Chelsea beat Norwich in thriller

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“Super, Super Frank, Super Frankie Lampard!” sang the Chelsea fans at Norwich.

[ MORE: How did Pulisic perform?

Frank Lampard is off and running as Chelsea boss, as he grabbed his first win as a Premier League manager in a wild encounter at Carrow Road.

Chelsea beat Norwich City 3-2 after a wild first half gave way to a measured second half display for the Blues, with Tammy Abraham scoring his first two PL goals for Chelsea and playing the hero.

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Norwich battled back to equalize twice in the first half through Todd Cantwell and Teemu Pukki after Abraham and Mason Mount had twice given Chelsea the lead. But Abraham’s strike in the second half capped off a fine Chelsea display, as their youngest PL starting lineup since 1994 did Lampard proud.

Chelsea are off and running for the season.


Three things we learned

1. Tammy Abraham, Christian Pulisic take their chance: This was a big moment for two of Chelsea’s young stars. Abraham was favored ahead of Giroud up top and scored his first Premier League goals for his boyhood club. Pulisic grabbed an assist on Mount’s goal and had a hand in Abraham’s first and was a constant menace on the right. With Willian and Callum Hudson-Odoi returning to fitness, this was a big day for Pulisic. His displays have been up and down but this was a solid outing on the right, and he was only playing there because Pedro was injured in the warm up. The American will have earned another start based on this display.

2. Defensive issues continue for young Chelsea: This team was the youngest Chelsea XI in the PL since Feb. 1994, and it is clear they are still learning under first-year coach Lampard. Norwich scored twice very easily in the first half and the manner of their equalizers will upset Lampard. Quick passing and movement took Zouma and Christensen out of the game and that lack of pace and positioning is a reoccurring theme at the center back position. Lampard’s young side did manage the game well late on and didn’t fade as they’ve done in the second half of games recently. The young bucks are learning, but there are still going to be plenty of speed bumps along the way.

3. Cavalier Norwich growing in confidence: Yes, they lost the game, but the way Norwich kept pouring forward, especially in the first half, sums up their style under Daniel Farke. They are comfortable playing in an attacking manner and won’t change that against the big boys this season. They couldn’t drag themselves back into the game a third time but Farke can be proud of the way his team approached this game. They gave the ball away an awful lot, but they did so trying to set the tone and launch attacks.

Man of the match: Tammy Abraham – The English youngster scored his first two PL goals for Chelsea and led the line superbly with plenty of runs behind the defense which created space for Pulisic, Kovacic and Barkley. This is just the start for Abraham.


It took Chelsea just four minutes to open the scoring as Christian Pulisic played in Cesar Azpilicueta and his cross was rifled home by Abraham for his first Blues goal.

Seconds later Norwich were level. Cantwell picked up the ball in the box, played it to Pukki and got on the end of the cross to tap home and send Carrow Road wild with less than six minutes on the clock.

The fast start continued as Mount was played in by Pulisic and slotted home after 17 minutes to score his second goal in as many PL games. Tim Krul then brilliantly denied Andreas Christensen‘s header as Chelsea pinned the Canaries back in the first half.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

But just when it looked like Chelsea would runaway with things, Norwich equalizer. Pukki was played in down the right and he finished calmly across goal for his fifth goal of the season to make it 2-2.

Chelsea dominated the second half as Pulisic fired wide in the box, Emerson was denied by Krul and Mount flashed an effort wide.

Abraham then latched onto a nice pass from Kovacic and beat two Norwich defenders before firing home his second and Chelsea’s third of the game. The Canaries finished strongly as Ben Godfrey hit the crossbar with a header but Chelsea eased to their first victory of the season.

LIVE MLS Cup Playoffs — NYCFC hosts Toronto, Seattle-RSL

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Citi Field is the scene for New York City FC’s debut as the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Dome Torrent’s men have experienced opposition in Greg Vanney’s Toronto FC, who’ve been to two finals in three years but will have to advance another round without Jozy Altidore.

[ MORE: Live scores, box scores, stats ]

USMNT prospect Keaton Parks returns from injury for City and will partner with captain Alexander Ring beneath a dangerous quartet of attack-minded players.

Toronto hasn’t lost since Aug. 3 (5W-6D) and is well-equipped to deal NYCFC’s possession system on a postage stamp pitch.

The night-cap sees a 10 p.m. ET kickoff between Seattle Sounders and Real Salt Lake, the visitors bringing a stingy record; RSL has allowed the second fewest goals in the Eastern Conference.

The Sounders only lost two home matches this season, and have not lost a home playoff match under Brian Schmetzer.

Champions League wrap: Barcelona, Napoli hold group leads

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Antonio Conte‘s Inter Milan got a necessary win, while several other notable teams had a lot of work on their hands on the way to three points in the UEFA Champions League.

