What did we learn from PL Saturday, Week 4?

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Saturday is in the book for Week 4 of the 2018-19 Premier League season.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

What did we learn?

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Below we focus on the key takeaways from the seven games ahead of the two-week international break.


Chelsea, Liverpool stay perfect but title credentials unclear
Don’t get me wrong. Four wins from four is a fantastic start for Chelsea and Liverpool. But there are a few worrying signs which suggest their title challenges with Manchester City and Tottenham may have a few hiccups along the way. Liverpool almost blew a 2-0 lead at Leicester and apart from the first 15 minutes they struggled to control the tempo of the game. Their goalkeeper Alisson made a huge mistake to allow Leicester to score and hasn’t learned from his lessons of the faster tempo of the game in England with the ball at his feet. Jurgen Klopp won’t be too worried, but there are signs in their last two games that Liverpool are struggling to inject the same energy into their play as they did throughout last season. As for Chelsea, they again looked susceptible on the break at home against Bournemouth and had Nathan Ake not missed a sitter it would’ve been intriguing to see how they reacted. In the end the quality of Pedro and Eden Hazard delivered another win and although Maurizio Sarri talked about their title credentials, you have to feel that Chelsea must improve defensively if they’re going to make a serious challenge. Going forward both Chelsea and Liverpool have everything they need to punish any team in the Premier League. Question marks remain about their defensive unit despite perfect starts to the season.


Southampton, Wolves off and running; European charge next?
Going into Week 4 there had been plenty of promising displays for Southampton and Wolverhampton but neither side had their first victories of the campaign. Now they do. Saints won away at Wilfried Zaha-less Crystal Palace with Danny Ings and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg on target. They rode their luck with Alex McCarthy making several fine stops and Christian Benteke having another off day, but Mark Hughes was delighted with a composed display as they could even afford a missed penalty kick from Charlie Austin. As for Wolves, they also had to rely on Rui Patricio making some fine stops too but Nuno Espirito Santo‘s team finally got their first win back in the Premier League via summer signing Adama Traore who scored in stoppage time at West Ham. It is early days in the season but both Saints and Wolves will be hoping to ride the positive momentum these wins take into the international break and then push for at least a top 10 finish this season. With Burnley and West Ham struggling, Everton erratic and even the likes of Arsenal out of sorts early on, could these teams lead the charge for clubs hoping to sneak inside the top seven?


Yedlin recovers after rough week
USMNT right back DeAndre Yedlin will have had a rough week. After he scored a cruel late own goal at home to hand Chelsea a 2-1 win last Sunday, the Newcastle right back reacted perfectly. A searing 70-yard run saw him get on the end of a cross to slot home his first-ever Premier League goal at reigning champions Manchester City on Saturday. Yedlin was the first American to score in the PL since March 2014, and he has shown once again his play is maturing. He sent in an inch-perfect cross for Joselu to score against Chelsea last week and his extreme pace is being nurtured into a valuable weapon for Rafael Benitez in his ultra-defensive system at Newcastle. Yedlin is now 25 years old and his career had threatened to be derailed before a loan move to Sunderland from Tottenham in 2015. Since then his defensive play has improved drastically at Newcastle and now he’s able to pick the perfect moments to devastate opponents with his stunning pace.

On This Day: Bornstein becomes national hero – in Honduras

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You know what today is? It’s Jonathan Bornstein day in Honduras.

Ten years ago today at RFK Stadium in our nations capital, a young, hot-shot kid with plenty of hair named Michael Bradley and Bornstein helped the U.S. Men’s National Team come back to draw Costa Rica, 2-2, in World Cup qualifying. In fact, it’s eerie watching Bornstein’s celebration, running to the corner flag and diving headfirst as he’s mobbed moments after by his teammates. It’s a bit similar to what Lanson Donovan did about nine months later.

[READ: USMNT looks to build in match v. Canada]

To add some context, it was the final day of qualifications matches in the Hex. Three days earlier, the U.S. had already secured a place in the World Cup with a wild 3-2 win at Honduras, meaning Los Catrachos needed to win over El Salvador on the final night and hope that the U.S. would keep Costa Rica from winning in the final match.

Who else, but Carlos Pavon gave Honduras a 1-0 win over El Salvador that night. Then, it was Bornsteins goal later that night that put Los Catrachos into the World Cup for the first time since 1982, and left Costa Rica to battle for the shared spot between CONCACAF and CONMEBOL.

In honor of the big day, hundreds of Honduras fans had been mentioning Bornstein on social media, and the veteran defender – currently of the Chicago Fire – retweeted quite a few of the thankful messages to him. Below, here’s video of the call from Honduras TV, as well as from Ian Darke and the ESPN crew.

