Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Serie A: Turkish youngster Under fires Roma back into 3rd

Leave a comment

ROME (AP) The rapid development of 20-year-old Turkey winger Cengiz Under is playing a big role in Roma’s revival.

Under scored his fourth goal in three matches and Roma won at Udinese 2-0 for its third straight win in Serie A on Saturday.

Roma moved into third place, two points ahead of Inter Milan, which lost at Genoa 2-0.

It’s a drastic improvement from where Roma was a month ago, when the Giallorossi were mired in a five-match winless streak that risked dropping them out of contention for the Champions League places.

“We’re getting back on track to where we were in the first half of the season,” forward Diego Perotti said.

Roma went ahead when Under unleashed a powerful, rising shot from beyond the area in the 70th.

Perotti sealed the victory in the 90th with an angled effort after Udinese gave the ball away near midfield.

Under is having a breakout month.

First, he scored after 43 seconds when Roma ended a five-match winless streak by beating Hellas Verona 1-0. Then he had a brace and also delivered an assist in a 5-2 win over Benevento last weekend.

All this after not being involved in any goals in his first 14 matches with Roma.

“He plays far more for the team than himself,” Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco said of Under. “His greatest strength is being able to prepare his shot with great speed, making him difficult to close down.”

Added Perotti, “He’s very humble and he doesn’t speak Italian yet but he’s well behaved and is a great kid. He deserves all of this.”

On Wednesday, Roma visits Shakhtar Donetsk in the first leg of the Champions League last 16.

“We’ve got to make the most of the fact they’ve had a winter break and might not be match fit,” Di Francesco said of the Ukrainian side. “They have a lot of quality in attack and are dangerous, but we shouldn’t change our attitude.”


Inter’s defense was in shambles against Genoa.

The hosts took the lead before the break when a failed clearance attempt from Milan Skriniar ricocheted off of a stunned Andrea Ranocchia, who was charged with an own goal.

Then former Inter striker Goran Pandev was left unmarked to score from the center of the area midway through the second half.

Inter hasn’t won at regional rival Genoa in more than seven years.

Chievo Verona took a big step toward avoiding relegation with a 2-1 win over visiting Cagliari.

Emanuele Giaccherini and Roberto Inglese scored late for the hosts before Leonardo Pavoletti pulled one back for Cagliari.

Chievo moved up to 14th, level on points with Cagliari, eight points above the drop zone.

Allardyce: Palace sealing PL status “a massive relief”

Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images
2 Comments

Sam “Never Been Relegated” Allardyce will retain his title for one more season.

This time around he’s helmed a safety run for Crystal Palace, who buried Hull City with a 4-0 win at Selhurst Park on Sunday.

[ RECAP: Palace 4-0 Hull ]

The former Blackburn, Sunderland, and West Ham boss saw his team dip into the drop zone early in his tenure, but spearheaded a magnificent run of form that culminated with Sunday’s safety-sealing win.

Here are his thoughts:

“It’s a massive relief. That’s for sure. We all know the implications of relegation today and the devastation it causes to a football club. This football club has been in the Premier League for five or six years and wants to grow.

“Tactically we set up to nullify Hull City and really just expose them where we thought they are weak. They held a high line so we put a quality ball behind and obviously that’s a great start.”

That quality ball was a back pass from Michael Dawson of which Andrea Ranocchia made quite a mess, but we shouldn’t begrudge Allardyce his moment in the sun.

He’s done it again, and also lauded his staff and everyone who works at the club for helping in the safety run. Class move from Big Sam.

Manchester City 3-1 Hull City: Hosts waltz past Tigers

Leave a comment
  • Man City settles in for easy win
  • Hull two points clear of drop zone
  • Delph, Aguero score

An Ahmed Elmohamady own goal was the first of three entries into the Hull City goal, as Manchester City cruised to a 3-1 win over Hull City on Saturday at the Emirates Stadium.

Fourth-place Man City sits seven points clear of Arsenal and Manchester United, who have played two less matches. Hull is in 17th, two points ahead of Swansea City.

Sergio Aguero and Fabian Delph scored for Man City, while Andrea Ranocchia netted for Hull.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Eldin Jakupovic needed to be prepared early, and he made a terrific double save on David Silva and Leroy Sane on the way to the fifth minute.

Man City was very dangerous in the first 20 minutes against packed-in Hull City, but the Tigers were waiting to pounce via counter attack. Hull went from six men on the left side of its own 18 to a quick fire counter through Oumar Niasse and Andrew Robertson that the hosts handled well enough.

Yet it was back to home control straight away, and Fabian Delph knocked down a clearance that Yaya Toure casually sent just over the bar.

The breakthrough came via own goal, as Jesus Navas’ cross swept past the head of Sergio Aguero. Elmohamady had to act before the ball reached Sane, but passed the ball into his own goal.

