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Benzema rescues a 1-1 draw for Madrid at Leganes

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Real Madrid needed Karim Benzema to salvage a 1-1 draw at Spanish league minnow Leganes on Monday.

Benzema again proved a bright spot in a disappointing season for his club, scoring his fifth goal in four matches to cancel out an opener by right back Jonathan Silva.

[READ: Arsenal top ten-man Watford]

The France striker also snatched recent wins for Madrid with late goals against Huesca and Eibar.

Madrid remains third in the standings, 13 points adrift of Barcelona, which is on course to retain its title with six games left and a nine-point lead over Atletico Madrid.

Coach Zinedine Zidane already said Madrid had little to play for this season, adding over the weekend that his squad was set to be culled at the end of the campaign.

Goalkeeper Keylor Navas, whose future has been in doubt since the arrival of Thibaut Courtois last year, said on Monday that the players had more to play for than just trophies.

“We have our pride and our love for this shirt, which is worth more than any title,” Navas said. “It has been a complicated season for everyone.

“We have gone out there to win games, but they have gotten away from us. It is difficult to explain. We are all sad for the situation.”

Other than a shot by Marco Asensio saved by goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar, Leganes had little trouble keeping in check Madrid’s attack in the first half.

The hosts went ahead just before halftime when Martin Braithwaite won the ball in a crowded area and passed to Silva, who curled a shot around Navas into the corner of the net from the edge of the penalty box.

A flash of skill from Luka Modric then set up the equalizer in the 51st minute.

The Ballon d’Or winner turned quickly before slipping a pass through the defense to Benzema. His first strike was blocked by Cuellar, but the France forward pounced on the rebound and fired it home.

It was Benzema’s team-leading 27th goal in all competitions this season.

His increasing status since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo at the end of last season is in stark contrast to the fall from grace of Gareth Bale.

Bale played only the last 10 minutes against Leganes and, after falling out with the fans this season, he could be one of the stars the club will look to move on.

“I didn’t like our first half, but I think our second half was better,” Zidane said. “At the end we managed to draw, but we could have played much better. That is for sure. The sensation is not good.”

WATCH, STREAM: Wilson, Pukki score screamers amongst 10 a.m. ET kicks

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This season is going to be a challenge for Norwich City, but one of last season’s true heroes made sure the Canaries fans got a bit of home delight.

[ STREAM: All 10 a.m. ET kicks ]

Newcastle is visiting town on Saturday, and Teemu Pukki scored a delightful opener to give the Canaries a halftime lead.

It’s appropriate, as the volley takes a page out of Newcastle hero Alan Shearer’s playbook.

Norwich City 1-0 Newcastle UnitedSTREAM

Aston Villa 0-2 BournemouthSTREAM

And how about this from Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson, who is making Villa’s home return to the Premier League less than ideal.

VIDEO: Sadio Mane scores screamer for Liverpool v. Saints

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Sadio Mane has started the season in sensational fashion.

After scoring twice for Liverpool in their Super Cup final win against Chelsea on Wednesday, Mane curled home a stunning shot right on half time.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]  

Mane was playing against his former club and after Southampton had created the best chances, it was a huge boost for Liverpool to go in ahead at the break.

Click play on the video below to see Mane open the scoring in style.

Emery impressed with versatile Ceballos as Arsenal stays perfect

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Despite the score line, Unai Emery can be fairly happy with Arsenal’s performance in a 2-1 defeat of Burnley at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

On midfielder Dani Ceballos, though, Emery will be very pleased.

[ RECAP: Arsenal 2-1 Burnley ]

The Real Madrid loanee was the easy Man of the Match, his silky skill on the ball and quality industry endearing himself to Arsenal faithful. From Football.London:

“It’s to use his quality in the best position in our team. I spoke with him before coming here, it’s to play as an eight and a No.10. He started like a 10 but changed with Willock. He can feel better on the pitch.”

Emery will be less than pleased with his defense, who allowed a goal to early season Golden Boot candidate Ashley Barnes.

“We won in our moments we did the difference for 2-1. A lot of moments we couldn’t impose our gameplan because they pushed and their gameplan was a struggle for us.”

Watch Live: Saints v. Liverpool headlines five PL games

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Five Premier League games are coming up at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday, as the second Matchweek of the new campaign comes roaring at us.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ] 

Southampton and Liverpool clash at St Mary’s in the main game at 10 a.m. ET, while two new boys have their first home games back in the PL.

Aston Villa host Bournemouth at Villa Park, while Norwich host Newcastle at Carrow Road. Elsewhere, Everton host Watford and West Ham travel to Brighton.

[ MORE: Sign up for NBC Sports Gold ] 

You can access additional games by purchasing the new “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold which also includes an extensive selection of shoulder programming such as Premier League News, Premier League Today and NBC Sports originals such as Premier League Download and much more.

[ STREAM: “Goal Rush” here ]

For those of you familiar with the Premier League Breakaway Show during busy days (Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Championship Sunday etc.) in the PL, this will follow that model of being similar to the NFL RedZone with action shown from all of the games in the 10 a.m. ET window. More info is available here.

The schedule for all five games at 10 a.m. ET is below and you can stream each game live by clicking on the links.


10 a.m. ET: Southampton v. Liverpool – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Aston Villa v. Bournemouth – CNBC [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Brighton v. West Ham – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Everton v. Watford – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Norwich v. Newcastle – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]