Champions league: Atleti humble Juventus as Man City grab vital win over Schalke

Raheem Sterling scored a late goal as Manchester City secured a dramatic 3-2 win over Schalke 04 in the first leg of the champions’ league round of sixteen.

The Citizens had found themselves trailing the hosts 2-1 for the better part of the match before Leroy Sane equalized in the 85th minute and in the last minute Sterling had the final say to give City advantage ahead of the return leg.

Want to talk about Leroy Sane? There were 78 minutes gone when he was finally introduced, 85 when he gave Manchester City the parity they deserved. Why he had to wait that long, heaven knows.

City had been trailing 2-1 since shortly before half-time, and went down to ten men in the 68th minute after Nicolas Otamendi was sent off for his second bookable offence, a foul on Guido Burgstaller and a stupidly extreme reaction to the decision, which probably sealed it.

Sane is one of Schalke’s favourite sons. He started here, made his name here as a young sensation in German football; and because he did not leave them for a bigger Bundesliga club, they still love him around these parts.

So when he was introduced, late, with City inexplicably trailing there was none of the animosity traditionally reserved for deserters. Even his equaliser was greeted, not with anger, but mild resignation.

Schalke knew they were a tad fortunate to be leading. Sane had only given City the minimum they merited. And it was some goal, too.

Elsewhere two second half goals from Diego Godin and Jose Maria helped Atletico Madrid beat Juventus two nil.

-Dailymail

Manchester City apologise to Chelsea after playing Blues anthem

Manchester City bosses apologised to Chelsea after the west London club’s anthem ‘One Step Beyond’ was played after their 6-0 drubbing on Sunday.

Pep Guardiola‘s side tore their opponent’s to pieces as they returned to the top of the Premier League table.

Kalonzo hafai urais wala hana nyenzo za urais – Alfred Mutua

If the result alone was not hard enough for Chelsea fans to take, exiting the stadium to the sound of Madness’ ‘One Step Beyond’, a club anthem at Stamford Bridge, compounded the misery.

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According to the Evening Standard, City officials demanded the song be cut short and were quick to say apologise to the visitors for what many perceived as an act of gloating.

The song is regularly played after Chelsea win matches at Stamford Bridge and so hearing it after a 6-0 demolition left a bitter taste.

It was swiftly cut short but fans quickly took to social media to hail the person in charge of City’s PA system.

The humiliation had started long before the Madness track rang through the speakers as Sergio Aguero collected his second successive hat-trick at the Etihad.

Gor Mahia in top form as they beat AFC Leopards at Mashemeji Derby(Images)

Aguero is in a rich vein of form right now and could have scored more with Chelsea unable to nullify his threat as City were 4-0 up after just 25 minutes.

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Raheem Sterling scored the opener after four minutes, a sign that it was going to be a long afternoon for Maurizio Sarri’s side.

Aguero made it 2-0 nine minutes later with a stunning strike from distance and pressure was mounting with every goal conceded on Sarri.

Liverpool thrash Bournemouth after recent slump

Ilkay Gundogan got in on the act as Guardiola’s side continued to keep the pressure on title rivals Liverpool following their win over Bournemouth at Anfield.

Chelsea now need to haul themselves off the canvas for Thursday’s trip to face Malmo in the Europa League before taking on an in-form Manchester United in the FA Cup.

Newcastle beat Man City to boost Liverpool’s title hopes

Liverpool will have the chance to extend their lead at the top of the premier league table to seven points with a win over Leicester City after Manchester City were beaten 2-1 by Newcastle.

Sergio Aguero opened the scoring for City in the first half before the Magpies scored two goals in the second half through Salomon Rondon and Matt Ritchie.

City remain in second place with fifty six points, four behind Liverpool. Elsewhere, Manchester United scored two late goals to secure a two all draw against Burnley and remain unbeaten under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Arsenal bounced back to winning ways with a 2-1 win over Cardiff at the Emirates.

In transfer news, Arsenal are close to completing the signing of Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez.

The Spaniard will join the Gunners on loan until the end of the season, with a purchase option in the summer. Suarez has played 71 times for Barcelona since joining in 2013 but has only featured eight times this season.

He previously played under Gunners manager, Unai Emery during a loan spell at Sevilla when Emery was in charge of the La Liga side. Arsenal had targeted Suarez throughout the January transfer window but their pursuit was complicated by wanting the deal to include only an option to buy and Barcelona demanding it be an obligation.

 

Guardiola admits City ‘felt the pressure’ ahead of Manchester derby

Pep Guardiola admitted that his players ‘felt the pressure’ of the Manchester derby before emerging convincing winners on Sunday.

David Silva and Sergio Aguero — with a stunning strike — put Manchester City in front before Anthony Martial dragged a disappointing United back into the game from the penalty spot.

Guardiola revealed that United’s comeback from two goals down to win the corresponding fixture in April was preying on City’s minds until substitute Ilkay Gundogan put the result beyond doubt.

‘We felt the pressure,’ Guardiola said. ‘They wanted to do well in the derby, that’s normal. But we played like “I don’t want to lose the ball” but not with the intention to attack.

