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Southampton 2-1 Inter: One of the greatest wins in Saints history

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SOUTHAMPTON — Six years ago this week Southampton were in England’s third-tier beating Dagenham & Redbridge

How far they’ve come.

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On Thursday they beat Inter Milan (who were UEFA Champions League winners six years ago) 2-1 at St Mary’s in the Europa League to significantly boost their chances of reaching the knockout stages of the competition and secure one of the greatest victories in club history.

After falling behind to Mauro Icardi’s first half strike Claude Puel‘s much-changed side had a penalty kick saved by the superb Samir Handanovic right on half time but they came surging back in the second half, scoring twice in just over four minutes through Virgil Van Dijk and an own goal from Yuto Nagatomo. Saints never looked back after going ahead.

The win leaves Southampton second in Group K on seven points, two points behind leaders Sparta Prague who they face in two weeks in the Czech Republic. Managerless Inter has now lost three of its four Europa League games and sit bottom of the group on three points.

[ MORE: Europa League standings

Saints started brightly with Dusan Tadic cutting in from the right and floating a cross to the back post which Jay Rodriguez headed wide. At the other end Icardi and Ever Banega combined and the latter tried to wriggled past Maya Yoshida‘s tackle but went down claiming a penalty kick. Nothing from the ref.

Rodriguez cut inside and curled an effort just over the bar as Saints tried to settle into their rhythm as the first half wore on but Inter were quite content to sit back, soak up pressure and try and hit the home side on the counter.

In the 33rd minute that’s how Inter went ahead as the usually dependable Van Dijk was caught out of position and Saints failed to clear Antonio Candreva’s cross which fell to Icardi to sweep home. 1-0 to Inter.

Saints pushed for an equalizer before half time as Nathan Redmond’s cross was pushed clear by Samir Handanovic but Oriol Romeu‘s shot was deflected wide for a corner.

Right on half time Saints squandered a glorious chance to equalize. A run into the box by Pierre Hojbjerg saw Ivan Perisic handle and a enalty kick was awarded by referee Pawel Gil. Tadic stepped up but his spot kick down the middle was kept out by Handanovic’s legs with a tremendous save. Inter were let off the hook.

At the start of the second half Saints came flying out of the traps and James Ward-Prowse had a volley from the edge of the box well saved by Handanovic. Moments later Ward-Prowse’s had another powerful effort saved superbly by Handanovic as the Slovenian goalkeeper continued to be the standout player.

Saints continued to knock on the door. First Hojbjerg surged through but his shot was brilliantly blocked and then from the resulting corner Van Dijk had his header brilliantly tipped over by Handanovic. From the next corner Saints were level as the Romeu’s lob came back off the bar and Van Dijk tapped home. 1-1. Game on.

The home side went ahead soon after as a cross from Dusan Tadic on the left took one deflection to the back post and then bounced of the unsuspecting Yuto Nagatomo and in. 2-1. St Mary’s was bouncing.

Southampton continued to push forward to try and kill the game off with Redmond just missing a flicked header at the near post.

Inter had a half chance when Icardi latched onto a loose ball from Romeu but the Argentina striker saw his shot smothered by Fraser Forster and Saints cleared. Substitute Eder chipped an effort to the back post which just evaded his teammates and then on the break Redmond lashed a shot just wide of the far post as the game opened up late on.

Saints held on for a famous win as St Mary’s erupted at the final whistle on a memorable night.

Fleck artistry gets Sheffield United point at Arsenal

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John Fleck‘s perfectly lashed side volley gave Sheffield United a 1-1 draw at Arsenal on Saturday.

The Emirates Stadium saw a wasteful first hour from the Gunners give way to a resurgent Blades side and a share of the points.

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Gabriel Martinelli opened the scoring for the Gunners, who sit 10th with 29 points. The Blades move to 33 points and sit seventh.


Three things we learned

1. Blades are for real: There’s a reason Chris Wilder is getting linked with plenty of jobs and got a new contract: Sheffield United’s men are bought into a system about as well as anyone not named Jurgen Klopp. Granted Arsenal let early United errors slide, but once the Blades took hold of momentum it rarely felt like the Gunners would score the game’s second goal

2. Aubameyang absence glaring: It’s no surprise that missing one of the world’s best scorers is a not good, but you’d peg Arsenal’s talented group of attackers to sort it out. Nicolas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette had their moments and Martinelli did get his goal, but there was an Auba-sized hole in both the aura and composure of the Gunners in the final third. That red card is stinging like a fresh cut.

