Andros Townsend

Premier League social media wrap: Alexander-Arnold gets quizzed

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Rebecca Lowe’s back with her latest Premier League social media recap, which goes from Eric Cantona showing what he’s still got to Nicolas Otamendi having some fun with laundry and so much more.

Check the video above, then let’s take a spin around the PL this afternoon.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Liverpool’s U-9 team usually gets a party when they commit to the club for the next season.

That wasn’t happening in the social distancing world of the coronavirus pandemic, so the club asked Trent Alexander-Arnold to hold a bit of an AMA with the kids.

The questions and answers were wonderful.

Hard as nails midfielder Philip Billing has been a difference maker at Bournemouth, just as he was during his time at Huddersfield Town.

Apparently not all Terriers would agree with the latter part of that assessment — the comments section says they felt he mailed in the relegation season — and Billing stepped to the Twitter platform to express a bit of disbelief, showing off his strong run of HTAFC hardware.

Soccer is tricky.

Aston Villa goalkeeper Pepe Reina was reminiscing on his starring role for another Premier League club.

Reina backstopped the Reds to a 2006 FA Cup Final win, stopping three penalty kicks on the day.

Liverpool came back from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits against West Ham United thanks to goals from Djibril Cisse and Steven Gerrard, and only one of four shooters beat Reina in kicks (Teddy Sheringham).

Crystal Palace’s Andros Townsend is apparently a killer when it comes to jersey swapping.

The Eagles forward showed off a terrific collection of jerseys, from Yaya Toure to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Harry Kane.

VIDEO: Best PL goals of 2018/19 season

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The 2018/19 Premier League campaign provided drama, and plenty of it. Manchester City would go on to win its second straight title in close to end-to-end fashion, but the eventual one-point margin of victory would be a harbinger of things to come.

Liverpool’s ascent was nearly complete, and the Reds fought the entire way down the stretch hoping to capitalize on a critical slip from the defending champions. That slip never came, and a 2-1 Manchester City victory over Liverpool in January proved essential to the ultimate result. A moment of sheer brilliance marked the title win, with Vincent Kompany bagging the all-important goal against Leicester City in May.

[ MORE: Best goals of 2017/18 Premier League season ]

While the title bout was raging, teams provided us with countless moments of brilliance up and down the table. Chelsea and Spurs won a ferocious battle for the final two Champions League places over Arsenal and Manchester United, while Wolves secured a spot in the Europa League with a fabulous campaign that saw them prove dangerous for all top sides. Brighton & Hove Albion hung on for dear life as Cardiff City, Fulham, and Huddersfield Town went down.

The fight for the Golden Boot was also vicious. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sadio Mane, and Mohamed Salah all finished with 22 goals in a banner year for Africans in front of net. Sergio Aguero was right there at 21, Jamie Vardy scored 18, and both Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane bagged 17. They were not the only ones to produce sparkling moments, however, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Aaron Ramsey, Andros Townsend, Andre Gomes, and Jean-Michel Seri all popping up with stunners among the crowd. In the video above, Ian Wright guides us through the best goals of the year with contributions from Michael Owen and Alan Shearer, with Wright’s Top 5 given at the end.

League Cup: Norwich City, Palace bounced

Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
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There were extremes in the fortunes of Premier League teams who opened their League Cup runs on Tuesday.

[ MORE: What we’ve learned from PL so far ]

Aston Villa rang up six goals and struggling Watford posted a 3-0 blowout win, while Norwich City was expelled from the tournament by a League Two side and was Crystal Palace in penalty kicks.

Brighton was taken to the brink as well, but an old friend saved the Seagulls.

Watford 3-0 Coventry City

Ismalia Sarr and Daryl Janmaat scored on either side of half time as the Hornets finally got in the win column following a 0-3 start to the PL season. Adalberto Peñarnda of Venezuela added the third goal.

Crawley Town 1-0 Norwich City

Congolese striker Bez Lubala scored the goal that knocked down the Canaries. Lubala has five goals in six matches for the League Two outfit and is enjoying a new lease on life after failing to make an impact with Birmingham City in the Championship.

The win was the first against top flight opposition in the club’s 120-plus years.

Lubala scores (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Newport County 0-2 West Ham United

Jack Wilshere scored right before the break and Pablo Fornais added one off a Felipe Anderson feed soon after halftime as the Irons overcame a stiff challenge from the side that knocked Leicester City out of the FA Cup last season en route to a fifth round exit.

Fulham 0-1 Southampton

Michael Obafemi‘s 57th minute goal was the difference as Saints were ready for the tricky test at Craven Cottage.

Crewe Alexandra 1-6 Aston Villa

The hosts were up to the challenge, but Villa quite clinical as Ezri Konza scored in the fourth minute and Conor Hourihane added two to give the Villans a three-goal halftime lead. Keinan Davis, Frederic Guilbert, and Jack Grealish scored late to heap misery on the hosts.

