Tim Krul

Photo by GEOFF CADDICK/AFP via Getty Images

Wolves’ red-hot Jota too much for Norwich City

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Diogo Jota scored twice and helped produce the third goal of Wolves 3-0 battering of Norwich City at the Molineux Stadium on Sunday.

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Mexican star Raul Jimenez scored the other goal for Wolves.

Wolves rise eighth with 39 points, five points off fourth and two back of fifth-place Manchester United.

Norwich City remains seven points back of 17th place with a league-worst goal differential sinking to minus-27.


Three things we learned

1. Red-hot JotaWolves’ 23-year-old attacker was coming off a hat trick versus Espanyol in Europa League play, and had two goals by the half-hour mark at the Molineux. That gives him five PL goals amongst his 14 in all competitions as Wolves threaten both the Europa League and, somehow, remain alive in the top four race.

2. Abject Norwich defending: Daniel Farke‘s men have been praised for continuing their forward-thinking, attack-minded football in the Premier League, but maybe they simply didn’t have the protectors to bunker down in front of Tim Krul. That’s a bit unfair, because it’s admirable that Farke wishes to entertain, but there’s no debating the mess that is the Canaries defense this year.

3. Jimenez is Mexico’s best: Club Leon’s coach made headlines this week when he called LAFC’s Carlos Vela the best Mexican player, and perhaps he’s No. 2, but there’s no North American in the world doing what Raul is doing in Europe. Jimenez went over 3,300 season minutes on Sunday, adding another goal to give him 22 with 10 assists. Only Rui Patricio, Conor Coady, and Joao Moutinho have played more than the El Tri star.

Man of the Match: Jota


Norwich City had two promising moments in the first seven minutes, as Max Aarons hit a terrific through ball that died with a Teemu Pukki extra touch. Then Pukki forced Rui Patricio into a save.

Kenny McLean cranked a shot to Patricio off a Puuki pass in the 11th minute.

A Norwich giveaway allowed Diogo Jota to dance into the 18, but he instead dribbled himself out of room and was tackled.

Jota made amends in the 19th minute, lashing home after a terrific team goal.

It might’ve been 2-0 had Alex Tettey not darted between Jota’s 23rd-minute pass to Raul Jimenez.

Jota got his second in the 30th off a corner kick, as Romain Saiss slashed a pass across the six that any of three Wolves would’ve put in for a two-goal lead.

Tim Krul made a great save on a Ruben Neves free kick after Jota was injured drawing the set piece atop the 18.

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Jota smashed the post moments before Jimenez deposited Wolves’ third goal of the game, a 3-0 lead arriving in the 50th minute.

Super sub Mane gives Liverpool win at Norwich City

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Sadio Mane’s late winner off the bench withstood VAR to keep Liverpool’s unbeaten league season in tact with a 1-0 win over Norwich City at Carrow Road on Saturday.

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The goal, Mane’s 100th in England, gives Liverpool a 25-point lead atop the Premier League table, second-place Man City holding a game-in-hand.

Liverpool will tie the English top-flight record for most consecutive wins if it claims a win on Feb. 24 versus West Ham United.

Last place Norwich City remains seven points back of safety, though their performance will keep hope alive for its supporters.


Three things we learned

1. Super sub Sadio winner withstands VAR review: Mane used a small shove — but a shove nonetheless –of a Norwich City defender to get himself a bit of space, and slotted past Krul in the 78th minute. The Video Assistant Referee did not see enough to overturn the goal, assisted by Jordan Henderson‘s able long ball.

2. Carrow Road feeds the desperate Canaries: The hosts were up for this one from Moment No. 1. Daniel Farke‘s men were very sound in the first half and opened up zero chances of real danger, and would’ve been ahead 1-0 had they converted an early opportunity. Liverpool could not take advantage of the chances earned by their pressing high up the field, and needed to go their bench for a look.

3. Norwich the latest to waste a gilt-edge chance provided by Liverpool: Maybe it was winter break rust, but the Reds back line fell asleep but lived to tell the story thanks to Lukas Rupp‘s soft pass and Alisson Becker’s quick hands.

Man of the Match: Naby Keita and Trent Alexander-Arnold were Liverpool’s best players on the day, but it can’t be taken away from Mane.


