The soccer news starts with the Boxing Day results from England. As always, that includes managers complaining about fixture congestion. The number of games on the schedule from the end of December to early January is nothing new, but England finally opting for a winter break is. The Premier League break is staggered, meaning some teams get time off earlier than others. All will be recovering from the regularly scheduled glut of games that interfered with their holiday.
"It’s difficult for me to believe we’re playing again in 48 hours because what these guys deserve is two or three days off, but we have to play and here we go." That was Spurs manager Jose Mourinho, following his club's 2-1 home win over Brighton. It's a safe assumption that win, draw, and definitely lose, all of the top tier managers and most of the rest share his opinion. English tradition is crashing into the reality of the schedule and the physical demands of the modern game, especially for teams playing in Europe and taking advantage of the summer touring schedule along with employing players also representing their country.
Moving to the USMNT players in action in the Premier League, Christian Pulisic's Chelsea lost 2-0 at home to Southampton. Chelsea gave up goals in the 31st and 73rd minutes. Pulisic subbed on in the 67th and saw his shot deflected in the 76th minute.
‘It felt the same as recent home games," Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said. "Credit to Southampton, they were organised, they got their goals and got the win but we know we can do much better. We need to be better at breaking teams down. It was the same story as a few of the last home games. It was flat and Boxing Day can bring that a little but that can’t be an excuse for us on the pitch. Things like shots and crosses get the crowd excited but we didn’t have any clear-cut chances and we need to show more in terms of bravery and quality on the ball."
DeAndre Yedlin subbed on in the 63rd minute for Newcastle's 4-1 loss at Manchester United. Matty Longstaff put Newcastle up in the 17th minute with Manchester United equalizing in the 24th. Manchester United went ahead for good in the 36th, adding goals in the 41st and 51st minutes. Yedlin saw yellow in the 81st.
In the Championship, Geoff Cameron subbed out in the 68th minute for QPR's 1-0 loss at Reading. John Swift scored in the 52nd minute. Matt Miazga was on the bench for Reading. Eric Lichaj's Hull City lost 2-0 at home to Nottingham Forest. Hull City gave up an 11th minute penalty with Forest doubling their lead in the 82nd.
Tim Ream's Fulham drew 3-3 at Luton Town. Trailing from the 5th minute, Bobby Reid equalized for Fulham in the 9th. Luton went ahead in the 28th with Aleksandar Motrivic equalizing in the 77th. Luton went up again in the 84th with Reid scoring four minutes into stoppage time. Luca De La Torre wasn't in the squad for Fulham.
Antonee Robinson's Wigan Athletic drew 1-1 at home with Duane Holmes's Derby County. Joe Garner scored for Wigan in the 81st with Martyn Waghorn equalizing three minutes into stoppage time. Cameron Carter-Vickers wasn't in the squad for Stoke City's 3-2 home win over Sheffield Wednesday. Trailing 2-1, Stoke's Tyrese Campbell equalized three minutes into stoppage time with Sam Vokes scoring their winner four minutes later.
Lynden Gooch subbed out in the 79th minute for Sunderland's 0-0 home draw with Bolton Wanderers in League One. Matthew Olosunde's Rotherham United won 2-1 at Shrewsbury Town. Joe Mattock put Rotherham up in the 60th with Shresbury equalizing in the 66th. Michael Smith scored for Rotherham seven minutes into stoppage time. In the Scottish Premier League, Matt Polster wasn't in the squad for Rangers in their 1-0 home win over Kilmarnock. Alfredo Morales scored in the 65th minute.
Yahoo's Leander Schaerlaeckens on the unlikely scenario that anybody catches Liverpool in the Premier League. The NY Times' Rory Smith explains Liverpool's silence about their Premier League lead. The Daily Mail's Tom Collomosse agrees with the latest manager to lose to Liverpool. The Guardian's David Hytner has manager Frank Lampard's response to Chelsea's situation.
ESPN's Tom Marshall reports on Monterrey's lead in the 2019 Apertura finals. Goal's Jon Arnold also looks at the first-leg. The Athletic's Paul Tenorio talks to FC Dallas coach Luchi Gonzalez about player development. The Atlanta Journal Constitution's Doug Roberson reports on the likely transfer of Leandro Gonzalez Pirez to Club Tijuana.
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