Lionel Messi set another record, Jesse Marsch’s Red Bull Salzburg put another scare into a big name, and both Lille and RB Leipzig puts difference-making wonder strikes on the board.


[ MORE: Genk 1-4 Liverpool | Ajax 0-1 Chelsea ]


Slavia Prague 1-2 Barcelona

Lionel Messi’s third minute goal didn’t send the Czech hosts running for cover, and Slavia Prague got a leveling goal through Jan Boril. It was deserved, too, with the hosts taking double the shots as their visitors when they made it 1-1. An own goal finished off the scoring in Prague.

Messi’s goal made him the first player to score in 15 Champions League tournaments. He’s good.

Red Bull Salzburg 2-3 Napoli

Jesse Marsch’s men know a bit about comebacks after last month’s memorable match in Liverpool, and Erling Braut Haland scored to make it 1-1 after Dries Mertens gave the favored visitors a lead. Haland answered another Mertens goal but the magic ran out for the hosts after Lorenzo Insigne provided the winner.

Lille 1-1 Valencia

Russian winger Denis Cheryshev looked like he’d see his goal stand up as a winner despite a late Valencia red card, but my goodness this equalizer from Jonathan Ikone:

Inter Milan 2-0 Borussia Dortmund

Make it six goals for Lautaro Martinez in 11 appearances for Inter Milan, who looked well-drilled at home under Antonio Conte. Roman Burki was sensational to keep the score 1-0, saving a penalty amongst several other timely interventions, but BVB couldn’t muster a goal. Antonio Candreva added the consolation marker.

Benfica 2-1 Lyon

Rafa Silva was in the right place to deposit a fourth minute goal, and Benfica rode the lead until Memphis Depay leveled in the 70th minute. Enter Pizzi, who scored with five minutes left to give Benfica a needed win. Last place Benfica is three points back of leaders RB Leipzig.

RB Leipzig 2-1 Zenit Saint-Petersburg

Yaroslav Rakitskiy gave the visitors a halftime lead against the run of play but Konrad Laimer leveled the score line and then — clear the deck — Marcel Sabitzer did this:

USWNT star Morgan pregnant, due 3 months before Olympics

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Add childbirth into USWNT superstar Alex Morgan’s summer plans.

The two-time World Cup winner said the “newest member of the Carrasco family” will be a girl, due April 2020. The Olympics begin three months later.

[ MORE: Pulisic assists Chelsea winner ]

Morgan is married to LA Galaxy striker Servando Carrasco, and the comments on her Instagram post include a who’s who of soccer including Kaka and Canadian WNT star Janine Beckie.

Congratulations are of course in order for Morgan, who understandably did not comment on how the addition to her family affects her late summer plans, but NBC’s Olympic Talk reports that she plans to play:

A source close to Morgan said, after the pregnancy announcement, that her goal is to play at the Olympics. Morgan has not stated her intention publicly either way since the announcement.

Little trouble for Liverpool in blowout of Genk

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored twice as Liverpool outlasted a strong effort from their Belgian hosts in a 4-1 win over Genk in UEFA Champions League play on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Pulisic assists Chelsea winner ]

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah scored late goals to finish off the Belgians, though Stephen Odey scored an 88th minute goal after the Reds had rounded out their 4-star day.

Liverpool’s six points are one behind Napoli and three ahead of Red Bull Salzburg at the midway point of Group E play.


Three things

1. “New signing” shines: Remember when Jurgen Klopp loudly proclaimed that a healthy Oxlade-Chamberlain sufficed as a new summer signing? The playmaker was fantastic in just his third start of the season. In addition to two well-taken goals, “The Ox” completed 89 percent of his passes and was credited with 79 touches, two tackles, and two dribbles.

2. “Offensive” banner brings abrupt response: Liverpool striker Divock Origi began his youth career with Genk well before he became a Champions League winner, and a banner hung in the crowd caused both clubs to issue strong statements about its being “deeply offensive.” Liverpool said the banner, which depicted Origi’s face photoshopped on a naked body next to the UCL trophy, “perpetuated a racist stereotype.”

3. Reds defense falls asleep late:  It wasn’t a great evening for center back Dejan Lovren, who was stripped of the ball in a sleepy move on the touch line, but about six teammates could’ve done something as Genk toyed with the Reds in the box to get a late concession. Not a big deal, no, but a small on-field blemish on an otherwise wonderful afternoon.

Man of the Match: Oxlade-Chamberlain


The “Ox” put the Reds on top with a nice low drive through traffic, but the first half was not without its dodgy moments.

Case in point: Naby Keita tried a poor back pass that required timely help from Virgil Van Dijk to avoid an equalizer.

Indeed, Genk thought it had an equalizer before halftime, but VAR revealed a narrow offside in the build-up. Warning sign seen by the Reds?

Mane scored before setting up Salah for 4-0, the Egyptian doing a load of work to snub several defenders.