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Man U-Swansea City, Man Shitty-Middlesbrough, Chelsea-Everton, Tottenham-Arsenal will all duke it out later today.

Leicester City got by West Brom 1-0. The Foxes have 40 points good enough for 11th place.

Southampton and Hull City tied nil-nil.

Bournemouth edged Sunderland 1-0.

This loss sinks the Black Cats further in whale dung position with 21 points and thus Sunderland is you’re outta here.

Stoke City and West Ham tied at zero.

Burnley defeated Crystal Palace one nil to win their first road match of the season.

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Man U and Man Shitty tied nil-nil at Shitty’s house. Shitty stays put in fourth place with 65 points while Man U has grip on fifth place with 64 points.

Shitty should have won but the Red Devils hung on after Marouane Fellaini was sent packing in the 84th minute.

EPL Match Summary; “Manchester City were unable to get past a 10-man Manchester United as the derby ended in a goalless draw.

In a frantic first half at the Etihad Stadium, with City enjoying more possession, the best chances came at the beginning and end.

Sergio Aguero hit a post in the opening 10 minutes while Ander Herrera steered a free header wide in the final minute.

After the break, City stepped up the pressure but created few clear chances, with Nicolas Otamendi’s header over their best.

After Marouane Fellaini was sent off for a clash with Aguero City brought on Gabriel Jesus for his first match since injury.

The Brazilian thought he had scored a stoppage-time winner but was offside.

City moved to within a point of Liverpool, in third, with United still a point behind.”

https://www.premierleague.com/news/378778

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Arsenal won their second match in a row. My Gunners defeated Leicester City 1-0 to stay in sixth place with 60 points.

Spurs kept the pressure on Chelsea1-0 win over Crystal Palace at the Eagles house. Tottenham is in second place with 74 points. The Blues have 78 points.

EPL Match Summary; “Arsenal maintained their challenge for a top-four finish after a late own goal from Robert Huth gave the Gunners a 1-0 victory over Leicester City.

The match looked to be heading for a draw but Arsenal sealed victory four minutes from time when the ball flew into the bottom corner off Huth’s chest from Nacho Monreal’s shot.

Leicester had some decent chances, Jamie Vardy hitting the side netting and Petr Cech saving well from Riyad Mahrez, while for the home team, Alexis Sanchez’s powerful shot hit the crossbar.

The result means Arsenal remain in sixth but are now four points behind fourth-placed Manchester City, who play city rivals Manchester United – currently in fifth – on Thursday night.

https://www.premierleague.com/match/14310

Spurs win over The Eagles EPL Match Report;” Christian Eriksen kept Tottenham Hotspur on the heels of Premier League leaders Chelsea by hitting a late long-range winner at Crystal Palace.

Chelsea looked set to have a six-point lead at the top of the table going into the weekend until Eriksen picked up the ball 25 yards from goal and drove an unstoppable shot past Wayne Hennessy with only 12 minutes left to play.

Palace enjoyed the better of the first half with Hugo Lloris denying Christian Benteke and Andros Townsend firing just over.

But Spurs improved after the half-time introduction of Son Heung-Min and Moussa Sissoko and Alli was denied by Hennessy before Eriksen won it.

The result leaves Spurs four points behind Chelsea with five matches remaining, while Palace stay 12th – seven points above the relegation zone.”

https://www.premierleague.com/match/14314

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Chelsea needed a win badly after getting shut out by Man U at Old Trafford last Sunday. The Blues defeated Southampton 4-2 to keep at least a four-point lead over second place Tottenham. Chelsea had 78 points. Tottenham is second with 71 points. Spurs have a hot date with Crystal Palace yesterday.

EPL Match Summary: “Diego Costa scored his 50th and 51st Premier League goals as Chelsea moved seven points clear at the top of the table with a 4-2 victory over Southampton.

The Spaniard netted twice in the second half, outsmuscling Ryan Bertrand to head in from Cesc Fabregas’s cross before firing home after clever exchanges with Eden Hazard and Pedro.

Chelsea went 1-0 up after five minutes when Hazard superbly found the bottom corner, before Saints’ bright response was rewarded with Oriol Romeu equalising from close range.

