Arsenal vs Sunderland final score: Nketiah, Pepe drive blowout (video)


Arsenal turned on the style to increase its lead over Sunderland to 5-1, cutting through the Black Cats like a hot knife through butter to give Eddie Nketiah a League Cup hat trick.

Nketiah put a silky finishing touch on a brilliant team goal that saw Nicolas Pepe nutmeg a defender after the Gunners went full training exercise on their League One visitors to the Emirates Stadium.

Pepe had a goal and two assists, teenager Charlie Patino came off the bench to score, and Nuno Tavares and Cedric Soares also had assists in the win.  Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was again out of the 18.

[ MORE: Tuesday’s transfer news ]

The video of Nketiah’s third goal is below, as Arsenal takes shortcuts to success as the scorer slows his run to live in the middle of a sea of Black Cats.

Sunderland had the match at 2-1 before the break when Nathan Broadhead pulled the Black Cats closer following Nketiah and Pepe goals.

Arsenal teenager Charlie Patino made his debut off the bench in the 80th minute for Emile Smith-Rowe.

Sunderland was understandably outclassed but showed good intent and football early in a match they hope can continue to build momentum toward a Championship return.

Arsenal vs Sunderland final score, stats:

Arsenal 5-1 Sunderland

Scorers: Nketiah 17′, 49′, 58′; Pepe 27′; Patino 90’+1

Shot attempts: Arsenal 19-12

Shots on goal: Arsenal 10-6

Possession: Arsenal 68-32 Sunderland

USMNT: Morris injured; Yedlin, Holmes, Gooch make highlight reel (video)


Americans have been quite busy Saturday in Europe.

One USMNT player sprung a goal with a terrific pass, another struck a sweet goal, and a third scored a brace in a game that saw a fourth stretchered off the pitch.

[ MORE: Three things from Saints – Chelsea ]

Lynden Gooch, Duane Holmes, and DeAndre Yedlin were the producers, while Swansea City sub Jordan Morris is the injured man.

And, sadly, that injury is a major concern for both Swans and his parent club Seattle Sounders.

Morris hurt as Holmes shines

Let’s start with that lone dour note, as Sounders loanee Morris subbed into the match for Swans at halftime. He not only saw Swans go down 4-1 thanks in large part to a Holmes brace, but then left the match injured with his team having used all five subs.

Morris went down and his left leg was put in a brace before he was put onto a stretcher to leave the pitch at Huddersfield Town. His right knee featured the ACL he tore in early 2018.

Holmes’ two goals featured a beauty, as the ex-Derby County man dribbled out from the left wing and sent an arrow from way downtown that Freddie Woodman’s left hand clawing through air.

Fourth-place Swans are on 56 points fail to move into the top two with the loss, though they still have two matches-in-hand on Brentford and Watford sides who boast 57.

Yedlin’s outstanding ball sets up Kilinc goal

DeAndre Yedlin made his first Galatasaray start on Saturday after moving from Newcastle and debuting with two sub stints at right back.

He’s already made a huge difference in Gala taking a 1-0 lead at Alanyaspor.

Yedlin sprung Emre Kilinc with a tremendous diagonal ball in the 18th minute, an aesthetically-pleasing wonder from his own half.

Kilinc needed a rebound to finish the opportunity so Yedlin may not collect an assist unless there’s a kind-hearted scorekeeper, but wow.

There are a couple more Premier League connections in Gala’s lineup Saturday, with ex-Spurs man Gedson Fernandes and former Everton prospect Henry Onyekuru in the visitors’ 4-1-4-1.

Gooch stuns with 19-yard rocket

It’s easy to lose track of Lynden Gooch at Sunderland, as he’s remained faithful to the downtrodden Black Cats all the way into League One.

The California native, now 25, is four seasons removed from making 11 appearances for Sunderland in their relegation from the Premier League.

He had a goal and four assists in the 2017-18 season that saw Sunderland drop a league again, and has 18 goals and 16 assists in two-and-a-half League One seasons following his latest delicious strike.

Gooch collected his third goal to go with five assists this season, digging this ball out from between his pegs to smash Sunderland into sixth place in a 3-0 win at Burton Albion.

The Black Cats are as close to 16th as they are to an automatic promotion place, so Gooch and Co. need more of this to get back to the Championship. If not, will the American take the prime of his career elsewhere, or stay faithful to the club that launched his European career in 2012?

English soccer might need ‘circuit breaker,’ says club doc

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IPSWICH, England (AP) — English soccer would benefit from being briefly suspended as more clubs are hit by COVID-19 outbreaks, including the new variant strain, a team’s medical staff member said on Tuesday.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Matt Byard, the physiotherapist at third-tier side Ipswich, voiced his concern after his club’s training ground was forced to be closed after five players, the coach and the general manager of football operations tested positive for the coronavirus.

Byard said the speed of the transmission and the “data and symptom profile” confirms the cases at the club were the new strain of the virus, which has been detected mainly in London and the southeast of England and has sparked concern worldwide because of signs that it may spread more easily.

While there is no indication it causes more serious illness, numerous countries in Europe and beyond have restricted travel from Britain as a result.

“We have been complimented by the English Football League for the procedures we have had in place at the training ground and on matchday — and that is one of the reasons they have become very concerned over the latest developments,” Byard said.

“I know the EFL are looking at bringing in extra measures, with maybe more testing for example. I have always supported routine testing to secure a return-to-playing programme. Personally, with so many clubs affected by this presently and this new strain development, football may benefit from a ‘circuit breaker’ before a return to playing securely.”

Soccer continues in England over the festive period, as is the tradition, and Ipswich has canceled matches the team was due to play on Dec. 26 and 29.

