Soccer

Earthquakes, Shea Salinas pull off most bonkers comeback you'll see in 2020

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Earthquakes, Shea Salinas pull off most bonkers comeback you'll see in 2020

There are absurd comebacks, and then there's what the Earthquakes did against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday during the MLS Is Back Tournament in Orlando, Florida.

Shea Salinas' winning goal in the eighth minute of stoppage time gave the Quakes a 4-3 win. Salinas gathered the ball just in front of the halfway line, and, well, any words I could write about the ensuing solo effort wouldn't do true justice to its bonkers nature.

Just watch for yourself.

San Jose erased a two-goal deficit owed, in large part, to an utterly ridiculous own goal in the 22nd minute and a brutal giveaway from goalkeeper Daniel Vega in the 59th minutes.

Neither of these gaffes were mentioned sooner because, again, they must be seen to be believed.

What was shaping up to be a banner night for the "mLs iS bAcK" crowd turned into one where you couldn't help but earnestly say the league's all-too-on-the-nose tournament name.

It began with the 63rd-minute introductions of Chris Wondolowski (MLS' all-time leading goal-scorer), Carlos Fierro, Danny Hoesen and Salinas off the bench. Wondolowski needed fewer than 10 minutes to cut the Whitecaps' lead in half, adding to his record goal tally with a headed ball that basically missed everything in its path before bouncing off Vancouver defender Ali Adnan's head as it crossed the goal line.

Fewer than 10 minutes later, defender Oswaldo Alanis equalized with a header off a corner kick and sent his teammates into bedlam.

Salinas ultimately capped off the comeback, and a night of unrelenting pressure on the Whitecaps.

A three-goal comeback, with goals from club veterans Wondolowski and Salinas? You could forgive the Earthquakes' social-media team for wanting to party like it was 2012.

Mixing the fundamental weirdness of a tournament behind closed doors at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports complex with the chaotic energy that drove Alan Gordon, Steven Lenhart, Salinas, Wondolowski and Co. to the 2012 Supporters Shield crown is an appealing cocktail in a time (relatively) deprived of live sports.

The Quakes will have a tough time topping Wednesday's win in Sunday's match against the Chicago Fire, but it's OK to admit you'll want to see them try.

Premier League table: Relegation, Champions League places on final day

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Premier League table: Relegation, Champions League places on final day

Bournemouth and Watford must say their good-byes to the Premier League, while Chelsea and Manchester United can say hello to the UEFA Champions League.

Wins by the latter two clubs clinched their third and fourth place, respectively, and spots in Europe's top club competition, while Aston Villa's 1-0 win over West Ham United sealed the Cherries and Hornets' spots in the Championship next season. Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur finished fifth and sixth after losing to Manchester United and drawing Crystal Palace, respectively, and both clubs thus sealed spots in the Europa League.

While Liverpool clinched the title over a month ago, there was plenty at stake on the final day of the Premier League season. Watford needed to better Aston Villa's performance in order to avoid relegation, while Bournemouth needed a win and some help. The Cherries did all they could, beating Everton 3-1 at Goodison Park. A Villa defeat would've been enough for Bournemouth's safety, but a draw at the London Stadium ensured the Cherries will drop down a division.

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With the 38th and final set of fixtures in the rearview mirror, here's what the Premier League table looks like to end the season:

  1. Liverpool (32-3-3, 99 points, Plus-52 Goal Differential [GD])
  2. Manchester City (26-3-9, 81 points, Plus-67 GD)
  3. Manchester United (18-12-8, 66 points, Plus-30 GD)
  4. Chelsea (20-6-12, 66 points, Plus-15 GD)
  5. Leicester City (18-8-11, 62 points, Plus-26 GD)
  6. Tottenham Hotspur (16-11-11, 59 points, Plus-14 GD)
  7. Wolves* (15-14-9, 59 points, Plus-11 GD)
  8. Arsenal* (14-14-10, 56 points, Plus-8 GD)
  9. Sheffield United (14-12-12, 54 points, Plus-0 GD)
  10. Burnley (15-9-14, 54 points, Minus-7 GD)
  11. Southampton (15-7-16, 52 points, Minus-9 GD)
  12. Everton (13-10-15, 49 points, Minus-12 GD)
  13. Newcastle United (11-11-16, 44 points, Minus-20 GD)
  14. Crystal Palace (11-10-17, 43 points, Minus-19 GD)
  15. Brighton (9-14-15, 41 points, Minus-15 GD)
  16. West Ham United (10-9-19, 39 points, Minus-13 GD)
  17. Aston Villa (9-8-21, 35 points, Minus-26 GD)
  18. Bournemouth (9-7-22, 34 points, Minus-25 GD)
  19. Watford (8-10-20, 34 points, Minus-28 GD)
  20. Norwich City (5-6-217, 21 points, Minus-49 GD)

Key: Bold means Champions League qualification, Underline means Europa League qualification, and Italics means relegation. An asterisk indicates the club could qualify for the Europa League, depending upon the results of the FA Cup on Aug. 1.

Premier League scores: Highlights, stats, updates from final matches

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Premier League scores: Highlights, stats, updates from final matches

A month after Liverpool clinched the title, there's still plenty to play for on the last day of the Premier League season.

Two UEFA Champions League places, up to two Europa League spots and as many as two positions in the dreaded relegation zone are up for grabs heading into every club's 38th and final match of the campaign. The ending arrives over two months later than expected as a result of the season's suspension due to the coronavirus, but there's a lot left on the line.

