Steve Cook

Tulsa Roughnecks

USL side Tulsa terminates player’s contract after racially abusing opponent

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USL club Tulsa Roughnecks have announced they terminated the contract of midfielder Fabian Bastidas after it was learned he racially abused an opposing player during a match against Oklahoma City Energy on Saturday.

After the 1-1 draw, current Oklahoma City player and former MLS defender Atiba Harris posted on social media that he was racially abused by an unnamed player during the match. When that player was identified as Bastidas, the club terminated his contract effective immediately.

“The Tulsa Roughnecks announced today the termination of Fabian Bastidas’ contract with the club following his use of foul and abusive language during last night’s match with OKC Energy FC,” the club said in a statement announcing the termination. “The player’s actions are a violation of the league’s zero-tolerance policy, and do not represent the beliefs and values of our club — nor the community we represent. As an organization, we sincerely apologize to Atiba Harris and OKC Energy FC, and will do what is necessary to prevent this type of behavior in the future.”

“What [Bastidas] said is a disgrace,” said Oklahoma City manager Steve Cooke. “In any other walk of life it’s wrong. In our walk of live, albeit on a soccer field, I think people at times can hide behind the veil of competition and say, ‘Well, I just lost my emotion.’ But that’s too easy. In our industry, our profession, we have to be better.”

Bastidas, a 25-year-old Brooklyn native who joined Tulsa in January, took to Instagram to defend his actions, attempting to explain that “nothing malicious or racist was or will ever be intended” by his words.

Fulham win second-straight, beat Bournemouth (video)

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  • Mitrovic’s penalty kick the winner
  • Second-straight win for Fulham
  • 3 defeats in 4 for Bournemouth 

Already-relegated Fulham beat Bournemouth 1-0 at a sunny Vitality Stadium on Saturday, as Aleksandar Mitrovic scored the only goal of the game to secure Fulham’s first away win of the season.

Mitrovic’s penalty kick came in the second half, as an even game saw the Cottagers edge it and caretaker boss Scott Parker has done his chances of getting the full-time job no harm at all with back-to-back PL wins against Everton and Bournemouth.

With the three points Fulham remain in 19th and are on 23 points, while Bournemouth sit in 12th on 41 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Callum Wilson raced in on goal early on but lifted his effort over the bar, and Bournemouth did all the pressing as Fulham struggled to get out of their own half and Josh King then fired over when it looked easier to score.

At the other end Nathan Ake cleared a header from a corner off the line, then Mitrovic flashed a shot over the bar but was offside.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Ryan Fraser forced Sergio Rico into a smart stop across his goal after a trademark surging run forward, as Bournemouth turned the screw. Bournemouth were forced into an early change as Junior Stanislas (who only replaced Adam Smith in the team just before kick off) went off with a knee injury and youngster Jack Simpson replaced him.

Mitrovic was then denied by a great last-ditch tackle by Steve Cook as Fulham improved, and from the resulting corner Denis Odoi‘s flicked header was saved well by Artur Boruc.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

At the start of the second half Fulham went ahead, as Simpson clattered into Mitrovic to give away a clear penalty kick. Mitrovic stepped up and sent Boruc the wrong way to end his drought of nine games without a goal and put Fulham 1-0 up.

Ryan Sessegnon weaved his way into the box and forced Boruc into a save at his near post as the visitors dominated the play in the second half.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Fraser flashed a shot just wide and Bournemouth threw everything at Fulham late on, with Rico denying Wilson and then Maxime Le Marchand coming up with a huge block.

David Brooks‘ cross hit the top of the crossbar and then Lys Mousset sent a late header straight at Rico, and that was as close as Bournemouth came to an equalizer as boos rang out from the home fans at the final whistle.

Bournemouth, Watford draw in six-goal thriller

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  • 5 goals scored in 13 first half minutes
  • Bournemouth fight back from 2-0 down
  • No win in three for Watford, Bournemouth

Bournemouth and Watford drew 3-3 at the Vitality Stadium Wednesday, as the Cherries and Hornets shared six goals in an incredible first half.

Watford went 2-0 up as Troy Deeney scored twice, but Bournemouth then scored twice through Nathan Ake and Callum Wilson to make it 2-2. Soon after Ken Sema put Watford 3-2 up, but then Ryan Fraser made it 3-3 with five goals scored in just 12 first half minutes.

The second half saw both teams have chances to win it, but a draw was a fair result in an entertaining encounter. With the point Bournemouth are in 12th on 27 points, while Watford climb to eighth on 29 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

Jefferson Lerma lashed a shot over from the edge of the box as Bournemouth started well, but Watford were soon ahead. Abdoulaye Doucoure surged forward from midfield and found Sema on the right. His cross was attacked by Deeney who sent a header into the net.

David Brooks then went close to an equalizer as Junior Stanislas and Callum Wilson combined to set him up, but Ben Foster kept out Brooks.

