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Europa League roundup: Final eight set as Manchester United, Spurs, Lazio exit

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the star man of Thursday’s Europa League Round of 16 second legs, scoring a pair of goals at White Hart Lane as Borussia Dortmund knocked Tottenham Hotspur out of the competition.

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That wasn’t the only decisive tie, as Sparta Prague and Braga also cruised into the quarterfinals.

Manchester United 1-1 (1-3 agg.) LiverpoolRECAP

A lively Old Trafford only got more electric when Anthony Martial won and converted a first half penalty, but the noise was almost all Anfield when Philippe Coutinho dazzled his way to an impactful road goal. Jurgen Klopp became the first Liverpool manager to win his first visit to Old Trafford as Reds boss.

Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 (1-5 agg.) Borussia Dortmund

With apologies to reigning champion Sevilla and exciting Shakhtar Donetsk, BVB joins Liverpool as the favorites of the tournament after thoroughly dismantling Spurs over two legs. It was decided before kickoff, really, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the first of his two in the 24th minute to give Dortmund a powerful road goal. Son Heung-Min nabbed Spurs’ only marker.

during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Tottenham Hotspur and Borussia Dortmund at White Hart Lane on March 17, 2016 in London, England.
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Bayer Leverkusen 0-0 (0-2 agg.) Villarreal

There was neither magic from Javier Hernandez nor Admir Mehmedi as Bayer couldn’t find the net at home, giving El Submarino Amarillo a spot in the next round.

Lazio 0-3 (1-4 agg.) Sparta Prague

After an even first leg in the Czech Republic, Sparta exploded for a trio of road goals in the first half at the Stadio Olimpico. Borek Dockal, Ladislav Krejci and Lukas Julis scored for the visitors.

Valencia 2-1 (2-2 agg.) Athletic Bilbao

Hard-luck Gary Neville entered the second leg with his Valencia side down a goal, and got goals from Santi Mina and Santos to put his side within 53 minutes of advancing to the quarters. But a controversial goal from Aritz Aduriz not only sent Neville to the stands, it sent Valencia out of the tournament. Oscar de Marcos handled the ball, with no call, just before the deciding goal.

Anderlecht 0-1 (1-4 agg.) Shakhtar Donetsk

Eduardo’s stoppage time goal meant very little to the tie, as Shakhtar cruised past an Anderlecht side that didn’t manage a single shot on target. Serigne Mbodji took a 86th minute red card for the hosts, two minutes after Olexandr Kucher took a second yellow card for Shakhtar.

Fenerbahce’s Alper Potuk, left, is shown a red card by referee Ivan Bebek during the Europa League Round of 16, Second leg soccer match between SC Braga and Fenerbahce at the Municipal stadium in Braga, Portugal, Thursday, March 17, 2016.(AP Photo/Paulo Duarte)
(AP Photo/Paulo Duarte)

Braga 4-1 (4-2 agg.) Fenerbahce

The Turkish powers did not bow out in style, taking three red cards in the final 24 minutes of the match. Braga entered with a 1-0 lead and doubled it through Ahmed Hassan in the 11th minute. Alper Potuk (above) scored before halftime to set the stage for the second half, but Braga netted three times in the frame to advance to the quarterfinals.

Sevilla 3-0 (3-0 agg.) Basel

The reigning champs didn’t need to worry about away goals after Adil Rami scored in the 35th minute and Kevin Gameiro added two goals in two minutes before halftime to salt it away for Sevilla.

Watch Live: Liverpool v. West Ham

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Liverpool v West Ham takes center stage at Anfield on Monday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via as the Reds aim to reclaim their 22-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.


Jurgen Klopp‘s side remain unbeaten this season and with five more wins needed to guarantee the Premier League title, the finishing line is in sight. They are aiming for an 18th consecutive Premier League win which would equal Man City’s record for the most victories on the trot in top-flight history.

As for David Moyes and the Hammers, they are scrapping for their lives at the other end of the table and their daunting run of fixtures makes them one of the favorites for relegation.

Last season the Hammers did draw at home against Liverpool in the PL which was a key factor in the Reds not winning the title last time out but West Ham look extremely far from the team they were last season.

Liverpool v West Ham is first against 18th and all signs point to a big win for the home side as their unbeaten season continues with 25 victories from 26 games so far.

In team news Liverpool are without captain Jordan Henderson who has suffered a hamstring injury and will be out for the next three weeks.

Naby Keita comes in for Henderson in midfield as the rest of the Liverpool team is what you expect.

West Ham are without the injured Ryan Fredericks who suffered a shoulder injury in the 2-0 defeat at Man City on Wednesday.

Teenager Jeremy Ngakia comes in to replace Fredericks, while Felipe Anderson also comes into the lineup.