‘We started the second half much better. After we conceded the goal, it was always inevitable to think about last season and what happened again in that situation, but we didn’t concede another chance.

‘In the second half the game is a bit open, so we have to find more space but we made a good performance against a top, top team. That goal from Sergio Aguero helped us a lot after half-time.’

The result continued City’s unbeaten start to the Premier League season and has the reigning champions two points clear of Liverpool at the top of the table.

Guardiola refused to get carried away. ‘We are just two points in front — it’s nothing. Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, they have numbers to be champion. Not just Man City.

‘But I am so satisfied. If we maintain the level and at the end Liverpool win or another win, we shake hands and don’t have regrets.’

Defeat brought United back down to earth after their Champions League win over Juventus on Wednesday night.

Their manager, Jose Mourinho, claimed that two big away games in the space of five days had taken its toll on his players, compared to City who had it ‘easy’.

‘Everybody has to agree, it is one thing to go to Juventus and play against one of the best teams in the world for 90 minutes — a game that demanded everything we had to give not just physically but also mentally — and another thing to beat Shakhtar Donetsk at home 6-0 and be very relaxed,’ Mourinho said.

-Dailymail

The wait is over! Arsenal to face City and Chelsea in next season’s first two games (FULL FIXTURES)

New Arsenal manager Unai Emery has been handed a daunting start to life in the Premier League as he begins with back-to-back matches against Manchester City and Chelsea.

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The Premier League this morning revealed the fixtures for the 2018-19 season and defending champions City will travel to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal in the opening match of their title defence. The Gunners then visit Chelsea at Stamford Bridge a week later.

Tottenham’s first game at their new White Hart Lane stadium is set to be against Liverpool on September 15 following the first international break of the season.

OPENING WEEKEND FIXTURES

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 Arsenal vs Manchester City

Bournemouth vs Cardiff

Fulham vs Crystal Palace

Huddersfield vs Chelsea

Liverpool vs West Ham

Manchester United vs Leicester

Newcastle vs Tottenham

Southampton vs Burnley

Watford vs Brighton

Wolves vs Everton

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City’s clash with Arsenal headlines an opening weekend of the season which also sees Manchester United host Leicester, Chelsea visit Huddersfield, Liverpool entertain West Ham and Tottenham travel to Newcastle.

The Arsenal vs City clash signals a departure from the Premier League’s policy of keeping the top six sides apart on the first and last day of the season.

After facing champions City, Arsenal travel to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea in their second fixture of the campaign in an unforgiving start for new manager Emery.

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Tottenham are expected to play their first home game – against Fulham on August 18 – at Wembley while work is completed on their new 62,000-seater stadium. The north London club will clarify the situation later on Thursday.

Spurs then face away trips to Manchester United and Watford before the international break – which lasts from September 3 until September 11.

-Dailymail

Manchester City’s pass master Yaya Toure rolls back the years

Pep Guardiola told the Manchester City bench to stand. They did as they were told, rising as one in applause, and so did everyone else. Yaya Toure began his slow, long waltz off with five minutes remaining on Wednesday night. The end of an era. And what an era it has been.

Toure is not overly fond of the limelight, awkwardly ambling out as captain on Wednesday night, and his demeanour actually showcased the magnitude of this occasion for him. He wandered off rather sheepishly after being mobbed by almost all of his team-mates.

They wanted to congratulate a legend on a job well done. Guardiola slapped the veteran’s head, gave him a hug. Ironically, City won a free-kick 20 yards out seconds after Toure came off and Guardiola jokingly beckoned him to return.

And then, at just before 10 o’clock, came the overt gratitude, the montage of his greatest moments in a City shirt. Barely anybody had left the Etihad, wanting to stay for his presentation in the centre circle, and they cheered that FA Cup winner against Manchester United as it came on screen. Toure played to the crowd, saying: ‘Once a blue, always a blue.’

Out came his brother, Kolo, to present a lifetime season ticket. A framed shirt with the 316 – his number of appearances – on the back was another keepsake. Kolo spoke passionately about his younger brother’s achievements.

This was the send-off he deserved and Vincent Kompany rattled off his biggest moments on the mic. ‘I just want to say thank you,’ Kompany said. ‘If there is a legend at this club then it is this man.’

It says something for the splendor with which he plays that the amount of passes he wasted could be counted on one hand on Wednesday night.

Toure had the ball a lot and was ruthlessly precise with it. He looked at ease, floating through this victory, and while the 34-year-old is not the juggernaut of old, he certainly still seems to have a place in Premier League fixtures.

That will encourage potential suitors eyeing Toure up this summer and at times it felt as though he was playing his own game of pass completion. That in itself felt a fitting tribute before the club paid theirs.

-Daily Mail

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Guardiola delights in winning league, warns next season will be tougher

 

 

 

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola praised his coaching staff for his side’s Premier League title win on Saturday (May 6) but warned his team to prepare for a ‘tougher’ season next year.

Guardiola toasted his staff at a post-match news conference following his side’s 0-0 draw with Huddersfield Town and warned his players that team’s would be even more motivated to beat them next season.

