Wayne Routledge

Swansea City 1-2 Stoke City: Swans relegated

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  • Swansea relegated after seven-year stay
  • Swans finish in 18th place 
  • Stoke finish in 19th with relegation already confirmed

Swansea lost 2-1 against Stoke City at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday with the South Wales side relegated from the Premier League after a seven-year stay.

The Swans took the lead via Andy King but Stoke scored twice in the first half through Badou Ndiaye and Peter Crouch to seal a comeback win and just their second victory under Paul Lambert. Xherdan Shaqiri misses a penalty in the second half as Stoke eased to victory.

With the win Stoke finish in 19th, level on points with Swansea in 18th but five goals worse off in goal differential.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Stoke were forced into an early change as former Swansea midfielder Joe Allen was forced off and Darren Fletcher replaced him.

Xherdan Shaqiri whipped in a cross which Lukas Fabianski punched clear and the other end there was an almighty goalmouth scramble with Jack Butland saving and several blocks from the Stoke defense keeping Swansea out.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Moments later King put Swansea ahead as Andre Ayew nodded the ball into his path and he calmly slotted home. The chances kept coming for Swansea as Wayne Routledge then went close with Stoke sinking back towards their own goal.

Before the break Stoke were level as a counter saw Ndiaye get free in-behind and he lobbed home a wonderful effort to make it 1-1. And it got better for the Potters as Crouch headed home a free kick from the left to make it 2-1.

Jordan Ayew curled a free kick inches wide just before the break but the Swans were heading for the drop.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

In the second half Ayew went close again as Stoke sat back and soaked up pressure but Swansea had simply ran out of steam.

Stoke missed a penalty as Fabianski denied Shaqiri after a handball call in the box and Swansea just couldn’t find an equalizer.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

At the final whistle the likes of Leon Britton and Fabianski were in tears as Swansea were relegated on the final day.

Season strugglers: Inominious PL performances

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images
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Tuesday found us breaking ties on our “Most Impactful Premier League Summer Buys” rankings by digging through some advanced statistics sites.

In doing so, something struck us: We rarely if ever check out which players are faring the worst when it comes to those next level numbers.

Ah, the international break: Good for off-the-wall posts.

[ MORE: Alonso, Pedro have Morata’s back]

At the risk of kicking a player while he’s down, here are some negative numbers that stand out from the pack.

Of the 358 players who’ve played at least 10 Premier League matches, Joe Hart is having the worst season of the bunch according to Squawka. That’s a bit misleading due to how the site’s metrics operate, considering eight of the bottom 20 players are goalkeepers (and several, like Jonas Lossl and Jordan Pickford, are having outstanding campaigns).

So the unfortunate honor goes to Swansea defender Martin Olsson, who edges James McClean of West Brom for the infamy. Since the site does heap numbers on players by action accumulated, perhaps it’s better to single out the per-game and per-90 strugglers. Olsson and McClean are still very much near the bottom, but surprisingly Yannick Bolasie is the worst per game, and Swansea’s Wayne Routledge is having the least effective season per 90 minutes.

As for WhoScored, its metrics are hammering forwards, with Lys Mousset, Andre Gray, and Benik Afobe at the back of the back (ahead of McClean, again, who is a multi-site struggler).

These stats aren’t perfect, of course, and I like the idea of having McClean on my squad. But there are some other odds stats in the pack.

 These players might want to pass their next opportunity to the keeper. Of players with 10 or more shot attempts this season, Adam Lallana (11), Renato Sanches (12), Lewis Cook (14), and Dale Stephens (15) have failed to put a single shot on target.

— Of the 81 players who’ve tried their luck 30 times or more, these are the worst accuracy rates

— For perspective, Harry Kane has put 56 percent of his league-leading 162 shots on target, while second place man Mohamed Salah is 61 percent of 118.

— Defensive errors also can be increased significantly by the times a player is put under pressure by his team, which is why goalkeepers are high on Squawka’s list. Take them out, and you get a list with Spurs’ Eric Dier up top. Two of his six errors have led to goals against Tottenham, with Zanka (Huddersfield Town), Alfie Mawson (Swans), Andreas Christensen (Chelsea), and Shane Duffy (Brighton) next with four errors.