Gary Cahill bravely headed in from Marcos Alonso’s knockdown in first-half stoppage time, before Costa’s double and a late headed consolation for Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand.

Chelsea’s win puts pressure on second-placed Tottenham Hotspur ahead of their trip to Crystal Palace on Wednesday. Saints remain ninth.”

https://www.premierleague.com/match/14373

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Arsenal defeated Man Shitty 2-1 to advance to the FA Cups finals where my Gunners will battle hated foe Chelsea.

The Guardians Daniel Taylor wrote;” It has not been an easy season for Arsène Wenger, by any measure, but it will at least have the possibility of a happy ending and, once again, he can look his critics in the eye and ask if they will join him for the FA Cup final. It will be the eighth in his 20 years at Arsenal and it is probably worth remembering, amid all the criticism that comes his way, he has won six of the previous seven. Or, putting it another way, that his personal total is the same number Sunderland, Leeds, West Ham and Leicester have managed altogether.

Wenger is also outnumbering Manchester City, who have won the competition five times, and the fact it will be Arsenal taking on Chelsea on 27 May represents a personal ordeal for Pep Guardiola given what it means for his first season at Manchester City. Guardiola’s arrival was supposed to make City credible challengers for every trophy going. In reality, this result confirms it has been a chastening experiences – eliminated at the first knockout stage in Europe, beaten by Manchester United two games into the EFL Cup and now their latest disappointment at a time when City are 11 points off the top of the Premier League table.

Guardiola’s team cannot even be guaranteed a place in the Champions League next season, with Thursday’s fourth-against-fifth encounter against United looking increasingly fraught with danger, and his disappointment will be exacerbated by the way this semi-final unfolded. His team had led, after 62 minutes, through Sergio Agüero’s breakaway goal and the same player also scored a perfectly legitimate goal late in the first half only for a linesman to judge, mistakenly, that the ball had gone out of play in the build-up.

At 1-1, City also hit the woodwork twice, first through Yaya Touré’s volley and then Fernandinho’s header, but Arsenal also deserve immense credit for turning the game upside-down. The competitive courage of Wenger’s team has been questioned all season but not on this occasion. Nacho Monreal chose a good time to score his first goal of the season and, 11 minutes into the first period of extra-time, the ball was at Alexis Sánchez’s feet inside the penalty area. Sánchez, a player City want to sign, was quick, alert and clinical, firing in the goal that took Arsenal, the 12-times winners, to a record 20th final.

It was a pulsating semi-final but, for City, it was also laced with controversy and they left Wembley with a smouldering sense of injustice because of the incident, five minutes before half-time, when Agüero’s goal was ruled out because of a trigger-happy linesman. Leroy Sané’s cross had never strayed out of play and, though it was a matter of millimetres, the television replays confirmed it was wrong for the linesman to raise his flag. Agüero’s shot was behind the goal-line when Petr Cech scrambled it away. Raheem Sterling, who had replaced the injured David Silva, made sure from the rebound before City’s celebrations were cut short.

That was not the only contentious incident of a spiky match and City’s complaints will also take in another moment in the first half when Agüero went down in the penalty area with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in close proximity. Arsenal will argue, in turn, they could have had a penalty of their own after Sánchez claimed he had been impeded by Jesús Navas. It was a difficult afternoon for the officials and Silva was still remonstrating with the referee, Craig Pawson, as he limped away midway through the first half. Silva had taken a whack from Gabriel and, without the Spaniard, City lost their early momentum.

It was not until the early part of the second half, however, that Arsenal had their first sustained period of pressure and the paradox was that was the period when Agüero opened the scoring. Arsenal’s vulnerability to quick, incisive counterattacks has undermined them all season and on this occasion it needed only one pass once Aaron Ramsey had lost the ball to Touré close to the City penalty area. Touré, such a brilliant big-game player, aimed the ball 40 yards and Agüero had enough speed to get away from Monreal. Cech was slow to react after a slightly heavy touch from Agüero and the striker punished him with his 29th goal of the season.

