Bournemouth 1-2 Sunderland: 10-man, Moyes-less Black Cats grab first win

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  • Defoe scores winner with PK
  • Pienaar sent off
  • Bournemouth lead early
  • Sunderland grab first win of season

Sunderland secured their first Premier League win of the season at the eleventh attempt as they battled back from a goal down, and being reduced down to 10-men, to win 2-1 at Bournemouth on Saturday.

Dan Gosling gave Bournemouth the early lead at the Vitality Stadium with David Moyes watching on nervously from the stands following his touchline ban.

Victor Anichebe equalized in the first half but Moyes was soon grimacing once again as Steven Pienaar was shown a second yellow card in the second half and Sunderland had to play the last half an hour with 10-men.

That didn’t matter though, because Anichebe was brought down in the box and Jermain Defoe scored from the penalty spot to make it 2-1.

Sunderland held on for a vital win and moved on to five points for the season, while Bournemouth remain on 12 points after losing two-straight games.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The Cherries took an early lead as a beautiful flowing move ended in Brad Smith‘s fine cross from the right which was guided home by Gosling. 1-0.

Bournemouth had all the play early on with Eddie Howe‘s team pushing hard for a second but Jordan Pickford denied Junior Stanislas.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

A rare break forward from Sunderland saw Duncan Watmore steam ahead down the right but his dangerous cross didn’t find a teammate.

Sunderland were level before half time as the ball was played into Anichebe and he turned brilliantly before rifling home. 1-1. Game on.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]  

Just before half time Sunderland thought they’d gone ahead when a patient team move found Billy Jones and his cross into the box was tucked home by Watmore… but the offside flag was up.

Buoyed by their equalizer Sunderland impressed early in the second half as Didier N’dong forced Artur Boruc to beat away an effort from the edge of the box.

Jack Wilshere had an effort saved by Pickford and then a game-changing moment arrived. Pienaar lunged in on Stanislas and he caught the Bournemouth striker high and referee Mike Dean had no option other than to give him a second yellow card. Sunderland down to 10-men and Moyes’ face up in the stand was a picture of misery.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Stanislas came inches away from giving Bournemouth the lead but his shot hit the far post and bounced out as the Cherries piled on the pressure late on.

Wilshere and Stanislas linked up well but the latter saw his shot go just wide but then the game took another unexpected twist.

Anichebe was played in by Watmore and Smith got his tackle all wrong as Dean awarded a penalty kick. Defoe stepped up and dispatched the spot kick to send the traveling fans wild.

Sunderland battened down the hatches late on as Benik Afobe forced an effort just wide and Pickford brilliantly denied Josh King and then Lys Mousset put another effort wide as Sunderland held on.

A huge win and potentially a turning point for the Black Cats.

Rodgers excuses Maddison’s behavior after England departure

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Leicester City and England midfielder James Maddison made headlines for the wrong reasons after he was pictured last week watching the England match at the Czech Republic from a casino.

Despite the negative attention from Maddison’s decision to watch the game at that venue, he has the backing of his club manager, Brendan Rodgers.

“The kid went away with the international team and took ill while he was away,” Rodgers said, via the Guardian. “He wanted to stay and hopefully be ready for the second game. But the England medical staff – which I can understand, as he had flu and they didn’t want that to spread to his teammates – decided it’s best for him to leave the camp. So he leaves, gets some tablets with our guys at the club, then he feels better.

“He watched the game at home on his own on the Friday and then goes out at half-time – probably he’ll make better decisions in his life but he went to a casino on his own to sit and watch the second half by a poker table. The suggestions are he left England purposelessly and then goes to a casino but that’s totally not the case at all. But his eyes have been opened now to the wider world in terms of what he did. He knows in hindsight he’s made a mistake.”

Considering all that went on during England’s international break, from the poor performance in Prague to the horrible racism endured in Bulgaria, this is a bit of a silly scandal. To be honest, as long as Maddison is taking care of his body and himself, why does it matter if he was at a casino, or a pub, or anywhere?

However, there’s no denying that the optics look bad. Folks didn’t know that he arrived to England camp with the flu, or a flu-like illness at least, and the England medical staff are right to send him away to make sure no one else gets sick. He may have been feeling better by Friday and wanted to get out of the house. I think we’ve all been there after being sick for a few days.

The most important lesson for Maddison is to learn that his actions, out of context, can be misunderstood. In terms of soccer, after Ross Barkley’s performance for England, Maddison will have to prove in his club form that he should still have a place in the England team for the near future. There’s only two more international dates left before the 2020 Euros, so time is running out for Maddison to make an impact to Southgate.

