LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Their attacking spark has gone. Their opponents seem to have figured them out. Their chances of silverware are reducing by the week.
For Liverpool's players, there's concern that a season of high hopes is slipping away from them altogether.
HULL, England (AP) — Manchester United reached the English League Cup final despite surrendering its 17-match unbeaten record with a 2-1 loss to Hull in the second leg of their semifinal on Thursday.
United, which won the first leg 2-0, advanced with a 3-2 win on aggregate and will play Southampton in the final at Wembley Stadium on Feb. 26.
On-loan striker Oumar Niasse scored the winner with an 85th-minute tap-in, and another goal for Hull would have sent the game into extra time.
ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta United has acquired center back Anton Walkes on loan from Tottenham of the English Premier League.
The 19-year-old defender has spent his entire youth career with Tottenham. His run with the senior team began last summer during preseason matches, and he made his first-team debut as a substitute during the third round of the League Cup against Gillingham last September. Walkes has made 12 appearances for Tottenham's reserves this season.
SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP) — Southampton could be the latest English soccer club to secure investment from a Chinese company.
Lander Sports Development said in a statement on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on Thursday that a deal has been signed with Southampton owner Katharina Liebherr to buy a stake in the club's holding company, St. Mary's Football Group. No financial terms were disclosed.
Middlesbrough says American goalkeeper Brad Guzan will leave after this season and has agreed to sign with Major League Soccer's new Atlanta team.
The Premier League club announced the move on its website Wednesday, saying he agreed to a multiyear contract with Atlanta.
MARSEILLE, France (AP) — Marseille has signed veteran left back Patrice Evra from Italian champion Juventus, the French club's first significant signing under its new ownership.
Marseille said on its website Wednesday that Evra had signed an 18-month deal, giving no further details. He was in the final six months of his contract in Italy.
The 35-year-old Evra won two league titles with Juventus after eight years with Manchester United, but he started only three league games this season.
LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Liverpool's season is in danger of unraveling after Juergen Klopp's team missed out on a place in the English League Cup final following a 1-0 loss to Southampton at Anfield on Wednesday.
Substitute Shane Long scored on the counterattack in injury time to seal a 2-0 aggregate win in the semifinals for Southampton, which reached the final of English football's second-tier cup competition for a second time.
LONDON (AP) — Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has been questioned by police after being accused of racially abusing an employee at Heathrow Airport, the Daily Telegraph newspaper reported.
The paper said that the Switzerland international was taken to a west London police station for questioning Monday evening.
Arsenal says "this is a private matter in the hands of the police."
LONDON (AP) — Hull midfielder Ryan Mason has been able to talk about the clash of heads that left him with a fractured skull during a Premier League match at Chelsea.
The 25-year-old Englishman underwent surgery after the incident, but Hull said Monday that Mason was in stable condition.
LONDON (AP) — The momentum that carried Leicester to the Premier League title last season has been replaced by genuine worries of relegation.
Leicester has only 21 points from 22 games this season, the worst record for a defending champion since Ipswich had the same in the 1962-63 season.
LONDON (AP) — Hull record-signing Ryan Mason underwent surgery after fracturing his skull during a clash of heads during a Premier League match at Chelsea on Sunday.
The 25-year-old midfielder "is in a stable condition and is expected to remain in hospital for the next few days," Hull said in a statement.
The Englishman was taken to the neurosurgery unit at a hospital close to Chelsea's Stamford Bridge after the collision with Chelsea defender Gary Cahill as they went to head the ball.
LONDON (AP) — Still to clear up the ambiguity over last weekend's absence from the Chelsea team, Diego Costa did his talking on the pitch on Sunday.
Costa marked his return to the side for his 100th Chelsea appearance by scoring the opener in a 2-0 victory over Hull that sent the Premier League leaders eight points clear.
LONDON (AP) — Arsene Wenger apologized after appearing to push the fourth official during a fiery conclusion that saw two penalties scored in stoppage time as Arsenal beat Burnley 2-1 on Sunday to go second in the Premier League.
Burnley looked like taking its second point on the road this season when substitute Francis Coquelin tripped Ashley Barnes and Andre Gray powered home the first spot-kick in stoppage time to cancel out Shkodran Mustafi's header.
