Chelsea 1-1 Huddersfield Town: Terriers safe

1 Comment
  • Depoitre scores
  • Alonso equalizes
  • Town out shot 22-3
  • Chelsea Top Four hopes on hold

Huddersfield Town held off a furious late rally to clinch Premier League safety and harpoon Chelsea’s Top Four hopes in a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

Laurent Depoitre scored for Town, and Marcos Alonso was the only one who could answer for Chelsea.

Town now has 37 points, leaving Southampton and Swansea as the only teams which can be relegated with West Brom and Stoke City.

Chelsea now has 70 points, two behind Liverpool.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Chelsea had the lion’s share of the chances, with Jonas Lossl busy as he’s been all season for the Terriers.

Yet it was Huddersfield who’d break the deadlock, as Aaron Mooy sent a long ball over the top and Wily Caballero’s clearing attempt didn’t cut muster.

The keeper was then clobbered, legally, by Depoitre, who slotted home.

Chelsea leveled in the 62nd minute, as Town’s clearance hammered Alonso in the face and went in like a purposeful header. Surely, it was not. 1-1.

An almighty 83rd minute scramble ended with Lossl’s full-extension tip of a shot off the post. It remained level.

Lossl stopped a hard 89th minute drive from Morata, and the goalkeeper collected a deflected Willian shot moments later.

Plenty of stoppage time was coming due to time wasting from Town.

 

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Firsts for Sane, Suele as Germany beats Russia in friendly (video)

AP Photo/Jens Meyer
Leave a comment

LEIPZIG, Germany (AP) Leroy Sane and Niklas Suele struck their first international goals to guide Germany to a 3-0 win over Russia in a friendly on Thursday.

The 2014 world champions, who surrendered their crown following a first-round exit in Russia in June, went 1-0 up thanks to an eighth-minute goal from Sane.

[ MORE: USMNT player ratings | 3 things ]

Suele added a second goal 17 minutes later before Serge Gnabry, who had set up Sane for the opener, made sure of victory five minutes before halftime.

The visitors improved after the break, with Aleksei Ionov going close as the intensity of the game dropped.

The 32-year-old Brazilian-born Ariclenes da Silva Ferreira, known as Ari, made his Russia debut but failed to make much of an impact and was substituted early in the second half.

Germany, which lost 2-1 in France and 3-0 in the Netherlands in its previous UEFA Nations League games, continues its campaign against the Dutch in Gelsenkirchen on Monday.

The Germans are bottom of League A, Group 1 with one point from three games and will be relegated on Friday if the Dutch beat world champion France in Rotterdam.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

UEFA Nations League wrap: Batshuayi stays hot, Croatia keeps England alive

Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Belgium and Croatia picked up big wins in UEFA Nations League play on Thursday, the most notable events from the day’s action

[ MORE: USMNT player ratings | 3 things ]


Croatia 3-2 Spain

England is alive thanks to a wild second half between two World Cup powers, with Spain twice equalizing before falling victim to a goal deep in stoppage time. That goal was the second from — excellent name alert — Tin Jedvaj.

If Croatia beats England on Sunday, Croatia moves onto the semifinals. If England wins, the Three Lions move on. A scoreless draw pushes Spain onto the finals and relegates Croatia, while a scoring draw moves Croatia above England and relegates the Three Lions.

Belgium 2-0 Iceland

Why he didn’t work for Chelsea, we don’t know, but Michy Batshuayi has scored everywhere else. That includes his national team, as the Red Devils now have firm control over Group A2 with a 2-0 defeat of Iceland. A draw against Switzerland in the group finale will be enough for Belgium to reach the semifinals.

Elsewhere
Austria 0-0 Bosnia and Herzegovina
San Marino 0-1 Moldova
Luxembourg 0-2 Belarus
Andorra 1-1 Georgia
Kazakhstan 1-1 Latvia
Hungary 2-0 Estonia
Greece 1-0 Finland

Calls for new head coach grow, as USMNT lack direction

Getty Images
1 Comment

LONDON — It is clear that the U.S. national team has been in quite a strange place for the last 13 months. And not good, strange.

