Southampton 1-0 Everton: Austin’s goal sinks Koeman on his return

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  • Austin grabs only goal of the game
  • Saints move on to 17 points
  • Everton have one win in eight
  • Saints’ first win in five

SOUTHAMPTON — Ronald Koeman‘s return to St Mary’s was not a happy one.

His old club Southampton beat Everton 1-0 in the Premier League on Sunday as Charlie Austin‘s goal after just 41 seconds proved the difference, and in truth the winning margin should have been much greater.

[ MORE: Saints just fine without Koeman ]

With the win Saints move on to 17 points, while Everton remain on 19 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

After just 41 seconds St Mary’s went wild as a cross from the right was flicked on by youngster Josh Sims and Austin poked home. 1-0 to Saints. Koeman stood on the edge of his technical area with his hands in his pockets and his team in a hole.

Saints continued to press and had a few half chances as they settled into the game quicker and had Everton on the back foot. 19-year-old Sims, making his Premier League debut, then had a good chance but he couldn’t get enough power on his header from close range following Nathan Redmond’s cross.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

As half time approached Saints continued to press with Austin having a tame effort which Maarten Stekelenburg easily saved after a surging run forward from Virgil Van Dijk. Moments later Everton should have been level as a cross found Idrissa Gueye on the edge of the box but he blazed well over.

Saints continued to look more dangerous with Pierre Hojbjerg having several attempts from distance and not quite getting on the end of a header following Cedric Soares’ cross.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

At the start of the second half Hojbjerg wriggled free on the byline but his shot struck the side-netting at the near post with plenty of teammates in the box. Yannick Bolasie then broke free but dragged his shot horrible wide as he entered the box.

Austin was then denied his second of the game as a perfect cross from the right from Cedric found him eight yards out but Stekelenburg produced a great save to tip his header out when it looked destined for the bottom corner. Fraser Forster then produced a great save at the other end with Bolasie sending in an acrobatic overhead kick but the winger was then pulled up for a foul.

In the closing stages the game opened up with Sims racing clear but his final pass was intercepted and then Bolasie curled an effort from distance inches over.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Saints continued to squander chances as Sims’ cross was hooked clear just as Austin was about to convert and moments later Austin rounded Stekelenburg and drilled the ball into Ward-Prowse who couldn’t get his feet right three yards out as put his effort wide.

The chances kept coming for Saints as Ward-Prowse was found at the back post and he controlled well but Steklenburg saved his effort, yet the looping, spinning ball was going in until Phil Jagielka hooked it off the line.

At the other end Jose Fonte made a superb block from Seamus Coleman‘s effort as Everton chucked the kitchen sink at Saints. Substitute Enner Valencia flashed a header just wide in the 90th minute but that was as close as the Toffees came.

Saints showed that there is well and truly life after Koeman.

Man United reveal plans for the future; financial results announced

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Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has a plan.

He shared it in a statement on Monday, as the Red Devils have picked up some momentum over the past few weeks with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s side back in the hunt for a top four finish in the Premier League.

The leading man at the PL giants confirmed that producing their own young group of players in the first team is now their main aim.

“We have a clear vision in terms of football philosophy and recruitment,” Woodward said. “The significant investments that we have made in recent years in areas such as transfers, recruitment infrastructure, analytics and our Academy are already beginning to bear fruit.

“We are very proud to be shortly approaching a milestone 4,000th game featuring an Academy player, and we are particularly optimistic regarding the considerable young talent currently coming through. Our ultimate goal is to win trophies by playing exciting football with a team that fuses graduates from our Academy with world-class acquisitions.”

Academy products Marcus Rashford, Andreas Pereira and Scott McTominay are key players in United’s first team this season while the likes of Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzebe and Mason Greenwood have all gained valuable experience.

That said, Woodward will no doubt realize that United have to spend on key additions in the upcoming windows alongside promoting their talented youngsters.

Solskjaer has already mentioned that the January transfer window is something United will look at closely, as they are currently in seventh place in the Premier League table and nine points off the top four. An attacking midfielder is likely to be their key target as they failed to bring in Sporting Lisbon’s Bruno Fernandes this summer.

With regards to the finances, United’s net debt rose by $177.9 million which was in essence due to bringing in Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire and Daniel James this summer. However, their first quarter revenue for this year was slightly up to $175.5 million year-on-year.

They are expected to bring in $86.8 million less in the next 12 months from TV revenue and prize money as they failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League, but players wages did fall 8.8 percent with the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez off the wage bill, as that now stands at $90 million.

