Riley's Top 10 Games Of 2016 on collectionfifatips

Um, spoiler alert.

My 2016 was a year of surprises. There were so many games I didn’t expect would capture me the way they did, featuring genres and mechanics I usually don’t like but that nevertheless thrilled me. I tried a lot of new kinds of games this year, and I found a lot of new favorites. Here’s my top 10.

That Dragon, Cancer

That Dragon, Cancer was an ambitious look at topics games don’t usually address, a series of simple vignettes that were each somehow bigger than they seemed. In particular it explored faith in a brave way unique to games. It examined what it means to be a person of faith honestly, unapologetically, and complexly. It’s a story that stuck with me long after I’d finished the game, and I hope it opens the door for more games to explore religion in new ways.

American Truck Simulator

I love trucking simulators, which is weird for someone who hasn’t driven in over a decade. While Euro Trucks will always be my favorite, American Truck Simulator brought its weirdly compulsive and soothing journey to an environment that was at once familiar and new. I’ll never get tired of turning on the radio and whiling away a few hours moving fake cargo from place to place. I’m excited for ATS’ land mass to expand, hopefully one day allowing me to live my dream of driving past my own house.

Hyper Light Drifter

I tend not to be a fan of hard games. I lack the time and patience to really dig into them. But Hyper Light Drifter’s bright, mysterious world and simple but tough-as-nails mechanics drew me in. I felt like a bad-ass after each boss fight I completed, and I saw the game’s trickier areas when I closed my eyes at night. It gave me a new appreciation for difficult games, and even if I’ll never fully best it, I enjoyed my time with it immensely.


I’m not big into rhythm games, but I couldn’t stop playing Thumper. It unfolded so carefully that I didn’t realize hours passed with me staring intensely at it, tapping my feet, bobbing my head, and trying over and over to get a perfect score. Thumper’s simple mechanics are wrapped in a harsh, brutal vibe that feels like a good punk show. It’s another one I’ll probably never beat, but that won’t stop me from trying.


Gonner might be my new Spelunky (if I needed a new Spelunky, which I don’t, because Spelunky is perfect). Its quirky art style and chunky feedback are charming, and its procedural levels means there’s always a reason to try one more time. It’s one of my regular go-to games when I need something quick to play between tasks, plus you get to hug a whale.

Darkest Dungeon

I’ve been playing Darkest Dungeon since it arrived in Early Access. It features the stats and leveling that tend to turn me off RPGs, but its strong art style and Lovecraftian setting were enough to keep me going. While the quirks mechanic wasn’t as robust as I would have liked, it was nevertheless a fun twist that asked me to balance a thrilling number of things in each encounter. Losing characters I’d poured hours into never stopped stinging, but each setback felt fair, brutal, and exciting.


My colleagues’ love for Inside was what initially inspired me to give it a shot. It’s a simple game with mysteries that don’t unfold so much as come crashing inexplicably through the wall. The end made my jaw drop and reduced me to awed laughter. I’ve showed it to countless friends, especially those who don’t play games, and everyone has been charmed by its bleak weirdness.

Dishonored 2

My favorite thing about Dishonored 2 is that it’s more Dishonored. Dishonored remains one of my favorite games somewhat in spite of itself; its unique mechanics and creative levels outshine its flat plot. Dishonored 2 doesn’t feel like a reinvention so much as more of what makes its predecessor great. I loved returning to the series’ evocative, beautiful world, exploring levels that feel like real places, uncovering its secrets and alternate paths, and playing with its possibilities. I haven’t played nearly enough time as Emily yet, and once mission select is implemented I’m excited to explore each level top to bottom and invent needlessly complicated ways to assassinate my targets.


By all accounts I should have hated Overwatch. I don’t tend to like multiplayer games, especially playing multiplayer shooters with strangers. But I caught the enthusiasm everyone had for Overwatch, and now I don’t think a day’s gone by that I haven’t popped in for a quick round or two. It has the same short match time that makes Rocket League so great, and the new brawls and arcade modes are endless sources of hilarity. The diversity of characters and roles means there’s always a way I can feel like I’m helping the team (I’m one of those rare people who almost always plays healer), but there’s still impetus to experiment with new classes and heroes.


I wasn’t sure what to expect of 2016's Hitman. Previously I’d played a few uninspiring hours of Absolution and struggled through the age of the early parts of Blood Money. Hitman became a game I loved more the more time I spent with it. Its episodic release structure meant a steady flow of new content in the form of escalations, contracts, and elusive targets that made it feel less like a game and more like a world (a pretty grim, murderous world, but still). The wait between episodes inspired me to explore each level thoroughly and try new things. Over the course of the year, Hitman revealed its secrets and blossomed into a funny, imaginative playground I can’t get enough of. Plus Agent 47 looks good in literally every pair of pants, and you can’t ask for much more than that.

collectionfifatips | Senior Facebook Employee Arrested For Allegedly Soliciting Unprotected Sex From Underage Girl 

Dov Katz

Dov Katz, the head of computer vision at Oculus VR, was arrested near Seattle on December 21 for allegedly soliciting sex from an underage girl. According to charging records, Katz allegedly attempted to pay $350 to have unprotected sex with someone he thought was a 15-year-old girl.


