Fraizer Campbell

PL Friendly Roundup: Real Madrid downs Manchester City, Liverpool draws Malaysia XI

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Four Premier League teams were in action today across the globe, and it was a mixed day for teams in the English top flight look to get ready for the season that is quickly nearing.

Manchester City was pounded by Real Madrid in the Australian edition of the International Champions Cup in the early morning on Friday in the title of the event. The Spanish giants toppled their Champions League foes 4-1 as Ronaldo scored a stunner in the first half.

Real Madrid raced out to a 3-0 lead on a goal from the Portuguese phenom plus ones from Pepe and Karim Benzema, while Yaya Toure slotted a penalty to pull one back before halftime, and Madrid cruised in the second half, restoring their three-goal lead late from substitute Denis Cheryshev.

[ VIDEO: Cristiano Ronaldo dazzles as Real Madrid pummels Manchester City ]

Liverpool also found themselves with a disappointing result, finishing with a 1-1 draw against the Malaysia XI in Kuala Lumpur. Patrick Ronaldinho Wleh stunned the Reds in the 13th minute to take the lead for the home side, but Jordan Ibe brought things back level on the half-hour mark. That was all the scoring despite a heavy host of starters on the field for the Premier League side, with Malaysia coming the closest in the second half, requiring an impressive stop by Adam Bogdan late into stoppage time.

Crystal Palace smashed South African side SuperSport United to reach the final of the Cape Town Cup. Mile Jedinak opened the scoring in just the third minute, and Lee Chung-yong, Jordon Mutch and Fraizer Campbell all scored first-half goals to push Palace firmly in front. They would cruise through the second half to a 4-0 win as Patrick Bamford made his team debut in the second half. Alan Pardew’s side will take on either Sporting Lisbon or Ajax Cape Town in the finals on Sunday.

Finally, Swansea City finished level with Championship side Reading as both sides scored quick-fire second-half goals to end with a 1-1 draw. After a dull first half, Reading’s Nick Blackmon stunned Swansea just a minute after the break with a shot from well far out that hit off the underside of the crossbar and went in. The lead lasted just over a minute, as Jefferson Montero found Kyle Bartley for the tap-in equalizer. Jonjo Shelvey was influential in the second half, but couldn’t put Swansea ahead throughout the second 45.

Premier League Preview: Crystal Palace v. Manchester United

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• Palace last beat Manchester United in the league in May 1991. However, they did win a League Cup fifth-round tie at Old Trafford in November 2011.

• United had 79.9% possession in their defeat by West Brom last weekend – the most by anyone this season and the second highest in the Premier League since 2003.

• The Eagles have won a league-high 18 points from losing positions this season. (BBC Sport)

The end of the 2014-15 Premier League season is near, and teams are in full gear jostling for the best possible outcomes.

On Saturday around 12:30 p.m. ET, Manchester United will trek to Selhurst Park to meet Alan Pardew and Crystal Palace for the second time this campaign, the game being aired on NBCSN or online via Live Extra.

Lately, United hasn’t been the fairly successful side that climbed the ranks to exist in the top four.

The Red Devils, currently in fourth place, still could drop out of a Champions League qualification spot. With three consecutive losses coming at the hands of Chelsea, Everton and West Brom, the attack of Louis van Gaal’s side has fallen under scrutiny lately, with all these matches ending in shutouts.

[RELATED: Premier League standings | Statistical leaders | Depay agrees to United transfer]

Versus the Toffees, a combination of defensive lapses and weak intent on the offensive end ultimately grounded Manchester as Everton’s 2-0 lead at halftime signaled a steep hill to climb.

Thirteenth-place Palace, a squad that United beat 1-0 in league play in November, has surged under manager Alan Pardew, who left Newcastle United at the beginning of 2015 to fill the opening left by Neil Warnock’s departure.

Since Pardew’s arrival, the Eagles have risen from 18th place to 13th currently, and are on their way to their highest finish in almost 24 years.

Similar to Manchester United, Palace failed to win in the past three games, all shutout results to West Brom, Hull City and Chelsea.

What they’re saying 

Manchester United boss Loiuis van Gaal on Michael Carrick season-ending injury (Man United official website): “Carrick is not available, it was more heavy than we thought..We tried everything but now we have to think about next season. He shall not play anymore this season, it’s better now to focus for him on next season and being fit to start…When you see the stats, it’s clear that he’s very important but that’s also because we have only one right-sided holding midfielder.”

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew notes improvement of former Red Devil Wilfried Zaha (The Guardian): “He’s learned you have to do certain things defensively in the Premier League without taking away from your offensive ability. He never really had an opportunity to learn that at United because he just didn’t play enough. That’s no fault of Man United’s: it’s the standards they have. He perhaps wasn’t quite ready. But he is a player we hope will grow here and will make an impact tomorrow.”

Match injuries/absences

For Palace, Glenn Murray and Mile Jedinak are both expected get back into the starting XI, while striker Fraizer Campbell and Marouane Chamakh are nearing returns.

Manchester United players have been dealing with a virus, although it’s unknown who exactly has been affected. Michael Carrick, as stated earlier, is out for the remainder of the year due to a calf problem. Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Luke Shaw and Jonny Evans should be ready to perform as well.

Prediction

United hasn’t been capable of winning recently, but against a team that was in relegation at one point and has present difficulties, the Red Devils should be set to break their losing run. Crystal Palace 1-2 Manchester United.

Watch Live: Sunderland vs Crystal Palace (Lineups and Live Stream)

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Sunderland looks to keep momentum going as the Black Cats can go six clear of the drop with a successful follow-up to last week’s energizing Tyne-Wear derby win as the Stadium of Light welcomes Crystal Palace at 10am ET live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.