Watford then went 2-0 up as Dan Gosling gave it away to Gerard Deulofeu and the Spaniard then went on a rampaging 40-yard run. Eventually the ball found its way to Deeney who slotted home his and Watford’s second of the game.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Doucoure then curled a shot inches over as the Hornets dominated, but Bournemouth pulled two goals back quickly. Steve Cook‘s header across goal was headed on target by Gosling and despite Foster saving, Ake was on hand to make it 2-1. Game on.

Then Wilson nodded home another set piece to make it 2-2. But there was time for another few goals before half time, as Sema drilled in a low shot for his first PL goal to make it 3-2. But moments later Stanislas squared for Fraser to slot home and make it 3-3.

Josh King almost made it 4-3 right on half time but headed wide, as both teams looked like scoring every time they went forward. Amongst all of that Doucoure should have been sent off for lunging in on Fraser as Watford were lucky to keep 10 men on the pitch.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

In the second half the scoring inevitably slowed down, but Wilson almost scored from another set piece.

A long free kick into the box found the Bournemouth striker and his powerful head was right at Foster who acrobatically pushed the ball over.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Foster then denied King brilliantly as Bournemouth pushed hard for the winner, and at the other end Cook lunged in for a wonderful last-ditch tackle as Roberto Pereyra was in on goal.

Deulofeu then curled just wide as Watford cranked up the pressure late on, as Tom Cleverely wanted a penalty kick after his the ball was handled by Ake in the box but nothing was given.

The game ended 3-3 after a thrilling first half blitz.

Magic Salah sends Liverpool top of the table

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  • Salah scores hat trick, now has 42 PL goals since start of last season
  • 5th defeat in six for Bournemouth
  • Liverpool momentarily top of the table
  • Five wins on the trot for Liverpool

Liverpool remain unbeaten after 16 games of the season and beat Bournemouth 4-0 at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday, with Mohamed Salah back to his clinical best after a midweek rest.

Jurgen Klopp reverted to his strongest possible lineup for the tricky test away at Bournemouth and Salah struck in the first half (although he was offside) and added two more in the second half as Roberto Firmino assisted on two of them. Salah’s hat trick secured Liverpool’s best-ever start to a top-flight campaign at this point of a season.

Bournemouth’s Steve Cook also scored an amazing own goal, as the Cherries were totally outclassed despite a few calls for penalty kicks in the second half.

With the win Liverpool momentarily went top of the table on 42 points, while Bournemouth remain on 23 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

An even start to the match saw Liverpool push forward whenever they could, but Bournemouth had two great chances early on.

Josh King dragged an effort wide, while David Brooks forced Alisson into a smart stop at his near post.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Liverpool did take the lead before the break, as a wonderful piece of link-up play between Roberto Firmino and Salah saw the former shoot at goal as Asmir Begovic could only parry the effort.

Salah, who was marginally offside according to replays, was on hand to slot home the rebound and put Liverpool 1-0 up. Alisson clattered into King in a nasty collision before the break as Bournemouth pushed to get back into the game.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

Liverpool had the perfect start to the second half as Firmino and Salah combined again.

The latter ran towards goal and somehow stayed on his feet as Steve Cook hacked away at him, before he slotted a calm finish into the far corner for his and Liverpool’s second of the game.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Bournemouth had two shouts for penalty kicks in the second half as Virgil Van Dijk appeared to accidentally handle in the box, while King went down but there did not appear to be contact from Alisson.

Cook then scored a memorable own goal (not for him), as he flicked home Andrew Robertson‘s cross with Sadio Mane lurking to make it 3-0.

And Salah saved his best to last as he latched on to a long ball from Adam Lallana, rounded Begovic, twice, and then cheekily tapped home to complete his hat trick and make it 4-0.

Salah trotted off the pitch with the match ball at the final whistle as nonchalantly as he walked on it at the star. After some criticism so far this season, his campaign has lift-off.

Man City finds groove to topple Bournemouth

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  • Leaders remain unbeaten
  • City with 73 percent possession
  • Bournemouth out shot 16-4

Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling, and Ilkay Gundogan scored as Manchester City broke a halftime deadlock to beat Bournemouth 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Callum Wilson scored for Bournemouth, which sinks ninth with 20 points.

League-leading City is up to 38 points, with Leroy Sane producing another fine display in the win.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

City, as expected, had most of the ball and missed the frame or were denied by Asmir Begovic on their early chances.

The goal came in the 16th through Bernardo. Oklesandr Zinchenko sent Leroy Sane through to Begovic, who parried the German’s shot to Bernardo.

Bournemouth scored before halftime after a solid spell of possession, with Wilson leaping to nod a Steve Cook cross beyond the reach of Ederson.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Raheem Sterling’s dribble across the box saw his strike deflect off the post, and Gabriel Jesus couldn’t geto the 54th minute rebound.

Sterling got his goal two minutes later, darting to poke a rebound past Begovic. And Gundogan completed the scoring with just over 10 minutes to play.