MLS

MLS: Galaxy claim back-to-back wins to boost play-off hopes, Revs close on Shield

By Sports Desk October 20, 2021

LA Galaxy breathed life into their MLS play-off aspirations after securing back-to-back wins for the first time since August with a 3-0 victory at Houston Dynamo on Wednesday.

Galaxy, who had endured a nine-game winless skid, had beaten Portland Timbers 2-1 on the weekend before backing that up in Houston to reinforce their grip on sixth spot in the Western Conference midweek.

Greg Vanney's Galaxy went ahead in the 39th minute from veteran Sacha Kljestan's penalty, after Maynor Figueroa brought down Kevin Cabral inside the box.

Zarek Valentin's own goal on the stroke of half-time from Efrain Alvarez's cutback doubled Galaxy's advantage.

Two minutes into the second half, Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez provided a well-weighted pass for Kevin Cabral to add a third, moving Galaxy up to 45 points and above Real Salt Lake into fifth in the west.

New England Revolution moved another step closer to clinching the Supporters' Shield with a come-from-behind 3-2 win at DC United.

Adam Buksa, Carles Gil and Gustavo Bou all scored within 18 minutes as the Revolution responded to Nigel Robertha's 51st-minute opener for DC United.

The result moved Eastern Conference pacesetters New England to 69 points from 31 games, with Western Conference leaders Seattle Sounders closest behind them on 58 points after 30 games after they lost ground following a 1-1 draw with third-placed Colorado Rapids.

Elsewhere, Nashville – second behind New England in the east – drew for the fifth straight game in a 1-1 stalemate against defending MLS champions Columbus Crew and Cristian Arango's hat-trick guided Los Angeles FC past Dallas 3-2.

Inter Miami snapped their six-game losing skid and kept alive their faint play-off aspirations with a 3-0 home victory over Toronto.

Gudmundur Thorarinsson equalised late for New York City but their winless run extended to six games after a 1-1 draw at Atlanta United, Minnesota United were 3-2 winners against Philadelphia Union, Orlando City and Montreal played out a 1-1 draw.

Chicago Fire prevailed 4-3 over struggling FC Cincinnati, Vancouver Whitecaps came from two goals down to win 3-2 away to Portland Timbers, while San Jose Earthquakes eased past lowly Austin 4-0.

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    Spurs stated on Wednesday that Thursday's encounter with the Ligue 1 side at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium had been called off due to an outbreak of COVID-19 within Antonio Conte's squad.

    Conte said that eight players and five members of staff had contracted the virus in what he labelled a "serious problem".

    Spurs have reportedly asked the Premier League to postpone Sunday's meeting with Brighton and Hove Albion.

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    Confirmation from the governing body has now been given to Rennes, though, with the visiting club's squad and coaching staff travelling back to France following full negative coronavirus test results.

    In a statement published on their official website, Rennes, who play Nice on Sunday, made clear that the rearranged fixture must not further congest a hectic schedule or disrupt their mid-season break.

    The statement read: "After being informed of the cancellation of tonight's match by UEFA, Stade Rennais FC decided to return to Brittany. The entire delegation that will board at London City Airport has tested negative.

    "Stade Rennais FC hope that the interests of the club will be respected given the important sporting deadlines that await the Rouge et Noir this December. 

    "Stade Rennais FC is deeply sorry for the Rennes fans who decided to come to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to cheer on the Rouge et Noir."

    Rennes have two Ligue 1 matches and one Coupe de France game before they take a break over Christmas, resuming their season on January 8.

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    Former Schalke boss Tedesco comes in less than a week after Marsch left the club following a third successive Bundesliga defeat.

    Marsch joined Leipzig from sister club Salzburg in the off-season, but the task of replacing Julian Nagelsmann proved too great for the American.

    A defeat to Union Berlin on Saturday has left them 11th in the table, though Leipzig responded under Achim Beierlorzer by beating Manchester City 2-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday.

    That victory ensured Leipzig drop into a two-legged play-off for a place in the Europa League last 16.

    Tedesco has now been handed the reins, signing a contract until June 2023. Leipzig also confirmed assistant coach Beierlorzer has left the club.

    The 36-year-old was last in charge of Spartak Moscow, spending two seasons in Russia after he was dismissed by Schalke in 2019.

    Tedesco, who graduated from the DFB coaching school in the same class as Nagelsmann, finished second in the Bundesliga in his first season with Schalke in 2017-18 but was unable to maintain that form the following season.

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    His first task will be to fix Leipzig's defensive issues. They have already committed six errors leading to shots in the Bundesliga - an increase of one from the entirety of last season - and three of those have ended in goals. None of their mistakes directly resulted in goals conceded under Nagelsmann in 2020-21. 

    Leipzig have let in 18 goals in the top flight but have an expected goals (xG) against of 23.6. Their xG against in the 2020-21 top-flight campaign was 29.6.

    Tedesco's first game in charge will come against Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday.

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    Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips will snub a move to Manchester United in favour of Premier League rivals Liverpool, according to The Sun.

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    Arsenal are plotting a move for Everton star Richarlison, claims Fichajes. The Brazil international scored against Arsenal on Monday, while he has been linked with Paris Saint-Germain.

    - Fabrizio Romano reports Borussia Dortmund have made direct contact with Salzburg star Karim Adeyemi. The Germany international is Dortmund's main target as clubs queue up to sign Erling Haaland, who is wanted by Manchester United, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool, Chelsea, PSG, Juventus and Bayern Munich.

    - Tuttomercato says Franck Kessie could leave Milan on a free transfer. The soon-to-be free agent has been linked with Tottenham, Inter, PSG and United.

    Fiorentina are poised to sign Lille star Jonathan Ikone, per Gianluca Di Marzio. The deal is reportedly not related to the future of wantaway forward Dusan Vlahovic – the Serbia international has been linked with City, United, Bayern, Inter, Juve, Tottenham and Arsenal.

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