A lively Carrow Road saw Liverpool with the ball in the early stages, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hitting a low shot to Tim Krul in the seventh minute.

Despite a wealth of possession for Liverpool, Norwich got a glorious chance. Lukas Rupp had Alisson Becker beaten when he laid off for Teemu Pukki, but the pass was weak and the Liverpool goalkeeper snared it.

That was really it for first half danger. Liverpool had all nine of the match’s shots but only Oxlade-Chamberlain’s early attempt went to Krul.

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The Reds threatened in the second half, with Krul denying Mohamed Salah then getting back into position to make a fine save on Naby Keita.

Alex Tettey hit the outside of the post in the 73rd minute, though it looked like Alisson had the angle covered if the effort was accurate.

That’s when Mane got his goal.

Pukki belted a shot into the chest of Alisson in the 89th minute.

Newcastle United, Norwich City split spoils at St. James’ Park

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Newcastle United and Norwich City were wasteful with nearly every created chance in a 0-0 draw at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

While the Magpies’ Allan Saint-Maximin joined Norwich’s Emi Buendia in triying to lift the match, it proved too heavy.

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Newcastle sits 10th with 31 points, seven points clear of the drop zone and 13 points ahead of basement-dwelling Norwich City.


Three things we learned

1. Both sides wasteful, but Canaries will be furious: Norwich City has now claimed four of its 18 season points from Newcastle, and it could’ve been six if a lively Teemu Pukki brought his finishing boots. The Canaries may’ve lost their survival hope in not taking three points from the Magpies, who still could’ve scored.

2. Magpies midfield showed why Bruce chased Soumare: Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare would be Newcastle record-signing Boubakary Soumare had the player accepted the chance to join the Northeast side. Instead, Newcastle again got a servicable but unspectacular days from Isaac Hayden, while new boy Nabil Bentaleb was promising and Sean Longstaff barely improved from a rough few outings. Star power is lacking and Jonjo Shelvey‘s return to health would be big.

3. Newcastle’s defensive core decisive: Federico Fernandez and Ciaran Clark continue to lead the Magpies from the back. They can be brave with their challenges and chances because goalkeeper Martin Dubravka has been tremendous between the sticks. The backs are the reason fortunate Newcastle is 10th and not 18th.

Man of the Match: Fernandez and Tim Krul share the honors, though Norwich new boy Ondrej Duda showed moments of promise despite wasting one of the day’s best chances.


Norwich City looked good early, and both Sam Byram and Teemu Pukki forced fine saves out of Magpies star keeper Martin Dubravka.

It was Tim Krul’s turn, the ex-Newcastle man pushing aside a good Joelinton header and Almiron nodding the rebound wide of the yawning cage.

Pukki was denied a long dribble when Federico Fernandez made a fantastic diving intervention to block the Finnish star’s shot.

American right back DeAndre Yedlin had his best half in ages, winning a dangerous 43rd minute free kick.

A late stoppage-time charge from Newcastle ended with a wasted stoppage time corner.

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A slow start to the second half picked up when Duda caught Isaac Hayden five yards outside the box. Matt Ritchie sailed his effort over the frame.

A Miguel Almiron-led rush ended with Allan Saint-Maximin firing into Krul’s gut in the 59th. Ex-Magpie center back Grant Hanley and Krul combined to stop an ensuing Saint-Maximin cross.

A counter was wasted by Pukki.

Hanley gave away a free kick left center, as Newcastle got a third bite at the cherry. Sean Longstaff hit the wall, and Saint-Maximin forced Krul into a corner-conceding save.

Pukki could’ve had it in the goal when Jamaal Lascelles gave it away, but Dubravka saved it off Ciaran Clark. The Irish defender then cleared a possible own goal off the line before Duda lashed wide of the goal.

Krul had to tip a tame 84th-minute header over the bar, and collected the ensuing corner as the match looked destined for 0-0.

Newcastle new boys Valentino Lazaro and Danny Rose debuted off the bench.

Manchester United clobbers Norwich City despite double penalty woes

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Marcus Rashford had a goal and an assist and Manchester United saw two penalties saved in a 3-1 blowout of Norwich City on Sunday at Carrow Road, building momentum after Monday’s draw with Liverpool.

