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Tite praises Klopp, set to experiment playing Liverpool style

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Jurgen Klopp probably never thought his formation and attacking style would influence the famous Brazilian National Team, but it appears he has.

[READ: Calls for new USMNT head coach grow]

Speaking to the media ahead of Brazil’s friendly match with Uruguay in London at the Emirates Stadium on Friday, Brazil manager Tite praised both Klopp and Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino, who seems set to take the No. 9 role permanently from Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus.

“Klopp does an extraordinary job, it’s beautiful to see them play, especially on the counter,” Tite said. “Even losing players like (Philippe) Coutinho, (Klopp) maintains the high level and reorganizes the team.”

After playing a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 at the World Cup with Jesus at the top, Tite is taking these last two friendlies of 2018 to experiment playing a front three in the mold of Klopp, with Firmino dropping back to connect with the midfield, allowing the two wide players to cut inside and make runs forward at the defense. In Brazil’s version of Klopp’s Liverpool, Neymar figures to be in Sadio Mane‘s left wing position while Douglas Costa will start on the right wing.

“If you bring Firmino, he plays inside the area and goes out to make smart combinations,” Tite said in a separate interview. “They call it false 9, but for me it’s true 9.”

One of the drawbacks of this is that while Firmino likes to drop back and combine, so does Neymar, which could leave not enough targets forward, or could be perfect with Marcelo overlapping on the left wing. Between Neymar and Firmino, the pair will have to communicate to decide who is dropping and who is drifting out wide or holding the line up top to create spaces in midfield for one of the two to connect and create.

Spurs collapse late (again), draw PSV 2-2

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  • Lozano puts PSV ahead – 29′
  • Moura answers back for Spurs – 39′
  • Kane heads Spurs in front – 54′
  • De Jong steals a point for PSV – 87′

With each of their 2018-19 UEFA Champions League lives on the line, PSV and Tottenham Hotspur traded haymakers for 90 minutes on Wednesday, until only one was left standing — a result neither side will have wanted, final score: 2-2.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

Irving Lozano opened the scoring just before the half-hour mark, when he capitalized on a calamitous mistake by Toby Aldeweireld. Lozano snatched the ball off the Belgian center back near the center circle and raced into the penalty area. Aldeweireld got a foot in to block the shot, but the ball bounded high into the air, leaving Hugo Lloris completely helpless.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Spurs hit back not long before halftime, though. Kieran Trippier cut a cross back to Moura near the penalty spot, and the Brazilian swept the ball up with his right foot and watched as it bounded over a helpless Jeroen Zost in goal to draw Spurs level in the 39th minute.

Harry Kane headed Spurs into the lead less than 10 minutes into the second half, courtesy of a delightful cross from Christian Eriksen, but the advantage wouldn’t hold up as long as Mauricio Pochettino would have liked.

Hugo Lloris rushed off his line and wiped out Lozano outside the penalty area, earning himself a red card and leaving Spurs with 10 men to finish the game.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

PSV’s advantage paid off less than 10 minutes later, in the 87th, when a PSV free kick wasn’t cleared, the ball bounced around the penalty area and Luuk De Jong was in the right place at the right time to poke it past Michel Vorm, who replaced Lloris minutes earlier.

The result sees both Spurs and PSV collect their first point in Group B, but with just three games remaining either side will face an uphill battle to reach the knockout rounds.

Serie A: Icardi wins Milan derby, Lazio up to fourth

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It was a huge day in Serie A, and Mauro Icardi took the headlines with his 92nd minute winner to give Inter Milan a 1-0 victory over rivals AC Milan.

Matias Vecino whipped in a brilliant cross from way out on the right edge, and Icardi was there at the back post to head past Gianluigi Donnarumma for the late victory. The goal capped off an otherwise wasteful match, as Icardi’s winner came on just the fourth shot on target by Inter of their 18 total efforts on net, while AC Milan managed just a single shot on target of their 15 tries. It pushes Inter past Lazio into third in the table, while AC Milan remains way down in 12th.