After that, a more streetwise team than City might have shut the game down. That, however, is not the way Guardiola’s side operate and Arsenal, after a cautious first half, had already started to play with less restraint. Close analysis of their new 3-4-2-1 system should also note it was one wing-back who created the equaliser and another who scored it. Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross created the danger and Monreal, two years since his last Arsenal goal, fired in a low volley.

If Cech had looked slightly ponderous for Agüero’s goal, it was a crucial save from the goalkeeper to turn Touré’s shot against the post. Yet Danny Welbeck’s arrival, as a replacement for Olivier Giroud, had also given Arsenal new impetus in attack. Welbeck applied a slight touch before Sánchez’s winner, turning the ball on after Laurent Koscielny had headed Mesut Özil’s free-kick across a congested penalty area. Three times in a row a player in red and white got to the ball ahead of anyone in blue – and on the third occasion it was Sánchez, nipping in between Gaël Clichy and Vincent Kompany, to deliver the telling blow.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/23/arsenal-manchester-city-fa-cup-match-report

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The final score looked like a blowout however this sucker was close until the Blues scored two late goals in a five-minute span, 75-80th minutes, to break a two all tie to put this puppy to bed for good.

Chelsea wins over Tottenham 4-2 to advance to the FA Cup final

It was in the end. “Turn out the lights the party’s over.”

The Guardians Paul Wilson wrote: “The Wembley misery for Tottenham goes on. Not only were Mauricio Pochettino’s team well beaten by what appeared to be a weakened Chelsea side, their hopes of striking a psychological blow against their title rivals were dealt a blow when Antonio Conte came up with some blue sky thinking of his own, saving the best until last to put a strong Spurs performance into unflattering perspective.

Tottenham have still not been in an FA Cup final since Paul Gascoigne was running around injuring himself against Nottingham Forest in 1991 and they have now failed at the semi-final stage on seven consecutive occasions. Chelsea last won the Cup in 2012 and Conte now has a chance to mark his first season in England by winning the Double. It would be foolish to write him off, for though his selection policy might have been deemed risky, it ended up underlining the strength at his disposal.

All the pre-match conversation had centred on Chelsea’s eccentric starting line-up with Eden Hazard and Diego Costa named on the bench for one of the biggest matches of the season. Traditionally, an FA Cup semi-final is regarded as one of the most significant games of the season anyway and in Premier League terms this one pitted first in the table against second. It is true that Sir Alex Ferguson watered down his Manchester United team for a Wembley semi-final against Everton eight years ago, but he was worried about an upcoming Champions League appointment, not a home game against Southampton on Tuesday. If Conte is really that concerned about the tightening situation at the top of the league he could hardly have sent out a stronger message of encouragement to Pochettino and his chasing team.

Or so it seemed before kickoff. Once the game got underway the Chelsea changes had an almost instantaneous positive effect. Michy Batshuayi is still waiting for his first league start this season but the first time he received the ball in an attacking position a clever flick and feint was all he needed to send Pedro racing towards goal. Toby Alderweireld just about managed to get across in time to cover but only succeeded in bringing the Spaniard down with a scything tackle on the edge of the area. The defender went into the book with barely four minutes on the clock and to make matters even worse Willian scored directly from the free-kick, bending a shot around the wall to catch out Hugo Lloris.

With Chelsea continuing to dominate, Batshuayi brought a save by Lloris from a N’Golo Kanté cross, finding himself free in front of goal but unable to quite summon enough power on the header to trouble the goalkeeper.

The header from Harry Kane that brought Spurs back level in the 18th minute was hardly the most forceful Wembley has ever seen either, though whether by accident or design he managed to put the ball in exactly the right place when he stooped low to meet Christian Eriksen’s cross with an improvised finish.

David Luiz needed treatment after Dele Alli trod on his ankle while looking in the opposite direction, the Spurs player receiving the benefit of the doubt and going unpunished by the referee, Martin Atkinson.

