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PL roundup: Man City, Spurs win late; Liverpool, Arsenal drop points

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A roundup of all the action on a wild Saturday in the Premier League…

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Manchester United 1-1 ArsenalFULL RECAP

Jose Mourinho has still never lost to Arsene Wenger, but Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Old Trafford will have felt strangely similar to defeat for the Portuguese, as his Man United conceded an 89th-minute equalizer to Olivier Giroud, canceling out Juan Mata‘s opening goal 20 minutes earlier. The draw sees Arsenal’s lead on Tottenham shrink to a single point in the race for fourth, while United remain six points back of the Gunners for the final UEFA Champions League place.

Crystal Palace 1-2 Manchester CityFULL RECAP

Yaya Toure is back, and Man City are level on points with Liverpool at the top of the PL table. The Ivorian legend returned from exile to bag a brace against Crystal Palce, as City took all three points at Selhurst Park. It was the first time Toure saw the field since the end of the 2015-16 season, the arrival of Pep Guardiola causing what seemed an irreconcilable rift between player and club. With Toure back in the fold, and engaged as ever, look out.

Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 West Ham UnitedFULL RECAP

Tottenham were second-best by some margin for 88 minutes against West Ham on Saturday, but the Hammers collapsed late on and gifted a quickfire brace to Harry Kane (89th and 91st minutes), which put to be Spurs’ four-game winless skid in the PL (seven games in all competitions) and extended their unbeaten start in the PL to 12 games. Harry Winks marked his full PL debut with Spurs’ first equalizer, a tap-in in the 51st minute. Michail Antonio scored the opening goal (with his head, of course), his sixth of the season, after 24 minutes. Slaven Bilic‘s side currently sits just one point clear of the relegation zone.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 19: Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur scores his sides third goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United at White Hart Lane on November 19, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Southampton 0-0 LiverpoolFULL RECAP

The good news: Liverpool kept their second clean sheet of the 2016-17 PL season. The bad news: they’ve been held scoreless themselves on both occasions, as was the case at St. Mary’s Stadium on Saturday. The chances were plentiful for Jurgen Klopp‘s side (15 shots in total), but the finishing was wasteful (just two on target). The two points dropped open up the door for Chelsea to go top of the table with a victory over Middlesbrough on Sunday (Watch live, 11 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).

Sunderland 3-0 Hull CityFULL RECAP

Sunderland are three points closer to 17th place, as well as 18th-place Hull, after their 3-0 triumph over the Tigers at the Stadium of Light. Jermain Defoe bagged his 150th PL goal, which turned out to be the winner on the day, and Victor Anichebe completed the scoring with a second-half brace to give the Black Cats back-to-back wins for the first time this season. Now two points back of Hull, and three back of West Ham, David Moyes‘ side is two points ahead of where they were after 12 games last season.

Watford 2-1 Leicester CityFULL RECAP

Etienne Capoue and Roberto Pereyra put Watford 2-0 up on the defending champions before a dozen minutes had been played, and Leicester never quite recovered. Riyad Mahrez pulled a goal back in the 15th minute, from the penalty spot, but the Foxes would manage just one more shot on target the rest of the game, and Claudio Ranieri‘s side has already lost twice as many games this season (6) as they did all of last season.

WATFORD, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 19: Danny Simpson of Leicester City reacts during the Premier League match between Watford and Leicester City at Vicarage Road on November 19, 2016 in Watford, England. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

Everton 1-1 Swansea CityFULL RECAP

Bob Bradley was a painfully short few minutes from securing his first victory as a PL manager, Gylfi Sigurdsson having converted from the penalty spot in the 41st minute to put Swansea 1-0 ahead at Goodison Park, but Seamus Coleman spoiled the party in the 89th minute, to snatch a point for Everton, who remain seventh in the league table.

Stoke City 0-1 BournemouthFULL RECAP

On-loan Chelsea defender Nathan Ake scored the only goal, as Bournemouth snapped a two-game losing skid with a narrow victory over Stoke. Bojan Krkic smashed a spot kick off the crossbar for the Potters, and Eddie Howe‘s side reached the dizzying heights of ninth in the league table with all three points.

Sunday’s PL schedule

Middlesbrough vs. Chelsea — 11 a.m. ET,on NBCSN and online via Live Extra

10-man Red Bulls hold off Atlanta United at home

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Atlanta United’s five-game winning streak went up in smoke as the New York Red Bulls pulled off an incredible 1-0 victory.

Playing down a man for around 65 minutes, the Red Bulls shutout Atlanta United’s high powered offense in front of 18,495 fans at Red Bull Arena. Tom Barlow, in just his second appearance with the Red Bulls, scored the game-winning goal in the 65th minute off a header at the far post, one that left U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper Brad Guzan rooted to his line.

[READ: Pep: Domestic Treble harder than UCL]

Tim Parker was shown a straight red card in controversial fashion, after grabbing Josef Martinez’s left arm with Martinez in front of him just outside the box. Martinez was clearly pulled back but continued running and eventually got a shot off that Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles parried away.

Referee Robert Sbiga then decided to call the play back and award Atlanta United a free kick outside the box. After what seemed to be consultation with his assistants, Sbiga then showed Parker a straight red card, likely for denial of a clear goal scoring opportunity (DOGSO) while Martinez was through on goal.

The outcome is a massive one for the Red Bulls. It’s been a rough season, with the loss of both Jesse Marsch and Tyler Adams and the poor form of Bradley Wright-Phillips up top. Wright-Phillips was out on Sunday and another attacker Andreas Ivan, went off with an injury in the first half as he was about to be substituted off anyways following the red card.