[ MORE: Angry Pulisic hits out

Since Dave Sarachan took charge on an interim basis last October after the huge blow of not making the 2018 World Cup, the U.S. have played friendly and friendly and used over 50 players to try and find out whatever they can about the next crop of talent.

But what is the end game? What direction are the U.S. heading in?

Against a reserve England side at Wembley on Thursday, Sarachan’s youngster started slowly and never fully recovered despite Christian Pulisic and Bobby Wood going close to scoring in each half. They were outclassed throughout the 3-0 defeat and their play lacked a cutting edge. Subconsciously they must feel like they’re stuck in a holding pattern until the next permanent head coach arrives.

The fans, players and everyone who watches the team want the next step now. They want to move on from the wreckage of World Cup qualification failure.

[ MORE: 3 things we learned | Player ratings ] 

Sarachan has done all he can to push these players on and give them chances, but with so many players coming in and out the disjointed nature of the USMNT’s recent displays are to be expected.

But the reports of Gregg Berhalter set to take charge rumbling on for at least another few weeks, a lack of direction appears to be hurting this team badly.

“Dave is doing what he can and obviously he wants to win these games too, just like we do,” Pulisic said. “It is going to help a lot once we get a permanent head coach, moving forward with a guy who has a real plan and a style we want to play. He is going to help us a lot.”

Pulisic is only saying what everyone is thinking.

Brad Guzan, who was the most experienced U.S. player on the pitch on Thursday with 60 caps, admitted that everyone connected with the USMNT wants this situation sorted out as quickly as possible.

“Everyone is eager to see who that is, not just the players, fans, Dave [Sarachan], everybody involved with U.S. Soccer,” Guzan said. “As a national team, of course you want that direction and whatnot but ultimately when you step across the white line to a certain extent tactics go out of the window and you have to be able to play with a bit of desire and fight. We probably showed them too much respect in the first half.”

Sarachan, to his credit, has been exceptional in his handling of this situation.

He has handed chances to young players against France, Colombia, Brazil and now England, and the way he has encouraged them to step up to the international level must be remembered a few years down the line when the likes of Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams and Tim Weah are in their prime.

“These fixtures are great fixtures for our young guys. There is a lot of lessons learned when you play teams like England and the form they’re in and and the way they play and the quality they have in a tough environment. It showed,” Sarachan said. “In my mind in the first half we were a little timid and allowed a little too much space, their spacing and movement was very challenging for our group. As much as we talked about it, watched and scouted England, it is still on the players to sort through that.”

Right now, the players need more support from someone they know is going to be around beyond next week. That lack of uncertainty is hurting the development of this team.

13 months on from being hired as an interim head coach, Sarachan is still in charge. This situation should have never been allowed to get to this stage. Of course, the U.S. Soccer Presidential election in February and a change of leadership impacted this situation, but USMNT General Manager Earnie Stewart, who started his new gig in August, should not have waited this long to bring in someone on a permanent basis.

The damage this ‘lost year’ will do on the USMNT long-term remains to be seen but it is clear everyone is pushing for one thing. A permanent head coach. Now.

National Women’s Soccer League recognizes players union

Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Lifetime
Leave a comment

CHICAGO (AP) The National Women’s Soccer League has formally recognized the NWSL Players Association as the exclusive bargaining representative for the league’s players.

[ MORE: USMNT player ratings | 3 things ]

The NWSLPA represents current and future players who have signed standard player agreements with the NWSL. U.S. national team players who are allocated throughout the league are represented by the U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association.

“We’ve now achieved official status as a labor union, but we intend to approach our relationship with the league in a very different way than what comes to mind with traditional labor relations,” said union President Yael Averbuch, who plays for the Seattle Reign. “The NWSLPA is glad to continue a collaborative relationship with the league, with the health and sustainability of the league central to the ongoing relationship.”

The NWSL just wrapped up its sixth season.