Spurs seemed to have recovered from their early nerves by the half-hour mark, and Eric Dier was close to putting then ahead from a Jan Vertonghen cross as the Chelsea chances began to dry up. A well-timed challenge from David Luiz was needed to prevent Alli running clear from Kane’s nudge forward, then an Eriksen shot was comfortably held by Thibaut Courtois when it appeared the goalkeeper might be caught off his line.

Just when Conte must have been weighing up the pros and cons of putting his strongest team out for the second half, Chelsea unexpectedly regained the lead. There seemed little danger when Kanté fanned the ball out for Victor Moses to cross from the right, but as he entered the penalty area the wing-back took an extra touch that left Son Heung-min exposed and already committed to a sliding tackle. Son protested his innocence, but it was a poor challenge to make in the area and once Moses had fallen over an outstretched leg Willian scored his second of the afternoon from the penalty spot.

Spurs were thus obliged to climb back into the game again and it took them only seven minutes of the second half to manage it. The influential Eriksen hoisted a diagonal ball forward that David Luiz thought he had covered until Alli nipped in ahead of him to beat Courtois with a masterly first-time finish, taking only one touch but sending a left-foot half-volley high into the net.

The game was a full-blooded contest now, and when Willian saw a shot blocked at one end, Alli charged into the box at the other to win a corner.

When Costa and Hazard made their entrances after just over an hour in what appeared a pre-planned strategy, nothing happened for the best part of a quarter of an hour. Chelsea continued to look sluggish and reluctant to take the game to Spurs with only Moses willing to break out of his own half, though one of his runs produced the corner from which their third goal arrived. Cesc Fàbregas crossed but did not find David Luiz, Spurs failed to clear and the ball ran through to Hazard on the edge of the area who drilled a low shot into Lloris’s bottom corner.

As if making up for lost time Hazard was also involved in the show-stopping finish five minutes later, carrying the ball across the area and meeting little resistance before rolling a pass back for Nemanja Matic to score with a thumping drive.

One could only feel sorry for Spurs by then, they hardly deserved to be on the end of a 4-2 mauling, yet Chelsea not only seem to be writing their own rules but coming up with some completely new scripts.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/22/chelsea-tottenham-hotspur-fa-cup-semi-final-match-report

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Man U didn’t let the injury bug stop them from picking up a huge 2-0 win over Burnley. The win keeps the Red Devils in the hunt for a top four finish. Man U has 63 points good enough for fifth place.

Couple this win with Liverpool’s shocking 2-1 defeat at Anfield from the hands and feet of Crystal Palace has the Reds faithful scratching their heads big time wondering what in the name of Sam Hill is going on here.

The Reds are in third place with 66 points.

Man Shitty is fourth with 64 points.

Shitty has two matches in hand as well as Man U. Both Shitty and the Red Devils will hook up this Thursday at Etihad to play one of their matches in hand

Goals by Anthony Martial 21st minute and the Rooney man 39th minute led the way for the Red Devils.

EPL Match Summary;” Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial scored their first Premier League goals since January and February respectively as Manchester United earned a comfortable 2-0 win at Burnley.

Martial marked his return to the starting XI for United with a counter-attack goal on 21 minutes.

United broke from a Burnley free-kick and Martial scored after a one-two with Ander Herrera.

Rooney, captain for the day, celebrated his first start since 4 March by doubling the lead five minutes before half-time, reacting first to squeeze home the ball after Martial’s shot had been saved.

United stay fifth but the win moved them to within a point of Manchester City with the two playing each other at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.

The defeat means Burnley, who did not have a shot on target, are 15th on 36 points, five above the relegation zone.”

https://www.premierleague.com/match/14372

EPL Match summary Liverpool loss to the Eagles. “Christian Benteke scored two goals against his former club to give Crystal Palace a victory that provides a massive boost to their survival hopes.

Liverpool controlled the opening exchanges and Philippe Coutinho put the home side ahead on 24 minutes with a superb curling free-kick into the top corner.

But Palace found a way back into the contest just before half-time when Benteke fired the ball into the roof of the net from a Yohan Cabaye cross.

Liverpool piled on the pressure after the break but it was Palace who claimed the winner, Benteke stooping to head home from Andros Townsend’s corner.