FA Cup replays: Swans hang 8, Huddersfield needs ET

Simon Galloway/PA via AP
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The pair of Premier League combatants contesting FA Cup replays on Tuesday combined for 12 goals, but one posted their big number in much more convincing fashion.

[ PL PLAYBACK: What’s wrong with Chelsea? ]

The other match saw a League One side advance to the fifth round.

Swansea City 8-1 Notts County

Carlos Carvalhal’s Welsh good vibes continue to pile up as Swans battered Kevin Nolan‘s League Two promotion hopefuls at the Liberty Stadium, setting up a visit to Sheffield Wednesday.

Chelsea loanee Tammy Abraham sandwiched first half goals around a pair from Nathan Dyer, and Kyle Naughton and Wayne Routledge both netted in the second half before Tom Carroll made it seven.

Twenty-year old Daniel James scored his first goal for Swans. Abraham also had an assist, while Luciano Narsingh had assists on the three others first half goals.

Noor Husin scored County’s goal.

Birmingham City 1-1 (1-4 aet) Huddersfield Town

Aaron Mooy found Steve Mounie at the start of extra time to push Huddersfield Town into the fifth round and a visit from Manchester United. Town split the PL season series with United, but won 2-1 at the John Smith’s Stadium on Oct. 21 before losing to the Red Devils at the weekend.

Rajiv Van la Parra and Tom Ince also scored in extra time for David Wagner‘s Premier League visitors, who controlled the ball and chances but went to extra time without having put a ball in the goal.

England U-20 veteran Che Adams put the Blues ahead in the 52nd minute, but Marc Roberts posted an own goal to level the score in the 60th.

Rochdale 1-0 Millwall

The League One hosts roll onto the fifth round after Ian Henderson scored in the 53rd minute. Rochdale will meet either Spurs or Newport County.

PL Sunday preview: North London derby; clarity for the top-four?

Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images & Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
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There’s Super Sunday, and then there’s this Sunday, when six of the top seven sides in the Premier League will be in action…

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Manchester United vs. Swansea City — 7 a.m. ET, on CNBC and NBCSports.com

Injury crisis — noun: see, also: United, Manchester

With five games to go in the PL season, and a top-four place very much within reach — as well as the Europa League trophy — Jose Mourinho is without a half-dozen players whom would have been considered automatic first-choice starters at the season’s start (see below). Fortunately for him, he’s got players like Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan beyond anxious for additional playing time.

Following a 0-0 draw with Manchester City on Thursday, Man United have climbed to within two points of third-place Liverpool (with a game in hand), and control their own destiny as far as finishing in the top-four goes. Following three straight defeats to Swansea in 2014 and 2015, order has somewhat been restored with the Red Devils winning the last two meetings between the sides. As badly as United need three points to qualify for the UEFA Champions League, the Swans need them more in their bid to stave off relegation from the PL (they currently sit three points back of 17th-place Hull City, with a better goal differential).

INJURIES: Man United — OUT: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (knee), Paul Pogba (leg), Marcos Rojo (knee), Juan Mata (groin), Marouane Fellaini (suspension), Chris Smalling (knee), Phil Jones (toe) | Swansea — OUT: Angel Rangel (foot), Nathan Dyer (achilles), Wayne Routledge (hernia)

Everton vs. Chelsea — 9:05 a.m. ET, on CNBC and NBCSports.com

Sunday’s trip to Goodison Park, where they are winless in their last two visits (PL and FA Cup), looks to be Chelsea’s toughest remaining fixture as Antonio Conte‘s side seeks to lift the club’s fifth PL trophy (sixth in all eras). After a pair of losses in four games’ time saw their lead cut from 10 points to four, the Blues reasserted themselves as the team to beat with an FA Cup semifinal victory over Tottenham Hotspur, their last remaining challenger, and a convincing 4-2 victory over Southampton in league play on Tuesday.

