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FOLLOW LIVE: Sunday slate of FA Cup 4th Round games

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The 4th Round of the FA Cup is nearly complete, with a number of Premier League clubs surprised earlier in the week. Today, three more Premier League sides see their early Cup fates decided.

First, in play this morning, Hull City is visiting London to take on Championship club Fulham at Craven Cottage. The Whites own a 3-1 lead in part thanks to a goal by former Tiger Sone Aluko, just back from international duty with Nigeria.

[ FOLLOW LIVE: FA Cup Fourth Round continues ]

Also in play this morning is Millwall and Watford, a game that saw the Premier League side dumped out after a late goal by Millwall leading scorer Steve Morison with just five minutes remaining. Adding insult to injury, Watford goalkeeper Costel Pantillimon was stretchered off just minutes before halftime, replaced by Huerelho Gomez who was then forced into a good save moments after coming on.

At 9:00 a.m. ET, semi-pro side Sutton United is hosting Championship club Leeds United, having already upset League One side AFC Wimbledon last round.

Manchester United finishes off the slate as they welcome Wigan Athletic to Old Trafford at 11:00 a.m. ET. The Red Devils saw their 17-match unbeaten run come to an end last time out in unceremonious fashion last time out as they progressed through to the EFL Cup final on aggregate despite a 2-1 loss to Hull City.

World players’ union FIFPro opens door to women for first time in 50-year history

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia – The world’s soccer players’ union announced on Friday a new initiative to include women’s players for membership.

FIFPro announced the opportunity for women’s players to gain direct membership to the organization for the first time in its 50-year history.

“Today we are here to announce that female players will always have somebody to go back to, and that is FIFPro,” FIFPro secretary general Theo van Seggelen said. “We think that it is an unbelievable challenge for the new generation of players, and also the current one.”

FIFPro aims to “usher in a new era of gender equality in world football…to secure the fundamental rights of female players,” the organization said in a statement. The use of artificial turf at the 2015 Women’s World Cup was a “tipping point” for FIFPro to get involved in the women’s game, said Caroline Johnsson, former Swedish international and head of FIFPro’s women’s committee.

Present for the announcement was Spain captain Veronica Boquete, who has led a public charge for equality in Spain. Boquete and her 22 teammates from the 2015 World Cup team wrote an open letter asking for a coaching change and better support from the federation. Coach Ignacio Quereda has been in charge of Spain’s national team since its inception 27 years ago. Their situation is indicative of many around the world, she said.

“We are here today to defend players rights, to show our union the power that [it] gives us,” Boquete said.

“In our case, in women’s football, we have been [disrespected] so many times, and that has to stop,” she added.

FIFPro has established an advisory board that includes Boquete and Australia goalkeeper Lydia Williams, who was also present for the announcement. Canada goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc was present for the announcement alongside Nigeria’s and Hull City’s Sone Aluko, brother of English international Eniola Aluko.

Part of the representation for female players will include working with national federations and clubs directly to improve their standards and rights, van Seggelen and Johnsson said.

Hull City 0-0 Manchester United: Tigers go down after squandering chances

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Hull City were relegated to English soccer’s second-tier on Sunday, as the Tigers drew 0-0 with 10-man Manchester United at the KC Stadium.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Steve Bruce’s side threw everything at United but after scoring just 33 times all season, it was clear that Hull’s lack of composure in front of goal is the main reason they will be playing in the Championship next season.

“It is one of those awful experience,” Bruce said. “This is a particularly low time. We are not in the big league.”

The Tigers had two goals disallowed in the first half, squandered some glorious chances and tested a shaky Victor Valdes in goal for United.

“Too many times I have come out and said we have not done bad but we have not scored,” Bruce said. “That is 17 or 18 times we have not scored.”

 

Hull’s failure to win meant they were relegated, as Newcastle’s win against West Ham hammered the final nail in their coffin. The Tigers finished the season on 35 points in 18th and United finished in fourth on 70 points.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Predictably, Hull came flying out of the traps early on as Dame N’Doye headed an effort towards goal but then Wayne Rooney clipped the bar at the other end shortly after.

Angel Di Maria and Ahmed Elmohamady collided which saw the later come off injured in the first half despite getting his first start since March. Hull continued to push for the opener and Chris Smalling cleared at the back post with Nikica Jelavic crashing in. Then Hull thought they went ahead in the 19th minute as Victor Valdes fumbled the ball under pressure from David Meyler and Paul McShane tapped home but he was offside. No goal.

Moments later Hull again had an effort ruled out for offside as Valdes first made a wonderful save from Elmohamady and then Stephen Quinn’s shot was deflected in by N’Doye but the Hull striker was in an offside position.

In the second half Meyler somehow put the ball over the bar from eight yards out after a wonderful knockdown from Jelavic in what was a huge chance for the Tigers to take the lead.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Hull continued to press and Valdes completely missed a cross and then Daley Blind hacked off the line as United survived. After that both McShane and N’Doye went close as the Tigers didn’t give up but were running out of time.

Sone Aluko’s shot was then flicked towards goal by Jelavic but Valdes made a wonderful reaction stop as Hull just couldn’t go ahead. N’Doye somehow stayed on the pitch after appearing to punch Phil Jones in the stomach, and then all hell broke loose in Yorkshire.

[ MORE: ‘Exhausted’ Bruce says future not in his hands ]

Substitute Fellaini was sent off for a terrible challenge on McShane as United played the final 15 minutes with 10-men at the KC. Valdes then parried down another ball and Hernandez somehow missed the ball completely  as another big chance went begging for Hull.

