Watford stay perfect, beat Crystal Palace in fiery encounter

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  • 3 wins from 3 for Watford
  • Pereyra, Holebas put them ahead
  • Wilfried Zaha scores for Palace
  • Zaha’s 7th goal in last 9 games

Watford beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at Vicarage Road on Sunday with Javi Gracia‘s Hornets making it three wins from three to start the new Premier League season.

That is the first time in 20 years they’ve won their opening three games of a campaign and the first time they’ve ever done that in the Premier League.

After a feisty first half which saw plenty of late challenges fly in, Andreas Pereyra put Watford ahead in the second half and Jose Holebas doubled the lead with a cross which flew into the far corner.

Wilfried Zaha, booed throughout after early yellow cards for and against him, pulled one back for Palace but it wasn’t enough to stop Roy Hodgson‘s boys slumping to back-to-back defeats.

With the win Watford remain perfect with nine points from nine, while Palace stay on three points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

Palace started the game brightly and Etienne Capoue was booked for catching Zaha inside the first five minutes. Andros Townsend‘s clipped cross to the back post found Zaha and Christian Benteke unmarked but the latter headed wide.

Zaha was booked himself for a late challenge on Jose Holebas in a fiery start to the game.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Benteke went even closer moments later as Townsend’s cross found the Belgian but his header was well-saved by Ben Foster. And a few minutes later Foster denied the onrushing James McArthur

Watford’s best chance of the first half arrived as Pereyra’s shot was deflected over by McArthur when it seemed certain to fly in. Pereyra then curled an effort towards the far post which Wayne Hennessey saved comfortably in the end. At the other end McArthur again broke free but a wonderful last-ditch tackle from Holebas denied him.

Right on half time Daryl Janmaat then drilled a shot just wide of the far post as Watford finished the half strongly.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Pereyra gave Watford the lead after the break as a powerful run forward from Capoue saw the Argentinian cut in and curl home a beauty into the far corner. 1-0.

Palace pushed hard to get back into the game and Benteke curled a powerful effort inches wide of the post as the Eagles went so close to an equalizer.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Watford then made it 2-0 with a bizarre goal from Holebas as his cross from the left flew over everyone, including Palace goalkeeper Hennessey, and into the far corner.

Moments later Palace halved the deficit as Zaha scored from close range to become their leading all-time goalscorer in the PL and make it 2-1.

In the 96th minute Joel Ward somehow headed wide when unmarked from a corner as Palace went so close to snatching a dramatic equalizer.

But Watford held on for the win as they remain the surprise package of the opening month of the season.

World record-holding manager Gutendorf dies at 93

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The world record holder for most teams managed has died at the age of 93.

Rudi Gutendorf, who managed in the United States with the NASL’s St. Louis Stars (1968), last managed in 2003 when he led the Samoa national team.

[ MORE: Maguire shining for Man Utd ]

Those are two of 55 teams he led onto the pitch, 22 of which were national teams. He led teams from CONCACAF (Trinidad and Tobago), CAF (Ghana), CONMEBOL (Chile), OFC (Fiji), and AFC (Australia).

The German-born Gutendorf did a lot of his club work in Europe, leading clubs as big as Hamburg, Schalke, Real Valladolid, and Hertha Berlin.

Gutendorf managed Rwanda in the wake of the country’s dark civil war. From DW.com:

“Such hate, you cannot believe. I was able to unite these two tribes to play football, and good football,” he said in a 2013 interview of the mixed Rwandan team of Hutu and Tutsi players.

What a fascinating career Gutendorf had, and the stories he’s told.

Man Utd’s Maguire “showed what a man he is” versus Leicester

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Manchester United is still working to find its form as a team, but center back Harry Maguire continued his run of fine performances when the Red Devils beat his former team on Saturday.

United beat Leicester City 1-0 on the day, a Marcus Rashford penalty the difference, but Maguire and fellow new back Aaron Wan-Bissaka were again exceptional.

[ RECAP: Man Utd 1-0 Leicester City ]

Ashley Young has been through a few iterations of Manchester United, and the long-time club offered up lofty words to credit Maguire’s contributions to the team.

“Again he showed today what a man he is,” Young said. “You know, I think the manager’s said about him, he talks non-stop, he’s a real leader and he can play as well.”

Maguire won five aerial battles and two tackles while completing 83 percent of his passes and managing two shots against his former side (WhoScored). On the season, only Anthony Martial has consistently been more important to the team.

He also did not record a loss of possession, and seemingly was unbothered by plenty of criticism from the traveling fans. From The Manchester Evening News:

“I don’t think it bothers (Maguire) whatsoever,” said Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. “You’ve got to be that way and when you play, when you coach, when you manage, we don’t get carried away when we win a game that we maybe didn’t deserve to win, but we don’t get in the dumps when we don’t win.”

Solskjaer also loved Maguire and Victor Lindelof for their performance against pesky Leicester star Jamie Vardy.

“I’ve got loads of admiration for Vardy,” Solskjaer said. “I think he’s my type of centre forward, runs in in behind, harasses and you’ve got to be spot on with the decision-making, when to stay up, when to drop off, and both of them proved their worth today. There were a couple of races and Harry did well.”

Maguire didn’t love being on the other side of Vardy, either.

“It was tough playing against Jamie,” he said. “I’ve played with him for two years and he is a top player who can terrorize defenses when he is on his game. … We knew it was important to get the win, especially after the international break. We have to build on a solid base and we want to keep clean sheets, especially at Old Trafford. We are always going to score goals with the attacking talent we have.”

United hosts Kazakhstan’s Astana on Thursday in the Europa League before visiting West Ham United on Sept. 22.

Watch Live: Bournemouth v. Everton

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Dominic Calvert-Lewin gets the start up top as Everton looks to take down hosts Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday (Watch live at 9 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Alex Iwobi, Gylfi Sigurdsson, and Richarlison join Calvert-Lewin in attack for the Toffees, who can go fourth with a win.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Bournemouth enters the day in 16th, a point ahead of the bottom three, but can rise into the top half with a win. Early season vibes.

LINEUPS

Bournemouth: Ramsdale, Rico, Ake, Cook, Stacey, Solanke, Billing, L. S. Cook, Wilson, King, Wilson. Subs: Boruc, Surman, Lerma, Ibe, Fraser, Simpson, Mepham.

Everton: Pickford, Digne, Mina, Keane, Coleman, Delph, Schneiderlin, Iwobi, Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin. Subs: Stekelenburg, Holgate, Walcott, Sidibe, Bernard, Davies, Kean.

USWNT legend O’Reilly scores stunner on night to honor her career

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USWNT hero and North Carolina Courage playmaker Heather O’Reilly gave her special day its just desserts.

The 34-year-old New Jersey native scored a sweet goal late in North Carolina’s 6-1 demolition of Orlando Pride on Saturday night, which just so happened to be the evening chosen to celebrate her 17-year career.

[ MORE: Fan banned from all NWSL games ]

O’Reilly dribbled down the left before cutting to the middle and slashing a shot across the goal and inside the far post.

She has 231 USWNT caps with 47 goals, a Women’s World Cup crown, three Olympic gold medals, three top-flight domestic titles, two Women’s College Cups, and an FA Cup with Arsenal Ladies.

The Courage have four matches left in the regular season and look set to again be the No. 1 seed, so O’Reilly may yet have more memorable moments left in her playing career.