Katz, 38, has been charged with attempted commercial sexual abuse of a minor. According to the charging documents, Katz wasn’t actually texting a 15-year-old girl, but an undercover agent from the Tukwila Police Department. Katz, an Israeli citizen living in America, has since been released on $125,000 bail according to the King County jail website.

King County

Facebook bought Oculus for $2 billion in 2014. According to a profile in The Times of Israel, Katz was “an an integral part of the team that developed the Oculus Rift headset.”


According to charging documents initially posted by GeekWire, Katz allegedly asked the undercover officer, whom he met on the website Backpage, for an overnight girlfriend experience. Katz also allegedly asked the girl, “how many times do you think you’ll make me cum?”

Katz was arrested with $600 in cash when he arrived at an Embassy Suites hotel just south of Seattle, after he allegedly arranged a meeting with someone he believed to be the underage girl. Following the arrest, Katz told officers his phone number, which matched the phone number that was texting the undercover officer.

Here are the charging documents:


We’ve reached out to Facebook for comment and will update this story if we hear back.



[KING 5 via GeekWire]

collectionfifatips | Pirate Warrior Decks Have Actually Been Great For Hearthstone

If you spend any time on deck building sites, the Hearthstone Reddit, or just play around on the game’s ranked ladder for any amount of time, you probably know that the community has been struggling with the rise of Pirate Warrior decks ever since Mean Streets of Gadgetzan released earlier this month.


“Fuck Warrior Pirate” was a common sentiment throughout December. The deck and its variants were cheap, incredible fast-paced, and difficult to play against with other, arguably more interesting Gadgetzan decks like Jade Druid or Kazakus mage. For a period of time it felt like every other deck being played in Ranked was Pirate Warrior, and it seemed to be ruining the meta for the mid-range of the ladder as a result..

Gadgetzan cards like Patches the Pirate and Small-Time Buccaneer created new synergies between Southsea pirate minions and classic weapons like Fiery War Ax that allow players to be dealing between two and four damage on turn one, up to anywhere from five to ten by turns three, four, and five. That’s because with so many one-mana pirates that receive big bonuses every time they’re played in conjunction with a weapon, pirate warrior players can manage relatively good board control early on while still dealing massive damage to their opponent.

Patches, who is automatically summoned to the field from your deck the first time a pirate is played, is effectively a free minion who can be used to make favorable trades against an opponent’s minions or buffed to cause even more headaches. Meanwhile Buccaneer triples its attack when a weapon is held, all for a single mana in a deck that’s sure to be filled not only with War Axes but also Rusty Hooks. The result is a deck that ramps up quickly and has plenty of ways to maintain early control of the board if whoever is on the receiving end opens the game with a sub-optimal mulligan.


Pair that with heavy hitters like Arcanite Reaper with an Upgrade!, turning the 5/2 weapon into a 6/3 for only one mana more, and even if the Pirate Warrior needs to buy time in the mid game, it can still be lethal going into the late game if its opponent isn’t careful. Within days of Gadgetzan’s release, pro player Simon “Sottle” Welch’s build began circulating far and wide thanks to its straight-forward logic and promise of easy ranking.

All good things must come to an end though, and even the flashy relentlessness of Pirate Warrior eventually took a back seat to the more complex prowess of Jade Shamen and re-worked Reno Warlock decks. I still play a variation on the Scottle’s build every day however, not because I’m a mindless player looking for easy wins, but because, in many ways, Pirate Warrior distilled Hearthstone down into its key elements and let players toy around with them at lightning speed.

Like Steven Zaillian’s child prodigy playing clock chess in Washington Square Park in Searching For Bobby Fischer, the aggression of Pirate Warrior after Gadgetzan’s release helped clear away some of the fog by turning matches into a series of rapid moves and counter-moves. Matches with the deck are quick, win or lose, and so filled with repetition that it becomes more like openings in chess than a turn-based collectible card game. Do you go to the face-with War Ax on turn three or wait to clear a path for dropping dual 5/3 Bloodsail Raiders on turn four? Is it worth pawning Upgrade! for a turn one weapon or should you hold on to it until the first Arcanite Reaper comes out?



