Victor Wanyama

Liverpool-Spurs draw ends in… (We need a bigger word than controversy)

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  • Salah scores very early
  • Wanyama levels with outrageous hit
  • Kane misses questionably-awarded PK
  • Salah dribble wizardry gives LFC lead
  • Kane makes questionably-awarded PK for 100th PL goal

Harry Kane scored a stoppage time penalty after Mohamed Salah gave Liverpool a stoppage time lead as Tottenham Hotspur twice came back in a 2-2 Sunday draw at Anfield which handles the terms controversial and thrilling with kids gloves.

[ MORE: Klopp’s furious reaction ]

Kane had an early penalty saved by Loris Karius, and both opportunities were both delayed as referee Jon Moss and his linesman debated the awards.

Victor Wanyama‘s 80th minute hammer made it 1-1 after Salah scored off an Eric Dier giveaway in the first three minutes.

Liverpool moves third with the point, two points ahead of fifth place Spurs.

Kane’s goal was his 100th in the Premier League.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

A horrible giveaway from Eric Dier resembled a perfect through ball for Salah. At this point, a giveaway to anyone else shy of Lionel Messi would feel better, and Salah curled around Hugo Lloris to make it 1-0 in the third minute.

Spurs seemed shaky until the quarter-hour mark, and Virgil Van Dijk made a nice block on Heung-Min Son to keep it 1-0.

James Milner hit a gorgeous shot across goal that was only just deflected by a sliding Davinson Sanchez.

Loris Karius made a nice stop on Mousa Dembele before half, and would neat to repeat the feat on Son after the break.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Christian Eriksen was lively as the second half progressed with Spurs looking the better for the next goal, though Harry Kane and Co. were offside on a number of occasions.

Dele Alli was booked for a dive in the 69th minute.

Liverpool stayed resolute until Emre Can couldn’t get all of his clearance effort, spinning the ball onto the path of Wanyama for an outrageous strike that made it 1-1.

An offside Kane drew a penalty kick following a Liverpool error leading to the striker leaping over a desperate Karius.

After review, the ruling was upheld. Studies have shown delays affect the shooter more than the keeper, and Karius saved Kane’s attempt before the rebound was sliced high and wide.

It was far from over, as Salah’s season-long wizardry continued with a mazy dribble that included an ankle-breaking step past Jan Vertonghen before popping the ball over Lloris.

And then a penalty kick was given against Van Dijk by the linesman. Erik Lamela leapt in front of Van Dijk’s clearing attempt to draw the PK, but only moments after the Reds finished their clearance.

Kane didn’t miss this time.

Take it away with some top class Super Bowl banter, Men in Blazers:

Spurs’ Wanyama expected back during festive period

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Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino is eager to welcome midfielder Victor Wanyama back into his first-team squad during the upcoming festive period of Premier League fixtures.

[ PREVIEW: Arsenal host Liverpool in massive top-four clash ]

Wanyama, who hasn’t played since the second game of the 2017-18 season due to a knee injury which required extensive rehabilitation in order to avoid surgery, returned to full training this week. Pochettino is hopeful, yet cautious, that the Kenyan’s knee will respond well in the coming days and ultimately be ready for game action in the next 10-14 days — quotes from the Guardian:

“He came back to training with the team on Wednesday. Now we need to see how the knee reacts but it’s a very good feeling from him. It will be fantastic to have him back. He was such an important player for us last season and it’s true that we have missed a player like him this season — in a position where you have to be strong.”

Tottenham are away to Burnley on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET, on NBC and NBCSports.com), home against Southampton three days later on Boxing Day, and away to Swansea City seven days later on Jan. 2.

By opting against significant investment during the summer transfer window, Spurs essentially rolled the dice in hopes of another largely injury-free season as they attempted to challenge for the PL title for a third straight season. If everyone managed to stay healthy and play 80-90 percent of games, the squad was good enough to push the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea — or so the thought was in June, July and August.

