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Southampton 1-4 Tottenham: Alli leads comeback against 10-man Saints

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Saints led inside the opening two minutes at St. Mary’s, but they were undone by a controversial sending off of Nathan Redmond which visiting Tottenham capitalized on for a 4-1 win.

Dele Alli scored the opener and closer, with the meat of the sandwich coming via Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son.

Southampton went ahead just 70 seconds into the match when a free-kick from James Ward-Prowse curled into a perfect position, and Virgil van Djik lept incredibly high to meet it, powering home the header for a lightning-quick 1-0 lead.

Following the goal, Southampton pressed incredibly hard, throwing Spurs completely out of whack. With Tottenham back on their heels, Saints ran them ragged for the opening 15 minutes, with the best chance for a second coming on 17 minutes when a dangerous cross from Ryan Bertrand down the left nearly met Jay Rodriguez who had beaten Danny Rose, but Rose recovered to make the tackle at the last second. The ball sat untouched for a moment, eventually cleared.

Finally, Tottenham recovered, and took advantage of a lucky break. After finally collecting themselves, a 19th-minute cross from Moussa Sissokho clipped the back of Nathan Redmond and popped high in the air. Dele Alli found himself all along in front of net, and he met the ball with his head, directing it on and in despite a last-ditch challenge from van Djik.

Following the Spurs goal, the game slowed and things became cagey. The next good chance didn’t fall until the 43rd minute as Victor Wanyama received a ball from Rose in the box and glided past a defender, but the Kenyan couldn’t get a shot off in time, and he was closed down by Jose Fonte who slid in and deflected the shot out of danger.

The halftime break came and went, and Spurs would take the lead shortly after. In the 53rd minute, Harry Kane rose above Oriol Romeu to meet a corner, and he bagged the game’s third headed goal to put Spurs up 2-1.

It would get far worse for Saints, as Sissokho fed a delicious ball to Alli on the break just moments later. Alli was challenged hard by Redmond, and appeared to stumble near the top of the box under a slight shirt pull. The young Spurs midfielder recovered and eventually fired wide, which caused referee Mike Dean to pull back advantage and award a penalty, also handing Redmond a red card for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity. The decision was controversial because it looked clear that Mike Dean awarded the decision for the pull, which clearly happened outside the box with defenders in the area.

With Spurs a man up and a chance to put the game away, Harry Kane blasted the penalty miles over the bar, looking back down at the turf where a sizeable divot was evident next to the ball. Replays show his plant foot slid a good distance on the kick, causing the ball to sail so high.

The man advantage allowed the visitors to dictate the pace of play, and they had another big chance on the 70-minute mark as a cross from Sissokho right along the baseline clipped out to Christian Eriksen at the top of the box, and with all day to pick a shot, he rattled the crossbar.

Spurs finally put the game away with a breakaway goal from substitute Heung-Min Son in the 85th minute, and Southampton were unable to put forth any significant fight down a man. They added salt to the wound with another two minutes later as Danny Rose displayed some silky moves and Alli finished it off cooly.

The win moves Spurs to 36 points, back within just one of Arsenal in the final Champions League place. Southampton, meanwhile, stays in the top half of the table, but fails to capitalize on the opportunity to move further towards a more guaranteed Europa League position.

VOTE: Premier League March Madness Final Four

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Our Premier League March Madness tournament enters the Final Four stage on Thursday with two very intriguing ties.

After a wild Elite Eight which saw Everton and Sheffield United upset Chelsea and Man City respectively, we have two wonderful Final Four games set up as 20 Premier League teams are now down to 16.

#1 Liverpool host #12 Everton as the Toffees have upset Man United and Chelsea to reach the Final Four. #7 Sheffield United and #6 Wolves go head-to-head for a spot in the final as they continue to excite neutrals. These encounters will be close.

[ LIVE: March Madness PL hub ]

If you want to see the full game schedule, seedings and bracket, here is the post you need as the tournament will run all week long:

Monday: Relegation semifinals, final – Aston Villa prevailed, Norwich, Bournemouth, Watford relegated
TuesdaySweet 16 results
Wednesday: Elite Eight
Thursday: Final Four
Friday: Championship game

Plus, our own Nick Mendola handicapped the field and here is who he thinks will be the favorites to win it all and if there will be more upsets late on. After all, this is the Premier League…

Okay, vote below (until 6:30 p.m. ET) for the two Final Four matches as our Premier League March Madness tournament continues!