Palace’s third PL win at Anfield in a row moves the Eagles up to 12th and seven points clear of the bottom three. Liverpool remain in third but are two and three points ahead of Manchester City and Manchester United respectively, who both have two matches in hand on the Reds.”

https://www.premierleague.com/match/14376

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After the huge win in the Europa League Man U suffered some major injuries that could hurt their chances to catapult into the top four.

Man U and Burnley have a hot date later today.

The Daily Mail. “Manchester United and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have been dealt a massive blow after the striker was ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering a gruesome knee injury in the Europa League victory against Anderlecht.

The Swedish striker landed awkwardly on his right leg after attempting to win a header right at the end of normal time on Thursday night as United searched for a winner to send them through to the semi-finals.

The 35-year-old hobbled off the pitch and down the Old Trafford tunnel to be replaced by Anthony Martial at the beginning of extra-time.

The injury news will come as a massive blow to United’s top four and Europa League hopes as the Swede has been instrumental for the club this season.

Ibrahimovic has scored 28 goals and produced nine assists for Jose Mourinho’s side in 41 matches this campaign.

And the former Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona striker wasn’t the only United player to pick up an injury on Thursday.

Marcos Rojo also suffered a knee injury during the opening period and was carried off on a stretcher.

The two injuries and having to play extra-time on Thursday has left Mourinho with a huge selection dilemma ahead of Sunday’s Premier League trip to Burnley.

We are in trouble,’ said Mourinho. ‘In this moment, Eric Bailly played six matches in a row, and we lost Marcos Rojo. We don’t have Jones or Smalling.

‘We are in trouble and now we lose Zlatan too, but in attack, we have options and Rooney is coming, and let’s see if (Juan) Mata can also return before the end of the season. Let’s see what happens.

Mourinho will be hoping his United side can cope despite the number of injuries piling up as the club face a defining moment in their season.

The Old Trafford outfit are currently fifth in the Premier League, four points off fourth-placed Manchester City, with a match in hand.

Furthermore, they were drawn against Celta Vigo in the semi-finals of the Europa League on Friday afternoon.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4433224/Zlatan-Ibrahimovic-ruled-rest-season.html#ixzz4eu564rbm

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Chelsea-Tottenham today and Arsenal-Man Shitty tomorrow are playing in the FA Cup semifinal.

Man U battles Burley later tomorrow.

Liverpool has a hot date with Crystal Palace tomorrow tambem.

Bournemouth took care of business with a four nil win over voce vai zone contender Middlesbrough.

Hull City jumped out of the voce vai zone with a 2-0 win over Watford.

The Tigers are in 17th place with 33 points.

Swansea City won 2-0 over Stoke City however the Swans are in the final you’re outta zone 17th place with 31 points.

West Ham and Everton tied nil-nil.

The Toffees are still in the hunt for a Europa League spot. Everton sits in sixth place with 57 points.

Arsenal is seventh with 56 points. My Gunners have three matches in hand and thus all this could change as the season heads into the final five weeks.

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Man U needed a 120 minutes to advance to the semifinals of the Europa league. Marcus Rashford nailed the match winner in the 107th minute for a hard fought 2-1 win over Anderlecht. Man U advances on aggregate 3-2 to the semifinals of the Europa League.

The Daily Mail: “There were 107 minutes on the clock when Marcus Rashford finally scored the goal that gave Manchester United distance on Anderlecht. But, my, they were hard to shake off.

Those who thought, complacently, that an away goal in Brussels made this a straightforward return for United were made to eat their words.

Those who remembered a 10-0 drubbing meted out here between the teams in 1956, or who made jokes about park teams after footage emerged of Anderlecht training on the day of the game in an urban green space in Castlefield, near their hotel, would have been feeling incredibly sheepish by the end.

Anderlecht made United fight with every sinew for this and the cost, by the end, was enormous. United are now three games away from next season’s Champions League, regardless of domestic events, but that is just as well, given the human price of Thursday night’s victory.

As Jose Mourinho was rallying his players for the extra-time onslaught — and that is what it was, largely, as Anderlecht were as good as exhausted by their efforts at that point — Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be seen in the distance, stricken.