The variations are both obvious and familiar, making it easier to see the consequences for losing tempo on turn two when you’ve made it within one life of finishing your opponent off on turn seven before falling to her army of 6/6 Jade Golems. In this way Pirate Warrior has helped Hearthstone reveal an aspect of itself that few were exploring with more expensive, build-up oriented decks, especially when two Pirate Warriors face-off against each other in mirror matches. It’s not the height of competitive Hearthstone, just a different side of it.

And like Blitz chess, Pirate Warrior was such a welcome development precisely because of how it re-oriented the middle-range of Ranked Hearthstone away from late-game combos or board-clearing maneuvers toward a messier war of attrition where every match is tense and every outcome built on the sum of small advantages. It wasn’t an attack on the integrity of Hearthstone, just like speed chess isn’t an attack on the purity of that game. Pirate Warrior simply showed that the ideas and principles of Hearthstone could be re-organized along a more streamlined and cut-throat axis, and thereby let players plumb the depths of some of its more shallow waters.

The Two-Year Mystery Is Over: This Is Frog Fractions 2 [UPDATE] –

Frog Fractions 2 has been unearthed. A collective called the Game Detectives discovered the sequel to developer Jim Crawford’s viral, psychedelic browser game inside another Steam game after a two-year hunt.


Glittermitten Grove, released on Steam mid-December, actually contains Frog Fractions 2, as I discovered while poking around in the Frog Fractions 2 Discord today. Its description reads, “Just like the faeries in your garden, we love collecting berries for our prickleberry loaves and finding treasure with our special fribblesham fireworks. Come join us in our faerieland, full of strange adventure!”

UPDATE 8:20 PM: If you want to access Frog Fractions 2 inside of Glittermitten Grove, you have a couple options. First, the easy way: you can use fireworks to dig into the ground, where you’ll eventually find a door. Kinda like the original Frog Fractions! There’s also a door in the sky, but getting up there involves actually playing Glittermitten Grove (which is, to be clear, its own wholly separate game). If you want to access Frog Fractions 2 asap, the first option is your best bet.


We always knew Frog Fractions 2 would exist within another game. In 2014, Crawford launched a Kickstarter for Frog Fractions 2. In it, Crawford insists that what fans are contributing to “won’t be called ‘Frog Fractions 2.’ It will probably be called something like ‘Lost Kingdom: Reckoning,’ by Fork Bomb LLC or ‘Turbo Finance 2015’ by Vespenta Holdings.” Frog Fractions 2, he implied, would be hidden inside another game. The mystery gave rise to the meme, “Is this Frog Fractions 2?” when a new, unknown game came on Steam.

A humorously complex alternate reality game (ARG) lead up to Frog Fractions 2’s release. It involved 23 other indie games on Steam. Developers hid puzzle pieces inside those games as a part of Crawford’s ARG. The ARG soon bled into real life, at one point involving a letter from a “time traveler” found in a real-life library book in Berkeley, California. The most recent development before today’s release was the unlocking of a mystery box.

Early December, Randomiser, a member of the Game Detectives, cracked a puzzle in Unboxing Story, a game uploaded to a site associated with the Frog Fractions 2 ARG. As a reward, he received a locked box in the mail. On December 12th, Game Detectives user Pumodi found the key after completing a real-life “Room Escape” game in Portland, OR. The box’s unlocking was livestreamed on Christmas eve:

Immediately after, Crawford sent out this message:

A Game Detectives admin told me that they actually found the game when “a certain game update that happened after the button was pushed and the tweet was put out already revealed some keywords that related to the entire FF2 ARG.” The December 24th update to Glittermitten Grove led them to the game which, after some tricks and turns and an underground door, ushers players into Frog Fractions 2, which, in the game’s credits, is referred to as “Frog Fractions 3.”



Backers to the Frog Fractions 2 Kickstarter received their Steam keys shortly after. Now, the Game Detectives are celebrating their victory. We’ll see soon if the game was worth the wait. And, anyway, isn’t Frog Fractions 2 really just the friends we made along the way?

collectionfifatips | Today's Best Deals: Top-Selling Kindle Books, APC Battery Backups, Das Keyboard, and More

New York Times bestsellers, APC battery backups, and a Das mechanical keyboard lead off Monday’s best deals.


Bookmark Kinja Deals and follow us on Twitter to never miss a deal. Commerce Content is independent of Editorial and Advertising, and if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale. Click here to learn more.

Up to 80% off Select Kindle Books

If you’ve been dying to read some NYT Best Sellers (or, like me, just got a Kindle for Christmas and want to stockpile books on the cheap), Amazon is having another huge Kindle sale, in case you missed yesterday’s while opening gifts. Grab Dark Matter, Why Not Me? and more titles you’ve wanted to read but didn’t want to buy at full price for under $5.

Here are a few picks, but head to Amazon to see the rest.