Ronaldinho to leave jail for luxury hotel arrest in Paraguay

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ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) Retired soccer star Ronaldinho was released from a high-security jail in Paraguay on Tuesday after more than a month, but was ordered to serve house arrest at a luxury hotel while he’s investigated for using a fake passport to enter the country.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Ronaldinho, the Brazilian former FIFA player of the year, and his brother Roberto de Assis were also told to pay bail of $800,000 each.

Ronaldinho, who helped lead Brazil to the 2002 World Cup title, was jailed on March 6 after entering the small South American country with a false Paraguayan passport. He told local authorities in a hearing that the document was a gift from a Brazilian businessman, Wilmondes Sousa Liria, who was also jailed.

“I decided to put them in house arrest because the investigation is now well advanced, differently from the situation one month ago,” Judge Gustavo Amarilla said when issuing the ruling.

Ronaldinho had his Brazilian passport seized at home due to an investigation into alleged environmental crimes, but the document was returned to him in September. One month later he played in a friendly in Israel.

If convicted, the former Barcelona star could spend up to five years in jail. Fourteen people are being investigated in the case.

Ronaldinho came to Paraguay to promote his autobiography. He was jailed in an improvised penitentiary in the south of Asunción, which is used for 150 dangerous criminals, including convicts of drug dealing, corruption and rape. During his stay he played soccer with inmates and took pictures with them that were shared on social media.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Court date for USWNT’s law suit versus U.S. Soccer delayed

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A court case that has dragged U.S. Soccer’s administration through the mud and led to a change of leadership may drag into the summer.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

A judge in California has delayed the May 5 trial of gender discrimination against the USSF until June 16 due in part to the coronavirus pandemic. A pretrial conference was also moved to June 1.

The federation is being sued by members of the two-time reigning World Cup champion USWNT under the Equal Pay Act.

The women are requesting more than $66 million in damages.

The extra month gives both parties more time to reach a settlement which could keep this ugly case away from trial. Given the uncertainty in our world, it could of course be delayed again.

The USSF has a new CEO in Will Wilson, who can make a major statement of change by stopping the trial from reaching court.

Handicapping the Final Four of Premier League March Madness

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Our Premier League March Madness results have been as topsy-turvy as the 2019/20 on-field campaign before coronavirus halted it last month.

Yes, the runaway No. 1 seed is alive, but the second, third, fourth, and fifth seeds have been expelled from the tournament within the first two rounds.

Voting in the semifinal round begins Thursday.

[ RESULTS: March Madness Round of 16 ]

Before we go any further, if you’re unfamiliar: To make sure you’re not missing out on either March Madness or the business end of the PL season, we’ve gone ahead and merged the two competitions. The March Madness Final Four and Championship game were due to take place this weekend in Atlanta but now you will be voting on Tottenham v. Arsenal instead of Duke v. Kansas.

Teams are seeded from 1-16 based on their current spot in the table, with Aston Villa winning the relegation playoffs on Monday to remain in the Premier League.

[ LIVE: March Madness PL hub ] 

Before we handicap the semifinal matches, let’s take a look at where the field sits after your Wednesday voting.

No. 1 Liverpool v. No. 12 Everton
No. 6 Wolves v. No. 7 Sheffield United

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Look, all bets are off for the derby. The Everton faithful has shown up in a big way during voting, dispatching Manchester United and Chelsea.

That’s big time stuff, though Liverpool ended the dreams of our presumptive sleeping giant favorite Arsenal after beating West Ham in the Sweet Sixteen.

The Reds are going to have to not just been upstart Everton but overcome the legions of rival supporters who would happily click the Toffees’ box rather than see Liverpool gain the crown.

The other side of the bracket sees No. 7 Sheffield United looking to continue its surprising run in both the PL season and our voting.

The Blades knocked off Man City, potentially aided by the same phenomenon Everton hopes to see on Thursday.

Now they meet Wolves, who may be riding a crest of North American momentum in the form of affinity for El Tri hero Raul Jimenez.

Our prediction: Everton and Wolves in the Final.