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FA Cup: Arsenal survive Leeds scare thanks to Nelson goal

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Arsenal are through to the fourth round of the FA Cup, barely, after surviving a noble effort from EFL Championship leaders Leeds United at the Emirates Stadium on Monday.

[ MORE: Full results from FA Cup 4th round draw ]

For 45 minutes, the Gunners were the second-best side, by some distance. The performance was so dire that defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos reportedly gestured to the crowd to calm down and ease off their criticisms moments before halftime. Manager Mikel Arteta “shouted a lot” at halftime, according to forward Alexandre Lacazette, and everything changed in the second half.

20-year-old Reiss Nelson scored the game’s only goal in the 55th minute. It came in somewhat fortunate circumstance as Nelson got on the end of a touch by Nicolas Pepe, and goalkeeper Illan Meslier couldn’t keep hold of the ball after making the initial save.

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Leeds out-shot Arsenal by a margin of 14-3 in the first, before the Gunners roared to life in the final 45 minutes and dominated the second period by an 11-3 tally.

Following the fourth-round draw earlier on Monday, Arsenal will be away to fellow Premier League side Bournemouth in the fourth round on the weekend beginning Jan 24.

Wayne Rooney begins player-coach stint at Derby County

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DERBY, England (AP) Former England captain Wayne Rooney was given a rousing reception before taking his place among Derby County’s coaching staff for the first time at the start of his 18-month stint as player-coach at the second-tier English club.

[ MORE: Mourinho praises “phenomenal” Dele Alli, Spurs supporters ]

Rooney watched from the dugout as 14th-place Derby drew with Queens Park Rangers 1-1 at Pride Park on Saturday.

England’s all-time leading scorer, who is not eligible to play until January, had his name chanted by Derby fans when he was introduced to supporters on the field before kickoff. He applauded in reply.

Rooney left Major League Soccer side DC United in October.

USMNT forward Novakovich leaves Reading, moves to Serie B

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American forward Andrija Novakovich has signed with Serie B side Frosinone, bringing to an end his five years on the books at EFL Championship side Reading.

[ MORE: Transfer Deadline Day in Europe: Deals galore ]

The 22-year-old, who has made three appearances for the U.S. men’s national team, had previously been loaned out to Telstar (Dutch second division) where he scored 22 goals in 38 games two seasons ago, and Fortuna Sittard (Eredivisie) where he bagged 11 goals in 30 games last season.

Novakovich’s contract with Reading was set to expire next summer, thus the club elected to cash in (for a presumably small transfer fee) now. The player, meanwhile, can begin the next chapter of his career now, rather than waiting a further 12 months and enduring another loan move.

[ MORE: Premier League player Power Rankings ]

Frosinone spent last season in Serie A before being relegated back to the second division after one season. They finished 19th, 13 points out of 17th.

Various reports had previously linked Novakovich to clubs in Germany and the Netherlands throughout the summer.

Novakovich spent all of the preseason as a member of Reading’s first team and gave a good account of himself, by all reports. He made his first appearance for the club in four years just last month, but had since fallen away from the first-team squad.=

Huddersfield fire Siewert three games into Championship season

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Jan Siewert was hired to replace David Wagner as Huddersfield Town manager on Jan. 21, with the Terriers bottom of the Premier League and quite clearly headed for an inevitable relegation.

Fast-forward nearly seven months, and Siewert has been fired by Huddersfield after three games without a win in the EFL Championship.

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Siewert began his tenure 10 points adrift of safety from relegation, but then finished 20 points back of 17th place.

Siewert’s only victory (in any competition) as Huddersfield manager (19 games) came in a 1-0 upset of Wolverhampton Wanderers, last season’s seventh-place finishers in the PL.

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Huddersfield’s decision came down Friday night, just minutes after the club suffered a 2-1 home defeat to fellow relegated side Fulham. Huddersfield sit 20th (of 24 teams) with just a single point from their first three games of the season.

The Terriers were also bounced from the League Cup by League One side Lincoln City last week.

Bilic back in England at Championship side West Brom

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WEST BROMWICH, England (AP) Former Croatia coach Slaven Bilic is back in club management at second-tier team West Bromwich Albion in England.

[ COPA AMERICA PREVIEW: Brazil on home soil, Messi’s last shot at (int’l) glory? ]

Bilic has been out of work since being fired by Saudi club Al-Ittihad in February, only five months into the job. Prior to that, he spent two-plus years at West Ham in the Premier League before being fired in November 2017.

West Brom lost in the League Championship playoffs last month and is preparing for a second season in the second tier.

[ MORE: Women’s World Cup: Australia’s comeback, China back on track ]

Bilic says “Albion have convinced me they want to return to the Premier League. Albion have a short-term project and a long project and they do not clash.”