Bournemouth-Wolves penalty-fest ends in draw (video)

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  • Three penalties
  • King hits one, misses late bid to win
  • Jimenez converts for Wolves

Raul Jimenez’s 10th goal of the Premier League season helped Wolves to a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

The Mexican also has six assists on the season, and moved his club level with Watford on 40 points. Wolves are behind on three goals of differential.

Bournemouth saw Joshua King convert a penalty and miss another, the Cherries now six points back of seventh.

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About a minute after Wolves’ Raul Jimenez had a goal pulled back for a foul, Bournemouth earned a penalty when King hit the deck under pressure from Joao Moutinho.

King finished his effort, and it was 1-0.

Dominic Solanke won a corner with a fine dribble into the 18 in the 27th minute, but Rui Patricio collected it.

At the other end, Diogo Jota sent a shot/pass through the six that Jimenez couldn’t slide through to equalize in the 38th minute.

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Bournemouth was better money for a second goal than Wolves a first, though possession was in favor of the visitors.

Jordon Ibe smashed the cross bar with under 20 minutes to play.

The Cherries were punished for their lack of finish when Matt Doherty was fouled in the box by Adam Smith.

Jimenez rolled the ball to the opposite side of a diving Artur Boruc in the 83rd.

Amazingly, a penalty came within a minute or so of restart. Ivan Cavaleiro was adjudged to have committed a foul on Ryan Fraser inside the box (it was outside). But King hit his shot off the outside of the right post.

Hilariously, the sprinklers began as the match hit its fifth of five scheduled minutes of stoppage time.

VIDEO: Newport County boss greets “genius” Pep

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Someone ought to make sure Michael Flynn ends up with one of the “Pep v. Flynn” dual scarves circulating around Rodney Parade on Saturday.

Judging by the below video, he’ll find the concept hilarious.

The League Two boss of Newport County, currently battling Man City tight in Saturday’s FA Cup action, was very happy to say hello to his counterpart in Pep Guardiola.

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As for the Catalan wizard, it’s not always you get to see someone react to being called a genius by a man who’s about to match wits with you.

Now if only the field was as friendly to City as Newport’s boss.

Liverpool’s obstacles on path to PL title

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It is not unreasonable to say that, barring long-term injuries to multiple major players, the Premier League title could be decided on Thursday.

Don’t hate the player, hate the games (this week), as Spurs and Man City faltered while Liverpool continued to dominate its opposition.

[ MORE: Kompany ready for Liverpool ]

So while the Reds look upon a seven-point table lead and pretend they haven’t thought about red ribbons on the Premier League trophy — hilarious, right?!? — let’s eyeball the other important mile markers if Liverpool is to claim its first English top-flight crown since 1989-90.

1, 2, 3, and 4) Manchester City v. Liverpool, 3 p.m. ET Thursday, NBCSN

The question here is whether Jurgen Klopp will play it just a bit safer as he did at Anfield earlier this year when Pep Guardiola made adjustments to the Reds’ press. The attack-forward manager really only needs a draw for his title hopes to become very likely, and even he will be tempted to keep some of the proverbial horses in the stable at the Etihad Stadium.

If Liverpool wins, opening up a 10-point lead on City and a minimum 9-point lead on the rest of the field, we can begin to heap shovelfuls of dirt on City’s reign.

5) Manchester United v. Liverpool, 9:05 a.m. ET Feb. 24

Five days after Liverpool hosts Bayern Munich, the Reds will have to turn their attention to a rested Manchester United (The Red Devils’ UEFA Champions League first leg with PSG in Feb. 12). It will also be at minimum a few weeks since United’s presumed new pieces will have began to settle into life at Old Trafford.

6) Everton v. Liverpool, March 2

A prolonged FA Cup run aside, the Merseyside Derby will likely be the lone focus of Marco Silva‘s Everton. The Toffees hung tough with the Reds before Jordan Pickford‘s stoppage time error sprung three points into Liverpool’s account.

7) Liverpool v. Chelsea, April 13

We’ve skipped the Spurs match for now given the North London side’s problems with the Reds in a loss at Wembley and the Anfield status of the second match.

Should the Reds get past Bayern Munich (and Chelsea stay alive in the Europa League), this match takes place between legs of the Champions League quarterfinals. Tricky.

8) Liverpool v. Wolves, May 12

The Reds may’ve just played a UEFA Champions League semifinal second leg a few days prior, but all bodies will want on the field for the final match of the PL season. Nerves will be jangly if it isn’t coronation, and Wolves did not lay down for the Reds at the Molineux earlier this month.’

Report: USMNT turned down Lopetegui meeting request

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The United States men’s national team has been missing a full-time head coach for a long time, and is set to appoint a boss — probably Gregg Berhalter — within the next week or two.

But Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl dropped a bomb on a weary and leery U.S. fan base after FS1’s broadcast of the USMNT’s 1-0 loss to Italy in Belgium on Tuesday.