APC BR1300G, $100 | APC BE550G, $47 | APC 8-Outlet Surge Protector, $13

If you ever have to deal with power shortages and brief outages, Amazon’s offering all-time low prices on a pair of APC UPS backup power supplies, plus an 8-outlet surge protector, today only.



If you use a desktop computer, these will of course keep your machine running without any interruption in the event of a power outage, which means you won’t lose any unsaved work. But even if you only use laptops and mobile devices at home, they could still run lamps, your router and modem, or even a TV until the power comes back on.

The $100 BR1300G gives you 1,300 volt-amps and 780 watts, while the $47 APC BE550G is better suited for networking gear like your router and modem. Just note that like all Gold Box deals, these prices are only available today, or until sold out.

Poweradd Pilot X7, $17

This 20,000mAh battery pack doesn’t have USB-C, Quick Charge, or any other bells and whistles, but you’d be hard pressed to find a better price for that capacity.

Acer Chromebook 15, $229

In the Chromebook world, a 1080p 15" display and 4GB of RAM qualify as high-end luxuries, but this Acer Chromebook 15 is priced like its smaller, slower brethren today. Obviously, there are better computers out there, but this would be great for watching movies and getting work done on the road.

2-Pack Mpow Lightning Cable, $10 with code TK8OP69Z

If you found a new Apple product under the tree yesterday, you’re going to want to stock up on Lightning cables. For a limited time you can get two from Mpow for $10; just add two to your cart, and use code TK8OP69Z at checkout.

Soma 6-Cup Water Filter Pitcher, $18 | 10-Cup, $25

If you’ve ever looked at your Brita pitcher and thought, “wow, what an eyesore,” these discounted Soma pitchers were made just for you.

GoPets Premium Cat Scratcher with Catnip, $17

If you forgot to get your cat a holiday gift (how embarrassing!), she might forgive you if you get her this infinity lounger scratching post, complete with a bonus bag of catnip.

Editor’s note: She won’t forgive you.

PDP Energizer 2X Charging Station, $15

Did you unwrap a new PS4 yesterday? Keep your controllers topped off with this dual charging dock for just $15.

Das Keyboard 4C, $90 | Razer BlackWidow Chroma Stealth, $115 | More PC and Tablet Accessory Deals

Amazon’s running a Gold Box full of tablet and PC accessory deals, and while you should head over here to see all of them, the highlights are definitely a pair of mechanical keyboards.

The Das Keyboard 4C is one of the best tenkeyless mechanicals money can buy, while the BlackWidow Chroma Stealth includes every feature a gamer could possibly want.

iClever Ultra Slim Folding Bluetooth Keyboard, $33

Want to get some real work done without lugging around a laptop? This folding keyboard fits in any bag, and will connect over Bluetooth to any smartphone or tablet. It’s even backlit!

TaoTronics 24 Hour Bluetooth Speaker, $39

TaoTronics’ new Bluetooth speaker, with its wraparound linen cover, is one of the most attractive I’ve ever seen, but don’t let that blind you from the impressive tech: 24 hours of battery life (same as the popular Anker SoundCore), dual 8W drivers, and the newest Bluetooth 4.2 standard.

Blue Yeti Blackout + Watch Dogs 2, $89

We’ve seen a handful of $89 deals on the reader-favorite Blue Yeti USB microphone over the last several weeks, but today, that same price will also get you a PC download of Watch Dogs 2. This bundle was on sale for $99 earlier in the month, but maybe the extra $10 in savings will be enough to push you over the edge.

$1 Movie Rentals. Promo Code MOVIE99.

If you need a way to fill your holiday downtime, Amazon will rent you any movie in their digital catalog for a buck today with promo code MOVIE99. That applies to holiday films, new releases (I’m renting Sully), classics; if you can rent it on Amazon, you can rent it for $1.



Remember that after you place your order, you’ll have 30 days to start watching, and then 24 hours to finish it.


  • Select PC Storage, Networking, and Accessories are On Sale Today | Amazon
  • Poweradd Pilot X7 MP-3461BK 20000mAh External Battery Power Bank | $17 | Amazon
  • APC 8-Outlet Surge Protector 2525 Joules with Telephone, DSL and Coaxial Protection | $13 | Amazon
  • APC Back-UPS 550VA UPS Battery Backup & Surge Protector | $47 | Amazon
  • APC Back-UPS Pro 1300VA UPS Battery Backup and Surge Protector | $100 | Amazon
  • Samsung 58-Inch LED – 1080p – Smart – HDTV | $450 | Best Buy
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 4 – 12.3" – 128GB – Intel Core m3 – Bundle with Keyboard | $700 | Best Buy
  • Acer Chromebook 15 CB5-571-C1DZ (15.6-Inch Full HD IPS, 4GB RAM, 16GB SSD) | $229 | Amazon
  • Dell E1916HV VESA Mountable 19" Screen LED-Lit Monitor | $60 | Amazon
  • Cat 6 Flat Ethernet Cable Black 100ft Computer Cable With Snagless RJ45 Connectors | $13 | amazon | Use code IVOI8PSY
  • AUKEY Mechanical Keyboard with Blue Switches & 104-key RGB Backlit | $49 | Amazon | Use code AUKPCRGB
  • 2 pack Mpow Apple MFI Certified 8-Pin Lightning Cable | $10 | Amazon | Use code TK8OP69Z
  • Mpow Bluetooth 2-in-1 Receiver/Transmitter | $19 | Amazon | Use code UIOP4I9H