Kids under 12 banned from heading in UK

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LONDON (AP) Children up to the age of 12 will be banned from heading a soccer ball in practice sessions in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland as authorities look to address the potential long-term impact on health of head injuries.

[ MORE: US Soccer bans heading ]

The governing bodies of the three regions announced the new heading guidelines on Monday, months after a Scottish study found former professional players there were less likely to die of common causes such as heart disease and cancer compared with the general population but more likely to die with dementia.

The guidelines say there will be a “graduated approach” to heading in practice for kids from 12-15, while the heading will be restricted to one practice session per week for kids 16 and 17.

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There will be no change in terms of heading in matches, taking into consideration the extremely limited number of headers which actually occur in youth matches.

The Scottish study did not state that heading a ball was the cause of the increased prevalence of neurodegenerative conditions among soccer players, but the decision to update the guidelines was taken to “mitigate against any potential risks”, the English Football Association said in a statement.

“This guidance is a responsible development to our grassroots coaching,” FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said, “without impacting the enjoyment that children of all ages take from playing the game.”

The associations said the guidance had been produced in parallel with the UEFA medical committee, which is seeking to produce Europe-wide guidance later this year.

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Champions League score predictions: Round of 16

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The 2019-20 UEFA Champions League is finally back as the Round of 16 kicks off this week and two of the four Premier League clubs are in action.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores

Man City and Chelsea face Real Madrid and Bayern Munich respectively and both know they face tough tasks to advance to the Champions League quarterfinals as they do battle with two European heavyweights.

Glory in the Champions League is now the main focus for Pep Guardiola and Man City following their two-season European ban from UEFA which they are appealing. Frank Lampard‘s young Chelsea side host the Bundesliga leaders and hugely experienced Bayern, with the German giants the favorites to advance.

[ MORE: Which Premier League team(s) will reach last eight? ]

The Premier League sides are up against it but both teams are extremely capable of scoring goals for fun but it is at the other end of the pitch where they struggle as both Real Madrid and Bayern Munich will be hoping their star attackers shine on the big stage once again.

In the other two last 16 clashes this week Napoli host Barcelona as Lionel Messi warmed up very nicely with four goals against Eibar, while Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus head to Lyon for the first leg as the Italian giants are expected to advance with ease.

Both Messi and Ronaldo badly want another Champions League title to their name but Lyon and Napoli are more than capable of picking up big first leg wins at home.

Below we predict the scores for the UCL round of 16 games taking place over the next two days. Feel free to make your own predictions in the comments section below, too.

Napoli 1-1 Barcelona
Chelsea 1-2 Bayern Munich

Lyon 1-3 Juventus
Real Madrid 2-3 Man City

Details for Premier League Mornings Live Fan Fest in Philadelphia

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The NBC Sports and Premier League fan fest is heading to Philadelphia in April and here are all of the details you need to know.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule

Our crew will be broadcasting live for the latest Premier League Mornings Live fan fest on April 4-5, 2020 and the venue is Dilworth Park, located outside of Philadelphia’s City Hall in Center City.

This is the third and final fan fest of the 2019-20 season after October’s event in Austin, Texas, and December’s event in Miami Beach, Florida.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule

Over two days in Philly there will be nine Premier League games shown across five different windows, with Manchester City v. Liverpool on Sunday, April 5 at 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and Telemundo the main event.

As always, there will be lots going on as the Premier League Trophy will be present plus club mascots and special guests and you can join us for free.

All you have to do is sign up here.

The NBC Sports studio team of Rebecca Lowe, Robbie Earle, Kyle Martino and Robbie Mustoe are heading to the City of Brotherly Love and here are more details about what we have planned:

  • NBC Sports and the Premier League have also teamed up to bring the ePremier League USA Finals, a free-to-play esports tournament operated by Gfinity and FACEIT, to the Philadelphia Fan Fest. Registration for the tournament, which will see competitors battle it out online to reach the Philadelphia finals in April, begins today and can be accessed by clicking here. Online qualification matches on Xbox and PlayStation consoles begin March 4 and the finalists will be flown to Philadelphia for the ePremier League USA Finals at the Fan Fest on April 4-5.
  • The Premier League has an ongoing commitment to bringing unique experiences to its fans and working with NBC Sports on Premier League Mornings Live continues that direct outreach to passionate fans in different cities across the United States. Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Masters, said: “It seems only fitting that we round off our Premier League Mornings Live events for the 2019/20 season by bringing soccer fans together in the city famed for brotherly love, Philadelphia. The event at Dilworth Park will be another exciting chance for NBC Sports and us to bring Premier League action direct to supporters in the US and will be the first time at a Mornings Live Fan Festival where we have hosted an esports final. We hope that this and the other great free activities available to fans will encourage them to come down and get involved.”
  • Soccer fans from across the country can interact with the event by sharing their #MyPLMorning on social media, from wherever they are watching. Select viewer photos will be featured on air throughout the weekend.