Wolves 2-3 Tottenham: Spurs hang on for three points

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  • Tottenham (24 points) climb to 4th place
  • Wolves (15) drop to 11th
  • Lamela (27′), Moura (30′), Kane (61′), Neves (68′ – PK), Jimenez (79′ – PK)

Tottenham Hotspur extended their best-ever start in club history with a win away to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, going fourth in the Premier League table and leapfrogging Arsenal, who dropped points against Liverpool, in the process.

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Things began in disastrous fashion for Spurs, who lost Mousa Dembele — one of only two central midfielders available for selection on Saturday — to what appeared to be a nasty ankle injury in the 2nd minute. Ben Davies made a stellar slide tackle to dispossess Helder Costa, but both players’ bodies momentum took them through Dembele, cutting his legs out from under him and rolling up on his right foot and ankle.

The lack of a midfield presence resulted in a thrillingly open, back-and-forth game with each side having — but failing with — a number of chances in the game’s opening 25 minutes.

Spurs broke through in the 27th minute, though, when Son Heung-min, who replaced Dembele early on, played a ball of the chest of Erik Lamela down the right side of the six-yard box. Lamela managed to unleash a right-footed shot that stayed low and eluded the on-rushing Rui Patricio for the game’s opening goal.

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It went from 1-0 to 2-0 far quicker — barely three minutes between goals, in fact. Kieran Trippier delivered the most tempting of crosses toward the back post and found an unmarked Lucas Moura. The Brazilian’s header was completely unchallenged as he doubled Spurs’ lead.

Wolves probably should have pulled a goal back in the 37th minute, but the assistant referee appeared to incorrectly flag Matt Doherty for offside in the build-up to Raul Jimenez’s strike past Hugo Lloris.

The second half began with an onslaught at Spurs’ goal, but Lloris made a pair of stellar saves inside the first five minutes to preserve the 2-0 scoreline.

Wolves’ chances were all for naught in the end, though, as Spurs withstand the pressure and put the game to bed just after the hour mark. Patricio made a diving save to deny Harry Kane‘s first effort from Lamela’s cross, but the rebound fell to Kane who hammered it home from a far tighter angle for 3-0.

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Wolves got their first goal back from the penalty spot in the 68th minute. Juan Foyth took Jimenez down inside the penalty area, and Ruben Neves stepped up to convert the ensuing spot kick.

It was Foyth, again, who rode an orange shirt to the ground 10 minutes later, sending Jimenez 12 yards from goal to make it 3-2. Fortunately for Spurs, that’s as close as the home side would get.

Red-hot Rebić scores again as AC Milan tops Torino

AC Milan
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MILAN (AP) Ante Rebić kept up his scoring form to lead AC Milan to a 1-0 win over struggling Torino in Serie A on Monday.

The Croatia international beat his marker to redirect a cross from the center of the area midway through the first half at the San Siro.

The score raised Rebić’s tally to six goals and an assist in eight matches since he earned his starting spot – a move that coincided with Zlatan Ibrahimović’s return to the Rossoneri.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Bouncing back from a derby loss, Milan moved up to eighth and just beyond the Europa League places. The seven-time European champion is hoping to return to continental competition after voluntary withdrawing from this season’s Europa League to pay for UEFA financial fair play breaches.

Torino, meanwhile, lost its fifth straight, with new coach Moreno Longo still unable to turn things around in his second match in charge.

Ibrahimović narrowly missed a curling shot shortly after the break.

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

Simeone: Liverpool intensity “makes me admire it as a rival”

UEFA Champions League
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The UEFA Champions League returns at long last on Tuesday, and two of the greatest managers in the game will match wits for the first time.

No we’re not talking about Lucien Favre and Thomas Tuchel, the meeting of the minds in Tuesday’s other kickoff between Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain in Germany.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp will go head-to-head with Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone in Spain, and the fiery German thinks it will be “absolutely interesting.”

From The Liverpool Echo:

“People say I emotional on the sideline,” Klopp said. “I am only on level 4, Diego is level 12. Really I am the kindergarten cop against him. He is so impressive after all these years, after so many years at the club – eight years. That is really long and having still this emotional level, still, wow. So impressive. I say, his teams are always organized world class.”

The admiration is mutual.

Simeone expects a huge challenge from a Liverpool team he regards on a historic plane.

“We are facing a magnificent team, really well-trained by a coach who is different and has different alternatives in his team,” he said, via The Independent. “We have always spoken about great teams throughout time and I have no doubt this Liverpool is going to go down in history as a great team because it is different to teams that we have admired. This team is much more intense, more adaptable, and it makes me admire it as a rival.”

The bettors say Liverpool is the heavy favorite in the first leg despite the match’s location at the Wanda Metropolitano. With football geniuses like Klopp and Simeone, however, either could have a plan to throw the other for a loop.

CONCACAF Champions League preview: Five MLS sides eye history

CONCACAF Champions League preview
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Once the Premier League and La Liga had taken their final bows of the day on Saturday, there felt was a particular absence, one soon-to-be filled by domestic soccer.

Yes, MLS is coming soon, and the CONCACAF Champions League is even closer.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Five MLS sides begin their Round of 16 ties over the next three evenings, some with easier paths than others to elusive CCL glory.

The competition may not have burned itself onto the mainstream, lagging behind continental competitions in Europe and South America, but those who’ve embraced it (hint: this guy) love the thing.

For all the progress Major League Soccer has made in its quarter-century, it’s yet to find much success in dealing with Liga MX powers in the fight to qualify for the Club World Cup.

MLS sides have not won the competition since it was rebranded the CCL. Only three MLS sides have made the CCL final this decade, with Real Salt Lake (2011), Montreal Impact (2015), and Toronto FC (2017) all coming up short at the last step.

The CCL provides everything you love and hate about World Cup qualifying, and those dicey pitches with sometimes worse lighting mean the favorites aren’t guaranteed much.

The top half of the bracket sees three MLS teams — Montreal, Seattle, and NYCFC — and just one Liga MX side, while the bottom half gives us a Liga MX v. MLS match-up straight away.

That’s Leon v. LAFC, and it begins Tuesday night in Mexico. That tie carries the added intrigue of MLS superstar Carlos Vela bringing his act back to his home country for the first time… ever.

Bracket

Saprissa (Costa Rica) v. Montreal — 8 p.m. ET Weds.
Olimpia (Honduras) v. Seattle — 10 p.m. ET Thurs.

San Carlos (Costa Rica) v. NYCFC — 8 p.m. ET Thurs.
Alianza (El Salvador) v. UANL Tigres — 8 p.m. ET Weds.

Leon v. LAFC — 10 p.m. ET Tues.
Portmore United (Jamaica) v. Cruz Azul — 8 p.m. ET Tues.

Comunicaciones (Guatemala) v. Club America — 10 p.m. ET Weds.
Montagua (Honduras) v. Atlanta United — 10 p.m. ET Tues.

The 2 Robbies podcast: VAR carnage at Stamford Bridge

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Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle dissect a crazy game at Stamford Bridge that saw Chelsea on the wrong side of several VAR decisions (00:45).

The gents also recap the big moments from the weekend; Liverpool beat Norwich (18:30), Son’s late winner against Aston Villa (24:45) and Arteta‘s attackers thrash Newcastle United (30:15).

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To listen to more lively conversations and passionate debate from Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe, subscribe to The 2 Robbies Podcast on Apple Podcasts or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

And you can follow them on Twitter @The2RobbiesNBC here.

Click here for The 2 Robbies archive ]