 

Tierney, Lacazette available for Arsenal

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Arsenal are edging closer to finally having a full-strength squad.

Ahead of Monday’s prime-time matchup with Sheffield United, Arsenal manager Unai Emery confirmed that Kieran Tierney was in line to make his Premier League debut, while Alexandre Lacazette was back in full training and should be in the gameday squad.

“Today is Lacazette’s first training back with us,” Emery said in a press conference on Thursday. “He finished it well and he’s feeling well with his injuries. Tomorrow we will be training again and he will be with us. We will decide.

“The most important thing is that first he is training, then secondly it’s whether he can be with us and it depends how he can feel in the next days training with us, whether his ankle is not giving him any more problems.”

This is a huge boost to Arsenal, which has had to rely on some youngsters and have made some lineup changes to accommodate not having Lacazette on the field. Tierney meanwhile could step into a position where there’s already a decent starter, Sead Kolasinac.

Lacazette’s return also couldn’t have come at a better time. In Premier League action, Arsenal’s high-powered offense has been stymied, scoring just two goals in the last two league games. Meanwhile, against weaker defenses in the UEFA Europa League and the Carabao Cup, Arsenal has bagged a total of 12 goals.

The veteran Frenchman has scored two goals in three appearances so far this season, including a big goal just before halftime in the 2-2 draw with Tottenham. However, he suffered a long-term ankle injury in that match that has kept him on the sidelines for more than a month.

“[Tierney is] ready to play,” Emery later said. Now we have two options in that left-back role with Sead Kolasinac and him. We’re going to play a lot of matches after Monday. We will need every player. It depends how he comes into the first training with us, Sead, after his international matches. We now have two players in that position and we can use one on Monday, it depends how they are, one or the other.”

Tierney, the 22-year-old Scottish left back, has made two appearances for the Arsenal first team since recovering from a double hernia operation over the summer. Signed from Celtic for around $32 million, Tierney adds a skill that Kolasinac has struggled with – expert crosser of the ball into the box, where the likes of Lacazette, Nicolas Pepe, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can score when given a decent chance.

USWNT star Rapinoe, boxer Shields win sportswomen of year

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Soccer star Megan Rapinoe and boxer Claressa Shields have been honored as Sportswomen of the Year by the Women’s Sports Foundation.

They won in the team and individual categories, the awards coming at the foundation’s 40th annual Salute to Women in Sports.

Rapinoe led the U.S. to victory at the World Cup in France and earned the FIFA Player of the Year award. Shields is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and middleweight champion.

Sheila Johnson, part-owner of the Washington Wizards, Capitals and recent WNBA champion Mystics, won the Billie Jean King Leadership Award. Marta Vieira da Silva, star of the Brazilian national soccer team, won the Wilma Rudolph Courage Award.

Rapinoe thanked her teammates Wednesday night and lauded Marta, a six-time FIFA Player of the Year, calling the Brazilian the greatest of all time and an “absolute hero in our sport.”

John Burke, president of the Trek Bicycle company, received the inaugural Champion for Equality Award.

MNUFC’s Opara wins MLS Defender of the Year

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For the second time in three seasons, Ike Opara has been named MLS Defender of the Year, this time as the foundational piece of Minnesota United’s much-improved defense.

[ Report: Sacramento finally gets MLS expansion franchise ]

Opara becomes just the fourth player to win multiple Defender of the Year awards, joining Carlos Bocanegra (2002, 2003), Robin Fraser (1999, 2004) and Chad Marshall, the only three-time winner (2008, 2009, 2014) in MLS history. Opara won the award going away, nearly doubling the percentage of votes received by second-place Walker Zimmerman.

Defender of the Year Player % Club % Media % Final %
Ike Opara  25.75% 27.27% 44.88% 32.64%
Walker Zimmerman 20.40% 17.17% 12.20% 16.59%
Miles Robinson 19.40% 13.13% 15.75% 16.09%
Maxime Chanot 1.67% 16.16% 4.33% 7.39%
Eddie Segura 4.35% 9.09% 5.91% 6.45%
Aaron Long 2.34% 5.05% 1.97% 3.12%

[ MORE: Berhalter slams USMNT after Canada defeat — what now? ]

This time last year, the 30-year-old was a member of one of the league’s stingiest defensive units as a member of Sporting Kansas City. Following a contract dispute with Sporting, Opara was traded to Minnesota in exchange for $900,000 of targeted allocation money, plus an additional $100,000 after Minnesota qualified for the playoffs for the first time since joining MLS.