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Wahl says that former Spain and Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui recently approached U.S. Soccer about the vacancy, but was told the program was too far along in its process.

From Wahl on SI.com:

U.S. Soccer, the source said, replied that it was too far down the line in its process to entertain the interest of Lopetegui, who was undefeated in 20 matches (14-0-6) across two years as the Spain coach. U.S. Soccer offered no comment when asked for a response.

The report will only add more consternation as Berhalter, well-qualified in his own right, attempts to right the good ship USMNT.

How in the world, at any point in the process, a program like the USMNT refuses the chance to speak to Lopetegui would be hilarious most times, though it certainly is likely very late in the process (which has not been anywhere near transparent).

If Berhalter had been told he was hired, that’s about the only acceptable answer (and even if he was, some would still have wanted the U.S. to say ‘Tough break, Gregg. We owe the process this conversation’).

Also a former Porto boss, Lopetegui led Spain’s U-19 and U-21 sides to EURO titles. He was fired by Real on Oct. 29, which would’ve given the Yanks a chance to reach out to him.

Again, I think Berhalter has everything it takes to be a wildly successful USMNT boss, but this process has not been covered in glory.

Champions League wrap: Real breaks out for five, Roma keeps pace

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What a day!

We’ve written it before, but this season’s UEFA Champions League has brought loads of entertainment on nearly every match day.

[ MORE: Kane backs Rooney for captain ]

Wednesday was no different, with last-minute drama in Italy and France.


Bayern Munich 2-0 AEK Athens

Robert Lewandowski scored twice, first with a penalty, then with a header, as the reigning German champions are within a result of the knockout rounds.

Benfica 1-1 Ajax

The Dusan Tadic signing continues to pay dividends, as the Serbian star’s 61st minute goal leveled things in Portugal after Jonas gave Benfica a halftime lead.

Group E
Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Bayern Munich 4 3 1 0 7 1 6 1-1-0 2-0-0 10
Ajax 4 2 2 0 6 2 4 2-0-0 0-2-0 8
Benfica 4 1 1 2 4 6 -2 0-1-1 1-0-1 4
AEK Athens 4 0 0 4 2 10 -8 0-0-2 0-0-2 0

Manchester City 6-0 Shakhtar Donetsk RECAP

Gabriel Jesus struck for three, including two penalties, as Man City ran all over the visiting Ukrainian powers at the Etihad Stadium. David Silva scored and starred again, as did two-goal man Raheem Sterling.

Lyon 2-2 Hoffenheim

If these two draw each other in any competition, buckle up. After a 3-3 draw in Germany two weeks ago, Lyon opened up a 2-0 lead at halftime through Nabil Fekir and Tanguy Ndombele. But Andrej Kramaric scored in the 65th minute to set up Pavel Kaderabek’s stunning equalizer in stoppage time.

Group F
Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Manchester City 4 3 0 1 12 3 9 1-0-1 2-0-0 9
Lyon 4 1 3 0 9 8 1 0-2-0 1-1-0 6
1899 Hoffenheim 4 0 3 1 8 9 -1 0-1-1 0-2-0 3
Shakhtar Donetsk 4 0 2 2 4 13 -9 0-1-1 0-1-1 2

CSKA Moscow 1-2 AS Roma

Arnor Sigurdsson’s 50th minute goal briefly gave the hosts level footing following Kostas Manolas’ fourth minute opener, but Lorenzo Pellegrini nabbed a winner for i Lupi in the 59th minute to stay level with Real on nine points.

Viktoria Plzen 0-5 Real Madrid

Santiago Solari’s Champions League debut as manager went pretty well, with Karim Benzema scoring twice en route to a 4-0 halftime lead for Real. Gareth Bale, Casemiro, and Toni Kroos also scored for the group leaders, who visit Rome on Nov. 27.

Group G
Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Real Madrid 4 3 0 1 10 2 8 2-0-0 1-0-1 9
Roma 4 3 0 1 10 4 6 2-0-0 1-0-1 9
CSKA Moscow 4 1 1 2 4 7 -3 1-0-1 0-1-1 4
Viktoria Plzen 4 0 1 3 3 14 -11 0-1-1 0-0-2 1

Valencia 3-1 Young Boys

Santi Mina scored twice as the Spanish hosts stayed within striking distance of Manchester United.

Juventus 1-2 Manchester UnitedRECAP

Cristiano Ronaldo scored an absolute beauty, which has largely been lost in the sauce of United’s furious five-minute comeback and Jose Mourinho’s mostly hilarious post-match antics (Not sporting? Of course not, but don’t deny us the humor of it). So, wow, here it is:

Group H
Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Juventus 4 3 0 1 7 2 5 1-0-1 2-0-0 9
Manchester United 4 2 1 1 5 2 3 0-1-1 2-0-0 7
València 4 1 2 1 4 4 0 1-0-1 0-2-0 5
Young Boys 4 0 1 3 2 10 -8 0-1-1 0-0-2 1