  • 1500 W Indoor Electric LED Faux Fireplace | $59 | eBay
  • Soma 10-Cup Water Filter Pitcher | $25 | Amazon
  • Soma 6-Cup Water Filter Pitcher | $18 | Amazon
  • Farberware Classic 17-Piece Tool and Gadget Set | $12 | Amazon
  • Craftsman 270pc Mechanics Tool Set with 3-Drawer Chest | $130 | Sears
  • Whitmor Adjustable Drawer Dividers, Includes 2 Dividers | $8 | Amazon
  • Starfrit 93209 Rotato Express – Electric Peeler | $20 | Amazon
  • Premium Cat Scratcher by GoPets, Infinity Lounge With Catnip | $17 | Amazon
  • ONME 2.8 Inch Pizza Wheel and Cutter | $7 | Amazon
  • Elf on the Shelf | $15 | Target


  • Sweet Sweat Waist Trimmer | $18 | Amazon
  • JINRI 1875W Professional Hair Dryer | $27 | Amazon | Use code GHMK95LU
  • JINRI Travel Sized Mini Hair Dryer 1000W | $20 | Amazon | Use code SKGV7CN8


  • HTC VIVE – Virtual Reality System | $699 | Amazon
  • Logitech G710+ Mechanical Gaming Keyboard | $50 | Dell
  • Corsair Gaming SCIMITAR RGB MOBA/MMO Gaming Mouse | $50 | Amazon
  • PDP Energizer 2X Charging Station for PS4 | $15 | Amazon
  • Final Fantasy XIV Online – PS4 [Digital Code] | $10 | Amazon
  • Energizer 2X Smart Charger for Xbox One | $30 | Amazon
  • Dead Rising 4 | $30 | Best Buy
  • Nintendo Selects: The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D | $15 | Amazon
  • Monster Hunter Generations – Nintendo 3DS Standard Edition | $20 | Amazon
  • ESPN 54" Foosball Soccer Table | $86 | Walmart


  • Kubo and the Two Strings | $14 | Amazon
  • Up to 80% Off Kindle NYT Best Sellers Today | Amazon
  • Jackaby Audiobook | $2 | Amazon

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Manchester City forgot about scoring goals in first half – Pep Guardiola –

Kelechi Iheanacho and Yaya Toure say that despite the scoreline showing 3-0, Man City’s win over Hull was a tough battle.

HULL — Pep Guardiola was critical of his Manchester City side for overplaying the ball in the first half of their 3-0 victory over Hull City.

City created few chances in the first half but finally found the breakthrough in the 72nd minute when Raheem Sterling cut inside and was brought down by Andrew Robertson for a penalty.

Hull CityHull City
Manchester CityManchester City



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Yaya Toure scored from the spot before a goal from Kelechi Iheanacho and an own goal from Hull defender Curtis Davies gave the scoreline a more emphatic look. City enjoyed 67 percent possession but Guardiola said his team did not threaten David Marshall’s goal often enough in the first half.

“The first half was quite good in terms of control — all accept the last five minutes when we conceded stupid faults and they create a lot of problems especially with Snodgrass because of the quality of his set pieces,” Guardiola told a news conference.

“But we forgot in the first half that the goal was there. Every time that Raz [Sterling] has the ball we just pass, pass, pass and we don’t need Raz for the pass we need his quality in one against one.

“In the second half from the beginning he arrives at the byline and he created the penalty. In the first action he created the third goal.

“At the end we finish with another counter-attack because the game is almost over and the opponents are not set up to defend. Of course, we are happy to win again, especially away here at Hull.”

Pep Guardiola convereses with Raheem Sterling during City’s Boxing Day win.

Guardiola admitted that he spoke to his attackers and told them to be more direct against a Hull side that are rock-bottom of the Premier League.

“I spoke with the strikers, all of them,” he added. “The wingers have to be the wingers.

“You have to try to dribble and attack the goal. In the first half we didn’t do that; in the second half it was much, much better.”