LONDON (AP) — Diego Costa returned to the Chelsea side after his ambiguous absence and marked his 100th appearance for the Premier League leaders on Sunday by scoring the first goal in a comfortable 2-0 victory over relegation-threatened Hull.
The striker was missing for last weekend's victory over Leicester, officially due to injury but with manager Antonio Conte not disputing accounts of a rift with the top scorer.
SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP) — Southampton condemned Leicester to the 11th loss of its Premier League title defense with a 3-0 victory on Sunday, leaving the champions five points above the relegation zone.
James Ward-Prowse, Jay Rodriguez and Dusan Tadic scored as Southampton eased to victory, leaving Claudio Ranieri's Leicester looking short of ideas in attack and worryingly frail at the back.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Tottenham staged a rousing fightback at Manchester City after uncharacteristic blunders by goalkeeper Hugo Lloris on Saturday, recovering a 2-2 draw in an engrossing Premier League encounter.
Pep Guardiola, reeling from the heaviest defeat of his managerial career at Everton last weekend, was left infuriated with the referee for not awarding a penalty directly before Son Heung-min grabbed an equalizer for second-placed Tottenham.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — It was a moment of drama and pride for Wayne Rooney but one tinged with disappointment for Bobby Charlton.
Rooney overhauled Charlton on Saturday to become Manchester United's record scorer, coming off the bench to net his landmark 250th goal in stoppage time at Stoke to clinch a 1-1 draw in the Premier League.
MIDDLESBROUGH, England (AP) — Andy Carroll scored twice and Jonathan Calleri netted in added time as West Ham made it back-to-back victories in the Premier League with a 3-1 win at Middlesbrough on Saturday.
Carroll, who now has five goals in 10 league games, connected with a powerful header in the ninth minute, then converted again in the 44th by finishing Victor Valdes' save against Michail Antonio.
LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Liverpool says former Cameroon defender Joel Matip has been cleared to play for the Premier League club by FIFA after an eligibility issue was resolved.
Matip withdrew himself from consideration for future selection for Cameroon's national team in September 2015, but his country tried to call him up for the African Cup of Nations that is currently underway.
LONDON (AP) — Steven Gerrard is returning to Liverpool to coach in the Premier League team's youth academy.
After an 18-month spell with the Los Angeles Galaxy, the former Liverpool captain retired from soccer in November but now he is back at the club where he spent 17 years as a professional — having graduated from the academy.
Several English Premier League managers delivered a clear message to FIFA on Thursday: Preserve the offside law.
Scrapping offside was the most radical of the ideas for changes to soccer floated by FIFA technical director Marco van Basten a href='https://apnews.com/258e5f505eb849d2989ef9bc47404610/FIFA's-Marco-van-Basten-proposes-changes-to-enhance-soccer'in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday./a
LONDON (AP) — Manchester United is a long way from winning the English Premier League again but is back on top of another table — as soccer's biggest moneymaker.
For the first time since 2005, Manchester United overtook Real Madrid in top spot in the soccer finance rankings compiled by accountancy firm Deloitte even as it sits sixth in the Premier League.
LONDON (AP) — Sam Allardyce secured his first victory as Crystal Palace manager by reaching the fourth round of the FA Cup on Tuesday when two non-league teams also advanced.
Palace fell behind to third-tier side Bolton but two goals from substitute Christian Benteke clinched a 2-1 victory for Allardyce against the team he managed between 1999 and 2007.
It ended Allardyce's five-match winless streak with Palace in all competitions.
FLORENCE, Italy (AP) — Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri is cheering for fellow Italian coach Antonio Conte at Chelsea to succeed him as English Premier League champion.
In Florence on Tuesday to be inducted into the Italian football Hall of Fame, Ranieri says of Conte: "He arrived without fanfare but he's showing that the Italian school of coaches is still valid. As a former Chelsea coach and as an Italian fan I hope that Conte can realize the goal."
LONDON (AP) — Sam Allardyce is not yet prepared to admit he faces his toughest test as a manager.
Five games into his Crystal Palace tenure, it is abundantly clear that the renowned "relegation firefighter" will need to work his magic fast if he is to preserve his record of never having been demoted from the Premier League as a manager.
Palace is in 17th place, just as it was when the south London club hired the straight-talking 61-year-old Allardyce after firing Alan Pardew in December.
