Ahmed Hegazy

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Clinical Russia tops Egypt to likely reach knockout rounds

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  • Russia goals: Fathy o.g. (48′), Cheryshev (59′), Dzyuba (62′)
  • Egypt: Salah (PK, 73′)
  • Next: Russia-Uruguay, Egypt-Saudi Arabia

Hosts Russia scored a trio of second half goals to all but seal the first spot in the 2018 World Cup’s Round of 16 with a 3-1 win over Egypt on Tuesday in Saint Petersburg.

The loss means Egypt is 0-2, the Pharoahs unable to find momentum despite the return of Mohamed Salah. Egypt needs a wild combination of factors to stay alive for the knockout rounds, and is likely heading home.

Salah won and converted a penalty for Egypt, while Denis Cheryshev, Artem Dzyuba, and an Egyptian own goal accounted for Russia’s goals.

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Some sloppy play out of the back allowed Golovin a shot from outside the 18 but he hit his effort wide of the frame.

Egypt stayed in the mix though, and a Russian mistake  deep in its own end forced Zhirkov to concede a corner with a desperation intervention that stopped Mo Salah from a doorstep opportunity.

Salah then won a yard of space but fired wide in the 42nd minute after Zhirkov stopped him from going to his right peg.

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Russia went ahead through an Egypt own goal from Fathy, who was jostling for position with Artem Dzyuba and turned Roman Zobnin’s mishit inside his net.

After Cheryshev made it 2-0, Dzyuba took an Ilya Kutepov long ball out of the air with his chest before turning past Ahmed Hegazy and blasting Russia’s third goal home.

Salah won a penalty in the 73rd minute, one initially ruled a free kick, and the Liverpool man blasted his shot home.

Premier League roundup: A wild return for the top flight!

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The Premier League kicked off with a furious Friday match between Arsenal and Leicester City, and kept that vibe going when Saturday began at Vicarage Road.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

A wild draw between the Reds and Hornets is a highlight of the first Saturday of PL football for the 2017-18 campaign, and the day definitely did not rest over the remaining six matches.

[ MORE: Lineups, stats, box scores ]

Welcome back, you beautiful league, you.


Watford 3-3 LiverpoolRECAP

Marco Silva‘s men went nickname-appropriate, refusing to leave the Reds’ lead alone until Miguel Britos won a 1v1 battle with Simon Mignolet to prod Richarlison’s rocket home in stoppage time (Multiple Liverpool-supporting friends texted wildly about obstruction and offside, so probably should be noted).

Stefano Okaka gave Watford an eighth minute lead, and Abdoulaye Doucouré made it 2-1 before half only to see the Reds claim a 3-2 lead with two goals in three second-half minutes.

Philippe Coutinho did not play, while Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, and possible Man of the Match winner Sadio Mane scored for Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp‘s men continued last season’s underwhelming work versus perceived lower half sides, at least for a day.

Chelsea 2-3 BurnleyRECAP

Of all the things expected from Stamford Bridge on Saturday, it’s safe to say the reigning champions going down 3-0 and finishing with nine men were not part of the plan.

Sam Vokes scored twice and Stephen Ward scored a stunner as the Clarets built a 3-0 lead against 10-man Chelsea, down a man thanks to a 14th minute challenge from Gary Cahill. Substitute striker Alvaro Morata made it 3-1 before Cesc Fabregas was sent off, then Morara assisted David Luiz to make it 3-2.

Everton 1-0 Stoke CityRECAP

Hate him or love him, there’s something right about Wayne Rooney scoring the lone goal in his long-awaited Premier League return to Goodison Park.

Crystal Palace 0-3 Huddersfield TownRECAP

This was perhaps the biggest surprise of the day given the newly-promoted side’s status as visitors to a Palace side which finished last season red hot behind its attack. Instead Steve Mounie scored twice to join a Joel Ward own goal as Town ruined Frank De Boer‘s Palace opener.

West Bromwich Albion 1-0 BournemouthRECAP

Ahmed Hegazy‘s header was enough for the hosts as Tony Pulis‘ men start the season on the right foot.

Southampton 0-0 Swansea CityRECAP

Swans were under siege for most of the day, but an ineffective Manolo Gabbiadini and a bit of bad luck helped the Welsh side to a point at St. Mary’s.

Brighton and Hove Albion 0-2 Manchester CityRECAP

Pep Guardiola‘s club didn’t have its finishing boots for most of the match, but looked very much the well-organized and possession-oriented unit. A plucky day that will give Brighton hope, Man City fans will just look to the next test.

West Brom 1-0 Bournemouth: Baggies edge Cherries

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  • Hegazy grabs winner on debut
  • Bournemouth fail to create chances
  • Set pieces again fruitful for West Brom

West Bromwich Albion beat Bournemouth 1-0 at the Hawthorns on Saturday to get their season off to a flying start.

The Baggies impressed early on and took the lead through Ahmed Hegazy‘s header which turned out to be the winner.

Bournemouth struggled throughout and West Brom and Tony Pulis were the deserved winners on opening day.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

New West Brom striker Jay Rodriguez smashed an early effort in on goal which Bournemouth’s new goalkeeper Asmir Begovic saved superbly to deny the hosts a lead.

West Brom went close with a header at the back post as they looked more dangerous with Bournemouth having more possession but failing to do much with it.

