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Manchester City 3-1 Everton: Stirring comeback grabs win for City (video)

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Manchester City dominated large spells of the game, as they rallied back from 1-0 down early on to beat Everton 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

Goals from Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Negredo and an unfortunate own goal from Tim Howard was enough to cancel out Romelu Lukaku’s opener, and hand all three points to the home side.

With the win City momentarily move up to second on 13 points, while the Premier League’s only unbeaten record is gone, as Everton remain in fourth.

After a frantic start, Everton went 1-0 up to shock the Etihad Stadium after 16 minutes. Romelu Lukaku scored his fourth goal in three Premier League games for Everton as the Belgian forward, on loan from Chelsea, latched onto a long ball over the top and his shot trickled through Joe Hart and into the goal.

Another bad moment for City’s defense and their goalkeeper.

But City weren’t behind for long, as Yaya Toure pushed City forward straight from the restart and their patient buildup paid off as Toure slotted in Alvaro Negredo to finish and make it 1-1 in the 18th minute.

Man City captain and central defender Vincent Kompany limped off just after the half hour mark, with Serbian defender Matija Nastasic coming on in his place.

For the rest of the first half City pushed forward but Everton looked dangerous on the break and Kevin Mirallas went close to breaking through on numerous occasions.

source: Getty Images
Lukaku’s opener gave Everton the lead, but City stormed back.

However it was City who went in ahead a the break, as their relentless pressure finally paid off when David Silva slotted in Sergio Aguero to smash home in the 44th minute. The goal was the Argentinian’s fourth PL goal of the season.

Following the interval, City came flying out of the traps but often tried to walk the ball into the back of the net as they toyed with Everton’s defense.

Some brave defending from Everton held City’s onslaught off, as the second half started as the first finished: Man City dominance.

But despite their offensive dominance, it wasn’t all good news for Pellegrini, as left back Aleksandar Kolarov joined Kompany in going off injured. City’s defensive cover will be called into questioned following this fresh batch of injuries, however, the international break could help both players recover before City’s next game against West Ham on October 19.

In the 68th minute Aguero wrapped up the three points, as referee Jonathan Moss signaled for a spot-kick following Seamus Coleman’s slight nudge on City right back Pablo Zabaleta, The award looked harsh, and USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard got so close to keeping the penalty out, but his fingertip save only deflected the ball against the post before hitting his back and into the net for an own goal.

The game played out with a few more subs, as Everton tried to rally, but they couldn’t break down City, as they won their fourth game in a row at home to start the 2013-14 campaign.

LINEUPS

Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kolarov (Clichy 54), Kompany (Nastasic 32), Lescott, Milner, Fernandinho, Toure, Silva, Aguero (Nasri 79), Negredo.

Everton: Howard, Baines, Distin, Jagielka, Coleman, McCarthy, Osman (Gibson 63), Naismith, Barkley, Mirallas (Deulofeu 63), Lukaku (Kone 82).

After January camp, USMNT looks to rosters for World Cup, Olympic qualifying

at StubHub Center on January 31, 2016 in Carson, California.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
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The United States men’s national team finished its experimental January camp with a 2-0 record, and now trains its eyes on World Cup and Olympic qualifying.

The last part is critical not just because of the ramifications of a potential second-successive Olympic absence for the men’s U-23 side.

[ USMNT: Tops Iceland 3-2 | Knocks off Canada, too ]

The Yanks have to deftly divide their player pool because March 25 and 29 are not only the dates for the next round of World Cup qualifying matches — a home-and-home series with Guatemala — but also the dates for the U-23s’ pair of matches with Colombia.

That’s why Jordan Morris isn’t likely headed to Guatemala City, and the same is true for impressive January camper Jerome Kiesewetter and new Chelsea defender Matt Miazga.

[ JPW: Recapping the top stories from an intense Premier League weekend ]

Bobby Wood, John Brooks and DeAndre Yedlin are also eligible for the U-23s, but there’s the rub. All three are in good form for country, and only Yedlin isn’t playing well for his club (That’s because Sam Allardyce isn’t using him much at all. His substitute appearance against Liverpool was his first action since Jan. 9).