BEIJING (AP) — China's football association said Monday it plans a series of measures in response to "irrational" spending by clubs on transfer fees and player salaries, amid concerns that foreign stars are crowding out local talent and harming the country's goal of becoming a global force in world football.
LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Pep Guardiola endured the heaviest league defeat of his coaching career as Manchester City was thrashed 4-0 by Everton in the Premier League on Sunday to plummet further out of title contention.
Two weeks after a 1-0 loss at Liverpool, City had more misery on Merseyside following goals by Romelu Lukaku, Kevin Mirallas, 18-year-old midfielder Tom Davies and 19-year-old debutant Ademola Lookman.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Zlatan Ibrahimovic compensated for Paul Pogba's moment of recklessness by scoring Manchester United's late equalizer in a 1-1 draw against fierce rival Liverpool, a result that damaged both teams' Premier League title chances on Sunday.
Ibrahimovic maintained his hot streak with a glancing header in off the crossbar in the 84th minute at Old Trafford, canceling out James Milner's 27th-minute penalty that was conceded by Pogba's handball.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — The Premier League season is barely past the halfway point and already Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has virtually given up on winning the title.
The world's most coveted coach can't have envisaged his first year in English soccer being this tough.
It takes something special to overshadow a match between bitter rivals Manchester United and Liverpool, but City's 4-0 loss at Everton on Sunday did just that.
LONDON (AP) — Top-scorer Diego Costa wasn't missed by English Premier League leader Chelsea.
Dimitri Payet's absence wasn't felt by West Ham.
Both teams won their games 3-0 despite missing their talisman on Saturday, but uncertainties linger about the future of the duo in English football.
LEICESTER, England (AP) — Chelsea easily coped without top-scorer Diego Costa, sweeping aside fading champion Leicester 3-0 to go seven points clear in the English Premier League on Saturday.
Marcos Alonso scored twice and Pedro Rodriguez headed in the third as Chelsea put its title bid back on track after a 13-match winning run ended at Tottenham in the previous game.
HULL, England (AP) — Abel Hernandez scored twice as Hull beat Bournemouth 3-1 to register its first English Premier League win on Saturday since Nov. 6, when the striker also last started a game for the relegation-threatened side.
It gave Marco Silva, the former Olympiakos and Sporting Lisbon coach, a winning start to his career as a Premier League manager.
WATFORD, England (AP) — Watford fans paid their own tribute to former manager Graham Taylor as the Hornets drew with Middlesbrough 0-0 in the English Premier League on Saturday.
Taylor, who went on to become England manager, died on Thursday following a suspected heart attack.
Taylor's widow, Rita, was among those to join in the minute's applause at the start of the game at Vicarage Road.
There was more applause in the 72nd minute: Taylor was 72.
BURNLEY, England (AP) — Burnley moved above Southampton into the top half of the English Premier League with a 1-0 win over the visitor on Saturday.
The goal announced Joey Barton's return to the league after an ill-fated spell at Rangers. He came off the bench and five minutes later was presented with a free kick after Oriel Romeu fouled George Boyd.
SUNDERLAND, England (AP) — Stoke won at Sunderland 3-1 for the first time since 1994 in the English Premier League on Saturday.
Sunderland was half asleep for the first 30-plus minutes, and Stoke exploited dismal defending and poor goalkeeping with three goals.
Marko Arnautovic hit in a rebound of his own shot and, seven minutes later, dribbled through the defense and beat goalkeeper Vito Mannone at the near post for 2-0.
SWANSEA, Wales (AP) — Arsenal swept aside Swansea 4-0 to go third in the Premier League on Saturday, claiming only a second away win since October and putting the Welsh club in last place.
Goals from Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez, sandwiched between two deflected Alex Iwobi strikes — credited as own goals to Jack Cork and Kyle Naughton — put Arsenal in cruise control and sent Swansea tumbling to the bottom of the league.
LONDON (AP) — Harry Kane's hat trick gave Tottenham a club record-equaling sixth straight Premier League victory on Saturday, beating West Bromwich Albion 4-0 with a devastating attacking display.
With Gareth McAuley also scoring an own goal at White Hart Lane, Tottenham rose to second in the standings. Only a strong display from West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster prevented a heavier loss for the visitors who didn't have a shot on target as Tottenham dominated throughout.