The victory lifts City up to second in the Premier League and maintained their seven-point deficit on leaders Chelsea, who won earlier in the day.

But they will drop back to third if Liverpool win Tuesday’s game against Stoke City ahead of City’s visit to Anfield on New Year’s Eve.

Guardiola could be without defender John Stones, who limped out of the win over Hull in the 18th minute with a knee injury but the City boss does not think it is a serious problem.

“He had a huge kick in his knee,” the Spaniard added. “He could not run and that’s why we changed.

“Now when you see his knee it is swollen — but it is just a kick, not ligaments or anything.”

Jonathan is ESPN FC’s Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.

Antonio Conte backs Michy Batshuayi, rejects thoughts of January loan on collectionfifatips

Chelsea put in a commanding display without Diego Costa and remain unchallenged leaders of the Premier League.

LONDON — Antonio Conte insists he will not allow Michy Batshuayi to leave Chelsea on loan in January despite deciding not to start the Belgian in Diego Costa’s absence for Monday’s 3-0 win over Bournemouth.

Batshuayi was expected to be handed his first Premier League start since moving to Stamford Bridge for £33 million from Marseille, but Conte instead opted to deploy Eden Hazard as a false nine in place of Costa, while Cesc Fabregas came in for the suspended N’Golo Kante in midfield.

Chelsea did not miss Costa as a penalty from Hazard and two goals from Pedro Rodriguez secured a club-record 12th consecutive Premier League victory for Conte’s men, while Batshuayi was introduced as a substitute in the fourth minute of injury time.

Conte made a point of embracing a visibly downcast Batshuayi at the final whistle, and after the match the Chelsea head coach insisted that his 23-year-old summer signing will get his chance to impress.

AFC BournemouthAFC Bournemouth



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“I think that Michy is a really good player, but a young player, he is trying to adapt to this league,” Conte said of Batshuayi. “I try to make the best decision for the team but I am sure Michy will get the possibility to show his talent in the future.

“Today, also I wanted to give him the opportunity to play and to have another appearance. It happened at the end but I think that we have to continue to work with him every day to try to improve him, to bring him in the best condition to help us in this league.”

Asked if he would allow Batshuayi to leave Chelsea on loan in January, he replied: “No, also because I have these players. He is a new player for Chelsea, to go on loan now, is a defeat for the club and for me. Now it is important to be focused to improve.

“I want to win and every decision I make is because I want to win. I have to take the best decision, sometimes it is good, positive or negative but I try to put every player in the best condition.”

This was the first time that Conte has been unable to call upon Costa or Kante in the Premier League this season, and the Italian believes Chelsea have made an ominous statement that they will not let go of their winning streak lightly.

“I think today we sent a good message in general, because a lot of people were waiting [to see if] we could lose points in this game without two really important players, Costa and Kante,” Conte added. “It didn’t happen.

“I am pleased for this, because I can count on all my players in the squad. I try in every game to make the best decision for the team without looking at the faces.”

Liam is ESPN FC’s Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.

collectionfifatips – Jose Mourino doubts Wayne Rooney can return from injury vs. Boro

Jose Mourinho focuses on Man United’s impressive second half, but praises Sunderland for their first half effort.
Manchester United get their fourth-straight win in the Premier League behind the performance of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Wayne Rooney is unlikely to return for Manchester United’s next game against Middlesbrough on New Year’s Eve, manager Jose Mourinho says.

The 31-year-old missed the 3-0 Boxing Day victory over Sunderland, and after the game Mourinho said the forward was dealing with a muscle strain.

Asked if Rooney would be fit to face Boro, Mourinho said: “Honestly, I don’t think so. I hope so. I would like. He is always a player I would like to have, but I have my little doubts. Let’s see the evolution.

“It is a strained muscle. I don’t know if in English the name is the same as in Portuguese.

Manchester UnitedManchester United



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“It is a deep muscle and it is surrounded by others. You can have an injury there and still be able to move well, but we was not feeling very confident.

“So it is not a big deal, but in four days I have my doubts.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic shone without Rooney, scoring and providing an assist on Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s goal in the second half.

The 35-year-old has been involved in 12 Premier League goals this season and Mourinho confirmed that his future will be at Old Trafford beyond the end of the season.

“I am not really surprised because he is a very intelligent guy and he’s a very proud man,” the United manager said.

“For him to decide to come to a club with the level of expectation of Manchester United and the most difficult league in the world for a striker, it is because he knows that he can do it.

“So when we contacted him and he said, ‘Yes, I want,’ I was sure that he was not coming here to leave the Premier League without proving [his worth], leaving the Premier League failing at Manchester United. No way.

“When such a guy decides to come, I was completely clear that he would be ready and he is ready for more next season. He will be here again.”

