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PL roundup: Races tighten everywhere but the top

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Get caught up on all nine of Saturday’s Premier League fixtures…

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Manchester City 4-0 BournemouthFULL RECAP

The winning streak continues, now at 17 games, for the 2017-18 PL champions-elect. Pep Guardiola‘s men holds a 13-point lead, which is the largest lead a side has ever held at the halfway point of the season in top-flight history. The gamut of superlatives has been exhausted, so we’ll let the highlights do the talking from now on.

Leicester City 2-2 Manchester UnitedFULL RECAP

Speaking of highlights, these won’t be too kind to Man United’s assortment of attacking stars. After failing time after time to put the Red Devils 3-1 ahead, they were made to pay by a 94th-minute equalizer by Harry Maguire. Fortunately for them, the difference between winning and drawing is that of a 13-point deficit, versus an 11-deficit. Neither is at all likely to be overturned, so the tree falls in the forest with virtually no one around to hear it make a sound.

Burnley 0-3 Tottenham HotspurFULL RECAP

Harry Kane‘s back to his old ways, scoring goals in bunches (his seventh hat trick of 2017), and sitting in a familiar place once again (joint-top of the PL goal-scoring charts). With one game still to play in 2017, he’s level with Alan Shearer for the most goals scored (36) during a calendar year in the PL.

Everton 0-0 ChelseaFULL RECAP

Thanks to the Man United result and Liverpool’s exhilarating draw with Arsenal on Friday, third-place Chelsea didn’t lose any ground on either of the sides immediately above or below them in the table.

Stoke City 3-1 West Bromwich AlbionFULL RECAP

Mark Hughes‘ Stoke snapped a three-game losing streak by hammering 19th-place West Brom at the bet365 Stadium. The victory vaulted the Potters from 17th in the PL table all the way up to 14th, now a full three points clear of the relegation zone.

West Ham United 2-3 Newcastle UnitedFULL RECAP

Even more imperative, it was a four-game losing streak that Newcastle snapped with a 3-2 win at the London Stadium. The Magpies started the weekend 18th in the table, but will sit 15th on Christmas, now two points clear of 18th-place Bournemouth.

Swansea City 1-1 Crystal PalaceFULL RECAP

Leon Britton made his (interim) managerial debut on Saturday, and guided Swansea to a 1-1 draw with fellow relegation battler Crystal Palace. Alas, the point won isn’t enough to lift the Swans out of the PL basement, and they sit four points away from safety after 19 of 38 games. Palace slipped to 16th.

Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 WatfordFULL RECAP

Pascal Gross, who’ll undoubtedly go down as one of the (budget-friendly) signings of the season, scored the only goal in Brighton’s victory over Watford. While the Seagulls sit 12th at the halfway point of the season, their 21 points put them just as close (within five points) to 18th place as they are 9th. On the bright side, they’re more than halfway to the magical 40-point mark, which is looking far more than the required haul to avoid relegation this season.

Southampton 1-1 Huddersfield TownFULL RECAP

Saints are winless in their last six PL games, and have slipped to 13th in the table. Not many would have had Huddersfield, who sit 11th, above them after more than a month of the season.

Americans on both sides, Weah scores as PSG fall to Bayern (video)

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Two hopes of the USMNT’s future — one more immediate than the other — squared off in the International Champions Cup on Saturday.

Paris Saint-Germain teenager Timothy Weah, 18, went 90 minutes and scored his side’s only goal in the 3-1 loss in Austria.

[ MORE: Neymar on diving ]

On the other side of the field was 62nd minute substitute Chris Richards, far less known to the American supporter.

Richards is on loan from FC Dallas, where he’s a Homegrown Player. The 18-year-old center back is going to play for Bayern’s U-19 side following a successful trial in April.

Both Bayern and PSG were without key pieces, as Weah went up against a decent Bayern back line of Juan Bernat, Javi Martinez, Josip Stanisic, and Rafinha.

