Liverpool win at Watford, stay unbeaten

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  • Liverpool unbeaten in their opening 13 PL matches for the first time since 2007-08.
  • Salah, Alexander-Arnold score
  • Liverpool second in table 

Liverpool beat Watford 3-0 at Vicarage Road on Saturday, as Jurgen Klopp‘s side battled to yet another victory.

Second half goals from Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino did the damage, as the Reds have now gone 13 games unbeaten to start the season. Jordan Henderson was shown a late red card, but Klopp’s men were home and dry by that point.

With the victory Liverpool move on to 33 points for the season, while Watford slip to ninth and have 20 points.

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Watford thought they’d gone ahead with just a few minutes on the clock but Gerard Deulofeu was offside after racing through and firing past Alisson.

Liverpool took a while to settle in the game, and their first big chance came after Xherdan Shaqiri‘s ball into the box almost found Firmino.

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Watford were quite content to sit back and let Liverpool have the ball and on the occasional break they rarely threatened. Roberto Pereyra was denied by Alisson who pushed his effort away, while Mane forced Ben Foster into a save at the other end.

Salah, of all people, almost scored with a header from a corner but Ben Foster got down low to push his effort out.

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In a second half which saw Liverpool push hard for the opener, it finally arrived. But only after Andrew Robertson was lucky to not have given away a penalty kick as he caught Will Hughes in the box.

The famous three were all involved in Liverpool’s opener, as Firmino flicked the ball to Sadio Mane who found Salah in the box. The Egyptian’s shot hit Foster but Watford’s goalkeeper couldn’t stop it going over the line. 1-0.

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Late on Watford pushed forward in search of an equalizer but it didn’t arrive as Liverpool doubled their lead.

Alexander-Arnold curled home a fine free kick to make it 2-0 but then Henderson was shown a second yellow card for fouling Ettiene Capoue as Liverpool went down to 10 men.

Firmino scored another late on to seal the win, as Liverpool’s unbeaten record now stands at 13.

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.

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.

Kane, Sterling star as England rout Bulgaria

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On a night where racist abuse from the stands in Bulgaria marred the overall spectacle, England’s players produced an incredible result and spectacle for the visiting fans, with all things considered.

Harry Kane scored once and assisted on three others as England rolled over Bulgaria, winning 6-0 on Monday evening in the Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia, Bulgaria. Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley both scored a brace for the Three Lions and Marcus Rashford’s thunderbolt from a tight angle gave England the opening goal it needed.

The blowout result was the perfect response after England had suffered its first loss in qualifying for a decade, losing on Friday, 2-1 at the Czech Republic. The six goals England put past Bulgaria was also the fourth time out of six games that England had scored at least five goals in a match. The only other time, aside from the defeat, was a 4-0 win last month at Wembley Stadium over Bulgaria.

This story will be updated.

 

Racist abuse delays England v. Bulgaria qualifier

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England raced out to an impressive 4-0 lead at Bulgaria by halftime, but the wonderful attacking display was marred by horrendous incidents from the crowd.

The match in the Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia, Bulgaria was stopped on two occasions with announcements being made to ask sections of the crowd to stop their abusive language. This comes with the stadium already serving a partial stadium closure due to racist chanting from the crowd in previous qualifiers.

Below is UEFA’s protocol on how to intervene in these situations, and what transpired from lead writer Joe Prince-Wright.