Meanwhile, Lazio scored a pair of late goals to earn all three points at Parma and jump to third – temporarily – in the Serie A table. Ciro Immobile was on hand to dispatch an 81st minute penalty confidently into the top-left corner and send Lazio on its way to a 2-0 victory. The spot-kick came after Valon Berisha was tackled late by Riccardo Gagliolo both going for a loose ball in the penalty area, a soft giveaway but a penalty nonetheless.

With time winding down, Joaquin Correa sealed it four minutes into stoppage time by wrong-footing Parma goalkeeper Luigi Sepe to finish a well executed counter-attack. The win for Lazio eventually left them in fourth after Inter’s win on 18 points, still seven behind leaders Juventus but only three back of Napoli in second.

Elsewhere, Atalanta clobbered Chievo Verona at Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi 5-1 to pull out of the relegation zone. The win is the first for Atalanta since the first match of the season – stopping a seven-match winless streak – and the goal explosion marks a massive turnaround for a club that had scored a measly two times over the last six games.

The hero was 30-year-old Slovenian international Josip Ilicic who bagged a hat-trick, marking his first three goals of the season. Defender Marten De Roon actually began the scoring in the 25th minute with a laser from outside the top of the box, while Ilicic began his day four minutes later when he delivered a fabulous left-footed curler.

His left foot did it again from outside the box in the 50th minute to put Atalanta 4-0 up, and just two minutes later he had his third, tapping in a Robin Gosens ball home after Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino embarrassingly failed to collect the cross.

A huge relegation six-pointer finished in a 3-3 draw that disappointingly lifted neither Empoli nor Frosinone out of the drop- zone. 33-year-old Frosinone captain Daniel Ciofani found a brace, but Turkish international Salih Ucan rocketed home a 79th minute volley to share the points.

Torino slumped to a 2-2 draw with 17th placed Bologna on Arturo Calabresi’s 77th minute equalizer, while Fiorentina also disappointed in a 1-1 draw with 14th placed Cagliari thanks to Leonardo Pavoletti’s 69th minute strike that left the two teams even.

Lacazette leads Arsenal to win over Watford

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  • Own goal puts Gunners ahead
  • Lacazette finds Ozil for 2-0
  • Watford winless in four

Arsenal broke through late to beat Watford 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Craig Cathcart‘s 81st minute own goal was joined by Mesut Ozil’s 83rd minute strike to provide three points to the Gunners.

Arsenal sits fifth, level on points with fourth place Spurs. Watford drops into sixth, two points back of the Gunners.

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Alexandre Lacazette could’ve won a penalty had he gone down under a Christian Kabasele challenge, but he wobbled forward and mishit a shot. Perhaps he should’ve anyway, by that logic, but we digress.

Watford backstop Ben Foster made a decent stop on Granit Xhaka as the half-progressed, while Arsenal’s story between the sticks was a substitution when Petr Cech was injured and gave way to Bernd Leno.

Arsenal’s second half breakthrough began when an Alex Iwobi cross became Cathcart’s own goal and escalated quickly, with Ozil making it 2-0 within three minutes.

Lacazette assisted the Ozil goal with a decent low cross.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

WATCH: Higuain sets up Milan’s stoppage time winner vs. Roma

AP Photo/Antonio Calanni
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Gonzalo Higuain slipped Patrick Cutrone through for a winner at the death as AC Milan scooped up a 2-1 win over AS Roma on Friday at the San Siro.

Milan rebounded from a season-opening 3-2 loss to Napoli, moving Roma’s record to 1-1-1.

[ PL PREVIEW: Leicester vs. Liverpool ]

The hosts took a lead into halftime when Franck Kessie scored in the 40th minute, but ex-Spurs back Federico Fazio leveled the score before the hour mark.

The match looked destined for a draw when Davide Calabria picked off a terrible Steven N’Zonzi pass and found Higuain.

Look at this ball from the Argentine.