Italy stumbles into playoffs again in World Cup qualifying
Italy is facing another detour to get to a World Cup final. The playoffs beckon for the Azzurri — just like four years ago — after stumbling to 0-0 at Northern Ireland on Monday, plunging the recently crowned European champion to a second-place finish behind Switzerland in their qualifying group. Switzerland leapfrogged Italy with a 4-0 win over Bulgaria.news.yahoo.com
Europe's top teams win WC qualifiers as Swiss move goalposts
England's Harry Kane celebrates his side's first goal during the World Cup 2022 group I qualifying soccer match between Albania and England at Air Albania stadium in Tirana, Sunday, March 28, 2021. England won 2-0. Like Spain, France started its qualification campaign with an unexpected draw at home but also got back on track in its second game, easing to a 2-0 win at Kazakhstan. Italy stretched its unbeaten streak to 24 games with a 2-0 win in Bulgaria, and England also moved onto a maximum six points in group play with a 2-0 victory at Albania. Meanwhile, Denmark became the latest European team to use the World Cup qualifiers to direct attention to workers’ rights in 2022 host Qatar.
Arsenal wins derby; Man U, Leicester strengthen top-4 bids
Even after coming from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1, Arsenal is in 10th place and 10 points from the top four. The more significant results on Sunday in the Champions League chase were victories for Manchester United and Leicester, which both pulled further clear. Leicester remains a point behind United after routing Sheffield United 5-0. DERBY JOYAlexandre Lacazette captained Arsenal with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out of the starting lineup following a breach of pre-match protocols. AdIHEANACHO HAT TRICKIt was a miserable start to life without Chris Wilder for last-place Sheffield United, although Leicester had to wait until six minutes before halftime to find a breakthrough.
Bale turns back time at Tottenham as Man U and Chelsea draw
(Matthew Childs/Pool via AP)LONDON – Gareth Bale turned back time for Tottenham, while Chelsea and Manchester United seemed happy just to play out time. Chelsea kept its unbeaten record under manager Thomas Tuchel in a 0-0 draw with Man United as both teams appeared reluctant to risk losing one point in the hope of getting three. However, Mourinho warned that Bale would still have to rest for some upcoming games to manage his form and fitness. He had scored six goals and assisted three more in his team's previous 10 league games. The draw left Scott Parker's team unbeaten in five league games, with only one goal conceded during that time, but still 18th and three points adrift of safety.
Bale's homecoming at Tottenham proving a major letdown
Tottenham's Gareth Bale warms up during the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Bromwich Albion at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021. “I don’t think it is an obvious injury,” Mourinho said, adding that he was “surprised” by the latest fitness status of a fragile player who it’s increasingly clear he cannot rely on. And, frustratingly, another likely lay-off for the Wales international whose second spell at Tottenham just cannot get going. With Tottenham playing City in the league on Saturday, it looks like Bale won’t be at Etihad Stadium again. AdBale’s one league goal since his return remains the headed winner against Brighton on Nov. 1, a moment many thought would kickstart his second spell at Tottenham.
Alisson gifts leader Man City win at fading champ Liverpool
Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson stands on the pitch during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, England, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021. Leicester moved three points ahead of Liverpool in third after drawing 0-0 with Wolverhampton. AdOn a freezing day across England, Klopp could only figure that the icy conditions were to blame for a blundering performance by goalkeeper Alisson Becker that proved so costly. It was only 35 days earlier that a 3-1 win at Chelsea took City to fifth, four points behind then-leader Liverpool with a game in hand. Jorginho’s 58th-minute penalty clinched the win over the last-place team after Timo Werner was brought down by goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
Son's 100th goal in Spurs victory; Arsenal wins 3rd straight
Alexandre Lacazette scored twice in a 4-0 rout of West Bromwich Albion that took Arsenal up to 11th place. Tottenham is six points better off in third place after Son scored and got an assist in a 3-0 victory over Leeds. SON-KANE COMBOSon and Harry Kane equaled the Premier League record for most goal combinations in a season, leveling Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton’s tally of 13 from 1994-95. With all stadiums denied fans due to pandemic restrictions, the South Korean could only celebrate his 100th goal with teammates. “We could have scored more goals," Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho said.
Draws for Liverpool, Spurs cap tough weekend for EPL powers
Liverpool's manager Jurgen Klopp gestures during the English Premier League soccer match between Fulham and Liverpool, at Craven Cottage stadium, London, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. They weren’t alone, in what has proved a tough weekend for the Premier League’s likely title candidates. Liverpool ends the weekend in second place after 12 games, tied on 25 points with Tottenham. The pair meet at Anfield on Wednesday in the headline fixture in a midweek round of games in the Premier League where rotation might be heavy across the division. Only Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton, with 13, have combined for more goals in a single top-flight season than Kane and Son.
Spurs beat Arsenal to stay top, fans return to Anfield
Liverpool fans applaud during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, England, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020. (Peter Powell/Pool via AP)LONDON – Fans of Premier League title challengers Liverpool and Tottenham had waited since March to watch their teams win from the stands. Spurs supporters — a maximum of 2,000 under coronavirus restrictions, and no away fans — were treated to a 2-0 win over fierce north London rival Arsenal. It was the first Tottenham home game since fans were allowed back in stadiums in England. Liverpool responded with a 4-0 win over Wolverhampton to stay level with league leader Tottenham on points.
Leicester ends on top after weekend of changing EPL leaders
Leicester's Jamie Vardy scores his side's opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers at the King Power Stadium in Leicester, England, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira, Pool)MANCHESTER – With a trio of unfamiliar leaders, what lightheartedly became “Stop The Count” weekend in the Premier League ended with Leicester on top. By early Sunday afternoon, Tottenham had dislodged Southampton after Harry Kane's late goal clinched a 1-0 win at West Bromwich Albion. Leicester rose into first place with a 1-0 victory over Wolverhampton secured by Jamie Vardy's penalty. And the improbable 2016 Premier League title winners retained the lead heading into the two-week international break thanks to champion Liverpool being held 1-1 by Manchester City.
Relief, happiness as Bale is Tottenham's match-winner again
Tottenham's Gareth Bale, right, celebrates with teammate Eric Dier following the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Brighton & Hove Albion at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. (John Walton/Pool via AP)LONDON – Gareth Bale soared into the air, connected with the ball and powered it into the net. It's taken more than seven years but Bale was Tottenham's match-winner again. And it had only required three minutes on the field for the substitute to clinch a 2-1 victory over Brighton on Sunday. “A bit of relief and a lot of happiness,” Bale said after being set up by Sergio Reguilon, who also switched from Real Madrid in September.