Fellow lower-league teams Portsmouth, Peterborough and Sunderland have also reported positive cases in recent days, with the latter two postponing matches.

In the Premier League, Newcastle had to cancel its match against Aston Villa this month after an outbreak of the virus among its squad. Newcastle manager Steve Bruce said two of his players, reportedly Allan Saint-Maximin and captain Jamaal Lascelles, suffered “damaging effects” of the virus and were “struggling for a while with it.”

“We will be retesting all the staff on Wednesday who have previously tested negative and I do have concerns that there will be more positive cases,” Byard said.


More AP soccer: and

How did home teams fare Saturday in fans return to Football League?

Fans return
Photo by JULIAN FINNEY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

More than a dozen matches around England saw the return of fans Saturday, and reports of increased intensity were no surprise.

Our Joe Prince-Wright was at one of those matches, Chelsea’s 3-1 defeat of Leeds, and said the overriding emotions were of comfort and normalcy.

[ MORE: Lampard on Pulisic goal, Chelsea’s title hopes ]

Was it in the players’ heads at all? Whether psychological or not, comments around the Football League system showed that fans’ presence lived inside the players’ and coaches’ heads in a mostly positive way (aside from a very unsavory racist incident at Millwall).

Premier League — Home teams 1W-1L

No surprises here in terms of results, where two of the traditional big boys took care of business with relatively dominant wins (though Man United needed a comeback at West Ham).

Chelsea 3-1 Leeds United — JPW noted the feelings around Stamford Bridge during the contest in his live analysis, as well as comments from Olivier Giroud, Frank Lampard, and Marcelo Bielsa acknowledging the influence of the crowd.

West Ham United 1-3 Manchester United — The Irons gave their fans an early lead but not much else, as Bruno Fernandes gave a master class in super subbery to lead a three-goal second half.

Marcus Rashford was buoyed by the win but also by the fans. From

“Brilliant. It is something that everybody knows the game has missed and it is what makes the game so special,” Rashford said.

Championship — Home teams 2W-1D-2L

Both of the winning home teams were top-end sides hosting teams in the lower half, but both winning visitors entered the day at least seven points behind their hosts. Blackburn and Brentford were the two nearest opponents, table wise, and the visitors scored their equalizer despite being down a man.

Watford 0-1 Cardiff City — The visitors surprised the hosts, and the Vicarage Road crowd had the Bluebirds hoping to see fans in their building soon.

“It was a great boost having fans here and I am really pleased for them, it was nice to play in a stadium with some atmosphere. Having seen the noise 2000 fans can make, it would be great to have fans back at the Cardiff City Stadium,” said manager Neil Harris.

Reading 2-0 Nottingham Forest

Brentford 2-2 Blackburn — 10-man visitors come back from 2-1 deficit to draw in 87th minute.

Millwall 0-1 Derby County — Ugly scenes as fans booed the players taking a knee in support of Black Lives Matter, then saw their Lions lose late.

Norwich City 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday — The Canaries came back through two late goals for the 2000 fans at Carrow Road, and Daniel Farke was happy to see them.

“It was great to at least have 2,000 yellow shirts here. I celebrated with our supporters because they also played their part during difficult periods in the game, they were unbelievably noisy,” Farke said.

League One — Home teams 1D-2L

Like the Championship, the winning visitors were both above the hosts on the table and both hosts didn’t aid their cause by seeing men sent off. In the case of Ipswich Town (and Hull City’s draw at Oxford United), there was a significant table advantage for the visitors.

Northampton Town 0-2 Doncaster Rovers — An 18th-minute red card for the hosts helped deny any home field advantage over 90 minutes.

Oxford United 1-1 Hull City — The U’s led 1-0 but gave up a late equalizer to the table-topping visitors.

Plymouth Argyle 1-2 Ipswich Town — The hosts led 1-0 but saw a man sent off in the 70th minute and conceded twice in the next four minutes.

League Two — Home teams 1W-4L

Oldham sprung a bit of a surprise on Cambridge United and Walsall also scored a minor upset at Tranmere Rovers, but the wins for visitors Salford City and Forest Green Rovers were over teams well below them on the table. Hosts Colchester United were expected to beat Grimsby Town, too.

Barrow 0-1 Salford City

Cambridge United 1-2 Oldham Athletic

Harrogate Town 0-1 Forest Green Rovers

Tranmere Rovers 1-3 Walsall

Colchester United 2-1 Grimsby Town

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Brighton gives Premier League return to Danny Welbeck


Danny Welbeck has a fifth home in the Premier League and may make his Brighton and Hove Albion debut as early as next week.

The Manchester United-grown striker, 29, and former Arsenal, Watford, and Sunderland man has signed a one-year deal with Graham Potter’s men after leaving the Hornets earlier this month.

[ MORE: Barca, Real Madrid lose ]

Welbeck has 44 Premier League goals in his career including a terrific overhead goal for Watford in Project Restart this summer.

Capable of playing anywhere across an attack, Welbeck’s problem has been staying healthy; The former England national team regular has played 30 PL matches just once.

Here’s Potter:

“We are delighted to have Danny joining us. He will complement our existing striking options. He’s got an undoubted pedigree, and he is quick and technically very good. He will add to our attacking threat and we are thrilled to add another player of his experience and quality.”

Brighton plays Crystal Palace away at Selhurst Park on Sunday (Watch live, 9am ET online via Peacock Premium) and could see Welbeck debut in just over a week against West Brom.

Potter’s attack is an intriguing proposition for any attacker, and Welbeck gives Brighton yet another very different threat in attack. Neal Maupay and Leandro Trossard are the stars of the show but Aaron Connolly is growing in threat while Jose Izquierdo is returning from injury and Alireza Jahanbakhsh has started to find his footing though he is set to miss out on Sunday’s derby.