Manager Dick Advocaat has made just one forced change to his starting lineup from that win, replacing the suspended Seb Larsson with Jack Rodwell. The influential Larsson is suspended for a pair of matches after picking up his 10th yellow card of the season against Newcastle. These two games will be the first he’s missed all Premier League season.

WATCH LIVE: Sunderland vs Crystal Palace live online at NBC Sports Live Extra

Palace also comes into this match in form, on the heels of three straight wins and four in their last five that has seen them suddenly closing in on a top 10 table finish, just three points back of Stoke City for 10th position. Even more surprisingly, they’ve done it all without captain Mile Jedinak, who returns from his four-match suspension today.

Joe Ledley was thought to be injured for today but is able to make the Palace bench, while Marouane Chamakh, Fraizer Campbell and Jordon Mutch are all still dealing with long-term injuries.

LINEUPS:

Sunderland: Pantilimon, O’Shea, Vergini, Jones, van Aanholt, Cattermole, Gomez, Rodwell, Fletcher, Wickham, Defoe.
Bench: Bridcutt, Johnson, Reveillere, Graham, Coates, Mannone, Buckley.

Crystal Palace: Speroni; Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souare; Bolasie, McArthur, Jedinak, Zaha; Puncheon; Murray.
Bench: Hennessey, Hangeland, Sanogo, Ledley, Gayle, Kelly, Ameobi.

FA Cup roundup: Stoke upset, West Brom rolls, Liverpool comes back behind Balotelli, Lallana

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Five Premier League clubs took the pitch for fifth-round FA Cup matches on Saturday, and only two remain thanks to two all-top-flight matches and a Blackburn upset.

[ MORE: Sherwood hired by Aston Villa ]

Round ’em up? We will:

Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool

Fraizer Campbell stayed in form by slotting home a punched-out rebound from Simon Mignolet, and Alan Pardew’s Palace looked prepared to knock an English giant out of the FA Cup before the quarterfinals.

And by prepared, we mean allowing Liverpool to possess the heck out of the ball in hopes of holding onto the lead until they could counterattack.

The Reds put on Mario Balotelli at halftime in the hopes he could mirror his midweek heroics against Tottenham. But it was a starter who would equalize, with Daniel Sturridge first-touching Jordan Henderson’s pass through the legs of Palace keeper Julian Speroni in the 49th minute.

But Balotelli worked to win a free kick just outside the box in the 58th minute. He then presided over it with Henderson, hammering it through a hole in the wall caused by his teammates. Speroni couldn’t control the well-hit shot, and Lallana timed his run well to slam home the rebound. It was 2-1 to the visitors.

Blackburn 4-1 Stoke City

source: Getty ImagesGeoff Cameron conceded a penalty for the second time in a week, and the USMNT midfielder/defender was sent off as the Potters were upset by Joshua King and the Rovers.

King scored a hat trick to lead the way for Blackburn.

The Potters came out firing, with Peter Crouch scoring a goal in the 10th minute. Stoke looked in control, but King had already equalized when Cameron was shown a straight red for grabbing a hold of King in the box.

Rudy Gestede converted the penalty kick, as King scored or set up all four Rovers goals.

Derby County 1-2 Reading

The Yak is indeed back for Reading, as Yakubu Aiyegbeni came off the bench to score an 82nd minute winner for the Royals.

Stephen Warnock picked up two yellow cards in a busy first half, giving the Rams a real problem in trying to advance at home.

Scoreless at half, Hal Robson-Kanu netted in the 53rd minute before Darren Bent equalized for Derby less than 10 minutes later.

USMNT midfielder Danny Williams went 90 minutes for Reading in the win.

West Bromwich Albion 4-0 West Ham United

There’s a full match recap here.

The Hammers fielded a strong squad, albeit without Andy Carroll, but didn’t look too interested once Brown Ideye started running all over the visitors.

Ideye netted twice, with James Morrison also scored a strong goal from distance and Saido Berahino added a near-post laser to seal the Baggies trip to the quarterfinals.

Crystal Palace 1-1 Newcastle United: Pardew’s Eagles come back to grab point (video)

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Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew got a late goal from Fraizer Campbell to snare a point away from his former club Newcastle United.

Papiss Cisse scored the visitors’ goal in the first half, but it wouldn’t hold up for John Carver’s Magpies.

Newcastle stays 11th with 32 points, while Palace is now five points clear of the drop zone. The Eagles are in the 13th place with 27 points.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Aside from the Pardew subplot and the pair of goals, there was little exciting in the match at Selhurst Park.

source: Getty ImagesDaryl Janmaat sent a perfect bending cross from the end line that Cisse turned into the goal with his head to give the Magpies a 1-0 lead.

Campbell abused Mike Williamson, then sliding to score past Tim Krul and even the score in the 71st minute.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Newcastle boss John Carver opted for defense as Pardew’s squad found late confidence. Mehdi Abeid came in for Papiss Cisse and Paul Dummett emerged for Remy Cabella.

But it was Krul who save his side’s proverbial bacon, getting horizontal to punch a low shot clear of the frame with just a trio of minutes to go in regulation.

Lineups

Crystal Palace: Speroni; Ward, Delaney, Hangeland, Kelly (Bolasie, 68′); McArthur, Ledley, Puncheon, Zaha; Sanogo (Campbell, 26′), Chamakh (Gayle, 66′)

Goal: Campbell (71′)

Newcastle United: Krul; Janmaat, Coloccini, Williamson, Haidara; Colback, Sissoko; Cabella (Dummett, 86′), Perez (Riviere, 90′), Gouffran; Cisse (Abeid, 78′)

Goal: Cisse (42′)