His last act in normal time had been to land awkwardly on a knee, jumping for the ball. The professional reaction to the replays suggested that it might be serious; perhaps season-ending. Added to the first-half injury to Marcos Rojo — and centre half is a position where United cannot afford more casualties — and they could be significantly depleted.

The silver lining is the form of Rashford. Outstanding against Chelsea on Sunday, decisive here, even if he missed a few before getting the winner.

Perfectionists may argue that United would not have been battling through extra time had Rashford taken good chances in the second-half. True, but United’s problem all season has been closing out games, he is hardly alone in needing to regain his touch in front of goal, and Anderlecht defended magnificently.

Some might even say it will be a blessing in disguise if Ibrahimovic’s absence allows Rashford to play as a central striker again. Certainly, the way he took the winner here was further evidence of an immense talent.

Marouane Fellaini knocked the ball down, but it was Rashford who took two Anderlecht players out of the game with one drag back, making enough room for the shot. And there it was, the matchwinner, fittingly in the tournament that made his name last season.

Anderlecht looked done but from somewhere they found reserves of energy to force two late chances from Frank Acheampong and the outstanding Kara Mbodji. United were not allowed to relax right until the end.

So to draw on an old cliche, it transpires there are no easy games in European football. Not at the knockout stage, and not for English clubs. There was too much presumption after United drew in Brussels last week; a lot of confidence that an away goal as good as ensured United’s smooth progress into the last four of the Europa League — that victory at Old Trafford was a given.

Even 0-0 would do — and United have had a few of them here of late, Burnley, Hull and West Bromwich Albion to name three. That should have been the warning sign.

Nothing about United at home is predictable now and Anderlecht are a much better team than some of those who have come here and got results this season.

United will claim they had three goals disallowed, but Anthony Martial was offside, Fellaini did foul the defender and, while the offside call on Rashford was wrong, Anderlecht had stopped playing when he put the ball in the net.

There were also huge misses for United in the second half. Paul Pogba shot over from a dead ball that dropped for him six yards out, while Rashford failed to capitalise on a mistake by defender Dennis Appiah.

He miscued and Rashford was clear on goal with only Ruben Martinez to beat. He rounded the Anderlecht goalkeeper but took it too wide, leaving himself with no angle to finish.

To some extent it was a familiar story for United. They got ahead early and should have played with swagger, but lost momentum and allowed Anderlecht back into the game. They even scored from their first attack of significance after 11 minutes.

It was a lovely ball from Pogba, picking out Rashford on the left. His cross was blocked by Mbodji but fell to Henrikh Mkhitaryan and the Armenian midfielder shot low to record his fifth goal in UEFA competition this season. That is one more than he has got in the Premier League.

For a while it looked enough to keep United comfortable. For the 10 minutes after the goal, Anderlecht were on the ropes. A Pogba header was tipped over by Martinez, who stopped a fine curling shot from Jesse Lingard a minute later. United’s supremacy seemed to dwindle, however, with the injury to Rojo.

It was his own fault — a poor touch sending him into a 50-50 with Alexandru Chipciu. Rojo got the worst of it, and could only carry on after several minutes of treatment.

From Anderlecht’s next attack, Rojo and partner Eric Bailly got into a dreadful tangle, leaving Acheampong on goal. His shot finished in the side-netting before Rojo signalled he could no longer continue. He was replaced by Danny Blind.

After that, Anderlecht were in the ascendancy. They have scored in every game in Europe this season and in the 32nd minute that impressive run was maintained.

Leander Dendoncker picked out Chipciu on the right and his cross was deflected out to Youri Tielemans by Blind. His shot was deflected on to the bar, falling to Lukasz Teodorczyk. He could not get into the right shape to take advantage but captain Sofiane Hanni fired the ball into the net.

So United go into Friday’s draw with Celta Vigo, Ajax and Lyon. They are favourites, undoubtedly; but anyone who thinks it will be plain sailing is not so much complacent as a fool.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4429782/Man-United-2-1-Anderlecht-Marcus-Rashford-nets-winner.html#ixzz4eqayuCeh