Man Utd wins; Watford no longer perfect

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  • Red Devils score in 35′, 38′
  • Gray pulls one back
  • Watford loses first of season
  • Matic sent off late

Romelu Lukaku and Manchester United handed Watford its first blemish of the season, beating the Hornets 2-1 at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

Chris Smalling scored a beautiful goal for United to join Lukaku on the score sheet. Nemanja Matic was shown a second yellow card in the third minute of stoppage time.

The Red Devils improve to 3W-2L and join both Arsenal and Tottenham on nine points.

Watford’s 12 points are good for fourth, two above Bournemouth.

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It was very much United’s game from the opening kick, with Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku especially lively in the first five minutes.

Good movement from United allowed Paul Pogba to cut back and hit a left-footed shot from atop the 18, but Ben Foster stooped to collect the ball. At the other end, Will Hughes forced David De Gea into a similar save.

De Gea then made an outstanding save against the run of play when Marouane Fellaini gave the ball away inside the 18 and Troy Deeney laced an effort top corner.

Alexis Sanchez had the ball in the goal but was whistled for offside in the 24th. And he zipped past Christian Kabasele to cut a shot on goal that Foster palmed over the bar.

Lukaku gave United a deserved lead in the 35th minute, using his belly to turn a cross inside the goal.

Center back Smalling made it 2-0 when he chest trapped Fellaini’s header before swiveling to volley a striker’s goal past Foster. The Watford goalkeeper would stop Paul Pogba on the doorstep in stoppage time to limit the deficit to two heading into halftime.

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Watford created a goal in the 65th minute with Gray granted plenty of space to hit a cutback cross from Abdoulaye Doucoure past De Gea.

It could’ve been 3-0 had Antonio Valencia sprung Romelu Lukaku on a 2v1, but the Ecuadorian’s later pass led Lukaku to touch the ball to Alexis Sanchez and the Chilean couldn’t manufacture a shot.

That’s when Matic saw his second yellow for breaking up a late rush, but De Gea made a flying save to deprive Kabasele of an equalizer. The ensuing corner kick led to nothing, and the final whistle blew in favor of the visitors.

EA Sports reveal top 20 ranked players in FIFA 19

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If you haven’t played FIFA, you know someone who lives for it. And if you don’t play it right now, you will have played it in the past. So, you know how important these rankings are.

The top 20 ranked players in EA Sports’ FIFA 19 video game have been announced and there’s plenty of outrage debate on social media about these rankings.

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First up, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are ahead of the rest with a rating of 94 and that’s fair enough. While Neymar is in third on his own ahead of an elite group of seven players on 91.

Three Premier League players (Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and David De Gea) were included in the top 10, while the likes of Mohamed Salah and David Silva just missed out on the top 20. Premier League stars Harry Kane and N'Golo Kante were included in the top 20 for the first time.

Needless to say that has caused plenty of uproar about the new rankings…

Below are the top 20 players from EA Sports’ new game, with the top 10 revealed on Wednesday.


1. Cristiano Ronaldo – 94
2. Lionel Messi – 94
3. Neymar – 92
4. Luka Modric – 91
5. Kevin de Bruyne – 91
6. Eden Hazard – 91
7. Sergio Ramos – 91
8. Luis Suarez – 91
9. David de Gea – 91
10. Toni Kroos – 90
11. Robert Lewandowski – 90
12. Manuel Neuer – 90
13. Diego Godin – 90
14. Thibaut Courtois – 90
15. Jan Oblak – 90
16. N’Golo Kante – 89
17. Harry Kane – 89
18. Antoine Griezmann – 89
19. Giorgio Chiellini – 89
20. Sergio Aguero – 89


Ramos cites death threats, ‘very sensitive issue’ after Wembley reception

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Sergio Ramos did not much enjoy his Saturday, even if Spain got three points from its UEFA Nations League win over England at Wembley Stadium.

Spain dodged a late equalizer when Danny Welbeck was judged to have fouled David De Gea before poking in the goalkeeper’s dropped ball, but Ramos was just as much a target of abuse as the referee.

[ MORE: Maguire extends with Leicester]

English fans, surely many from Liverpool, have not forgiven Ramos for his role in the UEFA Champions League Final, from his incidents with Mohamed Salah and Loris Karius to his on-field reactions to them.

He was booed plenty on Saturday. While he claims it doesn’t affect his game, it clearly affects him during the game. From ESPN.com:

“One tries to evade [the boos]. In the end you feel it, but I stay out of everything. It doesn’t affect my game. I would have liked another reception because people only remember the action of the final, and nobody remembers the death threats that my family and my children received.

“It is a very sensitive issue that people maybe take as a joke about and [that’s why they] whistle in a great stadium like this. My conscience is very clear.”

His conscience may be clear — he also may not have much of one — but the controversy-courting Ramos has been dealing with the consequences of his actions for some time, but the inexcusable death threats to the $1.2 billion lawsuit threatened by an Egyptian lawyer.

UEFA Nations wrap: England falls to Spain after contentious ending

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The opening week of UEFA Nations League action continued on Saturday with a number of 2018 World Cup sides featuring.

[ MORE: USMNT loss to Brazil still shows hope for future ]

Spain’s encounter with fourth-place World Cup finishers England highlighted the day’s action, as La Furia Roja came away with a victory at Wembley Stadium.

The Three Lions will feel they were robbed of at least a point, after England had a late Danny Welbeck stoppage-time equalizer taken away for a foul committed against David De Gea.

Marcus Rashford had given the Three Lions the early advantage after a tremendous through ball from Manchester United teammate Luke Shaw, but it was quickly cancelled out by Saul Niguez’s equalizer in the 13th minute.

Then, Rodrigo brilliantly converted from close range just beyond the hour mark to give Spain the lead, and Luis Enrique’s side held on from that point.

England suffered a massive blow in the second half as well, with Shaw being stretchered off following a clash of heads with Dani Carvajal.

Elsewhere, Switzerland and Belarus were both big winners on the day, with 6-0 and 5-0 victories, respectively.

The Swiss benefitted from six different goalscorers in their outing against fellow World Cup side Iceland, including Xherdan Shaqiri‘s 53rd minute free kick from the right wing.

Saturday’s UEFA Nations League results

Northern Ireland 1-2 Bosnia & Herzegovina
Switzerland 6-0 Iceland
Finland 1-0 Hungary
Belarus 5-0 San Marino
England 1-2 Spain
Estonia 0-1 Greece
Luxembourg 4-0 Moldova

Manchester United reportedly scouting Mexican midfielder

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Mexico and Cruz Azul midfielder Roberto Alvarado had the chance to further impress one of the world’s biggest clubs on Friday night.

Mexican site Esto has the report, saying United scout Mark Prizant was set to evaluate the 20-year-old playmaker when Mexico faced Uruguay in Houston.

Uruguay won 4-1, with Alvarado playing 44 minutes on debut.

[ USMNT-BRAZIL: Full recap | Player ratings ]

Alvarado has three goals and five assists in 12 Liga MX appearances this season, and made his senior debut two weeks after his 15th birthday in 2013.

Oddly enough, Wikipedia says Alvarado earned his nickname Piojo because of his hero, and it’s not Mexican star Miguel Herrera. Rather, Alvarado looks up to former Lazio, Valencia, and MLS winger Claudio Lopez of Argentina.

Perhaps Prizant will stay Stateside for USMNT-Mexico, and eventually take Zack Steffen back to deputize under David De Gea. Just saying.