Magic Salah sends Liverpool top of the table

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  • Salah scores hat trick, now has 42 PL goals since start of last season
  • 5th defeat in six for Bournemouth
  • Liverpool momentarily top of the table
  • Five wins on the trot for Liverpool

Liverpool remain unbeaten after 16 games of the season and beat Bournemouth 4-0 at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday, with Mohamed Salah back to his clinical best after a midweek rest.

Jurgen Klopp reverted to his strongest possible lineup for the tricky test away at Bournemouth and Salah struck in the first half (although he was offside) and added two more in the second half as Roberto Firmino assisted on two of them. Salah’s hat trick secured Liverpool’s best-ever start to a top-flight campaign at this point of a season.

Bournemouth’s Steve Cook also scored an amazing own goal, as the Cherries were totally outclassed despite a few calls for penalty kicks in the second half.

With the win Liverpool momentarily went top of the table on 42 points, while Bournemouth remain on 23 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

An even start to the match saw Liverpool push forward whenever they could, but Bournemouth had two great chances early on.

Josh King dragged an effort wide, while David Brooks forced Alisson into a smart stop at his near post.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Liverpool did take the lead before the break, as a wonderful piece of link-up play between Roberto Firmino and Salah saw the former shoot at goal as Asmir Begovic could only parry the effort.

Salah, who was marginally offside according to replays, was on hand to slot home the rebound and put Liverpool 1-0 up. Alisson clattered into King in a nasty collision before the break as Bournemouth pushed to get back into the game.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

Liverpool had the perfect start to the second half as Firmino and Salah combined again.

The latter ran towards goal and somehow stayed on his feet as Steve Cook hacked away at him, before he slotted a calm finish into the far corner for his and Liverpool’s second of the game.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Bournemouth had two shouts for penalty kicks in the second half as Virgil Van Dijk appeared to accidentally handle in the box, while King went down but there did not appear to be contact from Alisson.

Cook then scored a memorable own goal (not for him), as he flicked home Andrew Robertson‘s cross with Sadio Mane lurking to make it 3-0.

And Salah saved his best to last as he latched on to a long ball from Adam Lallana, rounded Begovic, twice, and then cheekily tapped home to complete his hat trick and make it 4-0.

Salah trotted off the pitch with the match ball at the final whistle as nonchalantly as he walked on it at the star. After some criticism so far this season, his campaign has lift-off.

Russell hat trick snaps Sporting KC’s win streak (video)

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Struggling, short-handed Sporting KC needed a star show to kickstart its summer, and Johnny Russell was ready to go.

Maybe the 29-year-old Scotsman was feeding off the buzz of his old club Derby County preparing for the Championship Playoff Final, but Russell scored thrice as Sporting took care of Seattle 3-2 in Washington on Sunday.

[ MORE: USWNT wins final match before World Cup (video) ]

The right winger scored his fifth, sixth, and seventh goals of the MLS season as Sporting won its first match since March 30.

Russell scored 35 goals with 34 assists in 205 matches with the Rams, but has destroyed that mark with KC. He now has 19 and 16 in 55.

Seattle loses ground on LAFC in the race for the Supporters’ Shield, while KC is now within four points of the playoff places.

 

 

Report: Newcastle in takeover talks with UAE billionaire

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Reports out of Northeast England say Newcastle United supporters who want owner Mike Ashley out at all costs have new hope.

United Arab Emirates billionaire Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan is said to be in talks with Ashley about a takeover of the St. James’ Park-based club, though there’s a lot of work to do for a deal to be complete.

[ MORE: USWNT wins final match before World Cup (video) ]

One report goes as far as to say Ashley has agreed to accept $444 million for the Premier League club.

Sheikh Khaled, 61, was educated at American colleges Boston University and Michigan State. He’s the cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and was turned down with a $2.5 billion bid for Liverpool last season.

From The Chronicle:

NUFC have confirmed some talks with Sheikh Khaled. But say there is still “some way” to go on a deal. Newcastle United refusing to make any further comment at this time.

Takeover talks are nothing new at Newcastle, and there does seem to be some heat to these reports, but Ashley and his crew have spun these stories of interest in the past. And with Magpies supporters waiting for news on Rafa Benitez‘s new deal, some will be way of a smoke screen for an inability to reach an agreement with the celebrated Newcastle manager.

Wondolowski scores 149th, 150th goals; Earthquakes win

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TORONTO (AP) Chris Wondolowski scored his 149th and 150th MLS goals in the San Jose Earthquakes’ 2-1 victory over Toronto FC on Sunday night.

The MLS career goals leader scored both from close range.

[ MORE: Kante to miss Europa League final ]

Wondolowski got a yard’s separation from Drew Moor and deftly redirected in Cristian Espinoza’s cross in the 37th minute to tie it at 1. The go-ahead goal in the 81st minute was a virtual replay, with Espinoza finding Wondolowski in space.

The San Jose striker has six goals in two games. He scored all four goals in a 4-1 victory over Chicago last weekend to surpass Landon Donovan’s league record of 145 goals and up his career total to 148.

Richie Laryea opened the scoring for Toronto (5-6-2) in the 28th minute

San Jose (5-6-2) won for the first time in six road games this season.

Chairman Mubarak: Other clubs are ‘jealous’ of Man City’s success

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Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak believes that other clubs — namely those who have fallen miles back of the back-to-back Premier League champions — are “jealous” of the club’s success.

[ MORE: Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante to miss Europa League final with new injury ]

The root of the perceived jealousy is, of course, Man City’s seemingly unlimited spending power which dwarves that of just about — if not — every other club in the PL. There’s a growing sense around the league — and around the world — that clubs like City, just to name one, are doing the game a disservice by distorting the transfer market and building an infallible super-team with the aid of unprecedented financial resources.

Mubarak believes that these feelings also stem from other clubs’ failed dealings in the transfer market: spending comparable — if not more — money on players who don’t justify that price tag the same way some of City’s big-money buys have done — quotes from the BBC:

“With success, there is a certain level of jealousy, envy, whatever you call it. That’s part of the game.

“It’s not easy for our competition, we know that. But the reality is, we didn’t buy the most expensive player in the Premier League [Paul Pogba], we didn’t buy the most expensive goalkeeper [Kepa Arrizabalaga], we didn’t buy the most expensive midfielder, we didn’t buy the most expensive striker [Romelu Lukaku].

“People make decisions, they’ve got to live by them. This is a well-run club.”

City’s financial dealings have regularly been in the headlines of late, as they are believed to have circumvented FFP rules by lying about sponsorship deals so as to balance a larger expenditure on transfer fees and player wages with revenue generated by the club.