Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Premier League Power Rankings: Stoke, Spurs, Reds rise

Leave a comment

Chelsea’s unfettered advantage over most opponents through N'Golo Kante and Antonio Conte has made for some boredom when it comes to No. 1, but the race to stay in the Top Ten has been a fun part of our weekly power rankings.

[ MORE: Top PL story lines — Week 28 ]

Mark Hughes‘ Potters are the latest to make a move, while Liverpool and Tottenham also dance a bit higher this week. It’s the opposite direction for Hull City, Bournemouth, and Burnley.

TEAM RANKING
source:
20 (20) Sunderland: This is the kind of season the Black Cats have had: After Southampton, Everton, and Man City, they had a shot at struggling Middlesbrough in a Northeast Derby this week only to see the match postponed. Fortunately, Burnley is next.
200px-Middlesbrough_crest 19 (19) Middlesbrough: Aitor Karanka‘s side needed the week off badly, but a visit from Manchester United is next.
Hull City logo
18 (17) Hull City: Looking improved only means so much, and the Leicester loss could be followed by another 6-point loss to Swansea City. Time to pony up, Tigers.
source: 17 (16) Bournemouth: Winless in 2017
source: 16 (18) Crystal Palace: Big Sam may have led the Eagles into the drop zone, but he’s also guided them to two big wins and an escape… for now.
source: 15 (15) Swansea City: Fate (or officiating) nearly conspired to rob Swans of a win versus Burnley, but the Welsh side overcame the bad fortune. Now they can really pad their status by beating Hull.
Leicester City logo
14 (14) Leicester City: Two in a row, but it just feels so hollow given the players clearly weren’t playing for a manager who led them to the heights. No, this isn’t about 2015-16 Chelsea.
burnley fc crest 13 (10) Burnley: No wins in five across all competitions, including losses to Watford, Swansea, and Lincoln City. I’d hate to be on Sean Dyche‘s bad side during this stretch. Also, how is Tyrone Mings not banned for the season?
source: 12 (13) Watford: A thrilling loss to Saints is still a loss, and a third in a row.
source: 11 (12) Southampton: Finally putting it together. Nathan Redmond and Manolo Gabbiadini are tactical issue for opponents.

source:
10 (7) West Brom: After losing a court case against Crystal Palace, you know Tony Pulis wanted to heap misery on the lowly Eagles. Instead, he managed a 2-0 home loss. Woof.
source: 9 (9) West Ham United: No shame in losing to Chelsea. We might put that sentence in each team’s column at some point this season.
source: 8 (11) Stoke City: Handled Sunderland before holding Man City to a draw at the Etihad Stadium. Geoff Cameron’s return has helped Mark Hughes’ side, for sure.
source: 7 (6) Arsenal: It’s bad, relatively speaking.
source: 6 (8) Liverpool: Ah, the side that loses to bad teams and “gets healthy” against bigger sides. So odd, but that’s how it was for Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund, too. Gotta be a coincidence, right? Right?
5 (5) Everton: 3-2 loss to Spurs shows that Ronald Koeman‘s side needs a few more pieces to contend for Europe.
source: 4 (4) Manchester United: A frustrating draw does have a silver lining in the fact that Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s head wasn’t caved in by Tyrone Mings’ stamp.
Logo_Manchester_City 3 (2) Manchester City: Surely Pep Guardiola didn’t see a 0-0 against Stoke at home as a likely result.
source: 2 (3) Tottenham Hotspur: Really showing mettle this year, and would have to fall apart to finish below Arsenal. Spurs supporters, I swear I’m not jinxing you.
source: 1 (1) Chelsea: Another day, another three points for Conte and Kante, who really should get some Ballon d’Or love.

 

Almeyda, Wondolowski sent off in Quakes’ fall against Atlanta (video)

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The game in 200 words (or less): Melodrama took center stage in Atlanta United’s 3-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes, as Matias Almeyda, Chris Wondolowski and Cristian Espinoza were all sent off on Saturday. Josef Martinez, six games away from tying Lionel Messi’s world record for most consecutive goals, left the field in 79th minute following an injury, ending his MLS-record run at 15 games. Playing with 10 players from the 34th minute onwards, the Quakes held on to the draw up until the 90th minute. Unmarked inside the box, Emerson Hyndman rocketed the ball past Daniel Vega, who recorded nine saves throughout the night. In stoppage time, Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez was rewarded for his stellar performance with a goal of his own. With a game at hand, Eastern Conference leaders, NYCFC, are three points ahead Frank De Boer‘s side. The Quakes, on the other hand, have internal fires to put out as they have lost six of their last eight, and are only a point above the red line with three games to play.

Three moments that mattered

27′ — Great run by Espinoza, greater ball by Vega  — Daniel Vega and Cristian Espinoza were players that San Jose were desperately missing last season. This sequence says it all.

 

90′ — Emerson Hyndman wins it for the Five Stripes   — Hyndman, with no one near him, seals three points for the home side.

 

90′ + 2 — Martinez takes advantage of broken San Jose  — Martinez’s goal was only salt in San Jose’s fresh wound.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Gonzalo “Pity”  Martinez

Goalscorers: Meram (4′), Guzan (27′ – OG), Hyndman (90′), Martinez (90′ + 2)

FIFA sees no obstacles for women to attend games in Iran

Getty Images
2 Comments

ZURICH — Soccer’s governing body FIFA says an inspection visit to Iran has shown “no noteworthy operational obstacles” to lifting the country’s 40-year ban and letting women attend a World Cup qualifying game next month.

After meeting government and soccer officials in Tehran this week, FIFA says it will work with Iran’s soccer body to also open domestic league games to female fans.

