Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

PL roundup: Saints go marching up; Chelsea close in on 4th

Leave a comment

A roundup of all of Saturday’s action in the Premier League…

[ MORE: Southampton a point from safety | Chelsea two points back of 4th ]

Southampton 2-1 BournemouthFULL RECAP

If Southampton are to stave off relegation this season, Saturday’s south coast derby triumph over Bournemouth will likely be remembered as the turning point. Saints entered the weekend in 19th place, four points behind 17th-place Swansea City. Thanks to Dusan Tadic‘s brace (WATCH HERE) at St. Mary’s Stadium, and Swansea’s narrow defeat to Chelsea, Southampton now occupy 18th place and trail the Swans by a single point. On May 8, the next-to-last game of the season for both sides, Swansea host Southampton.

Liverpool 0-0 Stoke CityFULL RECAP

One could call Liverpool’s scoreless draw with 18th- (now 19th-)place Stoke a hangover after the emotional toll of Tuesday’s Champions League semifinals first-leg thrashing of Roma, but in truth the Reds were their typically dominant selves, only without the precision and final touch which have come to define their campaign. Having out-shot the Potters by a margin of 20-5, Liverpool managed just two shots on target (1 for Stoke) while holding more than 72 percent of the game’s possession. Jurgen Klopp‘s side sits third, four points clear of Tottenham Hotspur, who now have two games in hand.

Swansea City 0-1 ChelseaFULL RECAP

Cesc Fabregas scored the game’s only goal, in the 4th minute, as fifth-place Chelsea continued their mini-revival (three straight wins) and their bid to reel in Tottenham and realize an unlikely top-four finish. The gap between the London powers is just two points, though Spurs have a game in hand, which they’ll play at home against Watford on Monday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com), on the Blues.

Crystal Palace 5-0 Leicester CityFULL RECAP

Either Claude Puel‘s Leicester players are already on a beach for the summer (a top-10 finish is all but mathematically guaranteed), or Roy Hodgson convinced his Palace players that every team below them in the PL table would win every game they play for the rest of the season thus they needed one more (truly emphatic) victory to secure their top-division status for next season (they now sit 11th, six points clear of the drop zone). Either way, the Eagles made light work of the 10-man Foxes, courtesy of five different goalscorers delighted the Selhurst Park faithful.

Burnley 0-0 Brighton & Hove AlbionFULL RECAP

Burnley’s bid to usurp Arsenal for a top-six finish likely came to an end on Saturday. It was already a long shot (four-point deficit to make up, having already played one more game), thus a scoreless draw with Brighton leaves Sean Dyche‘s men three points behind the Gunners with only two games left to play (Arsenal have four).

Huddersfield Town 0-2 EvertonFULL RECAP

Huddersfield are probably safe, given the fact that both Swansea and Southampton would have to make up two- and three-point gaps in order to leapfrog them and see the Terriers to fall to 18th, but a point (or all three) at home against Everton would have put to bed any lingering fears. Alas, Cenk Tosun and Idrissa Gueye scored to all but lock the Toffees into an eighth-place finish following a disastrous start to the season which looked headed for a relegation battle for a number of months.

Newcastle United 0-1 West Bromwich AlbionFULL RECAP

West Brom beat Newcastle to delay the inevitable, their relegation to the Championship, courtesy of Matt Phillips‘ 29th-minute winner. Even still, the Baggies are five points from safety with just two games left to play. The next time they drop two points (or Swansea win two), they’ll be gone.

Sunday’s PL schedule

West Ham United vs. Manchester City — 9:15 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com
Manchester United vs. Arsenal — 11:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

Monday’s PL schedule

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Watford — 3 p.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

LIVE, Bundesliga: Gladbach, Dortmund face desperate Union, Paderborn

Bundesliga live how to watch
Photo by Andreas Gora/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Leave a comment

Top four contenders Borussia Monchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund meet relegation-threatened Union Berlin and Paderborn, respectively, as Weeek 29 in the Bundesliga hits Sunday.

Dortmund needs a win to keep pace with presumed champions Bayern Munich, which has a 10-point lead entering Sunday, while Gladbach can climb into third with a win.

[ Bundesliga: Live scores | Saturday roundup | Bayern blowout  ] 

Union opens the day just four points clear of the drop zone, while bottom-dwelling Paderborn has been playing much better but remains nine points back of safety.

Matchweek 29 in the Bundesliga will again see games played in empty stadiums, which is the plan for the rest of the season and beyond. If you’re new to Germany’s top-flight, here’s a guide to help you pick a club to support.

Schedule

  • Gladbach v. Union Berlin — 9:30 a.m. ET
  • Paderborn v. Borussia Dortmund — Noon ET

How to Watch the Bundesliga

  • When: Friday, May 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: FS2
  • Stream LiveVia Fox Soccer
  • USMNT or eligible players in action: Giovanni Reyna (Dortmund), Julian Ryerson (Union)

You can check out the full schedulestandings and find out how to watch the action, while we will have you covered right here on ProSoccerTalk with analysis, reaction and more.

[ MORE: Takeaways from Week 28 of the Bundesliga ]

Transfer news: Werner to Chelsea; Sanchez to Inter

Werner
Getty Images
Leave a comment

In the latest transfer news Timo Werner is reportedly being chased by Chelsea, while Alexis Sanchez could be staying at Inter Milan instead of returning to Man United.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

First up, a juicy report from Bild says that Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger is trying to convince his Germany teammate and close friend Timo Werner to join hm at Stamford Bridge.

