Dele Alli delivers perfect response to criticism

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Dele Alli answered his critics defiantly on Sunday with a silky second half double at Chelsea to end Tottenham’s 28-year wait for a win at Stamford Bridge.

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After a disappointing week away with the English national team, Alli delivered on his 100th Premier League appearance.

Alli, 21, played 22 minutes for England during the international break as he didn’t even feature against Italy and manager Gareth Southgate seemed to suggest it was down to the form of the Tottenham midfielder. All the talk was about the demise of Alli…

Well, Southgate won’t have to worry Alli being out of form any longer as his first goal against Chelsea was a thing of beauty as he plucked the ball out of the air delicately before rifling home an instinctive finish off the post. His second was a calm finish as he slinked around the box to heap misery on the Chelsea fans booing his every touch.

Despite his two-goal display, Alli knows one thing: haters gonna hate.

“I’m sure people will still be disappointed with the way I’ve played. They’ll have something to say,” Alli told Sky Sports. “For me, it was just about helping the team as much as I can. Like I’ve said before, what people say, I try not to let it affect me as much as I can. I don’t think I had a point to prove. I just had to get into the starting 11 and help the team.”

Alli has had an up and down season for Spurs in his third season in the Premier League but it’s like everyone has forgotten that he won two-straight PFA Young Player of the Year awards in his first two seasons in the PL, scoring 28 goals over the two campaigns. Talk about his dives in and around the box and his hot-headed demeanor has intensified since his form has tailed off somewhat but he still has eight goals this season and is on track to get double figures for the third season on the trot in the PL.

The only midfielder in Premier League history to score or assist more goals in his first 100 games is Matt Le Tissier as Alli continues to churn out key performances. With Harry Kane missing from the starting lineup through injury on Sunday, he stood tall at Stamford Bridge to deliver a long-awaited win for Tottenham.

At 21 years of age he still has plenty of maturing to do but as his manager Mauricio Pochettino said to NBC’s analysts after the game, we have to realize just how much pressure is on Alli at such a young age.

Every time he has been questioned or criticized he always has an answer. That is the sign of a top class player and that is exactly what Alli is.

Liga MX wrap: Xolos beats Chivas as Apertura begins

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Liga MX’s Apertura season is off and running with all 18 clubs partaking in a match this weekend.

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Club Tijuana 2-1 Chivas Guadalajara

Scoreless at the half, the weekend’s marquee match sprang to life in the final 45. Juan Martin Lucero gave TJ a 54th minute lead before Jose Van Rankin knotted it up five minutes later.

Lucero assisted Jose Rivero’s 75th minute winner, which was helped in its status when Michael Perez took a red card in the 80th.

Cruz Azul 3-0 Puebla

Elias Hernandez scored a goal and added an assist, and Milton Caraglio put one of his five shots on goal into the net. Andres Renteria also scored in the win.

Tigres 2-0 Leon

Andre-Pierre Gignac scored, and Lucas Zelarayan marked a goal and an assist in the win.

Elsewhere
Necaxa 2-1 Club America
Toluca 2-0 Morelia
Santos Laguna 2-1 Lobos BUAP
Pachuca 0-1 Monterrey
Veracruz 0-2 Pumas UNAM
Atlas 0-0 Queretaro

Report: Colorado acquires USMNT mid Acosta for Badji

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The West’s first place team is switching it up in a big way.

FC Dallas is sending Homegrown Player and USMNT midfielder Kellyn Acosta to Western foes Colorado Rapids in exchange for striker Dominique Badji, according to a report by The Dallas Morning News.

[ MORE: Pulisic rips up Liverpool ]

Acosta, 22, has 17 caps and a goal for the U.S., and is primarily a defensive midfielder. He’s also played right and left back.

He’s appeared 139 times for Dallas, scoring 13 times with nine assists, but had fallen out with head coach Oscar Pareja. He’s also struggled mightily on the field, according to WhoScored.

Badji, 25, has seven goals and three assists in 16 matches for the Rapids this season, building on an eight-goal, five-assist campaign last season.

FCD has gotten six goals out of forward Maxi Urruti, and there’s been little production from anyone else. Cristian Colman is out with an ankle injury and managed just a pair of goals in 399 minutes.

The risk of trading Acosta is mitigated by the continued speculation that he may test the waters of European soccer. Badji’s a quality player, but Colorado may’ve gotten a bargain in its push to escape the dregs of the West.

Quintero, Loons pick LAFC apart in five-star win (video)

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Minnesota United throttled LAFC on Sunday, using a Christian Ramirez brace to batter the hot expansion team 5-1 in Minnesota.

Darwin Quintero had a goal and two assists for the Loons, who took advantage of LAFC’s decision not to start dominant forward Adama Diomande and center back Walker Zimmerman.

[ MORE: Marketing Pulisic with BVB ]

Quintero ripped off seven shots, putting five on goal. He now has 10 goals and five assists since joining the Loons after scoring two and eight in 29 matches for Club America last year.

Miguel Ibarra recorded a goal and an assist, while Rasmus Schuller also scored. LAFC’s goal came courtesy Benny Feilhaber.

Minnesota’s Bobby Shuttleworth and LA’s Tyler Miller each made six saves in their goals.

LAFC fails in a bid to make up points on Western Conference first seed FC Dallas, while the Loons now can eye a playoff spot in the West.

Already-thin Liverpool center back corps loses Matip to quad injury

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Liverpool’s 3-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund featured an injury to a position with very little depth.

The Reds lost Joel Matip to what Jurgen Klopp said could possibly be a “small tear” in one of his quads.

[ MORE: Marketing Pulisic with BVB ]

If Matip, 26, needs any significant time to heal up, he’ll put a major question mark into Liverpool’s opening day center back pairing.

Virgil Van Dijk, who scored against BVB on Sunday, already won’t have Dejan Lovren as a partner thanks to a post-World Cup vacation.

That leaves Joe Gomez and Ragnar Klavan as options next to Van Dijk.

Matches at Crystal Palace and home to Brighton and Hove Albion follow the Aug. 12 visit from West Ham.