FIFA wants Iran to end its ban on women entering stadiums which breaches international soccer statutes prohibiting discrimination.

Global attention on the ban followed the death this month of a 29-year-old activist, Sahar Khodayari, who set herself on fire outside a courthouse. She had been detained for dressing as a man to enter a soccer stadium in Tehran and faced six months in prison.

Ahead of Iran hosting Cambodia at the 78,000-capacity Azadi Stadium on Oct. 10, FIFA says the visit on Thursday focused on “international relations, security and ticketing matters.”

Iranian officials were told of FIFA’s “firm and clear position that women need to be allowed to enter football matches freely” with tickets sold to as many who wanted to attend.

FOLLOW LIVE: Atlanta v. Quakes, Galaxy v. Impact on a busy MLS Saturday

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Eight games in seven hours, now that’s a jam-packed MLS Saturday.

[ FOLLOW: MLS scoreboard, for the next 7 hours ]

Things kickoff with Matias Almeyda’s San Jose Earthquakes visiting red-hot Josef Martinez’s Atlanta United, and comes to a close in Los Angeles, where league leaders LAFC host Toronto FC and LA Galaxy, who look to continue moving up in the Western Conference standings, host Montreal Impact.

In between, the New England Revolution look to remain in the Eastern Conference playoff picture as they welcome Kyle Beckerman and Real Salt Lake, while the Chicago Fire hope to jump level with the Revs in the standings as they take on FC Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium.

Saturday’s full MLS schedule

Atlanta United v. San Jose Earthquakes — 3:30 p.m. ET

Vancouver Whitecaps v. Columbus Crew — 5 p.m. ET

New England Revolution v. Real Salt Lake — 7:30 p.m. ET

FC Cincinnati v. Chicago Fire — 7:30 p.m. ET

Sporting Kansas City v. Colorado Rapids — 8:30 p.m. ET

Houston Dynamo v. Orlando City — 8:30 p.m. ET

LAFC v. Toronto FC — 10:30 p.m. ET

LA Galaxy v. Montreal Impact — 10:30 p.m. ET

Bundesliga wrap: Lewandowski’s Bayern keeps rolling, Leipzig stays top

CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Week 5 of the Bundesliga season looked a lot like so many others since Robert Lewandowski arrived in the country from Lech Poznan in 2010.

He scored, and his team won.

[ MORE: Man City hangs 8 on Watford ]

It wasn’t enough to put Bayern Munich atop the league, as the Bavarian side also saw RB Leipzig get a win and could sit third once Lewandowski’s first German team, Borussia Dortmund, plays on Sunday.

Bayern Munich 4-0 Koln

Robert Lewandowski is humming along, scoring two more goals to give him nine in Bayern’s first five matches of the Bundesliga season. The 31-year-old Polish superstar scored at midweek in the Champions League, and has scored in all seven matches he’s played since being skunked in the DFL SuperCup loss to Borussia Dortmund.

Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Perisic also scored for Bayern, who will finish the weekend no lower than third on the table. A 59th minute red card to Koln’s Kingsley Ehizibue came with Bayern already leading 2-0, so it was a bit snoozy in terms of drama at the Allianz Arena.

Werder Bremen 0-3 RB Leipzig

A 64th minute red card to Konrad Laimer couldn’t slow down the table leaders, as Leipzig added a goal after going down to 10-men in the win.

Willi Orban and Marcelo Saracchi scored for the visitors, and Marcel Sabitzer scored a terrific free kick in the win.

American teenager Josh Sargent started and played 80 minutes for the hosts, covering 9.63 kilometers and getting a lone shot on goal.

Elsewhere
Schalke 2-1 Mainz — Friday
Freiburg 1-1 Augsburg
Hertha Berlin 2-1 Paderborn
Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 Union Berlin
Borussia Monchengladbach v. Fortuna Dusseldorf — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Eintracht Frankfurt v. Borussia Dortmund — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 RB Leipzig 5 4 1 0 13 3 10 1-1-0 3-0-0 13
 Bayern Munich 5 3 2 0 16 4 12 2-1-0 1-1-0 11
 SC Freiburg 5 3 1 1 11 4 7 1-1-1 2-0-0 10
 FC Schalke 04 5 3 1 1 10 5 5 2-0-1 1-1-0 10
 Bayer Leverkusen 5 3 1 1 8 7 1 2-1-0 1-0-1 10
 Borussia Dortmund 4 3 0 1 13 5 8 2-0-0 1-0-1 9
 VfL Wolfsburg 4 2 2 0 7 3 4 1-1-0 1-1-0 8
 Mönchengladbach 4 2 1 1 5 4 1 0-1-1 2-0-0 7
 Eintracht Frankfurt 4 2 0 2 5 5 0 2-0-0 0-0-2 6
 Werder Bremen 5 2 0 3 8 12 -4 1-0-2 1-0-1 6
 FC Augsburg 5 1 2 2 7 11 -4 1-1-0 0-1-2 5
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 4 1 1 2 6 7 -1 0-1-1 1-0-1 4
 1899 Hoffenheim 4 1 1 2 3 6 -3 1-0-1 0-1-1 4
 1. FC Union Berlin 5 1 1 3 5 10 -5 1-0-2 0-1-1 4
 Hertha BSC Berlin 5 1 1 3 5 11 -6 1-0-1 0-1-2 4
 1. FC Köln 5 1 0 4 4 11 -7 0-0-2 1-0-2 3
 FSV Mainz 05 5 1 0 4 5 15 -10 1-0-1 0-0-3 3
 SC Paderborn 5 0 1 4 6 14 -8 0-0-2 0-1-2 1