Alejandro Romero Gamarra, Kaku, has made his feelings known that he wants (or wanted) to leave the club. His form hasn’t been stellar this season either.

Meanwhile, Atlanta’s finally found its way back into the win column and is looking more like the juggernaut from last season, especially with five-straight shutout wins. It’s all back to zero today though, with the defeat at the Red Bulls on a perfect grass pitch up a man.

Mbappe hints he could leave PSG

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Kylian Mbappe accepted his award as the Ligue 1 MVP, dedicated it to Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, and then mentioned he could be off soon to another club.

Wait, what?

Yes, following Mbappe accepting his award, the French star and World Cup winner stated he hoped he could continue his career at PSG but left open the possibility of moving to another club that allows him to take the next steps in his career.

[READ: Kompany to join Anderlecht as player-manager]

“This is a very important moment for me, I arrive at a first or second turn of my career,” Mbappe said, via L’equipe. “I’ve discovered a lot of things here, I feel that maybe it’s time to have more responsibility. I hope it may be at Paris Saint-Germain, it would be with great pleasure, or perhaps elsewhere for a new project.”

Mbappe later clarified his comments, stating he was looking for more responsibility. “If it’s at PSG, that’s good. If it is elsewhere, it will be elsewhere for a new challenge.

“For me, it was time to say it. I am someone whole: when I say something, I think it. For me, it was the right time to say it. That’s it, I said it!”

It’s unclear why exactly Mbappe used this moment to put some pressure on PSG. Perhaps its to remind them that the club needs to be successful in its transfer endeavors this summer, so it can compete deep into the UEFA Champions League. With Neymar injured and a central midfield ravaged by injuries, PSG capitulated and somehow fell to Manchester United in the Champions League Round of 16, grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory.

There’s no reason why PSG can’t dominate the Champions League like it does Ligue 1, especially with the attacking trident of Mbappe, Neymar and Edinson Cavani. But of course, against better competition, the inferiority in mentality and in talent along the backline has started to show.

So, where could Mbappe go? There’s very few places that could effectively match both his salary and his competitive goals. It’s the usual suspects, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and perhaps Manchester City, should they be interested in it. More recently, while Man City has spent big, it’s been on signing multiple players on $50 million transfers, as opposed to one player on a $200 million transfer, for example.

It’s unlikely, but an intriguing option would be Liverpool. If the club somehow came up with the funds, imagine Mbappe playing alongside Sadio Mane and Mo Salah, with Roberto Firmino coming in to spell either of the three over the course of the season. Mbappe would likely make up that one-point difference between Liverpool and Man City, and if that’s what it takes for Liverpool to finally win the title, it could be worth the initial massive investment.

Messi finishes season leading La Liga in goals, assists, and more

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Lionel Messi turns 32 this summer, and after more than a dozen years of first team soccer, playing more than 50 games a season, the old man’s still got it.

The Argentine star, playing his first season in almost a decade without direct competition from Cristiano Ronaldo, scored twice as Barcelona tied Eibar, 2-2. The two goals gave him 34 for the season, by far the most by any player in the league, and his 50th in all competitions.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Messi also led La Liga this season with 13 assists, 136 shots, 85 shots on target and 70 through balls. In terms of successful dribbles, Messi’s 132 fell seven short of Celta Vigo’s Sofiane Boufal.

Messi’s 34 goals gave him his sixth Pichichi, the trophy given to the league’s leading scorer. Messi is now tied with legendary Telmo Zarra for the all-time record of most Pichichi’s, and Messi is now three ahead of Ronaldo.

As if Messi wasn’t already a legendary player, the man seems to be showing no signs of slowing down. It may have helped that he skipped matches with Argentina after the 2018 World Cup this past fall, keeping him fresh for Barcelona. Even so, the man looks as good, if not better, with age.

Messi already holds the record for most goals in league history, and at this rate, he’ll set it to a level that will be almost impossible to reach. While he’s going to be remembered for his incredible control on the ball, it doesn’t hurt that he’s been incredibly productive during his career, including in 2018-2019. Barcelona won the league title with ease and the club made the UEFA Champions League semifinal. If for some better defending, Messi could be contesting for another Champions League title.

Nani scores twice as Orlando City thrashes FC Cincinnati

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Nani may not be the star he once was while he played for Manchester United, but he’s still making a powerful impact in MLS.

The Portuguese international scored his sixth and seventh goals of the season as Orlando City ran circles expansion side FC Cincinnati, winning 5-1. Along with Nani, Tesho Akindele scored a brace and Dom Dwyer came off the bench and scored a header in the win.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Aside from having a chance to record a big win over a struggling side, Orlando City may have been ultra motivated on Sunday. Orlando City manager James O’Connor has history with FC Cincinnati from his time at Louisville City, with intense rivalry matches taking place as well as arguments between O’Connor and former FC Cincinnati coach Alan Koch on the sidelines.

FC Cincinnati actually went up early with a Darren Mattocks finish past Brian Rowe, but it didn’t take long for Orlando City to respond. Akindele fired home from 20-yards out in the 37th minute to make it 1-1. Early in the second half, Nani scored on a penalty kick rebound to make it 2-1 to the hosts, and then he added a second off a cross from the right to blast the game wide open.

With the win, Orlando City moved just one point outside of a playoff place, while Cincinnati remains in the basement of the Eastern Conference. However, Orlando City has a difficult road ahead, with matches against the LA Galaxy, Montreal Impact and D.C. United to come.