“No, no I am so satisfied but today the game, for example, the game it show me how difficult it is. So, sometimes people expect, oh it’s so easy. Clubs come here, play defensively, almost perfectly. So, a lot of credit what they have done. Someone said today I give more credit they win the Premier League for example after the West Ham game in terms it looks easy no when you win a lot of games. It’s so tough and next season it will be tougher. The opponents want to beat you, maybe you will relax and you have to be focused if you want to maintain what we have done this season and that is the, that is the point but help us to understand this game for example how difficult it will be next season because sport it is so complicated.”

City captain Vincent Kompany was surrounded by coaching staff and fellow players as he lifted the trophy with thousands of fans watching on in the stands.

Guardiola was thrown into the air by his players, an experience he must be used to considering he has now won seven league titles with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and City.

The champions will have to wait to break the Premier League points record after they were held to a 0-0 draw by relegation-threatened Huddersfield.

The draw means City have 94 points, one short of the season record set by Chelsea back in 2004-05, but they still have two games left to play.

Huddersfield gave their survival hopes a huge boost with a point that moves them three clear of the bottom three ahead of their midweek trip to Chelsea

Also read more here

Pesa Otas! City will spend £100m to back Pep with Mahrez and Fred as targets

Dynasty has been a word knocking around for much of this season at Manchester City. Not by the players, or indeed their manager, but it is a lingering idea nevertheless.

Clearly it was not too far from Vincent Kompany’s thoughts in the immediate aftermath of Sunday’s title victory. Before he went out buying pints for locals in south Manchester, the City captain addressed the wider implications of Pep Guardiola‘s first league crown without much prompting.

‘It’s not a dynasty,’ he said. ‘It’s just one title. We’re super happy but there’s still so much work to be done before this squad’s full potential is unlocked.’

That is how Guardiola believes his players must react to successes. Kompany spoke of wanting to see the mentality of this squad, to see if they are able of being the first team to defend a title since Manchester United in 2009. They now need to press home their obvious dominance.

It is how Guardiola’s reign will be viewed in the long term. This season has been so mesmeric for so many reasons but the foundations laid are for the heaviest trophy cabinet, not just this.

City truly believe they have a man to rule English football for as long as he wants to be here. We will see quite how revered he is in the corridors of power over the coming days and weeks as they gear up to visibly honour the Catalan’s stylish football.

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Tottenham vs Manchester City: Football Fans Give Their Predictions (AUDIO)

After a long week of crazy Champions League football matches, the madness now shifts to league football.

In the premier league there lies a couple of tantalizing fixtures but the big focus this weekend will be on Tottenham vs Manchester City, a big match which has two vital targets.

Manchester City are just a single game away from clinching the title while a Tottenham win will just but seccure their top four spot ahead of Chelsea.

City are on an awful run after being bundled out of the Champions League by Liverpool a predicament which sandwiched their loss to United in their Manchester derby last week.

Tottenham on the other hand have been brilliant especially at home and will be looking to add more misery to a deflated Pep Guardiola’s side.

We caught up with a couple of football fans who aired their views on whom will carry the day come Saturday night.

Below are some of their views.

Klopp Says Liverpool ‘Must Work Like Hell’ At Etihad Despite Grabbing Crucial 3-0 Win Over City

Jurgen Klopp vowed Liverpool will ‘work like hell’ to finish the job after performing a first-leg demolition on Manchester City.

Three goals in the space of 19 frenzied first-half minutes gave Liverpool a 3-0 win and put them firmly in control of their Champions League quarter-final; the emphatic nature of the result took everyone by surprise, not least Klopp who labelled City ‘the best team in the world’.

In form Mohammed Salah opened the scoring for the Reds in 12th minute and minutes later, Alex Chamberlain’s powerful shot doubled the lead. Salah set up Sadio Mane to add the third goal in 31st minute and despite City dominating possession in the second half, Liverpool held on to deny them away goal.

City have a huge task of beating Liverpool four nil next week on Tuesday in order to qualify for semis.

City’s team bus was destroyed before the game, when it was pelted with missiles by a minority of Liverpool fans, but Pep Guardiola insisted that shocking incident had nothing to do with the final score and said his side still had a chance to reach the last four.

With that in mind, Klopp said: ‘It was really, really good. We beat the best team in the world. I don’t think about things like whether this is my best performance here. I have never been part of the best team in the world but I always knew it is possible to beat them. It is rare because they are so good.

‘If I answer your questions the way you want me to, Pep only has to put the newspapers in the dressing room and say “Look what Klopp said!” We have to work like hell. We are not in the next round. Why should I celebrate it?

‘It was really good. They were two different halves, In the first we were very active, perfect in the spaces, lively closing the gaps. We used that really well, scored three fantastic goals. But we know we still have to improve.’

Elsewhere Barcelona were 4-1 winners over AS Roma at Camp Nou thanks to two own goals from  Daniele de Rossi and Kostas  and goals from Gerald Pique and Louis Suarez.

 -Dailymail