The game finished 0-0, as Hull’s stay in the PL ended after being promoted in 2013.

LINEUPS

Hull City: Harper, Dawson, Chester (Hernandez, 70′), McShane, Elmohamady, Brady, Huddlestone, Meyler (Robertson, 86′), Quinn, N’Doye (Aluko, 71′), Jelavic.

Manchester United: Valdes, Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Rojo, Blind, Herrera, Di Maria (Januzaj, 23′), Mata (Wilson, 73′), Young (Fellaini, 59′), Rooney

Red card: Fellaini (77′)

Stoke City 6-1 Liverpool: Potters pummel Reds in Gerrard’s farewell

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Stoke City beat Liverpool 6-1 at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday, as the Potters recorded their biggest-ever win in the Premier League.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Steven Gerrard scored Liverpool’s lone goal in his final game for the Reds but it was an embarrassing afternoon for Brendan Rodgers’ side as huge question marks will be asked about his future over the summer.

As for Stoke, they raced into a 2-0 lead as Mame Diouf scored twice, then Jonathan Walters, Charlie Adam and Steven N’Zonzi scored  to make it 5-0 at half time. Peter Crouch added another late on to seal a memorable final day win for Stoke.

Mark Hughes’ side finish ninth in the PL with a record points tally of 54, while Liverpool finish in sixth and qualify for the Europa League on 61 points.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

The goals came thick and fast for the home side as Diouf got his first in the 22nd minute when Marko Arnautovic played it into Adam and his shot was spilled by Mignolet straight to Diouf who tapped home. 1-0. Four minutes later it was 2-0 as Diouf drilled in a shot from the edge of the box which Mignolet somehow let slip through him.

Stoke were rampant at this point and took full advantage of Liverpool’s ragged defense as Adam looped in a ball which was headed down and Walters knocked home. 3-0. A nightmare day continued to get worse for Liverpool as Adam then robbed Lucas on the edge of the box and slammed a shot into the net to score against his former team as Rodgers looked embarrassed on the sidelines.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The pick of the bunch then arrived just before half time as N’Zonzi hammered home a unstoppable effort as Stoke’s Player of the Season made it 5-0 to the Potters after an incredible first half.

In the second half Gerrard teed up Adam Lallana but his effort was well-saved by Asmir Begovic as Stoke was on a cruise control. Gerrard then did it himself as he latched onto Rickie Lambert’s flick and finished well to end his Liverpool career with a goal. 5-1.

Late on Crouch headed home to become the all-time leading scorer of headed goals in the PL with 47, beating Alan Shearer’s record, as Diouf teed up his strike-partner. 6-1 to Stoke, and that is how it finished for Liverpool’s worst-ever defeat in PL history.

LINEUPS

Stoke City: Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Muniesa, Pieters; N’Zonzi, Whelan; Arnautovic, Adam, Walters; Diouf

Goals: Diouf (22′, 26′), Walters (30′), Adam (41′), N’Zonzi (45′), Crouch (86′)

Liverpool: Mignolet, Can, Skrtel, Sakho, Moreno, Lucas, Allen, Henderson, Gerrard, Lallana, Coutinho

Goal: Gerrard (70′)

Crystal Palace 0-2 Hull City: N’Doye’s double hands Tigers huge win

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Hull City recorded a huge win away at Crystal Palace on Saturday, as Steve Bruce’s side won 2-0 at Selhurst Park to ease their relegation fears.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Dame N’Doye struck twice in the second half as the Tigers secured their first win in seven and thoroughly deserved all three points in south London against a subdued Palace outfit.

With the win Hull stay out of the bottom three and move up to 16th on 31 points. Palace stay in 11th on 42 points.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Early on palace did all the pressing as Jason Puncheon’s cross deserved better but Glenn Murray sent his effort straight at Hull goalkeeper Steve Harper.

After that Hull got into the game and spurned two glorious chances with first James Chester wasting a free header and then Stephen Quinn found N’Doye completley unmarkd in the box but from six-yards out he somehow failed to get no contact on the ball as the Tigers squander two chances to go ahead.

Steve Bruce’s side continued to press in an open game with Sone Aluko and Jake Livermore having more chances, but Palace looked lively on the break and Wilfried Zaha was unlucky to have not scored before half time after cutting in from the right.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

It didn’t take Hull long to take the lead in the second half as great work from Robbie Brady saw N’Doye tap the ball over the line for his fourth goal of the season to put the Tigers 1-0 up.

Soon after N’Doye should have doubled his and Hull’s tally as the Senegalese striker was played in on the right side of the box but his low effort skimmed past the far post and out of play.

Palace threw everything at Hull as the Eagles went in search of an equalizer and had a goal chalked off by Mike Jones as Yaya Sanogo was adjudged to have fouled Paul McShane before heading home.

It was the Tigers who finished the stronger of the two teams with Leroy Rosenior hitting the crossbar before Gaston Ramirez set up N’Doye to seal the win in stoppage time with his second goal of the game.

LINEUPS

Crystal Palace: Speroni; Kelly, Dann, Delaney, Souare; Jedinak (Lee, 64′), McArthur; Zaha (Gayle, 73′), Puncheon, Bolasie; Murray (Sanogo, 59′)

Hull City: Harper, Chester, Dawson, McShane, Elmohamady, Livermore, Huddlestone, Quinn (Ramirez, 74′), Brady (Rosenior, 84′), Aluko (Bruce, 85′), N’Doye

Goals: N’Doye (51′, 90+2′)