Manchester City overcome 10-men Wolves


Manchester City eventually overcame 10-man Wolves with Raheem Sterling’s second-half penalty in their Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Raul Jimenez picked up two yellow cards in quick succession – the second of which for preventing Rodri from taking a quick free-kick – in first-half stoppage time to leave his teammates with an uphill task.

Prior to the red card, the Wolves were more than in the game and manager Bruno Lage was unhappy with the first booking picked by Jimenez for a tackle on Rodri.

“The first yellow card, he did not touch the guy and it is in our half and we had 10 men behind the ball,” Lage said after the match. “I don’t believe in tactical fouls when you are in transition.

“The first yellow card is a crazy decision for me, in my opinion. A hard decision to accept.”

City attacked from the start of the second half but struggled to make the breakthrough with Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa and defender Conor Coady producing impressive saves on the line.

However, City did get the chance from the spot on 66 minutes after a Bernardo Silva cross was adjudged to have hit Joao Moutinho’s arm.

And Sterling displayed incredible composure to roll the ball beyond Sa for his 100th Premier League goal.

“I believe in VAR and that it can help this game and the referee,” Lage said of the decision.

“The referee saw his arm and the rules say he is trying to create a bigger body. But the ball touched here [his armpit]. But after the referee whistles, it’s a VAR decision.”

“Look, It’s on to Brighton and I want to boost the morale of the players because they gave everything. We move on.”

City manager Pep Guardiola said his team were the better team throughout and deserved their victory

“We were much better with 11 players and with 10 from Wolves,” Guardiola told BT Sport after the match.

“It is so difficult against a team who defend the way they defend.”

“I didn’t see [the penalty]. I saw it on the field but I didn’t see it now on TV.”

Arsenal beat Southampton

Arsenal weathered storms on and off the pitch before coasting to a 3-0 Premier League win over Southampton on Saturday as boss Mikel Arteta dropped Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from the matchday squad due to a “disciplinary breach.”

Before kickoff, Arteta was tight-lipped as he explained that Aubameyang’s absence was due to a “disciplinary breach”, with Alexandre Lacazette starting on his own upfront.

Southampton had the better of the opening exchanges on a rainy afternoon with Adam Armstrong forcing an early corner and a fine save from Aaron Ramsdale as the Gunners struggled to deal with the visitors’ high press.

They managed to break through it in the 21st minute with a sweeping move, attacking down the left where Bukayo Saka squared to Lacazette, who fired home.

The Gunners went two up six minutes later when Southampton’s slack defending was punished by Martin Odegaard as Kieran Tierney’s attempted cross bounced back to him and he headed the ball back across the goal for the Norwegian to nod it home.

The goal was Odegaard’s third in three Premier League games, and his angled passes tormented the Southampton defence all afternoon.

The second goal seemed to take the wind from Southampton’s sails as their defensive intensity faded, and Arsenal defender Gabriel thought he had scored a third goal on the hour mark, only to see it chalked off for offside.

He popped up again a few minutes later and this time he made no mistake, heading home a corner to make it 3-0.

Southampton’s task was not helped by the withdrawal of Armstrong and strike partner Armando Broja due to injury, and they struggled to create decent attacking opportunities in the second half.

The victory leaves Arsenal fifth on 26 points, while Southampton are 16th on 16 points.

Chelsea beat Leeds United in a competitive encounter

Jorginho scored two penalties as Chelsea rescued a late dramatic 3-2 win against Leeds United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Raphinha scored a first-half penalty to give Marcelo Bielsa’s side an early lead but a Mason Mount strike and a Jorginho spot-kick appeared to have given Chelsea the victory. Joe Gelhardt struck late on to bring the sides level, before Jorginho’s late penalty.

It was an important win for Chelsea and their title hopes after they lost to West Ham United and drew with Manchester United recently.

“It was a nice game of football. Very intense and I’m very happy with how we played,” Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel said after the game.

“I think we deserved to win but of course it’s lucky when you have a late goal in extra time. But coming back twice is very impressive and I’m very happy we turned things around. It was tough work but we didn’t expect anything else.”

“We were lucky, we needed this. We were unlucky in the last two games conceding very late goals so maybe this is exactly what we needed.”

Marcos Alonso gave away a penalty with a poor tackle on 28 minutes which Raphina slotted home to give Leeds the lead.

However, Leeds’ Illan Meslier was caught out of position on 42 minutes allowing Mount to capitalise on an Alonso cross to bring the sides level.

Raphina turned from hero to villain when he fouled Antonio Rudiger to give away a spot-kick which was converted by Jorginho in 58 minutes.

Substitute Gelhardt then scored to bring the sides level with his first touch but the drama for the day wasn’t finished and Chelsea were awarded a penalty three minutes into added time with Jorginho slotting home once again.

“It was very important to have these three points. We had a tough game, Leeds are a tough opponent but we deserved the win. The last-minute goal was just amazing. The whole stadium felt so good,” Jorghino said.

