahead of Juventus move]

And yet, the consistency wasn’t there late in the season, when Man United faltered down the stretch and won just two of its last ten matches to close the season on a sour note. Man United finished in sixth place, and while Solskjaer said he believed it would be a challenge to break into the top four, he said with some consistent performances, Man United could achieve its goals.

“We have to aim for further up than fourth,” Solskjaer told the BBC. “I would rather be an optimist and be wrong than a pessimist and be right. I am not used to us being fifth or sixth but that is where we are at. That is the size of the challenge. I love that challenge.

“We have to work with the players, sign the right types and gradually make our way to the challenging line. Our players do have quality. They do have a chance. We just need consistency. We have to keep working every single day and not take our eyes off the target. Everyone gets off line at some point but you can’t let it drift too far because then you won’t get to the overall goal.”

Some Man United fans have been mumbling and rumbling due to the slow start in this summer’s transfer window. Ander Herrera and Antonio Valencia have both departed on free transfers, while only Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have come in. While it’s not the improvements some fans were hoping for, it’s helped give some of the young players, like James Garner, Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes and Mason Greenword, some hope that they can get minutes.

Perhaps the push from the young players for first team minutes will make Man United a bit more competitive in training again, which can only help in terms of having success on the field.

The big question remains, which Man United team will we see this season. The one from Solskjaer’s first two months on the job, or the one from his last six weeks.

MLS Notes: Shea out for season with torn ACL, and more

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It appeared Brek Shea had finally gotten his career back on track, only for a serious injury to end his season prematurely.

Atlanta United announced on Tuesday that Shea had suffered a “right knee injury” that will involve season-ending surgery. An earlier report from the Athletic stated it was a torn ACL, which could leave Shea sidelined into the start of next season.

[READ: de Ligt arrives in Turin]

Shea has made 10 starts out of 19 appearances so far this season for Atlanta, where he’s often played as a left wing back or left midfielder, offering speed down the flank and a deeper starting position to connect with Atlanta’s talented attackers. A good season from Shea could have propelled him back into the USMNT conversation, especially if he took part in next season’s January camp. Now, that option is off the table.

Here’s some more MLS news and notes:

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