Watford 3-3 Liverpool: Hornets grab late point in thriller

1 Comment
  • Watford score equalizer in 94th minute
  • Mane, Firmino, Salah scored
  • Watford led twice in first half

Watford fought back to grab a point against Liverpool in a dramatic 3-3 draw at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

Watford led twice in the first half as goals from Stefano Okaka and Abdoulaye Doucoure came either side of Sadio Mane‘s brilliant equalizer, and then a penalty call changed the game in the second half.

Mohamed Salah went down after being caught by Huerelho Gomes and Roberto Firmino scored the penalty kick to make it 2-2 and two minutes later Salah scored what looked like being the winner but Miguel Britos bundled home in stoppage time to make it 3-3.

Marco Silva‘s first game in charge of Watford ended with a draw and the Portuguese boss will have seen plenty of positives, while the same defensive issues continue to plague Klopp’s Liverpool.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Liverpool started brightly but Watford struck first as Okaka nodded home from Holebas’ corner to or the Hornets 1-0 up in the sun in Hertfordshire.

The home side were forced into an early change with Daryl Janmaat injured and Kiko Femenia came on to make his debut. But Watford kept pressing as a cross from the right caused Simon Mignolet to rush off his line but Okaka was in an offside position.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

The game exploded into life on the half hour mark with Mane playing a great one-two with Alberto Moreno and Emre Can before curling home a beautiful finish. 1-1.

Moments later Watford retook the lead with Doucoure starting the move on the edge of the box and then slotting home after Liverpool failed to clear to put the Hornets 2-1 up. Mane flicked a header inches wide just before the break but Liverpool had a mountain to climb.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Liverpool started the second half brightly and pulled leveled after Salah was taken down by Gomes and Firmino slotted home the penalty kick to make it 2-2.

Soon after it was 3-2 as Salah scored on his PL debut for Liverpool after Firmino lobbed the ball goalwards.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

Watford had the stuffing knocked out of them and Liverpool almost grabbed a fourth with Alberto Moreno’s powerful drive pushed over the bar by Gomes. From the resulting corner Liverpool came even closer with Joel Matip’s flicked header hitting the bar and coming out.

Dejan Lovren forced Gomes into a fine stop with a header and Liverpool were made to rue those missed opportunities as Britos bundled home in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

3-3 in the sun in Hertfordshire.

Franck Ribery signs for Fiorentina

Fiorentina/Twitter
Leave a comment

Franck Ribery has signed for Fiorentina in Serie A.

The French winger, 36, left Bayern Munich when his contract expired over the summer and many thought he may retire after a long list of injuries.

However, the tricky wideman has arrived in Italy after 12 seasons at Bayern which saw him win 23 major trophies, including the UEFA Champions League in 2013.

As for Fiorentina, this is a huge deal for them as Ribery will be unveiled in a press conference tomorrow.

The Florence club have slumped in recent seasons and barely avoided relegation from Serie A in 2018-19, and that came after six consecutive top eight finishes in Italy’s top-flight.

U.S. businessman Rocco Commisso bought the club for $181 million this summer and is promising to steadily rebuild the squad under Vincenzo Montella, who had a glorious spell in charge from 2012-15.

Adding Ribery means they have a big name on board, but can he stay fit and help this new-look side push up the Serie A table? Fiorentina have made 13 new signings this summer and a huge overhaul was needed.

If Ribery can stay fit and fresh, he showed at Bayern last season that he still has a little left in the tank.

First Leagues Cup will be an all-Liga MX affair

Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images
1 Comment

Given Major League Soccer’s record against Liga MX sides when both teams are bringing their best players to the party, it’s no surprise that the former has been left out of the Leagues Cup Final.

Instead, Cruz Azul and Tigres UANL will meet on Sept. 18 for the first ever crown in the history of the competition pitting teams from Mexico, Canada, and the United States top flights.

[ MORE: Predicting the USMNT September call-ups ]

Choosing not to play Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Jonathan Dos Santos, and Carlos Pavon amongst others, the LA Galaxy fell 2-1 to Cruz Azul in Carson, California, getting an Emil Cuello goal but allowing the below delightful winner from Orbelin Pineda just after halftime.

The Galaxy were in the midst of a nasty four-match fortnight, and opted for this match — a tournament semifinal against a league which has bossed its league — to rest their men. Not a choice we love, but a fair choice given the Galaxy’s mere 4-point advantage on 7th place in the West.

Tigres needed penalties to get past Club America in an absolutely bonkers semifinal.

The match was level at 2 after regulation, with two own goals, a penalty, and a 90th minute red card doled out to Tigres’ Roger Martinez.

The second Tigres own goal, which came before the club outlasted America 5-3 in penalties, came deep in stoppage.

USWNT lawsuit goes to trial May 5

Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Leave a comment

LOS ANGELES (AP) A judge has set a May 5 trial date for the gender discrimination lawsuit filed by the women’s national team against U.S. Soccer.

District Judge R. Gary Klausner assigned the date at a hearing Monday in Los Angeles, which came less than a week after mediation between the two sides broke down.

[ MORE: Predicting the USMNT September call-ups ]

The players sued U.S. Soccer in March, alleging institutionalized gender discrimination that includes inequitable compensation when compared with their counterparts on the men’s national team.

The federation claims that compensation for each team is the result of separate collective bargaining agreements, and that the pay structures are different as a result.

The sides had agreed to mediate the dispute after this summer’s World Cup in France. The U.S. beat the Netherlands in July for its second straight title, and fourth overall.

The players and U.S. Soccer had requested a trial date after the Tokyo Olympics, which start July 25.

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

Report: Zappacosta off to Roma as Chelsea trusts youth

Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Tuesday was a great day to be Reece James.

Not that it hasn’t been a good summer altogether with Frank Lampard in charge of Chelsea.

[ MORE: Predicting the USMNT September call-ups ]

Lampard sanctioned the loan of Zappacosta to AS Roma, which puts James firmly in line for first team reps at Stamford Bridge.

The 19-year-old James has earned his place after two seasons on loan at Wigan Athletic, and Cesar Azpilicueta will either need rest or time at center back at some point.

As for Zappacosta, he was a curiosity buy who was serviceable during his time at Stamford Bridge. At Roma, though, he’ll… also be second choice to club captain Alessandro Florenzi.

Lampard is definitely giving the Blues’ youth a chance to shine during this transfer ban, and this may well be the best opportunity of James’ career.