Premier League roundup: A wild return for the top flight!

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The Premier League kicked off with a furious Friday match between Arsenal and Leicester City, and kept that vibe going when Saturday began at Vicarage Road.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

A wild draw between the Reds and Hornets is a highlight of the first Saturday of PL football for the 2017-18 campaign, and the day definitely did not rest over the remaining six matches.

[ MORE: Lineups, stats, box scores ]

Welcome back, you beautiful league, you.


Watford 3-3 LiverpoolRECAP

Marco Silva‘s men went nickname-appropriate, refusing to leave the Reds’ lead alone until Miguel Britos won a 1v1 battle with Simon Mignolet to prod Richarlison’s rocket home in stoppage time (Multiple Liverpool-supporting friends texted wildly about obstruction and offside, so probably should be noted).

Stefano Okaka gave Watford an eighth minute lead, and Abdoulaye Doucouré made it 2-1 before half only to see the Reds claim a 3-2 lead with two goals in three second-half minutes.

Philippe Coutinho did not play, while Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, and possible Man of the Match winner Sadio Mane scored for Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp‘s men continued last season’s underwhelming work versus perceived lower half sides, at least for a day.

Chelsea 2-3 BurnleyRECAP

Of all the things expected from Stamford Bridge on Saturday, it’s safe to say the reigning champions going down 3-0 and finishing with nine men were not part of the plan.

Sam Vokes scored twice and Stephen Ward scored a stunner as the Clarets built a 3-0 lead against 10-man Chelsea, down a man thanks to a 14th minute challenge from Gary Cahill. Substitute striker Alvaro Morata made it 3-1 before Cesc Fabregas was sent off, then Morara assisted David Luiz to make it 3-2.

Everton 1-0 Stoke CityRECAP

Hate him or love him, there’s something right about Wayne Rooney scoring the lone goal in his long-awaited Premier League return to Goodison Park.

Crystal Palace 0-3 Huddersfield TownRECAP

This was perhaps the biggest surprise of the day given the newly-promoted side’s status as visitors to a Palace side which finished last season red hot behind its attack. Instead Steve Mounie scored twice to join a Joel Ward own goal as Town ruined Frank De Boer‘s Palace opener.

West Bromwich Albion 1-0 BournemouthRECAP

Ahmed Hegazy‘s header was enough for the hosts as Tony Pulis‘ men start the season on the right foot.

Southampton 0-0 Swansea CityRECAP

Swans were under siege for most of the day, but an ineffective Manolo Gabbiadini and a bit of bad luck helped the Welsh side to a point at St. Mary’s.

Brighton and Hove Albion 0-2 Manchester CityRECAP

Pep Guardiola‘s club didn’t have its finishing boots for most of the match, but looked very much the well-organized and possession-oriented unit. A plucky day that will give Brighton hope, Man City fans will just look to the next test.

World Cup’s only black coach says there should be more

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MOSCOW (AP) — The only black coach at this year’s World Cup says there is a need for more in soccer.

“In European countries, in major clubs, you see lots of African players. Now we need African coaches for our continent to go ahead,” Senegal’s Aliou Cisse said through a translator on Monday, a day ahead of his nation’s World Cup opener against Poland.

[ MORE: Where to watch Tuesday’s games, feat. Colombia and Egypt ]

The percentage of black players at this year’s tournament and with clubs in the world’s top leagues is far higher.

Cisse was captain of Senegal when it reached the 2002 quarterfinals in the nation’s only previous World Cup appearance.

“I am the only black coach in this World Cup. That is true,” Cisse said. “But really these are debates that disturb me. I think that football is a universal sport and that the color of your skin is of very little importance.”

[ MORE: Harry Kane “buzzing” after two goals | Southgate encouraged ]

FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cisse cited Florent Ibenge, the coach of Congo’s national team, as a sign of progress.

“I think we have a new generation that is working, that is doing its utmost, and beyond being good players with a past of professional footballers,” Cisse said. “We are very good in our tactics, and we have the right to be part of the top international coaches.”

Africa’s best performance at the World Cup has been to reach the quarterfinals, accomplished by Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

“I have the certainty that one day an African team, an African country, will win the World Cup,” Cisse said. “It’s a bit more complicated in our countries. We have realities that are not there in other continents, but I think that the African continent is full of qualities. We are on the way, and I’m sure that Senegal, Nigeria or other African countries will be able win, just like Brazil, Germany or other European countries.”

A lack of minority managers also has been documented at the club level. The Sports People’s Think Tank said in November there were just three minority managers among the 92 English professional clubs as of Sept. 1.

World Cup: Saudi team safe after plane caught fire mid-flight

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The Saudi Arabian national team arrived alive and well in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, on Monday after a terrifying incident that saw their plane catch fire in the air.

[ MORE: Where to watch Tuesday’s games, feat. Colombia and Egypt ]

The blaze was caused by “a technical failure in one of the airplane engines,” which the airline, Rossiya, claims was caused by a bird flying into the engine. Each of the planes engines were reportedly in operation upon landing at its final destination.

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation posted a message on Twitter later on Monday, saying they “would like to reassure everyone that all the Saudi national team players are safe, after a technical failure in one of the airplane engines that has just landed in Rostov-on-Don airport, and now they’re heading to their residence safely.”

The Green Falcons will face Uruguay in Rostov, hoping to rebound from their tournament-opening 5-0 loss to Russia on Thursday, in each side’s second game of Group A action on Wednesday (11 a.m. ET).

Seismologists clarify Mexico fans didn’t cause earthquake

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s National Seismological Service says there was seismic activity around the country’s capital Sunday, but it wasn’t linked to soccer fans celebrating their country’s game-winning goal vs. Germany at the World Cup.

[ MORE: Where to watch Tuesday’s games, feat. Colombia and Egypt ]

The service says in a report that there were two small earthquakes at 10:24 a.m. and 12:01 p.m. The goal came around 11:35 a.m. local time.

A geological institute reported Sunday that seismic detectors had registered a false earthquake that may have been generated by “massive jumps” by fans.

[ MORE: Harry Kane “buzzing” after two goals | Southgate encouraged ]

Mexico’s Seismological Service explained Monday that the city’s normal bustle of traffic and other movement causes vibrations that are detected by sensitive instruments.

It says those vibrations notably quieted during the match as people gathered in front of TVs to watch, and rose after the goal.

WATCH: World Cup, Day 6 — Colombia vs. Japan; Salah’s debut?

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Day 6 of the 2018 World Cup is up next, on Tuesday — and would you believe it? — there’s another three games on the schedule. This whole “back-to-back-to-back games of soccer” thing isn’t so bad.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Up first, it’s the 2018 debut of Colombia, winners of tens hundreds of millions of hearts in 2014, as they take on Japan. In the day’s other Group H fixture, it’ll be Robert Lewandowski and Poland facing Sadio Mane and Senegal. Star power aplenty.

Then, we swing things back around to Group A, where the hosts Russia will look to continue their hot start against Egypt with Mohamed Salah expected to make his World Cup debut.

Below is Tuesday’s schedule in full.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.


2018 World Cup schedule – Tuesday, June 19

Group H
Colombia vs. Japan: Saransk, 8 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE
Poland vs. Senegal: Moscow, 11 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE

Group A
Russia vs. Egypt: St. Petersburg, 2 p.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE