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Monday cannon fodder: tatty progress return

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Belgium v United States Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images

Premier League/England

Gerard Deulofeu double takes Watford into Cup final after extra-time thriller | Football | The Guardian
Watford came back from two goals down to reach the FA Cup final with a 3-2 win over Wolves.

How cash-rich promotion favourites Stoke underestimated the Championship – then crashed and burned | FourFourTwo
The Potters spent tens of millions on returning to the Premier League at the first attempt.

Unpopular Opinion: Why the ‘Manchester United Way’ is becoming the biggest myth in English football | FourFourTwo
Was it ever really a thing? Not so, says Graham Ruthven, who argues that revisionists have meddled with reality

Manchester City’s De Bruyne doesn’t think new stadium helps Tottenham
Kevin De Bruyne rubbished suggestions that Tottenham’s new stadium gives them a better chance against Manchester City in the Champions League.

Premier League clubs oppose proposed changes to European club football | Football | The Guardian
Clubs say they will ‘vigorously defend’ structure of the domestic game against any plans to alter it.

Rivals’ grand designs put Glazers’ neglect of Old Trafford in spotlight | Daniel Taylor | Football | The Guardian
Manchester United’s home – all but untouched under the current owners – looks increasingly tatty.

Gordon Strachan apologises over Adam Johnson comments - BBC Sport
Gordon Strachan apologises for “any unintended distress caused” after being dropped by Sky Sports for comments over sex offender Adam Johnson.

Truro City footballer lay on pitch injured for hours - BBC News
The ambulance arrived at Truro City’s football ground two hours and 40 minutes after being called.

Danny Rose ‘can’t wait to see the back’ of football because of racism | Football | The Guardian
Danny Rose has revealed he cannot wait to walk away from football because he is so disgusted by the racism that blights the game – and the response of the authorities to it.

Are Southampton Making Progress Under Ralph Hasenhüttl? | StatsBomb
When Southampton replaced Mark Hughes with Ralph Hasenhüttl in December, there was a real sense of getting back on track. Is it working?

Liverpool paid agents £43.8m in last year – £17m more than next rival | Football | The Guardian
Liverpool’s payments to agents dwarfed those by Chelsea (£26.8m), Manchester City (£24.1m) and Manchester United (£20.8m) while Spurs made a £113m profit in 2017-18 – a world record

Raheem Sterling buys 550 FA Cup tickets for children at his old school | Football | The Guardian
Raheem Sterling, the Manchester City winger, grew up near Wembley.

Spurs have a new stadium but Chelsea have silverware, says Eden Hazard | Football | The Guardian
Eden Hazard, dunking on Spurs. So good.

Amateur cup final abandoned as team walk off after player ‘suffers racial abuse’ | Football | The Guardian
Wymeswold’s striker Linford Harris reportedly suffered abuse from a fan after being sent off against Cosby United Development.

Europe

Barca boss delivers verdict on ‘very powerful’ Man United - Football365
Ernesto Valverde does not want his Barca players underestimating a “very powerful” Man United.

Watch: Diego Costa shouts ‘I sh*t on your whore mother’ at ref; gets sent off - Planet Football
Former Chelsea striker Diego Costa received one of the more interesting red cards of his career on Saturday night.

Hajduk Split v Dinamo Zagreb: Flares, fires, faith & football at Croatia’s ‘Eternal derby’ - BBC Sport
BBC Sport reports from Split, Croatia, on the country’s fiercest football rivalry between Hajduk Split and Dinamo Zagreb.

Borussia Dortmund’s rejuvenated Mario Götze relishing Bayern return | Marcus Christenson | Football | The Guardian
Having recovered from illness, the forward and his teammates can take a major step towards the Bundesliga title on Saturday.

Marco van Basten: the Ajax diaries
As a boy, Marco van Basten dreamed of being a gymnast. Sadly his dreams would falter - he’d instead become one of the greatest footballers in history.

‘It needs to stop’: Gerrard angered after lighter thrown at Rangers’ Tavernier | Football | The Guardian
The Rangers manager, Steven Gerrard, says it is about time the penny dropped with supporters after Scottish football suffered its latest missile-throwing incident.

This was, um, something:

MLS/Americas

Montreal Impact coach Remi Garde labels Yankee Stadium pitch ‘dangerous’ | Pro Soccer USA
Montreal Impact coach Remi Garde labeled the Yankee Stadium pitch as ‘dangerous’ after several clumps of the laid down sod came up in the first half.

United States vs. Belgium - Football Match Summary - April 7, 2019 - ESPN
After a come-from-behind win over Australia on Friday, Sunday night’s game against Belgium was...more comfortable.

MLS: Wayne Rooney sent off for DC United - BBC Sport
Wayne Rooney is sent off for the first time in his Major League Soccer career during his DC United side’s game against Los Angeles FC.

Briana Scurry is worried about the USWNT’s goalkeepers as the World Cup looms
”It’s a question mark, and I’m just being honest about it,” the superstar goalkeeper of the 1999 Women’s World Cup team tells The Inquirer.

Did the USA women’s national team abandon the old guard too quickly? | Football | The Guardian
Counterpoint: Did the USA women lean too hard on veteran players for too long?

Other

Angels’ Andrew Heaney opens up about mental, emotional toll of injuries – Orange County Register
Not soccer, really, but the human experience of injury rehab is probably universal across whatever sport.