Crystal Palace broke out of its funk with a win over Leicester City last week, but if that was a first step, beating Man City at the Etihad might be the second, third, and fourth.
[ RECAP: Man City 2-3 Palace ]
Palace boss Roy Hodgson was very careful to note that the result was just one moment in time for his side — comparing it to winning a stage of the Tour de France — but was also ready to praise the preparation that went into the victory.
“You don’t produce that sort of performance by waving a magic wand or having a five-minute team talk,” he said, from the BBC. “There’s a lot of work that goes into that structure and we were excellent. We are playing against a team with enormous skill levels and their focus, their ability to sustain attacks, is an example to us all.”
The win was aided by a simply marvelous volleyed goal from Andros Townsend, who is making a habit of scoring wonder goals.
Hodgson called it magnificent, and Townsend doubts he’s done better:
“It sat up perfectly for me, I knew I couldn’t take a touch as City would have been on me and on the counter. And as soon as it left my foot I knew it had a good chance. It’s definitely the best goal of my career, against the best side I’ve ever played.”
Now in 14th, Palace eyes up a Chelsea visit on Boxing Day before facing Wolves at the Molineux three days later.
Everton could end up with one of the hottest prospects in world soccer.
Moise Kean may wind up leaving Juventus due to the club’s failure to offload fellow strikers Mario Mandzukic and Gonzalo Higuain.
And Kean, 19, was poised for a breakthrough to the first team, to the extent that Juve reportedly turned down a $33 million bid from Everton.
[ MORE: Algeria wins AFCON ]
The Toffees, however, may have new life due to the Higuain/Mandzukic problem, and Sky Sports Italia reports that Kean may indeed be an option for Marco Silva‘s club.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Kean elected to leave Italy given the racial abuse he’s suffered in Serie A (Though racism is everywhere, of course).
The same report says Kean turned down a Barcelona offer because he would’ve headed on loan, while Arsenal is also said to be in the mix.
Kean scored six Serie A goals with an assist in just 13 matches for Juventus last season after scoring four times for Hellas Verona on loan.
This weekend in Premier League preseason friendlies sees Liverpool taking on a pair of top European foes, while four PL foes trade blows in Shanghai.
Man City and Wolves move on from significant defeats of Newcastle and West Ham, who in turn will face each other on Saturday.
You can watch Saturday’s Premier League Asia Trophy matches between Wolves and Man City, and Newcastle versus West Ham here on NBC Sports Live.
Meanwhile, Manchester United will tangle with Romelu Lukaku-chasing Inter Milan on Saturday (and, no, the Belgian striker won’t be in uniform).
There’s also a sneaky good match-up of Watford and Bayer Leverkusen in Austria on Saturday, while Sunday’s light docket has Spurs facing Matthijs de Ligt and Juventus in Singapore.
Borussia Dortmund v. Liverpool (Notre Dame, Indiana)
Girona v. Bournemouth
Arsenal v. Fiorentina (Charlotte)
Fulham v. Brighton and Hove Albion
Cheltenham Town v. Leicester City
Crewe Alexandra v. Burnley
Port Vale v. Burnley
Bromley v. Crystal Palace
Man City v. Wolves (Shanghai)
Inter Milan v. Manchester United (Singapore)
Newcastle United v. West Ham (Shanghai)
Northampton Town v. Sheffield United
Preston North End v. Southampton
Watford v. Bayer Leverkusen (Austria)
Shrewsbury Town v. Aston Villa
Liverpool v. Sevilla (Boston)
Juventus v. Spurs (Singapore)
London sides went 0-2, while three other Premier League sides won ahead of Friday night’s friendly between Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund in Indiana.
[ MORE: Algeria wins AFCON ]
The wins included defeats of Schalke and Monaco, while Brighton and Hove Albion topped lower league Crawley Town.
Schalke 1-2 Norwich City
Teemu Pukki had a goal and an assist, giving hope that the Championship goal collector can bring his game to the Premier League.
Pukki’s 13th minute goal was assisted by Man City loanee Patrick Roberts, and the Finn later assisted Moritz Leitner‘s winner.
Rabbi Matondo scored Schalke’s only goal, and American midfielder Weston McKennie was neither with the starters nor the bench.
Everton 1-0 Monaco
Seamus Coleman scored and Maarten Stekelenburg stopped a penalty as the Toffees handled their Ligue 1 opposition in Switzerland.
Kawasaki Frontale 1-0 Chelsea — RECAP
Leandro Damaio scored the lone goal as Chelsea had plenty of chances to win in Christian Pulisic‘s debut. The American came off the bench for the final 25 minutes in Japan.
Nottingham Forest 1-0 Crystal Palace
Albert Adomah scored the lone goal in a win for the Championship side.
Brighton and Hove Albion 1-0 Crawley Town
New signing Taylor Richards‘ late penalty kick was enough for the Seagulls to get a result at home. The Man City midfielder arrived on Thursday.
Liverpool v. Borussia Dortmund (Notre Dame, Indiana) — 8 p.m. ET
In the words of a Missouri-born rapper, you only get one shot. In Algeria’s case in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, that was true and it was all the Desert Foxes needed to claim their first AFCON title since 1990 with a 1-0 defeat of Senegal on Friday at Cairo International Stadium in Cairo.
Baghdad Bounedjah’s wildly-deflected second minute shot was enough to give Algeria its second AFCON crown.
Senegal out shot Algeria 11-1 on the day, but Sadio Mane and Co. couldn’t find their way over the goal line.
One-time Man City and Southampton player Djamel Belmadi has now managed an AFCON winner and a Gulf Cup of Nations champion (Qatar, 2014).
[ MORE: Ballon d’Or w/o Messi, Ronaldo? ]
Bounedjah’s wild rip after a cut-in from the left bounded into the air and looped into the far corner. Senegal goalkeeper Amigo Gomis made it look more odd with his befuddlement (Scramble, my guy!).
Referee Neant Alioum’s ruling of a penalty to Senegal after Ismaila Sarr’s rip hit the arm of Adlene Guedioura was overturned when review showed the Algeria midfielder’s arm was at his side.
We mean, was this going to be the goal that won Africa’s most important tournament? Yep.