As always, a lack of success on the pitch doesn’t really seem to hurt United off it.

Senegal, Nigeria stay perfect in African Cup qualifying

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Famara Diedhiou scored a hat trick in a game interrupted by heavy rain as Senegal beat Eswatini 4-1 on Sunday for two wins out of two in qualifying for the 2021 African Cup of Nations.

Diedhiou missed an early penalty and it was 0-0 at halftime when Senegal coach Aliou Cisse substituted Sadio Mane.

Diedhiou netted all three of his goals in a nine-minute period from the 59th to keep this year’s African Cup runner-up on course in the final stage of qualifying for the 2021 tournament. Badou Ndiaye scored Senegal’s fourth in Manzini against the kingdom formerly known as Swaziland.

Senegal lost to Algeria in the final of this year’s African Cup of Nations in Egypt and is embarking on another attempt to win the continental title for the first time.

Like Senegal, Nigeria has also won its first two of six games in the qualifiers’ decisive group stage after the Super Eagles benefited from an outstanding performance by forward Victor Osimhen in a 4-2 win over Lesotho. Osimhen scored twice and set up the other two as Nigeria again came from behind to win, like it did in its opening qualifier.

South Africa beat Sudan 1-0 with a goal by Lebogang Phiri for its first win of the qualifiers after losing to Ghana first up. Cameroon, which will host the 2021 African Cup, also registered a first win by beating Rwanda 1-0. Midfielder Ngoumo Ngamaleu scored in Cameroon’s first competitive win under new coach Toni Conceicao and first in six games.

Cameroon has already qualified as host but is still taking part in qualifying. The top two teams in each of the 12 groups will qualify with the exception of Cameroon’s group. There, the highest-placed of the other three teams – currently Mozambique – goes through to the 24-team finals which will be played in mid-2021.

Guinea and Mali sit in the qualifying positions in Group A – Mali won 2-0 in Chad and Guinea 2-0 at home to Namibia. There were also wins on Sunday for Uganda, Benin, Republic of Congo and Gabon.

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Griezmann: Playing for Barcelona is ‘not the easiest’

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Over the summer, Barcelona shelled a whopping $135 million to land Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid.

It was a match made in heaven; the rest was supposed to be history.

Only that hasn’t been the case for the Frenchman in Barcelona.

Despite scoring a brace in his debut at the Camp Nou, Griezmann’s impact and influence on the field has quickly dwindled. In 11 league appearances with the Catalan giants, the 28-year-old has scored four goals and added three assists, signs that the World Cup winner is, in fact, struggling with his new team.

Speaking to Telefoot, Griezmann revealed that playing for Barcelona is not an easy thing to do, but that with hard work, his fortunes will turn around for the best:

“It is hard, I knew it would be, it is not the easiest place. This is a new team, a new club, new tactics, a new position. I have to work, try to understand my team-mates, after they will understand me too and it will work just like that… Critics will always be there. But I am good, I am proud of where I am. Only work pays off. I have to take confidence and it will all come just like that.”

This season, Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has frequently deployed the Frenchman as a left winger, with the hope that he will link up with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. The positives form such an ideology have yet to be reaped, however. Griezmann is scoring a goal every 224 minutes, a career worst.

The 28-year-old, too, has played in a central role on a couple of occasions, specifically during the absences of Messi and Suarez, but it hasn’t worked out for a player that has made a career from roaming that part of the field.

The building clamor at the Camp Nou is borderline justifiable – mainly because it’s now evident that Griezmann is wrestling with adapting to the expectations and systems in place in Barcelona.

But the high-flying attacker has proven he’s worth the price time and time again, and now he’s on the record saying that he’ll do everything in his power to do so with his new club.

Real Monarchs beat Louisville City to win first ever USL Cup

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Real Monarchs scored three unanswered goals as they routed Louisville City 3-1 at Lynn Stadium to win their first ever USL Cup title.

Noah Powder’s goal in the 66th minute sealed the deal for the visitor’s, adding to the goals scored by defenders Erik Holt and Konrad Plewa in the first half.

Surprisingly enough, it was Lou City who got off to a superb start on Sunday night, though.

Only six minutes after the initial whistle, Lou City’s leading goalscorer, Magnus Rasmussen, scored the game’s first goal, breaking a record for the fastest goal in a USL Cup final.

The defeat brings an end to Lou City’s historic run of consecutive USL Cup-winning seasons.

On July 1, former Real Salt Lake defender, Jamison Olave, took over as the Monarchs interim coach following Martin Vasquez’s unexpected resignation.