Crystal Palace 2-2 West Ham: Palace snatch dramatic point

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  • Hernandez, Ayew put Hammers ahead
  • Palace launch incredible comeback
  • Zaha scores in 97th minute

Crystal Palace fought back to draw 2-2 against West Ham United at Selhurst Park on Saturday as Slaven Bilic‘s threw away three points.

The Hammers went 2-0 up early thanks to goals from Javier Hernandez and Andre Ayew but Palace came roaring back in the second half as Luka Milivojevic‘s penalty kick made it 2-1.

Joe Hart was in sensational form to deny Palace on multiple occasions as the Hammers looked like they would hold on to win a huge London derby but then Michail Antonio failed to hold the ball in the corner and Palace broke with Wilfried Zaha scoring a superb goal to make it 2-2. Cue bedlam at Selhurst Park.

With the draw the Hammers move on to nine points, while Palace stay bottom but now have four points on the season.

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A cagey opening first half saw both teams feel their way into the game but Palace soon had to make a chance as Patrick Van Aanholt came off and Timothy Fosu-Mensah came on at left back.

The game then exploded into life.

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West Ham went 1-0 up after Aaron Cresswell‘s cross from the left found Hernandez and his unorthodox finish flew into the net as Mexico’s all-time leading goalscorer has his fourth goal of the season for the Hammers.

Soon after it was 2-0 to the Hammers and Ayew scored a superb solo goal as he ran from close to the halfway line before cutting onto his left peg and slamming home a wonderful shot off the bar and in. 2-0 to West Ham.

Palace went close to getting back into the game as Joe Hart twice denied James Tomkins and Wilfried Zaha from close range and then Ruben Loftus-Cheek should’ve done better at the back post.

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The Eagles were handed a lifeline early in the second half with Andros Townsend shoved in the box by Angelo Ogbonna and a penalty kick was awarded.

Milivojevic scored the spot kick to make it 2-1 and moments later it should’ve been 2-2. Yohan Cabaye smashed an effort against the post and the ball almost struck Joe Hart on the back as it rebounded into play.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Palace peppered West Ham’s goal late on as they pushed hard for an equalizer with Hart denying Zaha and then Cabaye’s brilliant free kick.

The Hammers looked like they would hold on but Antonio failed to keep the ball in the corner in the 96th minute and Palace broke with Zaha scoring with one of the last kicks of the game to make it 2-2.

Kane, Sterling star as England rout Bulgaria

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On a night where racist abuse from the stands in Bulgaria marred the overall spectacle, England’s players produced an incredible result and spectacle for the visiting fans, with all things considered.

Harry Kane scored once and assisted on three others as England rolled over Bulgaria, winning 6-0 on Monday evening in the Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia, Bulgaria. Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley both scored a brace for the Three Lions and Marcus Rashford’s thunderbolt from a tight angle gave England the opening goal it needed.

The blowout result was the perfect response after England had suffered its first loss in qualifying for a decade, losing on Friday, 2-1 at the Czech Republic. The six goals England put past Bulgaria was also the fourth time out of six games that England had scored at least five goals in a match. The only other time, aside from the defeat, was a 4-0 win last month at Wembley Stadium over Bulgaria.

This story will be updated.

 

Racist abuse delays England v. Bulgaria qualifier

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England raced out to an impressive 4-0 lead at Bulgaria by halftime, but the wonderful attacking display was marred by horrendous incidents from the crowd.

The match in the Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia, Bulgaria was stopped on two occasions with announcements being made to ask sections of the crowd to stop their abusive language. This comes with the stadium already serving a partial stadium closure due to racist chanting from the crowd in previous qualifiers.

Below is UEFA’s protocol on how to intervene in these situations, and what transpired from lead writer Joe Prince-Wright.

Tottenham re-signs goalkeeper Vorm

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With Hugo Lloris set to miss at least another two months of action with a broken elbow, Tottenham has turned to a familiar face to provide some cover between the pipes.

Tottenham announced Monday it had re-signed goalkeeper Michel Vorm to a contract through the end of the 2019-2020 Premier League season. Vorm spent five seasons with Tottenham after signing from Swansea City in 2014. However, after playing second-fiddle to Lloris and later serving as the third backup behind current Tottenham No. 2, Paulo Gazzaniga for the past couple of seasons, Vorm was released at the end of last season.

Its certainly a boost for Tottenham that a player with a long history at the club and plenty of experience was available to help in this situation. Similar to Liverpool picking up Adrian after Alisson Becker’s injury, Tottenham know what it’s getting in Vorm and may play him a few times if Gazzaniga needs a night off in the next few months.

According to Vorm, he had been home in his native Netherlands and was watching the game when he saw Lloris get injured.

“Obviously I saw straight away that he had a bad injury and at the time I thought about how bad it was, Vorm told Tottenham’s website. “After the game I spoke with Jan (Vertonghen), he told me what was going on and I spoke also with Toni (Jimenez, our goalkeeping coach) and, yes, during the week I got the phone call to ask if I was open to come back and help out. I’ve kept in contact with a lot of the players and also with Toni. We were speaking quite regularly and on Thursday he called me, we had the conversation and from there on, it went very quickly.”

In his five seasons with Tottenham, Vorm made a total of 47 appearances in all competitions. He saw plenty of time in the League Cup, FA Cup, UEFA Europa League and Champions League during his stay at White Hart Lane.

In-form striker Duvan Zapata injured on international duty

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This international break has been particularly brutal to clubs who have seen a host of key players go down with injuries, and there’s still a few days of matches remaining.

The latest player to succumb to injury is Atalanta striker Duvan Zapata who returned from Colombia duty with an adductor strain and will miss at least three weeks, according to Sky Sports Italia (via FootballItalia). Zapata went down 23 minutes into Colombia’s 0-0 friendly draw with Chile on Friday and was sent back to Italy for tests at his club.

Those tests have reportedly confirmed the initial fears. The loss of Zapata is a massive one for Atalanta, as the 28-year-old has been steadily building for years and is having a breakout start to this campaign, scoring six Serie A goals in seven matches plus one more in Champions League play, currently on a run of four consecutive games with a goal across all competitions. With Zapata’s help, Atalanta sits third in the Serie A table, having bagged the most goals of any team with 18 through seven games.

Zapata becomes the latest high-profile injury from this international break, joining Colombia teammate Alexis Sanchez who went down late in the same match and is reportedly out until 2020 with a serious ankle injury. Chelsea has been hit the hardest, with Andreas Christensen, Mateo Kovacic, and Reese James all pulling up while N’Golo Kante was injured in France warmups but he is expected to be fit for the weekend. Luka Modric may miss time after going down in a Euro qualifier against Wales, while Gareth Bale also picked up a knock in that match. Neymar went down in Brazil’s match against against Nigeria, which forced manager Tite to explain his reasoning for the selection in a friendly. Sergio Aguero is apparently struggling to train with Argentina thanks to a mystery injury confirmed by Lionel Scaloni. Arsenal’s Dani Ceballos withdrew from Spain training earlier in the week with “hamstring overload.” Atlanta United defender Miles Robinson left USMNT camp with a hamstring problem with the MLS playoffs on the horizon.