Premier League roundup: Pogba stars in derby; Merseyside snoozer

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Double Derby Day started with a snooze and ended with Manchester snapping the day awake with Manchester United’s comeback win over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

[ MORE: Bayern wins Bundesliga (again) ]

All that and more inside the Saturday roundup.

Manchester City 2-3 Manchester UnitedRECAP

The hosts looked comfortable and dominant in building a 2-0 halftime lead on goals from Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan, but perhaps the pressure of knowing a derby win would clinch the league title was too much to handle for the blue side of Manchester.

Paul Pogba scored two goals in 97 seconds, Chris Smalling snatched a match-winner, and Alexis Sanchez played a role in all three goals as Jose Mourinho’s men stymied City’s title hopes for the time being with a thrilling 3-2 win at the Etihad Stadium.

Everton 0-0 Liverpool — RECAP

Sam Allardyce‘s Toffees couldn’t finish their chances against a “B Team” Liverpool which still controlled the ball and outshot Everton 10-6 in a dull Merseyside Derby draw.

 

Watford 1-2 Burnley RECAP

The Clarets won their fourth-straight in ensuring their status as a Europa League participant if seventh place qualifies for the tournament. Sam Vokes and Jack Cork scored twice in three minutes to lead a comeback after Roberto Pereyra put the Hornets in front. Burnley is six points clear of Leicester with six matches each to play.

Stoke City 1-2 Tottenham HotspurRECAP

Christian Eriksen had a goal and an assist, and Harry Kane also started and scored as Spurs insured their Top Four hopes with a win at relegation-threatened Stoke City. Paul Lambert‘s men got a goal from Mame Biram Diouf, but are four points back of safety.

Leicester City 1-2 Newcastle United RECAP

Rafa Benitez never got his star striker in the transfer market, but has turned Newcastle United into a likely Premier League participant next season with terrific defense and creative play. Chelsea loanee Kenedy again starred, Jonjo Shelvey and Ayoze Perez both scored wondeful goals, and the Magpies moved into 10th, 10 points clear of the drop zone with a win. Jamie Vardy scored late to ruin Martin Dubravka‘s shutout.

 

Bournemouth 2-2 Crystal Palace — RECAP

Lys Mousset and Joshua King each scored equalizers, the latter quite late in the match, as Bournemouth managed a point against Roy Hodgson‘s resilient Eagles. Wilfried Zaha and Luka Milivojevic each scored stunners for Palace.

West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Swansea CityRECAP

Jay Rodriguez scored for caretaker manager Darren Moore, but Chelsea loanee Tammy Abraham nabbed a point for 15th place Swans. The Welsh side finishes the day four points clear of the drop zone.

Brighton and Hove Albion 1-1 Huddersfield TownRECAP

A quarter hour with a man advantage wasn’t enough for Huddersfield Town to complete its comeback bid at the Amex Stadium. Solly March scored early for hosts Brighton, who saw Davy Propper sent off for a tackle on Jonathan Hogg after the Gulls gifted an equalizer to Steve Mounie.

Pique: Copa-losing Barca still “really hurting” from UCL exit

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Barcelona was the favorite to win La Liga, the UEFA Champions League, and the Copa del Rey for the majority of the season, but only claimed one.

Liverpool’s amazing comeback to beat Barca in the second leg of the UCL semifinals met Saturday’s loss to Valencia in the Copa del Rey Final to give Barca a league title alone.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

Even with that La Liga advantage being decisive — Barca carried the table by 11 points over Atletico Madrid and finished 19 ahead of Real Madrid — there’s a very dour mood and promised change for the Camp Nou set.

And Gerard Pique says it all traces back to the loss against Liverpool. From The Liverpool Echo:

“I believe that if we had gotten through at Liverpool, we would have won the treble. We would have come here [to the Copa del Rey final] with a different mood, and I’m convinced we would have won the Champions League final, but that is football. We are really, really hurting.”

There are hints of a massive clear-out at Barcelona, with Lionel Messi and Pique two of the only safe bets to stay. When will Barca get over it?

Brazilian team tangles in locker room futmesa (video)

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It was defense versus attack in the Brazil dressing room.

Neymar and Gabriel Jesus squared off with international teammates Filipe Luis and Ederson in a game of futmesa/table soccer this week.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

Neymar and Filipe Luis are used to be on different sides of the field from their time in La Liga, while Jesus and Ederson are teammates at Manchester City.

Brazil is hosting this summer’s Copa America and is the favorite to win its first tournament since 2007, when it claimed its fourth in five tries.

It’s really impressive stuff for us normal to subpar athletes, even if standard for those with such deft talent.

Quite a winner from Man City’s young striker.

Jovic could see himself in Premier League, Serie A

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Maybe Luka Jovic’s presumed move to Real Madrid won’t happen this summer.

Or at all.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

The Eintracht Frankfurt striker has been tipped for a move away from the Bundesliga after another strong campaign, and taking the center forward reins from Karim Benzema at Real Madrid.

Several outlets reported the deal as done, but Jovic isn’t speaking that way (or at least the Serbian is throwing us off the scent.

From Goal.com:

“In terms of the physique, the Bundesliga is very demanding, but after the games against Chelsea or Inter Milan, I personally had the feeling that I could feel even better [playing] in the Premier League or Serie A. … The way the teams play there suits me better.”

Jovic scored 27 times in 48 appearances for Frankfurt, adding seven assists at the tender age of 21. Ten of those came in the Europa League, and we’re not talking about flooding the nets of minnows; Jovic scored against Chelsea (twice), Marseille (three), Lazio (two), and Inter Milan (once).

Report: Chelsea, Real $38M apart on Hazard

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How much for Hazard?

Real Madrid are willing to pay $127 million, no small fee, to bring Eden Hazard from Chelsea, but that’s well off the Blues’ evaluation according to Sky Sports.

Chelsea sees Hazard’s price as $165 million. Belgian writer Kristof Terreur told Sky that Hazard wants his future sorted by June 4.

[ MORE: Bayern wins double ]

The Blues’ superstar is entering the final year of his contract, and could begin negotiating with other clubs in January and leave on a free transfer.

Hazard turns 29 in January. He recorded 19 goals and 16 assists in 51 matches this season, his best output in a Blues uniform.

The report says Chelsea feels no pressure to sell Hazard, but it would be a surprise if it dug in its heels too deeply considering the state of the Belgian’s contract.

Even for Chelsea, letting over $100 million walk out the door is wild, and for all Hazard’s won with Chelsea there’s also been consternation under several managers and a more than occasional habit of disappointing on the table.