Unfortunately for Bornstein, this may be the highlight of his national team career. He did make the 2010 World Cup squad and started twice, including the matches against Algeria and Ghana, but he never truly took the next step in his career to become a star left back.

After a calamitous performance against Mexico in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup final, which also Bob Bradley his USMNT job, Bornstein was dropped and hasn’t been seen from again on the national team stage.

However, even though he’s only a club player these days, he’ll never have to buy a drink in Honduras, that’s for sure.

Euro 2020 qualifying: France settles for draw with Turkey

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Euro 2020 qualifying continued on Monday and included a top-of-the-group clash in Group H.

[READ: England rout Bulgaria in game marred by racist chants]

France 1-1 Turkey

France spoiled a chance at home to put one foot in Euro 2020 after conceding late in the match and settling for a draw with Turkey.

Despite playing without a lot of starters – Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, and Hugo Lloris are all out injured – France still was strong in the first half and peppered Turkey with 12 shots. Goalkeeper Mert Gunok made an outstanding double-save in the first half and Leicester City’s Çağlar Söyüncü did his best to keep Antoine Griezmann in front of him.

In the 72nd minute, Olivier Giroud came on the field as a substitute and four minutes later, he put France in front to the delight of the home crowd at the Stade de France. What else, but a header off a corner. However, the lead didn’t last long. Off a free kick in the 82nd minute, Hakan Calhanoglu’s delivery was nodded home by Kaan Ayhan. The 1-1 draw leaves both France and Turkey tied with 19 points from eight qualifying matches. It also means that Turkey hasn’t lost to France over two games in this qualifying cycle.

Here’s a look at the rest of Monday’s scores:

Monday’s Euro 2020 qualifying scores

Group A

Bulgaria 0-6 England

Kosovo 2-0 Montenegro

Group B

Lithuania 1-2 Serbia

Ukraine 2-1 Portugal

Group H

Iceland 2-0 Andorra

Moldova 0-4 Albania

Ronaldo scores 700th goal for club and country

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Cristiano Ronaldo achieved yet another personal milestone in his star-studded career on Monday evening with a simple penalty kick goal.

With his 72nd minute strike, Ronaldo tallied his 700th goal for club and country in his career. It’s an incredible achievement, and one indicative of his incredible goal-scoring exploits and his long career.

Ronaldo was already leading all active players globally in terms of goals scored, so his 700th is only adding to the list. His former club nemesis, Lionel Messi, still sits a reported 28 goals behind him, according to Soccerway. After them, LA Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the closest, and he has “only” 542 goals.

The Portuguese icon becomes the sixth male player to score 700 goals in his career. The others include Pele, Romaro, Josef Bican, Ferenc Puskás, and Gerd Muller.

Ronaldo made his debut for Sporting Lisbon in the 2002-2003 season as a 17-year-old and quickly was snapped up by Man United and Sir Alex Ferguson, where he transitioned from a tricky winger to a clinical striker who couldn’t stop scoring.

The 34-year-old has scored 40-or-more goals on three occasions in his career and he scored 25-or-more goals in all nine years he was at Real Madrid. For Portugal, he’s now scored an incredible 95 goals in all competitions. He had 15 goals in World Cup qualifying alone for the 2018 campaign.

Watch the video of Ronaldo’s breaking goal below. Unfortunately for him, Portugal fell, 2-1 to Ukraine.

Southgate, England players sound off on racist abuse

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England took care of business in Monday’s 6-0 thrashing of Bulgaria, but the Three Lions had to endure some horrendous racist abuse from the crowd during the game.

The match was paused on two occasions I’m the first half by the match officials after racist chanting could be heard from a section of supporters, and a large group of Bulgarian fans were ejected towards the end of the half. However, racist abuse continued during the match from small pockets of fans in the stadium.

[READ: England v. Bulgaria delayed after racist abuse from stands]

“I have to say that the officials were on to everything very quickly,” England manager Gareth Southgate told ITV after the match. “We reported everything immediately when we heard things, we had constant communication with the fourth official and the referee. I was in contact with the players, all the way through the first half in particular, and then again at halftime.

”We know it’s an unacceptable situation, and I think we’ve managed to make two statements. By winning the game, but also we’re raised the awareness of everybody to the situation. The game was stopped twice, I know for some people that won’t be enough, but we as a group were on board with that process.”

Raheem Sterling, who scored a brace in the win, also sounded off on social media, as did former England and Arsenal star Ian Wright.

Ultimately, UEFA and the match officials followed the protocol, but the sad part about this is that England and the officials had a plan for racist abuse, and it was predictable that it would happen.

In a statement after the game, the FA confirmed they would be asking UEFA to investigate what happened. However, any punishment is too little, too late for the players who endured the abuse.