Mohamed Salah penalty downs return of Steven Gerrard at Anfield

Steven Gerrard’s return to Anfield as Aston Villa manager ended in a 1-0 defeat by Liverpool with a 67th minute Mohamed Salah penalty keeping the Merseysiders a point behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.

There was little fanfare for Gerrard, the Liverpool-born former captain and Champions League winner, as he took his place in the technical area before the game and stuck with his approach of treating the game like any other.

Even at the final whistle, when Liverpool fans finally broke into a chorus of his name, Gerrard, on the pitch shaking hands with players and officials, made no reciprocal gesture, saving his applause for Villa’s visiting support.

Asked about the reaction from the Liverpool fans to his return, Gerrard was ice cold.

“For me, the priority is the support from the Aston Villa fans,” he said.

It was a professional approach from Gerrard, one which showed respect for his new club and their supporters and he will have added to his growing reputation as a manager from the way he set his team up to frustrate Juergen Klopp’s side.

It was a conservative approach, with Ollie Watkins playing as a lone striker supported by veteran Ashley Young and a bank of three midfielders sitting in front of the back four, but it succeeded in limiting Liverpool’s space.

Inevitably though, Liverpool dominated the first half with Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez doing well to keep out a back-post header from Andy Robertson and a close-range shot at the near post from Salah.

After the break, Martinez produced a brilliant reflex stop to keep out a powerful header from Virgil van Dijk but Liverpool’s pressure finally paid off when Salah went down in the box under a challenge from Tyrone Mings.

The Egyptian fired home an unstoppable spot-kick after protests from Villa. Gerrard felt that the decision was “soft”  and was puzzled that referee Stuart Attwell did not go to the pitchside monitor to review the decision.

The Villa manager threw on forward Danny Ings and the attack-minded Emiliano Buendia in a bid to find a late leveller and the way his side put pressure on the Liverpool defence in the latter stages left him wondering what might have been had he taken a more positive approach earlier.

Villa claimed in vain for a late penalty when Ings went down as Liverpool keeper Alisson Becker challenged leaving Gerrard frustrated.

“I thought Liverpool were better in terms of general play. Their style was better than ours, but we’ve done so well to contain them for large periods. Ultimately the game has been decided by a penalty. There were two penalty incidents in the game, Liverpool got theirs,” he said.

Klopp conceded his team had lost their way after taking the lead.

“For 75 minutes we were outstanding. Clearly the better side and played in all the areas we needed to play. We created moments,” said the German.

“But we go 1-0 up and… Argh. Then the game opens up, let me say it like this… We lost the rhythm. That’s a problem in football so you have to hold it from the beginning.”

Liverpool are on 37 points with leaders City, who beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 earlier on Saturday, on 38 points and third-placed Chelsea on 36 points.

Cristiano Ronaldo penalty secures a tight win for Manchester United

Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo scored a second-half penalty to give Ralf Rangnick’s side a 1-0 against Norwich at Old Trafford on Saturday.

David de Gea was called into action on numerous occasions to save United as the bottom of the Premier League table side Norwich held their own.

“I haven’t seen that many teams play against the top teams as Norwich did so,” Rangnick said after the game.

“They didn’t play like a bottom team.”

“In the end, we need to be able to compete on that kind of level and be physically ready. There’s still room for improvement in this area.”

Ronaldo saw a shot beaten away by Tim Krul in the 37th minute and the home goalkeeper also tipped over a Harry Maguire header on the stroke of halftime after Alex Telles hit the bar with a deflected free-kick early on.

United were awarded a penalty on 73 minutes when Scott McTominay crossed a ball into the box and Ronaldo was pulled down by Max Aarons.

The Portugal international made no mistake with the spot-kick, smashing it into the left-hand corner.

There was some concern for Victor Lindelof during the match when he went down pointing to his chest a few minutes beforehand. However, he was able to walk off the pitch unassisted.

Maguire said after the match that Lindelof “felt a little bit of discomfort” but that he was fine in the dressing room.

“He can’t even remember how it happened,” Rangnick said.

“I think he had a collision and he had problems with breathing for more than 10 minutes.”

“His heart rate was higher than normal. He was shocked and didn’t know how to deal with it.”

The home side piled on the pressure in the closing stages and De Gea rescued United again when he clawed out an Ozan Kabak header before Eric Bailly deflected a Billy Gilmour shot with a last-gasp lunge.

“It’s another clean sheet but still a lot of work to do,” Rangnick added.

“The second half I was not at all happy with the amount of corners that we gave away, but we got the three points.”

“We have conceded the highest amount of goals in the top 10. Now we have two clean sheets which are good but we still need to improve on that away, especially against physical teams or teams that attack high like Norwich did.”

The result lifted United to fifth place in the standings on 27 points from 16 games, behind fourth-placed West Ham United on goal difference, while Norwich stayed bottom on 10 points.


Courtesy: ESPN and Reuters

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