USA beat Netherlands, win back-to-back World Cups (video)

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  • 4th World Cup win for USWNT
  • Second-straight WC win
  • Ellis first coach to win successive WWCs
  • Rapinoe, Lavelle score for USA

The U.S. women’s national team won the World Cup for the fourth time in their history, as they beat the Netherlands 2-0 in Lyon on Sunday.

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Second half goals from Megan Rapinoe (from the penalty spot) and Rose Lavelle did the job for Jill Ellis’ side, as they became just the second team to complete back-to-back World Cup wins. Ellis is also the first women’s coach in history to win consecutive titles.

[ MORE: Twitter reacts to victory

Although the Dutch, led by their brilliant captain and goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal, sat back and frustrated the USWNT, the Americans always seemed likely to break through in the end.

[ VIDEO: USA lift World Cup trophy ] 

A quiet start to the game saw the Netherlands sit back and they were tough for the USWNT to break down as their customary early blitz didn’t arrive.

A yellow card for Sherida Spitse did arrive, as the Dutch midfielder terrier slid in late towards Rose Lavelle. Even though there was no contact on Lavelle, Spitse was still cautioned.

[ MORE: Latest 2019 World Cup news ]

Alyssa Naeher had to be quick off her line to thwart a rare Dutch attack with Lineth Beerensteyn in on goal, as the USWNT had plenty of the ball but their best chance came from a set piece situations.

Julie Ertz’s volley on target was pushed away by Dutch goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal, and as half time approach the U.S. poured forward in search of an opener.

Van Veenendaal made a fine stop from Alex Morgan to push her effort from Megan Rapinoe’s cross onto the spot, and did her best to put Sam Mewis off as another cross flew in. Van Veenendaal then tipped Morgan’s effort away as their personal battle continued, with the Dutch a threat on the counter.

At the start of the second half a corner towards Ertz at the near post came off her shoulder instead of her head, as the USWNT continued to dominate the play as the Dutch sat deep.

The game was gritty and tackles flew in as the Dutch did their best to thwart the rhythm of the USWNT, but then Morgan went down in the box under a challenge from Stefanie van der Gragt and VAR was used to award the USA a penalty kick.

Rapinoe stepped up to slot home the penalty kick for her sixth goal of the tournament amid wild scenes of celebration with 30 minutes to go.

Lavelle then added a second as the Dutch team pushed forward in search of an equalizer. The young midfielder surged forward and then cut inside before slamming home to make it 2-0.

Heath was denied a third late on as the USWNT totally dominate the final stages of the final, with van Veenendaal denying Morgan and Crystal Dunn to cap her incredible performance in the final.

In the end the U.S. secured their second-straight World Cup title in comfortable fashion.

The 2 Robbies podcast: Breaking down Matchweek 2

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Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe recap the key events from Matchweek two of the Premier League focusing on the thrilling 2-2 draw between Manchester City and Tottenham including yet another dramatic decision by VAR hurting City (0:30).

The Robbies also discuss Manchester United’s draw at Wolves (8:30), Liverpool’s win at Southampton (16:15), Frank Lampard‘s home debut as Chelsea manager ending in a 1-1 draw with Leicester (20:05) and Arsenal’s win against Burnley (27:05). Plus, the chaps touch on the rest of the results and share their underappreciated performances of the week (29:35).

To listen to more lively conversations and passionate debate from Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe, subscribe to The 2 Robbies Podcast on Apple Podcasts or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

Click here for The 2 Robbies archive ]

Follow them on Twitter @The2Robbies

Why Christian Pulisic chose Chelsea over Man United

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Christian Pulisic had plenty of offers on the table when it was clear he was going to leave Borussia Dortmund last fall, but one of them was immediately crossed out for one reason and one reason only.

Jose Mourinho.

[ MORE: Pulisic Watch

Pulisic’s former coach at Brackley Town, Robin Walker, spoke to The Telegraph about how the USMNT player came to sign for Chelsea over United and how his father didn’t want him to sign for Man United. Pulisic spent a year playing for Brackley Town when his parents moved to England as his mother was on a teaching exchange program.

“He wouldn’t go to Manchester United because of Jose Mourinho,” Walker said. “His father couldn’t stand Mourinho, because he didn’t promote young players. It was at that point I asked: ‘What about London? That’s where it’s at.’ I was trying to sell the city. His agent agreed, saying: ‘When you make these decisions, it’s all about investment and property.’ I was delighted that he did sign [for Chelsea].”

Walker is a Chelsea fan and was ecstatic that Pulisic, 20, signed for the Blues, and although many people believed heading to Chelsea wasn’t the best move for the USMNT star, it looks like it could be a shrewd decision.

Mourinho obviously left Man United last December, but by then the wheels were already in motion for Pulisic to sign for Chelsea and with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer only a caretaker boss of the Red Devils at that point, he wasn’t going to get $73 million to spend on a January signing.

It is true that Mourinho has been known to stall the careers of several stars, Kevin De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah and Romelu Lukaku to name a few, but it is also true that Chelsea has stockpiled that kind of talent and struggled to develop these mercurial talents.

Since Pulisic signed for Chelsea in January and was then loaned back to Dortmund for the rest of the 2018-19 season, Maurizio Sarri has departed and Frank Lampard arrived with a transfer ban also coming in. That means Pulisic will get more minutes due to new players not being bought and Lampard is also keen on promoting youngsters.

That said, there is one part of this story which may sit a little uneasy with USMNT fans. Pulisic’s agent reportedly saying that ‘when you make these decisions, it’s all about investment and property.’

Shouldn’t it be about being the best place for Pulisic to develop as a player?

The American winger has shown flashes of brilliance in his first few months as a Chelsea player and it will be intriguing to see how often he plays now that Willian is back fully fit, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi are also pushing their way back to full fitness.

Man United players slam “disgusting, pathetic” racist abuse of Pogba

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Manchester United star Paul Pogba was racially abused on social media after having his penalty kick saved in the 1-1 draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday.

United have issued a statement slamming the racist abuse, as Harry Maguire called it “disgusting” and led calls for Twitter and Instagram to take strong stances against those making racist comments on social media.

“Everyone at Manchester United is disgusted by the racial abuse aimed at Paul Pogba last night and we utterly condemn it. The individuals who expressed these views do not represent the values of our great club and it is encouraging to see the vast majority of our fans condemn this on social media also.

“Manchester United has zero tolerance of any form of racism or discrimination and a long-standing commitment to campaigning against it through our #AllRedAllEqual initiative. We will work to identify the few involved in these incidents and take the strongest course of action available to us. We also encourage social media companies to take action in these cases.”

This racist abuse of Pogba follows Chelsea youngster Tammy Abraham also being targeted after his penalty kick was saved in the UEFA Super Cup defeat to Liverpool last Wednesday, and comes after Chelsea banned one fan for life after the racist abuse of Man City’s Raheem Sterling during a game at Stamford Bridge last season.

Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri diagnosed with pneumonia

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TURIN, Italy (AP) Juventus says coach Maurizio Sarri has been diagnosed with pneumonia.

The 60-year-old Sarri was unable to take training with the Italian champion on Monday because he has been struggling with the flu for the past week.

The club said he underwent further tests which confirmed he has pneumonia, for which specific therapy was prescribed.

Sarri left Chelsea in the offseason to take charge of Juventus. His first Serie A game in charge is at Parma on Saturday.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports