Hull City v Manchester City - Barclays Premier League

Hull City 0-2 Manchester City: Silva inspires 10-man City to victory (video)

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HULL — Manchester City saw off a spirited Hull City 2-0 at the KC Stadium on Saturday, as David Silva’s stunner and Edin Dzeko’s late strike was enough to hand 10-man City all three points and give their hopes of lifting the Premier League title a timely boost.

Early on Vincent Kompany was caught out as last man and took out Hull striker Nikica Jelavic, as City’s Belgian captain was sent off with Man City playing over 80 minutes down a man. However that didn’t stop them going ahead in the first half as Silva served up a treat.

In the 14th minute the diminutive Spanish international picked up the ball 25-yards out, took one touch and bent a left-footed howitzer into the top corner. City protected that lead marvelously, but Hull pushed Manuel Pellegrini’s side throughout as Shane Long and Jelavic just couldn’t finish off some enterprising wing-play from the Tigers. A late incident involving Hull’s George Boyd and City’s goalkeeper Joe Hart may be reviewed after the game, as England international Hart seemed to bow his head down at Boyd. More headbutt controversy at the KC…

In the 90th minute Edin Dzeko rounded off the win, as Silva slotted the Bosnian striker in to seal the victory as City momentarily jump into second and are six points behind PL leaders Chelsea with two games in hand. As for Hull, they are now just five points off the relegation zone.

MORE: Latest Premier League standings

Hull started brightly, as an free kick just missed the head of Jelavic at the back post and then Hull’s record signing ran through in the 4th minute but his pull back across the six-yard box couldn’t find a teammate.

Then Jelavic was involved in a hugely controversial incident in the ninth minute, as Kompany dallied on the ball as the last man and was caught in possession by Jelavic. The Hull striker broke free and as he ran clean through on goal, Kompany hauled him to the ground and was handed a straight red card by referee Lee Mason.

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Vincent Kompany saw red in the opening 10 minutes, but Man City ground out a much-needed win.

Kompany protested but City were down to 10-men, as their skipper kicked the wall of the tunnel in frustration.

But soon City’s cries of disbelief were replaced with delight, as Silva bent in an absolute beauty in the 14th minute. Yaya Toure won the ball and played in Silva, whose sublime first touch set himself up to bend a boomerang of a shot into the top corner and put Man City 1-0 up.

The Tigers were buoyed be a passionate home crowd, and a cross from Long almost found Jelavic at the back post but Martin Demichelis got a vital touch. At the other end City were playing with confidence going forward and Pablo Zabaleta smashed the underside of the crossbar with a terrific half volley, as City came incredibly close to going 2-0 ahead.

Hull’s onslaught on City’s goal continued for the rest of the first half, as crosses bombarded Joe Hart and his defense and David Meyler scored a superb strike that was ruled out for offside in the build up, but City held firm to lead 1-0 at the interval.

At half time Hull went for it, as they brought on striker Sone Aluko for Honduran defender Maynor Figueroa. That attacking switch started to pay dividends as the second half played out, with Long and Jelavic combining well to see the former hit a rasping striker that Hart saved in the 49th minute. Then Jelavic fluffed a great chance, as Aluko’s free kick from the right found Hull’s Croatian striker unmarked but he failed to get enough contact on the ball.

All hell broke loose in the 68th minute, as Hull’s George Boyd broke through and as Hart advanced from his goal the Tigers midfielder dove to try and get a penalty. An ugly melee ensued as Hart was booked for looking to put his head towards Boyd and aim a headbutt at Hull’s player after they squared up, as the final few minutes turned into a scrappy affair.

Man City had the perfect chance to wrap up all three points late on, as Silva’s turn and shot deflected into the path of Fernandinho who had the goal at his mercy but mishit his shot from six-yards out to spurn a glorious opportunity to make it 1-0. Late on an aerial onslaught from Hull saw Curtis Davies and Jelavic go close, as the Tigers finished the game with four strikers on the pitch.

City then sealed the win through Dzeko’s first goal in 603 minutes, as Silva played in Dzeko to slot home and give his side’s chances of winning the PL crown a much-needed boost.

LINEUPS

Hull City: McGregor, Rosenior (Fryatt, 79), Elmohamady, Figueroa (Aluko, 45), Chester, Davies, Huddlestone, Meyler (Boyd, 58), Livermore, Jelavic, Long

Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy, Garcia, Fernandinho, Toure (Lescott, 71), Nasri (Navas, 79), Silva (Kolarov, 90), Dzeko.

Goals: Silva (14), Dzeko (90)

Bremen beats Wolfsburg to leave Bundesliga relegation zone

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - AUGUST 10:  Serge Gnabry of Germany reacts during the Men's First Round Football Group C match between Germany and Fiji at Mineirao Stadium on August 10, 2016 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  (Photo by Pedro Vilela/Getty Images)
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WOLFSBURG, Germany (AP) — Midfielder Serge Gnabry scored twice as Werder Bremen moved away from the Bundesliga’s relegation zone with a 2-1 win at fellow struggler Wolfsburg on Friday.

Bremen and Wolfsburg are level on points and two above Hamburger SV, which is in 18th place and in the relegation zone.

It was a fifth defeat in six games for Wolfsburg coach Valerien Ismael, who won the league and cup double as a player with Bremen in 2004.

Gnabry fired the visitors ahead with a deflected shot in the 10th minute and made it 2-0 eight minutes later, controlling the ball with his chest before prodding home on the volley.

Striker Borja Mayoral, who is on loan from Real Madrid, scored with his chest following a Wolfsburg corner as Wolfsburg hit back moments later.

Midfielder Daniel Didavi struck the post with a free kick as Wolfsburg kept pushing for an equalizer.

Mancini reportedly not interested in Leicester City, De Boer says no

GENOA, ITALY - APRIL 20:  Head Coach of FC Internazionale Roberto Mancini looks during the Serie A match between Genoa CFC and FC Internazionale Milano at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on April 20, 2016 in Genoa, Italy.  (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
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Two top candidates to replace Claudio Ranieri at Leicester City have reportedly turned down any interest in the job.

Roberto Mancini, the heavy favorite out of the gates after Ranieri’s dismissal, tweeted his support for Ranieri after the news broke. “I am sorry for my friend Ranieri,” Mancini said. “He will be in the history of LCFC, in the hearts of Leicester fans and all football lovers.”

However, the fellow Italian has rebuffed Leicester’s informal advances towards his services. According to Sky Sports, Leicester sent “intermediaries” to “sound out” Mancini’s feelings towards the position, but came back empty-handed. The report states Mancini was turned off to the club after a short and unsuccessful spell there as a player in 2001.

That leaves a host of other names who have been linked to the job, with no clear favorite. One person mentioned was Dutch legend Frank de Boer, who is unemployed after an unusually short stint in charge of Inter Milan. However, De Boer’s agent went public to say he was not ever in the running.

“There is zero possibility that Frank could go to Leicester,” agent Guido Albers told Italian publication Tuttomercatoweb. “I too heard these rumors, but that’s all they are – rumors. I can affirm without doubt that Frank will not become the Leicester City manager. This will 100 per cent not happen.”

Albers explained that De Boer is only interested in joining a club in the offseason, preferring to enter a project with a blank slate rather than joining midseason with particular goals already clearly laid out. With Leicester, it seems De Boer is turned off by the notion of a relegation battle.

Win over Las Palmas again has La Real on edge of CL spot

GETAFE, SPAIN - DECEMBER 11:  Xavi Prieto of Real Sociedad in action during the La Liga match between Getafe CF and Real Sociedad de Futbol at Coliseum Alfonso Perez stadium on December 11, 2015 in Getafe, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
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All it took was one mistake. Real Sociedad’s Xabi Prieto capitalized, and has La Real once again on the verge of next year’s Champions League.

La Real finished 7th in 2013/14, and 9th in 2015/16, and this year, they’re closer than ever. Preito’s goal on the mistake by Las Palmas goalkeeper Javi Varas gave Real Sociedad the 1-0 road win and has them just a point off a Champions League place.

[ MORE: Antonio Conte pulling from experience to keep Chelsea on top ]

That could be even closer next week, as fourth-placed Atletico Madrid has to welcome Barcelona to the Calderon tomorrow, leaving the door open for La Real to make another move next weekend.

The goal down the stretch is not just to win the games they should, but make the teams above them work. La Real has won seven of their last ten matches, but the three losses came to Real Madrid, Villareal, and Sevilla, all teams fighting at the top of the table. They still have chances down the stretch, with matches against Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, and Eibar coming up, with the latter on the docket next weekend.

Conte pulling from prior experience as title race pushes on

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 18: Antonio Conte, Manager of Chelsea looks on during The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Chelsea at Molineux on February 18, 2017 in Wolverhampton, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
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Antonio Conte has recalled some painful memories to push himself and his players forward despite their commanding lead at the top of the Premier League table.

Chelsea sits eight points clear of Manchester City, and has the chance to go even further in front with many of the top teams off this weekend, but that won’t give the Italian any better sleep at night.

In the 1999/2000 season, Conte was nearing the end of his 13-year Juventus tenure. He’d won three league titles already, plus two league cup trophies and a Champions League title with the Serie A giants. With a comfortable nine point lead after 26 matches, the club became complacent. They would lose four of their final eight matches, collapsing on the final day in the pouring rain, allowing Lazio to come roaring back to win the title.

[ MORE: JPW’s Premier League picks for Week 26 ]

“I was captain of the team,” Conte said. “I remember after this game I must go to the European Championships with the national team. I didn’t sleep for six days because it was a shock for me to lose the title.”

Clearly, that still haunts him. “I have experienced this,” Conte continued. “When I continue to repeat that there are 13 games, there are 39 points… there is a long time before we can say we won the title. We must be focused, we must go step by step.”

The Blues host Swansea City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday before a trip to West Ham next weekend. If anyone believes the Chelsea players are complacent holding such a significant lead with 13 matches to go, it’s clear that’s not nearly the case. Anything can happen in three months.