Wolves comeback ends Spurs’ title hopes

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  • Kane’s belter opens the scoring (22′ – WATCH HERE)
  • Boly heads home equalizer (73′)
  • Jimenez wins it (83′)
  • Spurs’ five-game winning streak ends
  • Wolves climb four places to 7th

Tottenham Hotspur coughed up an early lead they absolutely had to hold in order to establish themselves as Premier League title contenders, losing 3-1 to Wolverhampton Wanderers at Wembley on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Tottenham enjoyed absolute control of early proceedings, to the tune of 70 percent of possession in the game’s opening 20 minutes. Wolves kept them at arm’s length, however, allowing little more than speculative efforts from distance.

Christian Eriksen went closest in the 19th minute, when he curl a left-footed strike from the edge of Wolves’ penalty area. The Dane’s deft strike was destined for the upper-90, but Rui Patricio made a stellar save diving to his right.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The defensive formula remained the same, but the results changed minutes later. Harry Kane caught sight of goal from 20 yards out, creating space with a quick cut in from the right wing. He had ample time to set the ball up for his left foot and unloaded an arrowed blast inside the far post, off the helpless hand of Patricio, to put Spurs on top.

It was Kane’s eighth goal in his last 10 league games and his 13th of the PL season, drawing him level with Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the Golden Boot race.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

Wolves were patient in chasing an equalizer, affording Spurs more than enough of the ball to slowly kill the game off and see out their one-goal lead — until the final 20 minutes of the game.

Wolves midfielder Joao Moutinho entered the game in the 68th minute and provided a measure of stability in possession previously missing. Nuno Espirito Santo‘s side suddenly found themselves with plenty of possession and chances.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

It was Moutinho who served up the tantalizing corner kick in the 73rd minute, headed through the outstretched hands of Hugo Lloris by Willy Boly.

Wolves remained the more dangerous side in the ensuing 15 minutes and were justly rewarded for their ambition in the 83rd minute. Raul Jimenez snuck the ball between Toby Alderweireld’s legs and placed it ever so perfectly inside Lloris’ right-hand post.

Spurs’ unraveling was complete just four minutes later, when Helder Costa got in behind the left side of defense and beat Lloris for a third goal in 14 minutes.

FOLLOW LIVE: Southampton v. Derby County

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Southampton and Derby County chase the final spot in the fourth round proper of the 2018-19 FA Cup with a replay at St. Mary’s on Wednesday.

[ FOLLOW: FA Cup scoreboard ]

The clubs drew 2-2 at Pride Park on Jan. 5, with a Nathan Redmond 2-0 lead going to waste for the Premier League visitors.

The victor gets a trip to the Crown Ground to face League One’s Accrington Stanley on Jan. 26.

Full fourth round fixture list

Jan. 25
Arsenal v. Manchester United

Jan. 26
Accrington Stanley v. Derby County or Southampton
Brighton and Hove Albion v. West Bromwich Albion
Bristol City v. Bolton
Doncaster Rovers v. Oldham Athletic
Man City v. Burnley
Middlesbrough v. Newport County
Newcastle United v. Watford
Portsmouth v. Queens Park Rangers
Swansea City v. Gillingham
Shrewsbury Town v. Wolves
Millwall v. Everton
AFC Wimbledon v. West Ham United

Jan. 27
Crystal Palace v. Spurs
Chelsea v. Sheffield Wednesday

Jan. 28
Barnet v. Brentford

Leeds’ Bielsa admits he spied “all the rivals”; How widespread is spying?

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Managerial darling Marcelo Bielsa spoke out Wednesday as fallout continues from a Leeds United scout caught spying on Derby County last week.

Bielsa says he’s spied on every team the club has played in the Championship this season.

[ MORE: Neymar praises Weah ]

How rare is this? And how big of a role has it played in Leeds’ 4-point lead in the race for automatic promotion to the Premier League? From the BBC:

“I observed all the rivals we played against and watched the training sessions of all opponents,” he said. “All the information I need to clarify, I gather it without watching the training session of the opponent, so why did I send someone to watch them? Just because I thought I wasn’t violating the norm. I gathered information that I can obtain in another way.

“We feel guilty if we don’t work enough, it [watching the opponents train] allows us to have less anxiety and in my case I am stupid enough to allow this kind of behavior.”

The 63-year-old Argentine has spent time at Lille, Lazio, Marseille, Athletic Bilbao, and Espanyol in addition to running the national teams of Argentina and Chile.

It does raise the question of how much spying is done in soccer. We know that the NFL’s New England Patriots cheated during a game against the New York Jets and that MLB teams try to steal signals, but sneaking around a training session… is that okay? Should it be?

55-goal Martinez re-ups with Atlanta through 2023

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Josef Martinez has signed a new deal with Atlanta United, with a contract tying him to the club through the 2023 Major League Soccer season.

Martinez, 25, has 55 goals in 61 games for the Five Stripes since arriving from Torino in 2017, a strike rate unlike anything the Venezuelan had been able to do in his career with the Serie A club, Young Boys, or Caracas.

[ MORE: Neymar praises Weah ]

That development has him happy to lock down a new Designated Player deal in Georgia, one that certainly would raise his transfer value. From AtlUtd.com:

“This means a lot to me because of the affection that the fans have shown me, that the fans show all of the players. It’s unique,” Martinez said. “They recognize the effort that you give and they know you did everything to win, and I think that’s why we love playing here. I have to thank everyone. My teammates, the city, my family and friends, because this is a dream I’ve always had. I’ve said before that I don’t want to go anywhere because this is my home. You can expect more work, more intensity, because that’s who I am. I want to win. I want to do everything for my teammates and for the city.”

With neither Newcastle nor Real Betis ready to meet Atlanta’s transfer fee for Miguel Almiron, the Five Stripes are in a bit of a bind with a reported deal for expected DP Pity Martinez despite having the league maximum three DPs in Martinez, Almiron, and Ezequiel Barco. Perhaps the European clubs are trying to force Atlanta’s hand.

Men In Blazers Podcast: De Gea heroics; Liverpool, Man City wins

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Rog and Davo applaud David De Gea‘s goalkeeping heroics in Manchester United’s 1-0 victory over Tottenham. Plus, wins for Liverpool and City in the title race.

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