Asked if the one-year extension clause beyond Ibrahimovic’s initial one-season has been activated, Mourinho said: “Not yet, but it is activated in his brain and it is activated also in my decisions, the owners and the board’s, so no problem.”

Chelsea, Man United, Arsenal and City win; Swansea thrashed –

Chelsea put in a commanding display without Diego Costa and remain unchallenged leaders of the Premier League.

Chelsea, without Diego Costa and N’Golo Kante because of suspension, won a 12th consecutive Premier League game as they beat Bournemouth 3-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Antonio Conte’s side, who lined up without a traditional striker, took the lead when Pedro curled a left-footed shot into the top corner in the 24th minute.

AFC BournemouthAFC Bournemouth



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And Eden Hazard scored his 50th Premier League to double their advantage from the penalty spot in the 49th minute after the Belgian was fouled by Bournemouth’s Simon Francis.

Pedro added a third to seal the points with a deflected effort that left Bournemouth goalkeeper Artur Boruc wrongfooted.

Pep Guardiola’s men went on a second half rout of Hull City to secure their place second behind table leaders Chelsea.

Late goals from Yaya Toure and Kelechi Iheanacho gave Manchester City a 3-0 win against Hull City and moved them into second place.

Toure scored on his third successive Boxing Day when he put Pep Guardiola’s team ahead from the penalty spot in the 72nd minute, after Raheem Sterling had been fouled by Andy Robertson.

Hull CityHull City
Manchester CityManchester City



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And good work from Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva allowed substitute Iheanacho to add a second six minutes later, before Curtis Davies turned in Sterling’s cross in added time for the third.

John Stones had been recalled to the City XI for the game but departed after only 11 minutes due to injury.

Manchester United get their fourth-straight win in the Premier League behind the performance of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Daley Blind, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan all scored as Manchester United beat Sunderland 3-1 on David Moyes’ first return to Old Trafford.

The breakthrough came six minutes before half-time as Ibrahimovic controlled the ball in the corner of the box and laid off for the on-rushing Blind to fire a low shot into the net.

Manchester UnitedManchester United



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The points looked to have been sealed with eight minutes to play when Paul Pogba picked off a Papy Djilobodji pass and played through Ibrahimovic, who picked his spot to score his 50th goal for club and country in 2016.

Four minutes later, Ibrahimovic sent in a cross behind substitute Mkhitaryan, who might have been offside but still managed to flick the ball into the net with a spectacular back-heeled volley.

Sunderland scored a late consolation when Fabio Borini sent in a fine strike of his own from distance in added time.

Olivier Giroud rescues Arsenal’s title hopes on Boxing Day with an 86th minute goal.

Olivier Giroud marked his first Premier League start of the season by heading home a late winner as Arsenal eked out a 1-0 victory over a resolute West Bromwich Albion at Emirates Stadium.

In an effort to recover from back-to-back defeats against Everton and Manchester City, Arsene Wenger named an attacking lineup that included Giroud, Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Alex Iwobi.

West Bromwich Albion



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But it looked for 86 minutes as though Tony Pulis’ gameplan would work to perfection as the visitors limited the Gunners to only a handful of chances, with Ben Foster on top form in the Baggies’ goal.

But it would be Giroud, largely a bit-part player for Arsene Wenger this season, who headed home Ozil’s cross to secure a much-needed Boxing Day triumph for the hosts following back-to-back defeats against Everton and Manchester City.

Goals from Kevin Mirallas and Romelu Lukaku secured the points for Everton at the King Power Stadium.

Kevin Mirallas and Romelu Lukaku struck to sink Leicester City and hand Everton their first away win since September.

The pair scored breakaway second-half goals to send the Toffees seventh in the Premier League following a 2-0 victory at the King Power Stadium, which increases the champions’ relegation worries.

Leicester CityLeicester City



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It was only Everton’s third triumph from their last 13 Premier League games but Ronald Koeman’s side ground out all three points in a low-quality game.

The last time Leicester hosted the Toffees, in May, they lifted the Premier League trophy afterwards, but this time they are three points above the relegation zone.

Bob Bradley’s dismal run as Swansea manager continues with a 4-1 drubbing on Boxing Day.

West Ham United turned up the heat on Swansea City manager Bob Bradley with a 4-1 win at the Liberty Stadium.

Andre Ayew — with his first Hammers goal following his move from Swansea in August — Winston Reid, Michail Antonio and Andy Carroll helped the Londoners claim a third successive win for the first time since March.

Swansea CitySwansea City
West Ham UnitedWest Ham United



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Fernando Llorente, on as a substitute, claimed a Swansea consolation two minutes from time with his fifth goal in six games, but even then Carroll had the final word.