Arjen Robben, Sandro Wagner, and Franck Ribery were the biggest names in Bayern’s XI, while David Alaba, Kingsley Coman, and Serge Gnabry came off the bench.

For PSG, Gianluigi Buffon started as did Adrien Rabiot.

Weah’s goal is below, and here’s what he had to say about it:

“It’s an amazing feeling and getting a well-done job. Me scoring goals, I was really happy to get my first goal for PSG and first goal in this competition. We’re going to Singapore with our head on our shoulders. We’re going to be really humble and keep playing.”

Klopp talks Pulisic, Liverpool’s spending

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Jurgen Klopp admits he’d love to work with Christian Pulisic again, but isn’t going to butt his nose into Borussia Dortmund’s business.

Speaking ahead of Liverpool’s International Champions Cup match against BVB, Klopp was asked about his interest in the American teenager.

[ MORE: Josef Martinez bags 3 more ]

Klopp was quick to point out that Pulisic is under contract to Dortmund and not for sale, as much as he’s aware.

From The Liverpool Echo:

“He had not his best season last year but he was still a decisive player but it’s important in that age group that there’s no rush. He still has 14 or 15 years to play in his career and that’s good and he wants to be the best Pulisic he can be. For this, there is still space for development.

“If – at one point – he will join us, I don’t know. I like him, it’s not that that could be the problem, but we respect contracts still and there’s no market I know about at the moment. We did our business and Dortmund are doing theirs. All good.”

Also all good? Klopp’s evolution on spending after blasting other Premier League clubs for big money buys in the past.

Klopp said he would quit football if transfer fees like Paul Pogba‘s became the norm. Well, they have, and no club has spent as much money as the Reds this summer.

“That’s the problem these days, hey? Whatever b.s. you say, nobody will forget it. On the other side, it’s still kind of true. I couldn’t have imagined since then that the world would change like it has. Two years ago £100million was a crazy number. Since then the world has changed completely.”

He said he’s going to do whatever it takes to make Liverpool successful, and Klopp now has the world’s most expensive goalkeeper and most expensive defender in his squad.

Lodeiro brace gives Seattle’s faint playoff hopes a lifeline

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In Major League Soccer’s forgiving playoff structure, there’s almost always a way back into the mix.

When your team has a talent like Nicolas Lodeiro, your chances get magnified quite a bit.

[ MORE: Josef Martinez bags 3 more ]

Lodeiro scored twice, once from the spot, and Seattle debuted its new Designated Player in a 2-0 Cascadia Cup win over Vancouver on Saturday.

Seattle is now eight points back of the West’s final playoff spot with 15 to play in its season. And the Sounders join Portland on three Cascadia Cup points, with the Timbers beating Seattle in the other cup match of the season.

Raul Ruidiaz came off the bench for the Sounders, and showed early glimpses of why Seattle wanted the World Cup participant from Peru.

The ‘Caps finished the match with 10 men thanks to a red card on Efrain Juarez, who saw yellow and then made contact with the referee.

The second goal took a vicious turn on its way to making goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic look capital-A awkward.

MLS 3 Things: Unstoppable Martinez grills DC in surge toward record

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Josef Martinez bagged his MLS record sixth career hat trick, and moved to within five goals of the single season goal record as Atlanta United battered DC United 3-1 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday.

[ MORE: Caps’ Davies nears Bayern move ]

1) The MLS record book better get used to his name: Martinez now has 22 goals in 22 matches this season, and he’s going to break the Major League Soccer single season goal record if he’s at least half as productive over the final 12 matches.

Martinez has goals in nine of his last 10 matches. He got luck to set up his third, but look at this composed finish.

2) Another American milestone: 18-year-old USMNT prospect Andrew Carleton made his first MLS start and helped set-up Martinez’s second goal, which gave Atlanta United its first lead.

3) Rooney fails to find score sheet: England hero Wayne Rooney couldn’t find a goal or assist after picking up one of the latter in his debut. This time it was a start for Rooney, who went 66 minutes and earned a yellow card to go with his second shot.