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Manchester United 1-1 Stoke City: Wasteful Red Devils punished by Joe Allen

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  • Anthony Martial scored off the bench
  • Joe Allen equalized with 8 minutes left
  • Stoke City moves off the bottom of the table

Manchester United was the better side for much of the game, but unable to capitalize on their plethora of chances, the Red Devils left the door open for Stoke City, and Joe Allen made them pay.

United looked dangerous through much of the opening 45 minutes, but could not find a way past Lee Grant. Anthony Martial finally gave the home side an opener minutes after coming on in the second half, but without the appropriate haul from their first-half dominance, the one-goal lead was not enough.

The game started with electricity, and Manchester United had an early chance under two minutes in when Paul Pogba sprung Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but the prolific striker struck his wide-open effort right at Stoke City keeper Lee Grant.

It went the other way on 15 minutes when a brilliant touch from Ibrahimovic released Pogba, but the Frenchman’s first-time shot dragged wide. Stoke had its moments with Geoff Cameron going close just before Pogba’s miss, but it was mostly Manchester United asking the questions throughout the first half.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Grant was required again twice before the half-hour mark, first as Juan Mata looked for a chipped effort but the on-loan Derby keeper was there to acrobatically tip it over. Then, Ibrahimovic swung in a venomous cross along the end line in to Marcus Rashford from point-blank range at the near post, but the on-loan Derby keeper was there again to cut off the angle.

The second half began in a more cagey nature than we saw in the first, but Manchester United looked far less dangerous than they had for much of the opening half, and Stoke looked to take advantage. The visitors held much of the ball through the early stages of the second half, but produced little.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Finally, United had a second-half chance past 65 minutes as Ander Herrera blasted a low effort on net but it scuffed just wide left. Jose Mourinho responded by bringing Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial off the bench in favor of Mata and Jesse Lingard, and the substitutes proved immediately fruitful.

Rooney with the top of the box laid off to Martial on the left, and the young striker struck the ball beautifully into the top corner, finally beating Grant for the game’s opening goal just two minutes after entering the fray.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Following the goal, United pummeled Stoke’s goal looking for a second. Seemingly everyone had a go, but a number of the efforts were blocked and Stoke barely held on. Old Trafford came to life with United’s new-found energy, and the hosts poured forward. Grant saved a low drive from Ibrahimovic, and the pressure was alleviated.

Mark Hughes responded by withdrawing an injured Marko Arnautovic and a useless Wilfried Bony, bringing on Peter Crouch up front. Waiting for their chance, Stoke capitalized to stun United with a moment of chaos in front of goal. It all began with David De Gea spilling a long, deflected shot. It came back at the United net, coming off the bar and falling to Joe Allen right in front who struck it home to stun the home crowd.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Suddenly level, United poured forward once again. Rashford sent a perfectly weighted cross in for Pogba, but the header was denied by the crossbar. The visitors successfully navigated the four minutes of injury time, and the while the point leaves Stoke City just 19th, it does serve to pull them off rock bottom and provides a building point moving forward. For United, all three points would have pushed them into third, but with the draw, they can only move one place ahead to eighth.

Sessegnon beats Neuer to score first Spurs, Champions League goal

Photo by Peter Kneffel/picture alliance via Getty Images)Photo by Peter Kneffel/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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Ryan Sessegnon has his first Spurs goal, which also happens to be his first UEFA Champions League goal, and he’ll love telling the tale of it.

The 19-year-old Englishman ripped a rocket past Manuel Neuer of all people, collecting a deflection to equalize early in Tottenham’s match against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Sessegnon entered the day with an assist in 30 minutes spread across three appearances for Spurs, and needed just 20 more minutes to find a goal.

He made a big money move from Fulham this summer, having made a remarkable 120 senior appearances. Almost all of those came before he turned 19, and he’s scored 25 times with 18 assists.

Kingsley Coman has Bayern’s goal as the teams remain locked at 1 after Bayern hung 7 on Spurs in England earlier in the group stage.

 

Jesus hat-trick downs Dinamo Zagreb, Atalanta qualifies for knockouts

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Manchester City looked sluggish again, but Gabriel Jesus made sure it didn’t matter.

The Brazilian cropped up at a critical juncture for Pep Guardiola, sending Manchester City through into the knockout stage on a winning note as his hat-trick sealed a 4-1 come-from-behind victory that knocked Dinamo Zagreb from European competition altogether.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

The first half was especially lackluster for the English visitors to Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb, with lots of possession but little to show for it. The hosts went in front early on, punishing Man City on the counter on a fabulous volleyed finish from former Barcelona youth product Dani Olmo.

That was the best goal of the day, but Man City picked itself up and pulled back level before the break, with Jesus grabbing his first via a header as Dinamo Zagreb shut off, screaming for Man City to put the ball out with a Zagreb player down. The visitors rightly did not, and Dinamo was punished by the equalizer.