The victory takes West Ham towards midtable but leaves Swansea second-bottom and four points from safety.

Sam Allardyce was denied victory in his first match as Crystal Palace manager after Troy Deeney’s penalty earned Watford a 1-1 draw.

The former England manager succeeded in coaxing an improved performance from some of the players whose poor form had contributed to predecessor Alan Pardew being sacked, and they were on course to win as he resumed his Premier League career at the same ground he oversaw his last match with Sunderland.

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Yohan Cabaye’s first-half finish had given Palace the lead as they pursued only a fifth league win of the season, but the penalty that ended substitute Troy Deeney’s long wait for his 100th Watford goal delivered a reminder to Allardyce of the relegation battle which lies ahead.

It could all have been very different if Christian Benteke had converted a first-half penalty chance, but his weak effort was comfortably saved by Hornets goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.

Troy Deeney’s 100th Watford goal was enough to steal the win away from Sam Allardyce in his debut as Crystal Palace manager.

Andre Gray volleyed in his second Premier League goal 10 minutes from time to earn Burnley a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough at Turf Moor.

The former non-league forward had not scored since netting against Liverpool in August, after which historical anti-gay posts on social media came to light that saw the Football Association hand him a four-game ban.




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Last year’s Championship Player of the Year has not been a regular since returning, but he provided the key contribution in a dull affair here with a late strike that earned the Clarets a sixth home win of the season.

It had been four years since Burnley had scored in a Boxing Day encounter and their 3-0 loss to Hull 12 months ago was their final defeat before a 23-match unbeaten streak guided them to the Championship title.

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Copa Libertadores final set, PSG outwit old rivals –

Paris Saint-Germain were the big winners in France on Matchday 11, as they went top of the pile by beating Lyon, while Potsdam remain at the summit in Germany and the finalists of this year’s Copa Libertadores Femenina in South America were revealed.

Germany: Potsdam crowned ‘autumn champions’
Matthias Rudolph’s Turbine Potsdam side once again showed the rich vein of form they are in with an 8-0 thrashing of Duisburg in their final game before the winter break. Tabea Kemme, Svenja Huth and Felicitas Rauch all netted a brace, while Anna Gasper and Sarah Zadrazil scored one apiece to maintain the club’s five-point lead at the top. Reigning champions Bayern Munich rounded off the year with a 3-0 win at Essen and now have a two-point cushion over third-placed Freiburg, who beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 thanks to goals from Hasret Kayikci and Lina Magull. 

Leverkusen, with just six points to their name, occupy a relegation place, while newly-promoted Borussia Mönchengladbach, beaten 4-0 at home by Hoffenheim, prop up the table. The match between last season’s DFB Cup winners Wolfsburg and Jena was postponed after the pitch was deemed unplayable due to hazardous weather conditions. As a result, the Wolves end the year in fourth place.
Top three: Turbine Potsdam (30 points), Bayern Munich (25), Freiburg (23) 

South America: Limpeno and Estudiantes de Guarico in Copa Libertadores final
The final of this year’s Copa Libertadores Femenina will see Sportivo Limpeno of Paraguay take on Estudiantes de Guarico of Venezuela. Goals from Rosa Aquino und Marta Maria Aguero Garcia gave Limpeno a 2-0 victory against Brazilian outfit Adi Foz Cataratas in the semi-finals, while Estudiantes beat Colon of Uruguay by the same scoreline. Milagros Mendoza fired the Venezuelan club in front, with Joemar Guarecuco putting the result beyond doubt. The final will be played at the Estadio Alberto Suppici in Uruguay on 20 December.

Australia: Melbourne City suffer second defeat
Melbourne City fell to a second loss of the season, as they were beaten 2-1 by Western Sydney Wanderers on Matchday 7, allowing Canberra United and Perth Glory to capitalise. The capital club did so with a 5-1 win over Brisbane Roar to move top of the standings, inflicting the two-time champions’ biggest ever defeat. Perth, meanwhile, ran out deserved 4-1 victors against Adelaide United and are now second on goal difference.
Top three: Canberra United, Perth Glory (both 13 points), Melbourne City (12) 

France: PSG prevail in clash of titans
Leadership of the table in France changed hands after the latest round of games, as Patrice Lair’s Paris Saint-Germain defeated Lyon 1-0 to usurp their rivals at the summit. Marie-Laure Delie scored the game’s only goal seven minutes from time, condemning a seemingly unbeatable Lyon side to their first domestic defeat in almost three years. PSG were also the opposition on that day back on 18 January 2014, although Lyon went on to pip their rivals to the title that season. This term, Montpellier remain third after a 2-0 win at Soyaux. The campaign will resume on 15 January after the winter break.
Top three: Paris Saint-Germain (30 points), Lyon (27), Montpellier (24)