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Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay also scored in the win, with Martial and Rashford saved on their penalty bids by Tim Krul.

United moves seventh with 13 points and now sits seven points back of the Top Four.

Norwich City remains in the drop zone with seven points, as Onel Hernandez scored in the 88th minute to provide the Canaries their lone marker, while Krul made eight saves.


Three things we learned

1. Penalty woes: While both Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial scored later and Norwich City goalkeeper Tim Krul really was in form, there’s no doubt that United’s two penalty takers seeing first half efforts saved had Red Devils’ supporters seeing ghosts of points lost earlier this season. Comically, Rashford’s stuttering run-up on the first saved effort resembled a little bit of estranged penalty taker Paul Pogba, who remains out injured.

2. Martial the difference as Ole waits on Pogba: United’s terrible depth meant that the absence of Anthony Martial over the past couple of months has loomed just as large as that of Pogba. Martial scored a penalty in the Europa League at midweek, but his real welcome back was Sunday when he worked a silky 1-2 with Rashford to make it 3-0 in the second half. Having been robbed earlier by Krul at both the spot and from close range, Martial made sure to put an exclamation point on his evening.

3. Krul, to be kind, was terrific: Norwich City backstop Tim Krul made one of the best saves you’ll ever see, and it wasn’t even one of his outstanding penalty saves. Yeah, that’s plural, as United’s penalty woes continued with both Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial missing chances to put the match away in the first 45 minutes.

Man of the Match: Aaron Wan-Bissaka — McTominay was great before an error late, while Rashford was very good aside from his comical penalty. As for Wan-Bissaka, the right back was credited with 11 tackles. Given his age, he looks like the latest buy who could become a long-tenure monster at Old Trafford.


It was all United early, and Marcus Rashford forced a fine close-range save out of Tim Krul in the 19th minute.

Krul then made an unreal recovery to stop Anthony Martial’s header from about four yards, but he couldn’t stop McTominay’s last through traffic as the Canaries looked unsuited to the task at hand.

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That’s when VAR had many wringing their hands after awarding a penalty to Daniel James, who had left the path of the ball to draw contact and been denied a pen by Kevin Friend.

But VAR saw otherwise. After a lengthy review, Rashford went to the spot and saw his stuttering run-up saved by Krul.

James then set up Rashford properly and it was 2-0 just after the half-hour mark. Smooth finish from the United center forward.

It would’ve been 3-0 had Martial converted his penalty bid, but Krul saved that moments after a brilliant stop on a dipping Fred effort from distance.

Onel Hernandez hoped to have won a penalty after the break after a challenge from Wan-Bissaka, to no avail.

PL AT HALF: Spurs, Arsenal, Man Utd all lead

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images
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Alright, everybody exhale.

Whichever match you’re watching this Sunday afternoon, you need a chance to catch your breath and take a look around the league.

Goals everywhere:

Liverpool 0-1 Spurs [ STREAM ]

Harry Kane scored 47 seconds into the match and Dele Alli couldn’t get on the end of a bid to make it 2-0 to the visitors, but it’s otherwise been all Liverpool.

Spurs goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga is gonna need an ice bath.

Arsenal 2-1 Crystal Palace [ STREAM ]

Raise your hand if you had Sokratis Papastathopoulos and David Luiz scoring three minutes apart.

Put your hand down. Arsenal’s embattled center back pair both scored off of set pieces and Palace could’ve easily been down by as many as four inside of the first 20 minutes.

But they weren’t, and Wilfried Zaha won a penalty off Calum Chambers which allowed Luka Milivojevic to do what he usually does from the spot.

Norwich City 0-2 Manchester United [ STREAM ]

An eventful match saw Tim Krul very busy in the Norwich City goal. He made two great stops early including one which might be one of the best reaction saves imaginable, but Scott McTominay put United in front with a hard drive and Marcus Rashford finished a Daniel James cross to make it 2-0.

In between the goal was a lengthy VAR review that somehow changed a non-penalty call to a penalty. Krul saved the effort in karmic fashion. United won a second penalty and Krul saved that, too, this time from Martial.