Werner, 24, has dazzled at RB Leipzig this season (31 goals in 40 games in all competitions) and is widely expected to leave with Liverpool, Man United and many others clubs across Europe chasing his signature. Per the report, Chelsea have Rudiger working hard to convince his friend and former Stuttgart teammate that west London is the place for him.

The release clause on Werner’s current contract is said to be $60 million and Chelsea are one of the few clubs who have a healthy transfer budget as they had a transfer ban for a whole year and Frank Lampard has just spent $44 million on one new signing so far, bringing in Hakim Ziyech who will not arrive until later this summer.

Werner is exactly what Chelsea need. They have created so many golden goalscoring opportunities and although Tammy Abraham was putting them away at the start of the season, his form and fitness was a concern in the last few months before the suspension.

Olivier Giroud is their only other forward option and Werner would be perfect to finish off the chances this attack-minded Chelsea team create. Even better for him, he would actually play at Chelsea which may not be the case at Liverpool and Man United given their stacked attacking lineups.

Sanchez
Getty Images

Heading to Manchester, it appears Alexis Sanchez may not be going back to his parent club next season.

Sanchez, 31, is on loan at Inter Milan for the 2019-20 season and the Daily Express claim that he could stay at Inter rather than heading back to Old Trafford despite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer previously saying he was open to the idea. Per the report, Man United are keen to loan Sanchez out to Inter once again on a similar arrangement and the Serie A side are willing to see how Sanchez does when the season restarts in a few weeks. With Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and others around at Man United, he may struggle for minutes at Man United.

Would another loan be a good move for Inter?

Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez have been their main strikers this season under Antonio Conte, with Sanchez out injured for large chunks of the campaign and then doing okay when he did play. However, with Martinez chased by Barcelona, if they do sell the Argentine forward for over $115 million, having Sanchez around on loan would soften the blow.

The main problem with Sanchez is that over the last three years he has picked up consistent injury problems. If he can shake those issues off, we all know he is capable of scoring goals and creating havoc. Given this recent track record though, that’s a big if, as he’s scored just one goal and added three assists in 15 outings for Inter this season.

Premier League confirm zero positive COVID-19 test results

Premier League
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Following the latest batch of tests on players and club staff the Premier League have revealed that zero out of 1130 COVID-19 tests taken on Thursday and Friday have come back positive.

Zero.

The fourth round of testing is the first time that no positive tests have come back, as a total of 3,882 COVID-19 tests have now been carried out with 12 positive results.

All players and staff at Premier League clubs will be tested twice a week during the strict return to training protocols put in place, as full contact training is now up and running and a restart date of June 17 has been set.

Here is the statement from the Premier League in full:


The Premier League can today confirm that on Thursday 28 May and Friday 29 May, 1130 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19. Of these, zero have tested positive.

The Premier League is providing this aggregated information for the purposes of competition integrity and transparency. No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided by the League and results will be made public after each round of testing.

Previous test results

Round 1: 17-18 May – 748 tested, with six testing positive from three clubs.
Round 2: 19-22 May – 996 tested, with two testing positive from two clubs.
Round 3: 25-26 May – 1,008 tested, with four testing positive from two clubs.


This is more good news for the Premier League as the UK government gave the green light for elite sport in the UK to return from June 1 in empty stadiums, as the top-flight of English soccer continues to clear each hurdle in its way to finishing the final 92 games of the 2019-20 season.

With just over two weeks to go until the action returns, Premier League clubs will have to keep these test results low for the restart to take place.

Bayern Munich batter Fortuna, go 10 points clear at the top (video)

Bayern Munich
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Bayern Munich are waltzing their way to an eight-straight Bundesliga title as they battered Fortuna Dusseldorf 5-0 on Saturday at the Allianz Arena to record an eight-straight win in the German top-flight.

[ MORE: Schalke lose again; Saturday recap ]

An own goal, two from Robert Lewandowsk and a goal each from Benjamin Pavard and Alphonso Davies did the damage to Fortuna as Bayern Munich are now just three wins away from securing the title, as they have five games left in the season.

Hansi Flick has now won 22 of his 25 games in charge of Bayern Munich after he took charge in November with the German giants struggling under Niko Kovac. Now, they are rampant and are one of the favorites to win the UEFA Champions League.

The Bavarian giants dominated early on as USMNT midfielder Alfredo Morales made an important clearance but Mathias Jorgensen was so lucky a few moments later.

[ MORE: Bundesliga schedule, stats

A ball into the box found Benjamin Pavard and his scuffed effort was going wide before it hit Jorgensen and went into his own goal.

Bayern then doubled their lead as Thomas Muller’s shot was pushed wide and from the resulting corner Pavard nodded home to make it 2-0.

Lewandowski made it 3-0 before the break as he has now scored against all of the current Bundesliga clubs and had previously gone without a goal in five outings against Fortuna.

Kimmich’s surging round saw the loose ball find Muller and his pass to Lewandowski was perfect as he swept home to an empty net.

Lewandowski was at it again just a few minutes after the break as he finished off a slick Bayern move as the Bavarian giants put their foot on the accelerator.

Alphonso Davies made it 5-0 as he bulldozed his way through the Fortuna defense and slotted home, while Muller and Pavard went close to adding a sixth and Fortuna had the odd chance on the break.

In the end, the victory was as routine as possible for Bayern Munich who have more than one hand on the Bundesliga title.