Aguero didn’t even celebrate his goal to make it 2-0 just after halftime, as his shot hit Elmohamady and another Hull defender before crossing the line.

Delph made it 3-0 with a classy shot from distance, and this one was tucked in and dreaming of the future with 20 minutes to go.

Claudio Bravo ruined his own clean sheet off a stoppable shot from Hull defender Ranocchia.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

PL Saturday roundup: Tighter at top, bottom

Leave a comment

Things got a little tighter at the top of the table on Saturday, and extremely tight in the race for 17th place.

Hull City joined Swansea City on 27 points, while Spurs closed the gap on defeated Chelsea to 7 points.

All that and more in the roundup:

Chelsea 1-2 Crystal PalaceRECAP

Cesc Fabregas scored after just four minutes, and life looked good for the Blues for a few minutes. That’s until Christian Benteke and Wilfried Zaha nabbed a pair of quick goals, and Palace led 2-1 at the break.

Palace were fortunate to hold back Chelsea’s ensuing barrage, and also to see Andros Townsend‘s handball in the box uncalled, but the Eagles may’ve saved their Premier League status with the win.

Liverpool 3-1 EvertonRECAP

Everton’s defensive depth was always going to be tested by the Reds, and the Toffees simply couldn’t pass that exam as Merseyside went red. Philippe Coutinho scored a wonderful goal to highlight the Reds’ offensive output, which included goals from Sadio Mane and Divock Origi. Mane was injured in the game to cast a bit of shadow on the win.

Southampton 0-0 BournemouthRECAP

The hosts were ascendant for most of this one, but had trouble finding the back of the net. Bournemouth’s bid to win at St. Mary’s for the first time ever looked to be in good shape after the introduction of Jack Wilshere helped yield a penalty, but Harry Arter‘s plant foot gave way and the attempt sailed over the frame.

Manchester United 0-0 West Bromwich AlbionRECAP

There’s little doubt the Red Devils were the better team, even without Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Juan Mata. Yet Ben Foster thrived between the sticks against his old club, and West Brom held United without a goal to hurt the Red Devils’ Top Four hopes.

Burnley 0-2 Tottenham HotspurRECAP

The Clarets held firm against Spurs’ pressure for some time, but Eric Dier took advantage of a mishit Jeff Hendrick clearance for his first goal since 2015. Then Son Heung-min finished a Dele Alli cross to bring Spurs to within seven points of Chelsea.

Hull City 2-1 West Ham UnitedRECAP

Andrea Ranocchia nabbed a late winner for Hull, adding offense to his stellar defensive record since arriving on loan from Inter Milan. West Ham took a lead on Andy Carroll‘s 50th Premier League goal, but Andrew Robertson scored to set the stage for Ranocchia.

Watford 1-0 SunderlandRECAP

Miguel Britos scored his first goal since joining from Napoli in 2015, boosting Watford while keeping the Black Cats rooted to the bottom of the table.

Leicester City 2-0 Stoke CityRECAP

Wilfried Ndidi scored an absolutely righteous goal, and Jamie Vardy added second half insurance as manager Craig Shakespeare became the first British manager to win his first four PL matches in charge of a side.

Hull 2-1 West Ham: Tigers win it late on

Leave a comment
  • Ranocchia wins it late on
  • Carroll gave West Ham lead
  • Hull unbeaten at home since Silva’s arrival
  • West Ham lose fourth-straight game

Hull City launched a superb late comeback to beat West Ham United 2-1 and keep their hopes of staying in the Premier League well and truly alive.

Andy Carroll put struggling West Ham United ahead in the first half but Andrew Robertson made it 1-1 in the second half and then Italian defender Andrea Ranocchia headed home late on to give the Tigers a vital three points as they remain unbeaten at home in the PL in 2017.

With the win Marco Silva’s side move on to 27 points and are only in the relegation zone on goal difference, while West Ham are on 33 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

An even start played at in Yorkshire as Jose Fonte was booked early on and Hull looked to try and launch balls in-behind the Hammers’ defense whenever possible.

Robert Snodgrass almost nodded home at the back post by Eldin Jakupovic saved but soon West Ham were ahead.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Carroll scored his 50th Premier League goal and he may not have had an easier one as Curtis Davies misjudged a ball into the box and Carroll controlled before slotting home. 1-0 to West Ham.

Manuel Lanzini then had a low shot which was deflected just wide as Hull struggled to get out of their own half.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Hull then equalized to give themselves a lifeline with a flowing move finished off by Robertson as he surged into the box and slotted home. 1-1.

Carroll almost put West Ham back in front moment later but his header at the back post was well-saved by Jakupovic.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Hull pushed hard to go ahead as a scramble in the box saw Alfred N'Diaye hit the inside of the post and then Kamil Grosicki put his effort wide from the follow up.

Finally the Tigers broke through as Grosicki’s corner was flicked home at the near post by Ranocchia to send the Hull faithful wild.