Sheffield United 2-1 Blackburn Rovers

Chris Wilder‘s top flight men only managed two shots in the first half, but put them both in the goal.

Bristol Rovers 1-2 Brighton and Hove Albion

The Seagulls had all of the ball and a first half lead through Aaron Connolly before allowing an equalizer in the second. Glenn Murray — who else? — scored in stoppage time to save Graham Potter‘s men the upset.

Crystal Palace 0-0 (4-5 pens) Colchester United

Roy Hodgson‘s men had a good crew on the pitch, but couldn’t manage much of anything in attack even after inserting Wilfried Zaha and Jordan Ayew.

Penalties started poorly, with U’s goalkeeper Dean Gerken saving Andros Townsend, and the Eagles never recovered.

Oxford United 2-2 (4-2 pens) Millwall

Iceland national team winger Jón Daði Böðvarsson scored both of the visitors goals to put Oxford down 2-0, but Mark Sykes’ 87th minute marker joined James Henry’s stoppage time penalty to make for a remarkable comeback.

Plymouth Argyle 2-4 Reading

Posting this to show how far American striker Andrija Novakovich is from the plans of Reading, who is reportedly open to sanctioning another Eredivisie loan for him. PEC Zwolle is the clubhouse leader according to football-oranje.com.

Elsewhere
Southend United 1-4 MK Dons
Burton 4-0 Morecambe
Grimsby Town v. Macclesfield (abandoned)
Leeds United 2-2 (4-5 pens) Stoke City
Nottingham Forest 3-0 Derby County
Preston North End 2-2 (5-4 pens) Hull City
Rochdale 2-1 Carlisle
Cardiff City 0-3 Luton Town
Southend United 1-2 Coventry City

Puskas Award nominees include Zlatan, Messi, Townsend

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The insane Andros Townsend volley against Manchester City last season has been nominated for the annual FIFA Puskas Award for best goal of the year, alongside a Zlatan Ibramhimovic scissor kick, a ridiculous Lionel Messi plink off the underside of the crossbar, a blistering run by USWNT veteran Amy Rodriguez, and six other fabulous efforts from throughout the past calendar year.

The stinging Townsend blast set the Premier League on fire last season as it saw Crystal Palace stun Manchester City for the eventual champions’ second defeat in three matches and provided social media with some fabulous video content. The goal won the official Premier League Goal of the Season award and swept just about every other media outlet’s version as well, although it was challenged on the penultimate day of the season by Vincent Kompany‘s similarly blistering effort that helped Man City nail down the league title. Kompany’s effort was not included int he Puskas Award list.

Zlatan was nominated for his scissor strike against Toronto FC last September, a strike that saw him catch a delivery from Jonathan dos Santos with a spinning 360-degree karate kick that whipped the ball into the back of the net. The Swedish international won the 2013 Puskas Award for his outrageous bicycle kick from miles out on international duty against England.

Messi’s strike – his sixth Puskas nomination, with no wins yet – came in March against Real Betis, a left-footed looper that clipped the underside of the crossbar and left goalkeeper Dani Martin with absolutely no chance.

Rodriguez was nominated for a goal scored for her club Utah Royals against fellow NWSL side Sky Blue FC just last month. She burst through the midfield across the halfway line and took aim from well outside the box, a left-footed effort that found the top corner. She joins Nigerian international Ajara Nchout and Cliftonville Ladies’ Billie Simpson as the only females on the list, with Nchout’s technically fabulous goal coming at this summer’s World Cup.

Others on the list are Sampdoria striker and Portuguese international Fabio Quagliarella, River Plate’s Juan Fernando Quintero, RB Leipzig’s Matheus Cunha, and Debrecen FC teenager Daniel Zsori.

You can watch all the goals nominated and vote for the winner here on FIFA’s official website. Fan voting determines the final three goals up for the award, and a FIFA panel of “legends” will determine the winner from those final three.

Townsend smash v. Man City win Goal of Season (video)

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Even Vincent Kompany‘s thunderbolt couldn’t stop Andros Townsend from winning the Premier League’s Goal of the Season.

The winner was chosen by a public vote combined with a “panel of experts,” according to Crystal Palace’s web site.

[ MORE: Players to watch at U-20 World Cup ]

Townsend walked onto a popped-up headed clearance well outside the 18 and smashed a volley home against Manchester City three days before Christmas.

Palace posted this quote from Townsend, “Everything about the game, the opponent, the strike, it was perfection. I think it was a strike like that needed to beat the champions away from home. I’m thankful it kind of dropped nicely for my left foot, I hit it clean and the rest is history.”

The goals were similar, and Townsend does have a knack for scoring beauties. Perhaps it shows something that beating Man City stands out a bit more to voters and the panel than a defender scoring for the champions. We think Kompany’s was a tiny bit better, but we’ll forgive the voters.