Thirty-five year old Athletic Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz scored his second international goal in three caps to quickly answer Lorenzo Insigne’s first Italian goal since 2013, as these two powers drew a high-profile friendly at Stadio Friuli, home of Udinese. Spain had the better of possession, but Italy put 7 of 11 shots on target.
1 – Aritz Aduriz has scored one goal in his second appearance for Spain, as many as Diego Costa in his 10 games. Instinct.
Ikechi Anya scored on a counter attack in the first half, and that was all Scotland needed to land a win in Prague. The Czechs out shot Scotland 20-11 (6-2 on target), but Hull City’s Allan McGregor was unbeatable in the win.
9 – Scotland have scored in nine of their last 10 away internationals, the exception being their 1-0 loss in Georgia in September. Potent.
Church scores his late penalty (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Watford’s Craig Cathcart netted in the 60th minute for the visitors before Simon Church was adjudged to have been taken down in the box by West Brom’s Gareth McAuley and Wales found an equalizer. No Gareth Bale in this one; The Welsh star is being rested.
Elsewhere Denmark 2-1 Iceland
Turkey 2-1 Sweden Ukraine 1-0 Cyprus
Estonia 0-0 Norway
Malta 0-0 Moldova
Greece 2-1 Montenegro
Singapore 2-1 Myanmar
Solomon Islands 2-0 Papua New Guinea
This means two of the Premier League’s guaranteed four UEFA Champions League bids are sewn up with Liverpool and Man City guaranteed to finish first and second.
Want to know how this alters perspectives for the final three match days of the Premier League season (and the FA Cup)? Read on…
The field “shrinks” and Man City wins. Who loses?
This is especially bad news for Leicester City and Wolves. Both Leicester’s form and Champions League hopes have dropped significantly and the Foxes and their 59 points could sit fifth by the close of business Monday if Manchester United stays hot and beats Southampton (United is a heavy favorite).
Wolves had an outside shot of catching one of Chelsea, Leicester, or Manchester United for fifth but now are likely to need to win the Europa League to qualify for the UCL.
Obviously the lifting of the ban is not great news for the margins of error for Chelsea or Man United, but it hurts fellow traditional powers Tottenham and Arsenal a whole lot more.
Mikel Arteta’s Gunners dipped to ninth place on Sunday when they lost the North London Derby to Spurs, and now are four points back of the final UEL spot held by Sheffield United (54 points). Spurs have 52. Burnley’s dreams of a second UEL berth are also stung, their 50 points level with Arsenal.
Arsenal’s new reality as wild card
The Gunners can no longer affect the fates of any team around them in the table via the league route, with matches left against confirmed champions Liverpool and relegation candidates Aston Villa and Watford.
They can also affect all of the teams around them by winning the FA Cup and eliminating seventh place as a UEL place.
Arsenal maxes out at 59 points. That would probably be enough for a Europa League place, but so would winning two FA Cup matches, easier said than done against Man City and then either Chelsea or Manchester United.
They’ll know a lot more about whether that could be their only route by about 5:15 pm ET Wednesday when they finish a league tilt against Liverpool. A loss to the champions would arguably make Saturday’s FA Cup semifinal versus Man City their last chance to avoid a first Europe-free season since 1996.
The biggest “swing” matches
As mentioned, the margins of errors have shrunk in a big way, and the final day of the season could be a blockbuster with the table’s current third through sixth place teams matching up on Decision Day.
Imagine if the table holds form and Wolves visit to Chelsea and Manchester United’s trip to Leicester City kick off at 11 am ET on July 26 with the Champions League on the line. Hashtag drama.
That assumes that Leicester City dodges a Thursday effort from Sheffield United, the Blades bidding to keep themselves in the discussion for a stunning berth in the UEL during their promotion year in the Premier League.
In fact, you might as well have a look at Leicester’s fixture list as the one that will determine European slotting. The Foxes control their destiny with a visit to Spurs sandwiched between home matches versus the seventh-place Blades and fifth-place (at the moment) Red Devils.
Remaining fixture lists of European candidates
Chelsea (60 points)
Monday v. Norwich City — 3:15 pm ET
July 22 at Liverpool — 3:15 pm ET
July 26 v. Wolves — 11 am ET
Leicester City (59 points)
Thursday v. Sheffield United — 1 pm ET
Sunday at Spurs — 11 am ET
July 26 v. Manchester United — 11 am ET
Manchester United (58 points)
Monday v. Southampton — 3 pm ET
Thursday at Crystal Palace — 3:15 pm ET
July 22 v. West Ham — 1 pm ET
July 26 at Leicester City — 11 am ET
Wolves (55 points)
Wednesday at Burnley — 1 pm ET
July 20 v. Crystal Palace — 3:15pm ET
July 26 at Chelsea — 11am ET
Sheffield United (54 points)
Thursday at Leicester City — 1 pm ET
July 20 v. Everton — 1 pm ET
July 26 at Southampton — 11 am ET
Tottenham Hotspur (52 points)
Wednesday at Newcastle — 1 pm ET
Sunday v. Leicester City — 11 am ET
July 26 at Crystal Palace — 11 am ET
Arsenal (50 points)
Wednesday v. Liverpool — 3:15 pm ET
July 21 at Aston Villa — 3:15 pm ET
July 26 v. Watford — 11 am ET
Burnley (50 points)
Wednesday v. Wolves — 1 pm ET
Saturday at Norwich City — 12:30 pm ET
July 26 v. Brighton — 11 am ET
Oh, why not? Predictions!