LONDON (AP) — Diego Costa's Chelsea career could be coming to a fiery abrupt end, in a setback to the English Premier League leaders' pursuit of the title.
LONDON (AP) — Crystal Palace has signed Jeffrey Schlupp from Leicester in Sam Allardyce's first signing since taking charge of the struggling English Premier League club last month.
The versatile Ghana international, a winger who also plays in defense, has signed a deal through June 2021 with Palace, which is one point and one place above the relegation zone.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany could return at Everton in the English Premier League on Sunday but Gabriel Jesus may have to wait for his debut.
Jesus, the Brazil striker signed from Palmeiras in the summer transfer window, officially joined City this month but his registration is yet to go through.
"When Palmeiras and the FA solve the problems he will be able to play," City manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday.
LONDON (AP) — Chelsea says firing Jose Mourinho the second time cost about 8 million pounds, and 67 million pounds was paid for the early termination of the Premier League team's Adidas sponsorship.
Mourinho, who now manages Manchester United, was dismissed by Chelsea during his third season back in charge in December 2015.
Chelsea's newly-published accounts reveal "termination payments and compensation" of 8.3 million pounds (then $13 million).
LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — France midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin ended an underwhelming 18-month spell at Manchester United by sealing a move to English Premier League rival Everton for an initial fee of 20 million pounds ($24.5 million) on Thursday.
Schneiderlin has signed a 4 1/2-year contract with Everton, where he will be reunited with manager Ronald Koeman. They were together at Southampton for two years, before Schneiderlin left for United in July 2015.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — With Manchester United on its longest winning run in eight years, it's tempting to conclude that a giant of English soccer is starting to resemble the force of old.
Some perspective is needed, however, when assessing United's nine straight victories in all competitions since Dec. 8.
LONDON (AP) — Chelsea has overcome the latest hurdle to redeveloping its Stamford Bridge stadium and allowing the Premier League leaders to catch up with London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham.
Chelsea says in a statement Wednesday that the local authority's planning committee has given permission for the redevelopment to go ahead.
SWANSEA, Wales (AP) — Swansea has added former France defensive midfielder Claude Makelele to the struggling Premier League club's coaching staff.
Makelele worked with recently-appointed Swansea manager Paul Clement as player at Chelsea and a coach at Paris Saint-Germain.
Swansea is next-to-last in the Premier League standings, one point from safety heading into Saturday's game against Arsenal.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says the club is close to selling midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin to English Premier League rival Everton.
The 27-year-old Schneiderlin has been told he can leave United after failing to establish himself in the team following his move from Southampton in July 2015.
Speaking after United's 2-0 win over Hull in the English League Cup semifinals on Tuesday, Mourinho said "Morgan is more than probably going to Everton."
LONDON (AP) — Manchester City defender Bacary Sagna has been charged by the English Football Association for questioning the impartiality of a referee in a Premier League game.
The France international posted a message on Instagram after City beat Burnley 2-1 on Jan. 2, saying: "10 against 12... but still fighting and winning as a team." City played more than half of the match with 10 men following Fernandinho's sending-off.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Sporting Kansas City acquired forward Christian Volesky from Portland for a fourth-round draft pick and signed winger Latif Blessing from the Ghana Premier League during a series of moves Monday.
The 24-year-old Volesky, who spent the past two seasons with Rochester in the United Soccer League, is on a one-year contract with options for the next three years.
Juergen Klopp's decision to field Liverpool's youngest ever team backfired Sunday as the Premier League title contender was held 0-0 at home by fourth-tier Plymouth in the third round of the FA Cup.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino also made sweeping changes, and was made to sweat as his side left it late to beat second-tier Aston Villa 2-0.
Chelsea had an easier time, sweeping aside third-tier Peterborough 4-1, with Spanish forward Pedro scoring twice.
LONDON (AP) — Within minutes of lifting the FA Cup in May, Louis van Gaal discovered how little the competition factored into the decision on his Manchester United future.
United's approach for Jose Mourinho to succeed Van Gaal emerged as the Dutch coach was facing the media at Wembley Stadium straight after beating Crystal Palace. Two days later, Van Gaal was booted out of United, paying the price for failing to secure Champions League qualification by finishing in the top four.