[ MORE: Premier League TV schedule | JPW’s PL picks ]

Of course, that’s a risky proposition. Wanyama was lost for four months after just 98 minutes of PL action, Mousa Dembele‘s chronic injury issues have persisted, Danny Rose didn’t return from a knee injury of his own until November, and Toby Aldeweireld has been out since the start of Novemeber and won’t be back until February. Following Wanyama’s comeback, Aldeweireld is the only Spurs player currently unavailable for selection.

As such, Moussa Sissoko has started more than half of Spurs’ games in the PL, Eric Dier has been forced into center-back duty thus weakening an already-thin midfield unit in Wanyama’s absence, and the likes of Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli have been ridden extremely hard during the first half of the season — perhaps setting them up for second-half breakdowns of their own.

Couple all of that with the fact Spurs are playing their home games at Wembley Stadium this season, and it begins to feel like something of a miracle that they currently sit just three points back of fourth place in the league and effortlessly breezed through the “group of death” in the UEFA Champions League.

Premier League notes: Wanyama, Bolasie return after long layoffs, Sakho injured

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Two Premier League clubs saw a pair of players return to the field after long spells on the sidelines.

Tottenham revealed that Victor Wanyama took part in training on Monday for the first time since suffering a knee injury in late August, which has kept him off the field since then. Wanyama started in both of Tottenham’s first two fixtures of the season before the injury.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

At the same time in the northwest of England, Yannick Bolasie returned to the field for Everton’s reserves for the first time since suffering a torn ACL last December against Manchester United. Everton manager Sam Allardyce hinted recently that Bolasie could even make the first team subs bench before the end of the calendar year as he continues his rehab.

(more…)

Cheick Tiote tributes pour in; Hard-nosed midfielder mourned

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Few people enjoyed playing against combative Ivorian midfielder Cheick Tiote, but the longtime Newcastle United midfielder was respected by many.

Tiote, 30, passed away Monday after collapsing during a training session with Chinese side Beijing enterprises.

The 2015 Africa Cup of Nations winner also played with Twente and Anderlecht, and was especially beloved amongst his ex-Newcastle teammates.

[ MORE: Hazard out 3 months ]

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez praised Tiote as “a true professional, dedicated, talented, and above all, a great man.”

Ex-NUFC boss Alan Pardew was particularly stung by Tiote’s death, and honored “a giant of a midfielder.”

 

Tottenham 2-1 Man Utd: Victorious goodbye to WHL

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  • Wanyama nets header
  • Kane flicks second home
  • Rooney pulls one back
  • Spurs ensure second

Victor Wanyama and Harry Kane scored to help Tottenham Hotspur say goodbye to White Hart Lane in style with a 2-1 win over Manchester United on Sunday.

Spurs clinch second place in the Premier League with the win, and will move into Wembley Stadium next season as construction continues on their new home. That’s set to open in 2018-19.

Wayne Rooney scored for United, which can no longer finish in the Top Four.

Spurs played at White Hart Lane for 118 seasons.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The celebrants were ahead by the sixth minute, when Ben Davies collected a short corner and swept a high offering toward the back post. Wanyama floated in the air and hammered a neck-snapping header beyond David De Gea to make it 1-0.

A funny bounce let Heung-Min Son on goal, but De Gea made a point blank save and Christian Eriksen hit the rebound wife of the frame to keep the deficit one. That was one of several key moments for De Gea, who was instrumental in keeping United in the match.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Kane doubled the advantage within minutes of the restart, as Kane beat Chris Smalling to redirect Eriksen’s free kick from the left right.

Rooney attempted to lead a comeback with his seventh career goal at White Hart Lane, running onto Anthony Martial‘s ball into the six to score in front — and off — of Jan Vertonghen.

Substitute Marcus Rashford nearly surprised with an equalizer in stoppage time, but was prodded into a shot wide by Vertonghen.