After halftime, Man City was much better, hammering the left flank to take a commanding lead. The second came on excellent work by Jesus in the box to shake a defender and finish with his right, while the third flew in minutes later on a pinpoint Benjamin Mendy cross that Jesus met with a flying karate kick. Pep Guardiola had one eye on the festive fixtures, withdrawing Jesus soon after the hour mark, replaced by Oleksandr Zinchenko who curiously took Jesus’s place at the striker position.

Phil Foden was the best Manchester City player throughout, and finished off the scoreline with seven minutes to go. An excellent buildup down the right saw Bernardo Silva sprung through, and he cut back to Foden at the top of the six-yard box who slid to meet the ball with pace and poke home the cherry on top.

Elsewhere, Atalanta topped Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0 in the Ukraine on goals by Timothy Castagne, Mario Pasalic, and Robin Gosens, meaning the Italians secured the second spot in Group A, qualifying for the knockout stage. The Ukranians were left dead in the water after right-back Dodo was sent off 13 minutes from time, leading to the second goal to seal things up. Atalanta’s advancement marks a stunning comeback given the Italian side failed to secure points in any of their first three group stage matches.

That left Shakhtar in third, dropping to the Europa League, while Dinamo Zagreb was left at the bottom of the group, on the outside looking in.

Charlotte MLS club files trademarks for eight potential names

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It is being heavily reported that Charlotte is the next city to earn a club in the rapidly expanding Major League Soccer landscape, and Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper has taken the next step towards that possibility.

The new club needs a name, and they appear to be nearing a selection. Tepper filed for eight different name trademarks, according to multiple reports, including The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue who confirmed the filings were made under Tepper’s Panthers address.

Here is the list of names he filed copyright requests for:

“Charlotte FC” would be a bare-bones and generic name that follows in the footsteps of recent MLS expansion clubs such as Orlando City SC, NYCFC or LAFC. Others are a little more colorful, including “Carolina Gliders FC” or “Charlotte Monarchs FC,” while a few others like “Charlotte Town FC” or “Charlotte Athletic FC” clearly call forth thoughts of smaller English clubs.

Rodrigue speculated that the relative lack of “Carolina” encompassing names is potentially due to the possibility of an expansion bid from Raleigh down the road, and a Carolina team would potentially provide an unnecessary roadblock to that future prospect. There is a clear lack of region-encompassing names in Major League Soccer, with “New England Revolution” the only example, and there’s no real reason to break that mold with another potential bid city down the road.

Which name is your favorite? What would you have gone with if you could name the club?

LIVE, UCL: Two knockout spots remain; Man City, Tottenham in play

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Two more spots in the knockout round remain unclaimed as the final day of group stage play begins on Wednesday.

Groups C and D both require a second team to progress through to the Round of 16, with five teams still in the mix.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Manchester City has already won Group D, but the remaining three teams Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb, and Atalanta all remain in contention for the second spot. Shakhtar currently sits second and has a home match with Atalanta, while Dinamo Zagreb host Man City in Croatia. Both those games feature in the early 12:55 p.m. ET kickoffs.

Group D, meanwhile, has a pair of sides vying for the last spot. Atletico Madrid has a point advantage, currently sitting in second with a home match against already eliminated Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow. Bayer Leverkusen, meanwhile, hosts group winners Juventus in Germany.

Elsewhere, Tottenham Hotspur has already locked up a spot in the knockout stage, locked into the second spot in Group A, and they finish out the group stage with a visit to confirmed group winners Bayern Munich. Jose Mourinho told the press he forbid his players from watching any footage of the 7-2 defeat to Bayern to begin group stage play, and is resting “a few players” ahead of the festive Premier League fixtures.

Finally, Group A has already been decided with Real Madrid confirmed to finish second behind winners Paris Saint-Germain, but the two still have to complete the fixture list. Madrid heads to Belgium to take on Club Brugge, while PSG hosts Galatasaray. The Spanish side is most likely to rest players, with a weekend visit to Valencia coming up on Sunday followed by a midweek El Clasico that was rescheduled from earlier in the season.

Below is the full schedule for the last UCL games on Wednesday, with all games kicking off at 3 p.m. ET unless otherwise noted, and you can follow the action live by clicking on the link above.


Wednesday Champions League action

Group A

Club Brugge v. Real Madrid
Paris Saint-Germain v. Galatasaray

Group B

Bayern Munich v. Tottenham Hotspur
Olympiakos v. Red Star Belgrade

Group C

Dinamo Zagreb v. Manchester City (12:55 p.m. ET)
Shakhtar Donetsk v. Atalanta (12:55 p.m. ET)

Group D

Atletico Madrid v. Lokomotiv Moscow
Bayer Leverkusen v. Juventus