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Hull City, Swansea bosses react to wild day in relegation race

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Marco Silva and Paul Clement both felt their hearts skip beats before pure elation on Saturday, as it’s increasingly clear the race to avoid the final relegation place is between their clubs.

Hull City boss Silva saw his side go down a man on a controversial red card to Oumar Niasse, but the 10-men Tigers won anyway.

For Clement and Swansea, their bid to keep pace with Hull was threatened when Federico Fernandez gave away a second-half penalty. But Marko Arnautovic missed his attempt and Tom Carroll scored at the other end to insure a win.

[ RECAPS: Swans 2-0 Stoke | Hull 2-0 Watford ]

It was, to say the least, emotional for both men. Here’s Clement:

“I knew at half-time it was 0-0 at Hull and they were down to 10 men. It is a terrific result for them. I did feel it would be a game they would win. We have to concentrate on our jobs. We have massive game next week at Old Trafford.

“I thought we needed three wins and a draw. Hull are in the driving seat but we will chase them down until the last moment.”

So how about the man in the driving seat? Silva on the red card and the effort:

“I don’t want to talk about this situation and I respect the referee and officials, but this is not the first time that something like this has happened. Today we have achieved what we needed, but it was very hard.

“I’m really happy but we still have four games to fight. Maybe in January no one would believe in our club to survive. I don’t know what the future is.”

Neither man is committing to anything but confidence in his players and their willingness to fight. Hull leads Swans by two points, and Swans have a two-goal advantage in differential.

It should be a fun run to the end, with the teams home and away on the same weekends for each of the final four weeks. Swans will know Hull’s result once, and the flip is true once.

It should come down to the final week, and Hull will have a much stiffer test than their relegation opponents.

The run-in

Southampton vs. Hull City – April 29
Manchester United vs. Swansea City – April 30
Hull City vs. Sunderland – May 6
Swansea City vs. Everton – May 6
Sunderland vs. Swansea City – May 13
Crystal Palace vs. Hull City – May 14
Hull City vs. Tottenham Hotspur – May 21
Swansea City vs. West Bromwich Albion – May 21

Watford chasing Rennes, Senegal star Sarr

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Watford may capture one of the rising stars of the game.

Ismaila Sarr would cost the Hornets a club transfer record fee, and Sky Sports says that Watford and Rennes are about $10 million apart.

The Ligue 1 side reportedly wants $34 million for the Senegal national team right wing.

[ VIDEO: Nketiah leads Arsenal win ]

Sarr, 21, scored a goal and an assist in Senegal’s run to the Africa Cup of Nations final, playing opposite Sadio Mane of Liverpool.

He posted 13 goals with 14 assists last season between Ligue 1, the French Cup, and the Europa League. He was the lone Rennes player to score against Arsenal in the UEL Round of 16.

Watford has held onto Abdoulaye Doucoure and Dodi Lukebakio this offseason. Lukebakio is also a 21-year-old right wing, and had a sensational loan season with Fortuna Dusseldorf in 2019-20.

Nketiah leads Arsenal past Fiorentina (video)

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Eddie Nketiah scored twice as Arsenal beat Fiorentina 3-0 in Charlotte on Saturday.

Joe Willock also scored for the Gunners, which beat Colorado Rapids and Bayern Munich in their first two matches of the preseason and meet Real Madrid in Maryland on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Guardiola hails KDB ]

Fiorentina took 18 of the match’s 30 shots, though Arsenal had nearly 60 percent of the ball.

Nketiah, 20, scored against Burnley in last season’s Premier League finale and then late against Bayern Munich earlier this week.

He was deft in a high-pressure spot for this one.

Premier League friendlies: Watford beats Bayer, Man Utd over Inter

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Arsenal and Fiorentina are set to kickoff in Charlotte tonight, with the Gunners the last of a bevy of Premier League sides to engage in preseason friendlies this muggy Saturday.

[ MORE: Guardiola hails KDB ]


Girona 1-2 Bournemouth

Juanpe’s late header pushed La Liga’s hosts past Eddie Howe and his 10-man Cherries, playing down after VAR deemed Jack Simpson‘s foul worthy of a sending off. Ryan Fraser scored Bournemouth’s goal, assisted by Jordon Ibe.

Northampton Town 0-4 Sheffield United

Oliver Norwood converted two penalties in an easy win for Chris Wilder in his return to a club he played for and managed.

Fulham 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion

Pascal Gross scored with an early free kick — a Megan Rapinoe special — but Tom Cairney scored twice after halftime for the Championship side.

Cheltenham Town 1-2 Leicester City

The Foxes collected a second win over a lower league side this week, with Jamie Vardy and Marc Albrighton on the board.

Newcastle United 1-0 West Ham United (Shanghai)

New manager Steve Bruce watched from the crowd as the Magpies made amends for a 4-0 loss to Wolves by blanking West Ham. Jamie Sterry‘s cross for Yoshinori Muto was delightful, and the Japanese striker’s finish was well-taken.

Port Vale 1-3 Burnley; Crewe Alexandra 0-1 Burnley

Chris Wood, Matej Vydra and Robbie Brady scored as the Clarets overcame an early Nick Pope goal to beat Port Vale, but the Premier League side couldn’t do much in a simultaneous friendly at Crewe.

Inter Milan 0-1 Manchester United (Singapore)

Substitute forward Mason Greenwood, just 17, scored the late goal in a match United controlled, outshooting Inter 21-8.

Preston North End 1-3 Southampton

Brace-bagging Danny Ings doesn’t usually have a problem with finish, so passing the ball directly to him is not something we’d recommend to goalkeepers. Jake Vokins also scored for Saints at Deepdale.

Watford 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen (Austria)

Will Hughes and Andre Gray scored as the Hornets collected a win over Champions League competition.

Man City (0-0, 2-3 pens) Wolves (Shanghai)

Rui Patricio was very good over 90 minutes, and stopped City’s first two penalty attempts as Wolves continue to perplex the PL champions.

WATCH: Marco Fabian smashes set piece goal

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Marco Fabian sent a missile toward goal, and perhaps it’s good the goalkeeper didn’t get to the hand-breaking shot.

Philadelphia took a 1-0 lead over Chicago on Saturday in Chester, Pennsylvania, thanks to the Mexican midfielder.

[ REPORT: Man Utd locks up De Gea ]

It was a pretty set piece from Jim Curtin’s men, a backwards played free kick was laid off to Fabian for his audacious rip.

Fabian hasn’t had a wonderful 2019 season, but his fourth goal of the season will give Union supporters hope that he’ll pick up his form and make the already East-leading side all the more dangerous.