3. Xhaka, Torreira steady: Mikel Arteta has found better play from Swiss hard man Granit Xhaka, while Lucas Torreira is working well with his center midfield mate. Their play allows Mesut Ozil to do whatever he wants, more or less. Throw in a fine day from Shkrodan Mustafi, and the Gunners were a Maitland-Niles 50-50 battle away from a clean sheet

Man of the Match: Give it to Fleck for the goal plus four tackles and another day of committed challenges.


Lacazette sent Nicolas Pepe down the right flank, and the Ivorian sent a terrific cross for Gabriel Martinelli. The youngster volleyed across goal and wide of the far post.

Lucas Torreira popped a dipping shot that Dean Henderson smothered in the 32nd minute.

Martinelli didn’t miss his second, punching home a 45th minute deflected cross from Bukayo Saka. The latter had a terrific first half for the Gunners.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

The Blades didn’t quit, and Arsenal was forced into a goal line clearance in the 56th.

Pepe could’ve won a penalty when he was chopped down on a dribble into the box, but VAR upheld Mike Dean’s initial judgment.

Sheffield United scored an equalizerr in brilliant fashion, Fleck slashing a bounding side volley past Leno in the 83rd minute.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles blocked a shot and Leno made a tremendous save in stoppage time to keep the hosts’ point.

VIDEO: Haaland scores 20-minute debut hat trick

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Teenager Erling Haaland came on for his Borussia Dortmund debut with his side 3-1 down against Augsburg.

He then score a hat trick in 20 minutes as they won 5-3.

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Haaland, 19, has been on fire all season long with RB Salzburg and ahead of his $23 million January move to Dortmund he was linked with a move to Manchester United.

The Norwegian striker has now scored 27 goals in 23 appearances for club and country this season.

Whatever happens in the rest of his Bundesliga career with Dortmund, this start will live long in his memory.

Take a look at his incredible hat trick below.


Watch Live: Newcastle United v. Chelsea

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Chelsea seeks back-to-back league wins for the first time since Nov. 9 when it visits surprising Newcastle United on Saturday at St. James’ Park (Watch Live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

The hosts have scrapped their way to 26 points, five points both clear of the drop zone and back of seventh place. A draw at Wolves last weekend snapped a three-match league losing streak.

[ STREAM: Newcastle v. Chelsea ]

Chelsea maintains a five-point gap over Manchester United in its bid to claim a Top Four place, with the Red Devils meeting unbeaten Liverpool this week.

Electric winger Allan Saint-Maximin returns for the Magpies, who appear to set up in a 5-2-3 against the Blues.

Chelsea has N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic in the midfield with Willian and Callum Hudson-Odoi on the wings.

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Transfer rumor roundup: Moses reunited with Conte, Lazaro to Newcastle

Premier League transfer rumor roundup
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Inter Milan is still working the wings and it’s now affecting two Premier League sides.

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One day after Ashley Young left Manchester United to join Antonio Conte‘s project, Chelsea and Newcastle are set to be impacted by a Milanese departure and arrival. Jacob Bruun Larsen

First, Sky Sports Italia reporter Gianluca Di Marzio says Newcastle has agreed to a $3 million loan fee with a $27 million option to buy Austrian international Valentino Lazaro. The player’s agent is reportedly on Tyneside.

The 23-year-old made his name with Red Bull Salzburg, going on to earn 28 caps for Austria. He moved to Hertha Berlin and earned five goals and 13 assists in two seasons before a transfer to Inter.

He’s only collected 513 minutes under Conte, registering two assists. Lazaro has played a lot of right midfield but is capable up and down the flank on either side. He’s played pretty much everything but center back and center forward in his career.

Fun fact: Lazaro’s middle name is Lando.

As for the arrival, ex-Chelsea boss Conte is looking set for a reunion with Victor Moses. The 29-year-old Nigerian is currently on loan at Fenerbahce, where he’s got a goal and an assist in seven matches.

A thigh injury has cost Moses spells of six and four matches on the sidelines this season, but he should have plenty of treads left on the tires considering Maurizio Sarri only used him for 176 minutes last season.

Finally, Bournemouth looks ready to tempt Borussia Dortmund’s resolve over Jacob Bruun Larsen.

The 21-year-old Dane certainly has the goods to improve Eddie Howe‘s stagnant attack, but he may be rusty. Larsen has only played 158 minutes this season, grabbing an assist.

Prolific for BVB at youth levels, perhaps a change of scenery would trigger senior success for a man who made his Denmark senior debut in March.

Sky says BVB wants the deal to be a loan with an option to buy in the summer.