Follow along here for all the goals, controversies and other can't-miss moments from the long-awaited final day of the 2019-20 Premier League campaign.

10:01 a.m. PT: With the Premier League season officially over, the following clubs will play in Europe next season:

  • Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea secured Champions League qualification.
  • Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur secured Europa League qualification.

Arsenal can clinch a spot in the Europa League with a win in the FA Cup next Saturday, while seventh-place Wolves will play in the Europa League if Chelsea beats Arsenal at Wembley.

10:00 a.m. PT: Aston Villa hang on! Watford and Bournemouth officially are relegated to the Championship, thanks to Jack Grealish's late goal.

That tally is one Villa supporters won't forget anytime soon.

9:47 a.m. PT: Who else but Jack Grealish? Aston Villa are on the verge of safety, thanks to the captain's late goal against West Ham United.

The jubilation didn't last long, as Andriy Yarmolenko equalized 1:46 after Grealish's goal.

Can West Ham do Bournemouth a solid?

9:42 a.m. PT: Bournemouth have done all they can to stay up, earning a 3-1 lead at Goodison Park over Everton.

The Cherries need some help, however. Aston Villa only need a draw in order to avoid relegation to the Championship, and they are currently level at 0-0 with West Ham United.

9:28 a.m. PT: Former Manchester United defender Johnny Evans earned a yellow card and the Red Devils converted a vital penalty just ahead of the drinks break.

Bruno Fernandes sent United into the lead and, possibly, next season's Champions League.

Leicester City now need two goals in the final 20 minutes or so to keep their Champions League dreams alive.

Watford, meanwhile, still have a faint glimmer of hope.

8:51 a.m. PT: Chelsea's Champions League quest got a big boost just before halftime, thanks to Mason Mount and Olivier Giroud scoring just before halftime.

After Everton equalized, Bournemouth regained the lead thanks to Dominic Solanke's third goal in his last four matches.

As everything stands at this moment, Chelsea and Manchester United qualify for the Champions League, Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur make the Europa League and Aston Villa stay up with Bournemouth and Watford going down to the Championship.

How much will change over the next 45 minutes? We're about to find out.

8:46 a.m. PT: Watford got one back, but they'll need three more to stay up.

8:37 a.m. PT: The race for the Premier League's safe place is down to Aston Villa and Bournemouth, as Watford trail 3-0 to Arsenal before halftime.

So long, Hornets!

8:25 a.m. PT: The hits keep coming for Watford, who are now down 2-0 to Arsenal.

From firing their manager to this, the Hornets couldn't have had a more disastrous finish to the season.

8:18 a.m. PT: Everything's coming up Bournemouth on the final day of the season. Minutes after Watford fell into an early hole, Bournemouth got a vital goal from Josh King in their bid to stay up.

If Aston Villa fall behind at West Ham, celebrations might be in order on England's south coast.

8:12 a.m. PT: Watford's quest to stay up took an early setback, thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubamaeyang's early penalty.

The goal is good news for Aston Villa, who would stay up in the Premier League if results hold.

7:26 a.m. PT: Fans aren't allowed inside Premier League grounds due to the coronavirus pandemic, but one famous face will be on hand to watch Chelsea play at Stamford Bridge today.

Timo Werner, who will join the Blues next season after his transfer from RB Leipzig was agreed to last month, was spotted heading into the stadium.

It seems Chelsea have an embarrassment of attacking riches on the pitch and in the stands.

7:17 a.m. PT: In layman's terms, here's what's on the line in the race for Champions League spots and to avoid relegation.

Got all that?

7:00 a.m. PT: Christian Pulisic starts for Chelsea against Wolves with a Champions League place on the line. Oft-criticized goalkeeper Kepa will not, however.

Adama Traoré, meanwhile, will have to make an impact off the bench for Wolves.

In the other match with Champions League ramifications, here's how Leicester City and Manchester United will line up.

Relegation battlers Aston Villa, Bournemouth and Watford all need wins -- at the very least -- in order to avoid the drop on Sunday, and each club's Starting XI reflects the urgency of the day.

6:54 a.m. PT: Here are Sunday's must-watch matches, with their implications for the Premier League table.

  • Chelsea vs. Wolves (11:00 a.m. ET/8:00 a.m. PT on USA): Chelsea clinch a UEFA Champions League place with a win or draw; Wolves clinch a Europa League place with a win.
  • Leicester City vs. Manchester United (11:00 a.m. ET/8:00 a.m. PT on NBC): Winner gets a Champions League place, regardless of Chelsea's results.
  • Crystal Palace vs. Tottenham Hotspur (11:00 a.m. ET/8:00 a.m. PT on Peacock/NBC Sports Gold): Tottenham clinch a Europa League place with a win and a Wolves loss or draw OR with any result and a Chelsea win in the FA Cup Final on Aug. 1.
  • West Ham vs. Aston Villa (11:00 a.m. ET/8:00 a.m. PT on NBCSN): Aston Villa avoid relegation with a better result -- finishing with more points OR greater goal difference -- than Watford and Bournemouth.
  • Arsenal vs. Watford (11:00 a.m. ET/8:00 a.m. PT on Golf Channel): Watford can avoid relegation with a better result -- finishing with more points OR greater goal difference -- than Aston Villa and Bournemouth.
  • Everton vs. Bournemouth (11:00 a.m. ET/8:00 a.m. PT on CNBC): Bournemouth can avoid relegation with a win, combined with Watford and Aston Villa losses and a greater margin of victory than Villa's defeat.

Buckle up, folks.