Sevilla v. Real Betis recap and video highlights
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Sevilla tops Real Betis in derby as La Liga returns

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Lucas Ocampos had a goal and an assist as Sevilla marked the first La Liga match since the coronavirus pause with a 2-0 defeat of city rivals Real Betis at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on Thursday.

Sevilla stays third in moving onto 50 points, six behind Real Madrid and four above Real Sociedad and Getafe. Atletico Madrid is sixth with 45 points.

Betis remains 12th, eight points above the bottom three. Betis lost 2-1 at home in the season’s first Seville Derby and has lost its last three Seville Derby.

[ MORE: New PL schedule ]

Ocampos opened the scoring after Luuk de Jong was judged to have been fouled in an aerial battle with ex-Barcelona and Dortmund man Marc Bartra.

There was a bit of good fortune on the second goal, but it looks so pretty that we’ll give Ocampos the benefit of the doubt.

What we’re trying to say about Ocampos’ third assist of the season, a cheeky back heel, is that he was trying to score rather than flick up for Fernando at the back post.

You be the judge.


Spartak Moscow 1-1 Liverpool: Frustrated Reds come back for point

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A point from far from home is not the end of the world, but Liverpool will rue its missed chances in a 1-1 draw at Spartak Moscow in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.

Goalkeeper Artyom Rebrov had a stellar day for Spartak before being injured and then replaced by Aleksandr Selikhov, who was also strong for the Russians.

Fernando (not that one) scored a free kick for Spartak, while Philippe Coutinho bagged the equalizer that keeps the Reds ahead of Spartak on goals scored. Both sides are three points behind Sevilla.

Liverpool visits Maribor on Oct. 17, while Spartak will host Sevilla.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]  

Roberto Firmino saw a promising header saved, and Brazilian attack partner Philippe Coutinho cleared a launch pad for countryman Fernando with a needless foul minutes later.

The 25-year-old ex-Sampdoria man that curled a free kick over the wall, and not too near to a post. Loris Karius was too slow to move, and the ball found its way to the back of the net. 1-0.

Sadio Mane was lively as usual, and let fly with a low drive for Spartak backstop Rebrov to collect inside the six.

Coutinho made amends with a solidly struck equalizer just after the half-hour mark, working a 1-2 with Mane and lacing a shot beyond the hopes of Rebrov.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Spartak wasn’t sleeping to start the second half, and both Karius and his Russian counterpart Rebrov had work to do early.

Rebrov needed to be substituted following a collision with Mohamed Salah and long delay. A Man of the Match candidate, would the goalkeeper swap tilt the scales?

Reports: Fabian Delph out at least three weeks after hamstring injury on England duty

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It was clear something was wrong when¬†Fabian Delph pulled up lame just 20 seconds into England’s Euro 2016 qualifier with Switzerland on Tuesday.

Well, there was. Reports claim Delph could miss three weeks to a month thanks to a hamstring injury, one that will cause him to miss as many as seven Manchester City matches plus the final two qualification matches for England.

Yet to start a game for Manchester City due to a previous hamstring problem in preseason, Delph is now almost certain to miss Premier League trips to Crystal Palace and Sunderland, a date with West Ham at the Etihad, plus a crucial Champions League group stage game at home against Juventus.

In addition to those, he could also find himself on the outside looking in as the calendar sweeps into October, with league fixtures at Spurs and against Newcastle bookending a Champions League match at Borussia Monchengladbach. There his club will take a break for the international interval, but should he still be nursing his hamstring, he would miss the final Euro 2016 qualifiers for England against Estonia and Lithuania.

“He pulled his hamstring,” England manager Roy Hodgson said after the match on Tuesday. “He trained every session with us and felt good, and he played in San Marino.¬†It was just a burst, that acceleration [that caused it]. He felt it was a definite pull. A scan will have to show us how serious it is.”

Manchester City could get Fernando back from a groin injury soon, and he could provide the Citizens with a replacement for Delph. Meanwhile, for the England international, karma for his snake Instagram post with Raheem Sterling? Maybe, maybe not…

Done Deals: Liverpool’s Markovic goes on loan, Llorente heads back to La Liga

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With the close of the transfer window quickly approaching, check out what deals have been completed as teams look to build up their rosters before the Sept. 1 deadline.

[ MORE: Latest transfer news ]

Lazar Markovic, for whom Liverpool spent $30 million last summer, will spend the next eight months of his professional career in Turkey, where he’ll play for 2015-16 UEFA Europa League side Fenerbahce. The loan agreement for Markovic, who scored two league¬†goals in 19¬†appearances in his first season at Anfield, does not include an option for the Turkish club to purchase the 21-year-old Serbian winger on a permanent basis, as Brendan Rodgers believes his future still lies with the Reds.

Elsewhere in Europe, Fernando Llorente, who spent the last two seasons with four-time defending Serie A champions Juventus, has opted to move to Sevilla after failing to beat a whole host of center forwards in order to lock down a regular starting spot after signing from Athletic Bilbao in the summer of 2013. In total, the 30-year-old striker scored 23 league goals in 65 appearances for the club.

In Major League Soccer news, the Chicago Fire announced that Designated Player, midfielder Shaun Maloney, has been transferred to Championship side Hull City. In his 14 MLS games, the Scottish international scored three goals and notched two assists.

[ MORE: De Bruyne-to-Man City talk persists | More De Bruyne | Heung-Min Son to Spurs? ]

Joey Barton, most recently of the relegated Queens Park Rangers side last season, has been a free agent since the expiration of his contract at the beginning of the summer. On Thursday, Barton put to bed years months weeks days literally no speculation over his future when it was announced that Burnley, who were also relegated from the Premier League last season, had signed the 32-year-old midfielder to a one-year deal.

source: Getty Images
John Stones, Everton FC

As for players not moving anywhere anytime soon, Thursday was a pretty significant day for owning clubs to say, “No,” to potential suitors all over Europe.

Bayern Munich extended the contract of Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara by two years, thus putting to bed any possible speculation of the 24-year-old’s future with the three-time reigning Bundesliga champions. Meanwhile, Everton chairman Bill Kenwright confirmed that his club have rejected yet another offer from Chelsea for defender John Stones (this one reported to be nearly $60 million), and West Bromwich Albion chairman Jeremy Peace admonished Tottenham Hotspur for the last-hour nature of their pursuit of forward Saido Berahino, saying Berahino will not be leaving the club this summer.

Report: Soldado leaves Spurs for Villarreal, ending brutal Premier League tenure

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Roberto Soldado’s Spurs’ struggles are over.

The Spaniard is returning to his home country to play for Villarreal after a pair of underperforming seasons at White Hart Lane.

Soldado, 30, didn’t score less than 25 goals in any of his last three seasons at Valencia,¬†but only netted 16 in two seasons at Spurs. Of those 16 goals, just 7 came in Premier League play.

[ MORE: Latest transfer news ]

He¬†was purchased from Valencia at a club-record rate of close to $40 million in 2013. Soldado¬†was considered one of the key cogs in replacing the offense of Gareth Bale, and the striker¬†came under intense scrutiny when he didn’t fit the bill.

Now, it’s on to Villarreal on a three-year-deal for the veteran striker, who will attempt to turn back the hands of time in Spain.

It hasn’t worked out that way at Atletico Madrid for Fernando Torres, a taller but similar Spanish striker. Will Soldado have better luck back in La Liga?