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Rodriguez then curled an effort inches wide of the far post with Begovic beaten as the Baggies continued to push for the opener.

West Brom deservedly took the lead just after the half hour mark as Chris Brunt‘s inswinging free kick from the right found Hegazy at the back post and the Egyptian defender headed home superbly on his Premier League debut.

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West Brom continued their dominance from set pieces in the second half as Claudio Yacob headed into the side-netting.

Bournemouth chased an equalizer by bringing on Jermain Defoe for his second Cherries debut and the former Sunderland striker was warmly applauded by both sets of fans.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

Nathan Ake made a great last-ditch tackle after Bournemouth were caught out at the back and despite Defoe looking lively on the break, West Brom held on for the three points on opening day.

AT HALF: Chelsea down 3 (!!) at home; Rooney scores

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With Arsenal and Leicester staging a Friday thriller before Liverpool and Watford staged a dramatic 3-3 draw early Saturday, the Premier League did not let up with the drama when the 10 a.m. ET matches kicked off.

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Chelsea 0-3 Burnley

Gary Cahill was sent off for a studs-up tackle, and Sam Vokes has a paid of goals to go with Stephen Ward‘s stunner — they’re all stunners in this case — as the reigning champions trail by three (!!!) at the break.

Crystal Palace 0-2 Huddersfield Town

An own goal was met by a Steve Mounie marker within a three-minute span to give the newly-promoted visitors “scenes” at Selhurst Park.

Everton 1-0 Stoke City

The Potters had the better of the half, but Wayne Rooney has the run of the halftime roost with a nodded-home opener just before the break.

West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Bournemouth

Egyptian national teamer Ahmed Hegazy has the marker as Tony Pulis‘ men lead at the Hawthorns.

Southampton 0-0 Swansea City

Premier League 2017-18 preview – West Bromwich Albion

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West Brom is an interesting case. With Tony Pulis leading the way, the Baggies have not truly flirted with relegation since their 17th-place finish in 2014 that saw them finish just three points above the drop. But with finishes of 13th, 14th, and 10th since then, what exactly defines a successful season for the Baggies?

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Premier League obscurity is not a bad thing anymore. With the massive amounts of cash that come with a spot in the English top flight, a long stretch of bottom-half finishes could see the club amass money to eventually become a major player in the market. Clearly, West Brom is biding its time until the club can make a serious move, although the risky acquisition of Jay Rodriguez proves ambition. However, with teams constantly improving around them, the Baggies did little business this summer, which is worrying.

Best, worst case scenarios – The most Baggies fans can usually hope for is Premier League safety, but did last season’s 10th-placed finish change the expectations? Growth is always what any club hopes to achieve, whether it be short-term or long-term, and now fans will be looking for a top-half spot. The Baggies have just one other Premier League top-half finish ever, coming in 2012/13 just before the relegation scare. It would seem the best-case scenario would be for West Brom to match that achievement with hopes of long-term growth from there.

Worst-case would see this club relegated. There is no true star-power on the squad, and while Tony Pulis has a steady ship currently, it’s not hard to envision a few poor results spiraling things out of control.


Best possible XI is…

Foster

Dawson — Evans — McAuley — Nyom

Livermore — Yacob

Phillips — Morrison — Chadli

Rondon


[ MORE: 2017-18 PL season preview hub ] 

Transfers In: Jay Rodriguez (Southampton, $16 million), Ahmed Hegazy (Al Alhy, Loan).

Transfers Out: Craig Gardner (Birmingham, $2 million), Sebastian Pocognoli (Standard Liege, Free), Darren Fletcher (Stoke City, Free).

Last season: 

— 10th place in Premier League
— FA Cup 3rd Round (lost to Derby County)
— League Cup 2nd Round (lost to Northampton Town)

Star Player: Matt Phillips — With Nacer Chadli struggling for consistency on a team that utilizes the flanks, Matt Phillips is the engine to the machine. With nine assists last season to lead the team in his first season with the Baggies, Phillips is a critical part of a team that doesn’t attack a whole lot.

Unfortunatley, Phillips tweaked his hamstring in preseason, and according to manager Tony Pulis, it could be related to repeated back problems the 26-year-old struggles with. If those two problems keep him out for any significant amount of time, West Brom will have to lean on Chadli, who flashes brilliance at times but also tends to disappear quite often. That was evident last season when he made 31 Premier League appearances, but only completed the full 90 minutes 10 times. This team needs Phillips.

Coach’s Corner: Tony Pulis — Pulis has provided a steady presence wherever he goes. He locks teams down, turns them into a disciplined machine, and grinds out results. West Brom sorely needed his presence when he arrived, and now growth seems attainable. The 59-year-old doesn’t bring an exciting style of play, but occasionally the excitement arrives in the surprising results. Last season, the Baggies took care of business against teams below them and upset Arsenal down the stretch.

PST Predicts: The key this season is to stay healthy and avoiding long stretches of failure. If Phillips is indeed injured for a while, there’s not much depth for the Baggies to fall back on. Most worrying is the nine-match winless run to finish the season last year, which featured seven losses. Often, that can be a harbinger of how things will go the following campaign, especially considering the squad hardly turned over this summer. It would be great to see Tony Pulis take this team into the top half two years in a row, but more likely they will end up looking over their shoulders in 14th.