INJURIES: Everton — OUT: Seamus Coleman (leg), Ramiro Funes Mori (knee), James McCarthy (hamstring), Yannick Bolasie (knee), Muhamed Besic (fitness) | Chelsea — OUT: None

[ MORE: Sunderland officially relegated to Championship ]

Middlesbrough vs. Manchester City — 9:05 a.m. ET, on NBCSports.com

Following that 0-0 draw in the Manchester derby, Man City remain fourth in the league table, a single point back of Liverpool (with a game in hand). Given the mathematics involved, their margin for error is greater than any of the three sides fighting for the final top Champions League places. With that said, a loss away to 19th-place Boro would be horrendous, season-defining result — one that would take their destiny out of their own hands and see them rely on results elsewhere to finish top-four in Pep Guardiola‘s first season.

INJURIES: Boro — OUT: Victor Valdes (ribs); QUESTIONABLE: Grant Leadbitter (hamstring) | Man City — OUT: John Stones (knock), Ilkay Gundogan (knee); QUESTIONABLE: Sergio Aguero (back), David Silva (ankle), Gabriel Jesus (fitness)

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Arsenal — 11:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

It was confirmed on Friday that Sunday’s North London derby would be the very last meeting between Tottenham and Arsenal ever played at White Hart Lane, as the 118-year-old stadium will be demolished this summer as construction on Spurs’ brand new, 61,000-seat stadium continues. As fate would have it, not only can Spurs round out the White Hart Lane era with another famous derby when at the Lane, but Sunday also offers Mauricio Pochettino‘s side the chance to do something the club has failed to do in each of the last 22 seasons: clinch a finish above Arsenal in the league table.

Everything is in Spurs’ favor, too, as they’ve won eight straight league games for just the third time in club history (the first time in the PL era), by a combined score of 23-4. Following back-to-back 4-0 wins, over Watford and Bournemouth, their title hopes were kept alive by a brilliant, late strike from Christian Eriksen on Wednesday at Selhurst Park. At the same time, Arsenal were fortunate to top Leicester City courtesy of a comical own goal scored by Robert Huth. If any of those things — stadium nostalgia, form, or current standing in the league (Spurs sit second, 14 points clear of the Gunners — mattered, we’d hand Spurs the three points now. But, this is still Spurs we’re talking about, and why would we ever skip out on the North London derby?

INJURIES: Tottenham — OUT: Erik Lamela (hip), Harry Winks (ankle), Michel Vorm (knee); QUESTIONABLE: Danny Rose (knee)| Arsenal — OUT: Santi Cazorla (achilles), Shkodran Mustafi (thigh); QUESTIONABLE: Laurent Koscielny (knee)

Swansea 1-3 Tottenham: Incredible late comeback

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  • Alli, Son, Eriksen all score late
  • Swansea led through Routledge’s strike
  • Tottenham win fifth-straight
  • Swansea lose third game in last four

Tottenham pulled off an incredible comeback to beat Swansea City 3-1 at the Liberty Stadium on Wednesday.

Trailing 1-0 heading into stoppage time after Wayne Routledge‘s early goal looked to have led Swansea to victory, Dele Alli equalizer, Heung-Min Son put Spurs ahead and then Christian Eriksen finished things off.

With the win, their fifth straight, Spurs kept up the heat on Premier League leaders Chelsea and move to 65 points, while Swansea’s poor run of form continues as they drop into the relegation zone.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

Swansea took the lead early on as Jordan Ayew did superbly to cut in from the right and his cut back was tapped home by Routledge. 1-0 to the Swans.

Tottenham responded well to going behind with Kyle Walker‘s right wing cross just missing Son at the near post but Pochettino cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Spurs kept pushing for an equalizer before half time with Alli almost pulling off a stunning overhead kick after several keep ups, while Christian Eriksen’s dipping shot slightly troubled Lukasz Fabianski.

The Swans held firm and led 1-0 at the break despite Spurs having 75 percent of the possession.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Kyle Naughton drilled a low shot which was deflected just wide of the far post as he cut inside on his left foot in a rare attack for the Swans. From the resulting corner Leroy Fer headed over the bar from close range.

Spurs sent on Vincent Janssen as they searched for a way back into the game and Tottenham continued to dominate possession late on but Swansea’s defense sat deep and it looked like Spurs’ title bid was over. Not so fast.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

First Alli struck to make it 1-1 in the 88th minute and break Swansea hearts. Then Son popped up to make it 2-1 three minutes later. And just when Spurs thought it couldn’t get any better Eriksen finished things off in style.

The title race is still on. Just.