3. Manchester United — 68 points
4. Chelsea — 65 points
5. Leicester City — 63 points
6. Wolves — 60 points
7. Spurs — 59 points
8. Sheffield United — 58 points
9. Arsenal — 56 points
10. Burnley — 56 points
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said that most of the alleged Financial Fair Play (FFP) breaches against Manchester City from 2012-16, which were reported by UEFA, were “not established or time-barred” and that although City failed to cooperate with UEFA’s investigation, the two-year punishment was not warranted.
CAS said the club was cleared of “disguising equity funds as sponsorship contributions” and their fine was also reduced by a third to $11.3 million. Here is the statement in full from CAS:
“The CAS award emphasised that most of the alleged breaches reported by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) were either not established or time-barred. As the charges with respect to any dishonest concealment of equity funding were clearly more significant violations than obstructing the CFCB’s investigations, it was not appropriate to impose a ban on participating in UEFA’s club competitions for MCFC’s failure to cooperate with the CFCB’s investigations alone.
“However, considering i) the financial resources of MCFC; ii) the importance of the cooperation of clubs in investigations conducted by the CFCB, because of its limited investigative means; and iii) MCFC’s disregard of such principle and its obstruction of the investigations, the CAS panel found that a significant fine should be imposed on MCFC and considered it appropriate to reduce UEFA’s initial fine by two-thirds, i.e. to the amount of EUR 10 million.”
Manchester City statement
Manchester City released the following statement on the decision, as they are still in the Champions League this season and they lead Real Madrid 2-1 after the first leg of their Round of 16 clash
“Whilst Manchester City and its legal advisors are yet to review the full ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the Club welcomes the implications of today’s ruling as a validation of the Club’s position and the body of evidence that it was able to present. The Club wishes to thank the panel members for their diligence and the due process that they administered.”
Manager Pep Guardiola was shown celebrating with his staff in a quickly deleted Instagram post, while players, fans and everyone connected with the club breathed a huge sigh of relief as the ban, which was announced in February, cast a huge shadow over the club as many believed star players, and maybe Pep, could leave if the ban was upheld.
What now for Premier League clubs?
This decision also has a huge impact on Premier League clubs chasing Champions League qualification this season as fifth place will no longer by a Champions League spot.
Man City will finish second in the Premier League and previously it was believed their UCL spot would be passed down to fifth place if their ban was upheld. Now there will be an almighty scrap between Chelsea, Leicester City, Manchester United and Wolves for third and fourth spot in the final three matchweeks of the season. It also has an impact on Europa League spots further down the table.
Many across the soccer landscape in Europe are now questioning whether FFP should remain, or at the very least be overhauled, as Manchester City having their entire two-year UEFA ban overturned came as a huge shock to many.
UEFA also released a statement as they admitted there was “insufficient conclusive evidence to uphold all of the CFCB’s conclusions in this specific case and that many of the alleged breaches were time-barred”.
However, European soccer’s governing body defended FFP rules overall.
“Over the last few years, Financial Fair Play has played a significant role in protecting clubs and helping them become financially sustainable and UEFA and the European Club Association remain committed to its principles.”
The new NBC Sports Premier League schedule for the 2019-20 season has been released, with time and dates for the upcoming matchweeks confirmed and here’s how you can watch it all live on TV in the USA.
With games spread out across multiple days and many in separate time slots, there are lots of changes to your regular schedule as the league returns on June 17 after being suspended on March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Games will be played in empty stadiums and at home venues.
Below is the new schedule for the Premier League on NBC Sports from June 17 to July 22 , as we will release the dates and times for the final matchweek of the 2019-20 season when they become available and how to watch them in the USA.
Premier League: How to watch, schedule in USA (all times EST)
Tuesday, July 14: Chelsea v. Norwich, 3:15 p.m. ET
Wednesday, July 15: Burnley v. Wolves, 1 p.m. ET
Wednesday, July 15: Man City v. Bournemouth, 1 p.m. ET
Wednesday, July 15: Newcastle v. Tottenham, 1 p.m. ET
Wednesday, July 15: Arsenal v. Liverpool, 3:15 p.m. ET
Thursday, July 16: Everton v. Aston Villa, 1 p.m. ET
Thursday, July 16: Leicester v Sheffield United, 1 p.m. ET
Thursday, July 16: Crystal Palace v. Man United, 3:15 p.m. ET
Thursday, July 16: Southampton v. Brighton, 3:15 p.m. ET
Friday, July 17: West Ham v. Watford, 3 p.m. ET
Saturday, July 18: Norwich City v. Burnley, 12:30 p.m. ET
Sunday, July 19: Bournemouth v. Southampton, 9 a.m. ET
Sunday, July 19: Tottenham v. Leicester, 11 a.m. ET
Monday, July 20: Brighton v. Newcastle, 1 p.m. ET
Monday, July 20: Sheffield United v. Everton, 1 p.m. ET
Monday, July 20: Wolves v. Crystal Palace, 3:15 p.m. ET
Tuesday, July 21: Watford v. Man City, 1 p.m. ET
Tuesday, July 21: Aston Villa v. Arsenal, 3:15 p.m. ET
Wednesday, July 22: Man United v. West Ham, 1 p.m. ET
Wednesday, July 22: Liverpool v. Chelsea, 3:15 p.m. ET
With three matchweeks remaining in the 2019-20 Premier League season, there is plenty to play for up and down the league and the standings are extremely tight.
Liverpool have wrapped up the Premier League in stunning fashion over Man City, with the reigning champions and current second-place side eager to focus on cup competitions.
Three of the top four should stay there unless Leicester City’s form dips considerably, but the race for fourth and fifth should be fierce. We may know whether fifth is a Champions League place after scheduled June 8-10 meetings to hear Man City’s appeal over its European ban.
With between nine and 10 matches left for everyone and eighth potentially being a Europa League spot, all the teams between fourth and 11th still have European hopes in the balance. That would change should Norwich City or Newcastle win the FA Cup, so call it 13 clubs.