Five biggest surprise players in PL

Leave a comment

Heading into the new Premier League season, we all thought we knew which players would have breakout campaigns and impress.

[ STREAM: Every PL match live

But it hasn’t exactly worked out like that in the opening weeks of the season, has it?

Below we take a look at five players who have surprised us all, so far, and have set the tone for fine campaigns.


Dani Ceballos (Arsenal, on loan from Real Madrid)
Man of the Match display on his first PL start against Burnley, the Spanish international looks the part. Able to create chances galore, he set up both of Arsenal’s goals in the 2-1 win over Burnley. But more impressive than that was his ability to work hard defensively to win the ball back. He did that for the game-winning goal and if Ceballos continues to play like this, it will be tough for Arsenal to buy him permanently from Real next summer.


Erik Lamela (Tottenham)
The Argentine is finally fully fit and has impressed in the opening weeks of the season. A goal and an assist to his name already, Lamela scored a clever goal against Man City and worked his tail off. He’s started both games and with confusion over Christian Eriksen‘s future, plus Dele Alli‘s injury, Spurs are glad to have Lamela back in the frame. Son, Lucas Moura and Giovani Lo Celso will challenge him for minutes, but right now Lamela is a guaranteed starter for Spurs.


Teemu Pukki (Norwich City)
Four goals in his first two PL games, it’s safe to say Pukki has taken to life in the top-flight like a duck to water. The Finnish striker is making up for lost time, with the 29-year-old scoring a hat trick in the 3-1 win against Newcastle and he grabbed a consolation goal at Anfield on the opening day. After scoring 29 goals in the second tier last season, Pukki showed his quality. After spells with Sevilla, Schalke and Celtic which didn’t really work out, Pukkimania is set to take over the PL. Norwich could have bagged one of the best free transfers in recent memory.


Caglar Soyuncu (Leicester City)
Who needs Harry Maguire, right? Leicester didn’t spend any of the $100 million they received from Man United for their star center back and now it is easy to see why. They have Jonny Evans, Wes Morgan and now Turkish center back Caglar Soyuncu, who has become a cult hero in the opening weeks of the season. Soyuncu was brought in last summer and made just six PL appearances last season as he learned the ropes. The 23-year-old is a Turkish international and has shown incredible composure on the ball, like Maguire, and is forming a great partnership with Evans.


Ashley Barnes (Burnley)
We shouldn’t be too surprised by Ashley Barnes play on the pitch. What you see is what you get. He bullies opposition defenders and is a battering ram of a center forward. But we should be surprised by his output. He scored twice against Southampton and once against Arsenal, and he could have scored even more. Barnes is getting himself into the right positions and Burnley are creating more chances with dangerous crosses into the box. The Clarets look back to their best and that’s because Barnes is leading the line with plenty of confidence.

Real Monarchs beat Louisville City to win first ever USL Cup

twitter.com/RealMonarchs
Leave a comment

Real Monarchs scored three unanswered goals as they routed Louisville City 3-1 at Lynn Stadium to win their first ever USL Cup title.

Noah Powder’s goal in the 66th minute sealed the deal for the visitor’s, adding to the goals scored by defenders Erik Holt and Konrad Plewa in the first half.

Surprisingly enough, it was Lou City who got off to a superb start on Sunday night, though.

Only six minutes after the initial whistle, Lou City’s leading goalscorer, Magnus Rasmussen, scored the game’s first goal, breaking a record for the fastest goal in a USL Cup final.

The defeat brings an end to Lou City’s historic run of consecutive USL Cup-winning seasons.

On July 1, former Real Salt Lake defender, Jamison Olave, took over as the Monarchs interim coach following Martin Vasquez’s unexpected resignation.

Man arrested after English soccer player reports homophobia

Getty Images
Leave a comment

TRANMERE, England — A footballer in England’s third tier reported being subjected to homophobic abuse from the stands, leading to police making one arrest.

Wycombe goalkeeper Ryan Allsop told the referee of the abuse at halftime of the League One soccer game at Tranmere as his team won 2-0.

Tranmere says it is very disappointed to learn of a homophobic comment made.

In a statement, Merseyside Police condemned abhorrent incidents.

Police Chief Inspector Jason Crellin added that “hate crime has no place in our communities, and not least at a showcase sporting event attended and watched by many people.”

Brazil beat Mexico to win U-17 World Cup (video)

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Brazil became Under-17 world champions for a fourth time in dramatic fashion as Lazaro Vinicius Marques’ scored a 93rd-minute winner to edge Mexico 2-1 at Estadio Bezerrão on Sunday.

Brazil’s comeback started in the 84th minute when Kaio Jorge converted from the penalty spot, following VAR’s decision which ruled contact on the tournament’s Golden Ball winner, Gabriel Veron, inside the 18-yard box.

With Brazilian legends Ronaldo and Cafu in attendance, the host’s had the better of chances throughout the first 45 minutes. Without any luck, however, Brazil were unable to get the ball past Eduardo Garcia, instead hitting the bar on several occasions.

Then in the 66th minute, Mexico – winners of the tournament in 2005 and in 2011 – stunned the home crowd when Bronze Ball winner Eugenio Pizzoto’s cross into the box was headed into the back of the net by Bryan Alonso Gonzalez Olivan, breaking the deadlock between two sides that had met in the same game back in 2005.

What was going to be a stunning, underdog victory for El Tri, turned into a heartbreaking night for Marco “Chima” Ruiz and company.

Brazil, on the other hand, are now only one championship away from tying Nigeria’s record of five championships.

EURO qualifying wrap: France, Iceland, Turkey earn wins

Getty Images
Leave a comment

With their tickets already booked to next summer’s big tournament, France and Turkey picked up wins in Sunday’s Euro qualifying action, which saw defending champions Portugal clinch qualification.

[ READ: Defending champions Portugal qualify to EURO 2020 ]


Albania 0-2 France

Albania opened their new, 22,500-seat stadium with a hard-fought loss against France.

Early on, Bayern Munich’s Corentin Tolisso gave the impression that the home fans were in for a long night at the inaugurating Air Albania Stadium, opening the score just eight minutes in with a well-placed header. In the 31st minute, an unfamiliar face, Leo Dubois, connected with Antoine Griezmann, who slotted the ball into the bottom-right corner. France finish the qualifiers leaders of Group H with 25 points. Throughout the 10 matches, the world champions lost only once, a 2-0 loss against Turkey.

Andorra 0-2 Turkey

Real Valladolid’s Enes Unal scored a first-half brace as Turkey coasted past Andorra 2-0. Turkey, who clinched a spot next summer after finishing Group H two points behind France, controlled possession and chances at goal.

Moldova 1-2 Iceland

Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson scored the visitor’s second and winning goal in the second half, as Iceland walked away from Zimbru Stadium with a 2-1 win on Sunday.

With 19 points throughout 10 games, Rúnar Kristinsson and company felt five points short of qualifying directly for next year’s competition. That said, they’ll partake in the Euro 2020 playoffs, looking to squeeze their way in.

Elsewhere

Luxembourg 0-2 Portugal

Serbia 2-2 Ukraine

Kosovo 0-4 England

Bulgaria 1-0 Czech Republic