New England midfielder Lee Nguyen impressed Jurgen Klinsmann during January camp, and it’s hard to ignore the impact of Steve Birnbaum’s goal and assist.

Assuming health, here’s our best guess at who’s making the squad for Guatemala on March 25 and 29. It’s worth noting that six MLS clubs play on March 26 (NYC, New England, Vancouver, Houston, DC and Dallas):

Goalkeepers: Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Sean Johnson

Defenders: DeAndre Yedlin, John Brooks, Matt Besler, Steve Birnbaum, Geoff Cameron, Brad Evans, Jonathan Spector, Tim Ream

Midfielders: Fabian Johnson, Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Danny Williams, Lee Nguyen, Darlington Nagbe

Forwards: Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Gyasi Zardes, Bobby Wood, Aron Johannsson

Report: Atletico’s Fernando Torres has interest from MLS, NASL

Real Madrid v Atletico de Madrid - Copa del Rey: Round of 16
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Spanish outlet Marca claims that a number of North American sides are among the clubs chasing Fernando Torres.

The Spanish striker has only scored more than 11 goals once since 2009-10, and is uncapped since 2014. But that doesn’t mean clubs from China to to the U.S. and the UAE to Japan aren’t interested in the 31-year-old.

[ JPW: Recapping the top stories from an intense Premier League weekend ]

The Marca report claims three MLS teams are interested and also name drops the New York Cosmos of the NASL, who’ve recently brought Venezuelan legend Juan Arango on board.

It’s hard to imagine anyone outside the MLS rich sides taking a risk on Torres. Maybe Montreal would look to reunite him with Didier Drogba, and Torres certainly has experience combining with New York City’s David Villa. As for the third… Orlando City? Chicago?

Your guess is as good as ours, though it could be moot if this is solely about money. China continues to spend well.

Difficult fixture run looms as Aston Villa aims for great escape

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 12:  Joleon Lescott of Aston Villa (3L) celebrates with team mates as he scores their first goal with a header during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Crystal Palace at Villa Park on January 12, 2016 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
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Gabriel Agbonlahor is riding high, as the Premier League Player of the Week broke his duck this weekend and is thinking “great escape” for his Aston Villa side.

Villa has eight points in its last five matches, doubling its season total to 16. That’s still table bottom, but Remi Garde’s bunch would love to see their way out of the drop zone after a brutal start to the season under Tim Sherwood.

What would it take for Villa to pull that off, and avoid the first Premier League relegation in club history?

[ MORE: Premier League Team of the Week ]

Turns out, a lot.

There is no easy match in the next five, and Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal are all on the schedule after that.

Villa next five matches
Feb. 14 – vs. Liverpool
Feb. 27 – at Stoke City
March 1 – vs. Everton
March 5 – at Manchester City
March 12 – vs. Spurs

The Villans do have three relegation six-pointers left, and two of those are at Villa Park with Bournemouth and Newcastle United. Villa also heads to Swansea City.

But Villa has to make up 12 points on the Cherries, 11 on Swans and eight on the Magpies. And while they are within two goals difference of Newcastle, they have eight goals to make up on Bournemouth and 11 to make up on Swansea.

That doesn’t include Sunderland and Norwich, sides four and seven points ahead of the Villans (though both have tricky runs left as well).

If Garde’s club is to make its escape, it will be close to unbelievable. That it will close with a match against Arsenal makes it even trickier, but that would be just the final impressive note in what could only be considered a Garde-conducted masterpiece.

VIDEO: Recapping the top stories from an intense Week 25 in the Premier League

JPW at Stamford Bridge
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What a weekend. Let’s relive it.

Round 25 of the Premier League provided plenty more thrills, shocks and excitement as two unlikely title contenders — Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur — are pushing ahead.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Our own Joe Prince-Wright recaps all the major headlines from what could turn out to be a pivotal weekend in the Premier League title race.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League news

Click play on the video below to join JPW as he battles the elements and checks in from outside Stamford Bridge in London following Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United.