Edin Dzeko becomes the sixth player this summer to re-up at City.

Manchester United 0-3 Manchester City: Dzeko’s double hands City derby delight (video)


Manchester City prevailed in the 167th edition of the Manchester derby, as they beat Manchester United 3-0 away at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Edin Dzeko stole the headlines with two clinical finishes in each half, to keep City’s title charge on course and leave fierce rivals United languishing way down the standings. Yaya Toure’s late drive sealed the impressive victory for City, who have now won three-straight PL games away at the Theater of Dreams.

From the get-go Manuel Pellegrini’s City were the better side, as they started brightly in each half as Dzeko scored in the first minute of the match with a close range finish after a flowing City move and then finished the Red Devils off with a calm finish from a set piece just after the break.

(MORE: Three things we learned in Man City’s derby demolition of Man United)

With their fifth derby win in the last six derbies, City now move into second place in the PL standings and are just three points behind leaders Chelsea with two games in hand. As for United, they’re steady in seventh and have now lost 10 PL games for the first-time in history as David Moyes’ side were second-best throughout.

Man City made a lighting quick start as Dzeko opened the scoring within 43 seconds of the kick off. David Silva burst into the box and Rafael stopped him with a last-ditch tackle but the ball then broke to Samir Nasri, who shifted the ball onto his right foot and struck the post but the rebound came straight to Dzeko who tapped home from two-yards out to give City the perfect start.

In the 9th minute Silva intercepted the ball after a poor giveaway 30-yards out which saw the Spaniard surge towards the edge of the box and take it past two United defenders but his tame effort was blocked, as the Citizens missed a golden chance to go 2-0 ahead.

(MORE: David Moyes takes responsibility for ‘disappointing’ derby before walking out of press conference)

Silva was popping everywhere as City were dominating the early stages and United just couldn’t get a grip on proceedings. In the 17th minute great link up play between Yaya Toure and Silva link up saw the latter play a great ball to Dzeko, and although the Bosnian directed his shot towards the bottom corner David De Gea got across to save well to his left to make up for his initial giveaway.

source: Getty Images
City celebrate their third-straight derby win, as the Citizens rub salt into United’s wounds.

Then the game began to open up, as a clearance in his own six-yard box from Vincent Kompany halted United’s advances after Wayne Rooney had found Juan Mata unmarked on the left side of the box. The game ebbed and flowed, as both sets of supporters urged their teams to attack in a breathless opening 45 minutes at Old Trafford. That passion spilled over in the 30th minute, as Marouane Fellaini barged into Pablo Zabaleta and shoved his forearm and elbow straight into the face of City’s right back. Referee Michael Oliver saw the whole thing, but only booked Fellaini as United were lucky to still have eleven men on the pitch.

(MORE: Latest Premier League standings)

Manchester United got better as the first half wore on, as they were lucky to be just 1-0 down following City’s early onslaught. Fellaini had a shot which Joe Hart saved easily before the half hour mark, then Mata fired way over when well placed before the interval, as City comfortably protected their one goal lead as the teams went in at the break.

City started the second half just as they’d begun the first, as they took the game to United. A vicious out-swinging corner from the right found Fernandinho in the six-yard box but the Brazilian saw the ball late and couldn’t direct his header under the crossbar as it flew over.

Soon after City did double their lead as Dzeko’s controlled volley from another inch-perfect Nasri corner made it 2-0 to the Citizens and sent the away fans wild. Nasri’s out-swinging set piece saw Dzeko steal a march on his marker to coolly volley home his 20th goal of the season and give City a commanding lead against their fierce rivals.

United tried to fight back, but for large spells of the second half ‘Ole’s’ rang out from the away end as City’s players kept the ball with ease. Welbeck went close to halving the deficit in the 71st minute, as Rafael’s cross from the right was behind United’s striker but he cleverly sent a flick towards goal with his backheel but Hart reacted superbly to claw the effort away.

City defended well and kept their clean sheet intact with a resolute defensive display as United tried to throw everything they had at their neighbors. But the game ended the way it started, City dominating proceedings, as Toure reacted first to James Milner’s deflected shot and the Ivorian smashed home a low shot in stoppage time to hammer the final nail in United’s derby day coffin.


Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Ferdinand, Jones, Evra; Carrick, Cleverley (Kagawa, 45′), Fellaini (Valencia, 66′); Mata, Welbeck (Hernandez, 77′), Rooney

Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy, Yaya Toure, Fernandinho, Nasri (Milner, 74′), Silva, Navas (Javi Garcia, 68′), Dzeko (Negredo, 79′)

Goals: Dzeko (1′ & 55′), Toure (90′)

French PM says Benzema has no place on national team

Karim Benzema, France
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PARIS (AP) The French prime minister joined in the criticism of Karim Benzema on Tuesday, saying the Real Madrid striker “has no place” on the France team at the European Championship in the wake of a blackmail scandal.

[ MORE: Chelsea’s new stadium plans ]

Benzema is one of France’s key players as it gets ready to host the Euro 2016 tournament, but the forward faces charges of conspiracy to blackmail relating to an extortion scam over a sex tape. He is suspected of having played an active role in pressuring France teammate Mathieu Valbuena, a case that has badly damaged his reputation.

“A great athlete should be exemplary,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls told French radio Europe 1. “If he is not, he has no place within the France team.”

The investigation, centering on wiretap evidence, started when Valbuena took legal action after being contacted by a man claiming to possess an incriminating sex tape.

In a case that could drag on for months, Benzema’s involvement has not yet been fully determined. But investigators who charged him in October believe he was approached by a childhood friend to act as an intermediary and convince Valbuena to deal directly with the blackmailers.

“If a minister was handed preliminary charges, he would no longer be part of the government,” Valls said.

Benzema denies any wrongdoing but his arguments were undermined last week when Valbuena spoke directly about his attempts to pressure him in an interview with Le Monde newspaper.

[ MORE: City now valued at $3 billion ]

The French football federation has also joined the case as plaintiff.

“There are so many kids, so many youngsters in our suburbs that relate to great athletes,” Valls said. “They wear the blue jersey, the colors of France, which are so important in these moments.”

Preliminary charges under French law mean magistrates have strong reason to believe a crime was committed, and allow time for further investigation. The charges may later be dropped. In 2010, Benzema was handed preliminary charges for soliciting an underage prostitute but was acquitted in a case that lasted more than three years and tarnished his reputation.

Benzema’s image was further dented last month when he spat on the pitch after the national anthem was played at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium in a tribute to the 130 fatalities of the Paris attacks ahead of a match against Barcelona.

Benzema’s action ignited a wave of criticism on social media, prompting his lawyers to issue a statement in which they condemned “the scandalous interpretation” of the incident. Benzema, who has 27 international goals, had posted several messages in support of the victims in the days that followed the attacks.

League Cup preview: Man City, Liverpool, Everton look to make semis

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The Capital One Cup quarterfinals take place on Tuesday and Wednesday with five Premier League left among the last eight.

[ MORE: Follow League Cup scores live

Only one all-Premier League tie is set up with Southampton hosting Liverpool as Ronald Koeman pits his wits against Jurgen Klopp at St Mary’s in the tie of the round. Saints will be without captain Jose Fonte through injury, while Liverpool have Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge available but both may be used from the bench as they build up their match sharpness. Saints and Liverpool drew 1-1 at Anfield last month so expect another tight encounter down on the South Coast.

PL leaders Man City welcome Championship side Hull City to the Etihad Stadium with Manuel Pellegrini aiming to win the League Cup for the second time in three years. David Silva could make his first start in over two months for City, but Joe Hart remains out injured as Steve Bruce‘s Tigers come to town.

Everton also face second-tier opposition in Middlesbrough with a tricky trip to the Riverside awaiting the Toffees. Roberto Martinez’s team have to shore up at the back after drawing 3-3 at Bournemouth in the league last weekend, as they face Aitor Karanka’s flying-high Boro who are pushing for promotion from the Championship. This one seems like the biggest banana skin for PL clubs.

Talking of banana skins, Stoke City host Sheffield Wednesday at the Britannia and although the Potters will fancy their chances of making the final four after they knocked out Chelsea in the last round, Wednesday comprehensively beat Arsenal last time out and the Owls will provide a stern test for Geoff Cameron and Co.

Below are the fixtures for the next few days, while you can click on the link above to follow all the last-eight games live.

League Cup quarterfinals


Manchester City vs. Hull City – 2:45 p.m. ET
Middlesbrough vs. Everton – 2:45 p.m. ET
Stoke City vs. Sheffield Wednesday – 2:45 p.m. ET


Southampton vs. Liverpool – 2:45 p.m. ET

Arsenal still waiting on severity of Alexis Sanchez’s injury

NORWICH, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29:  An injured Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal (17) is given assistance during the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and Arsenal at Carrow Road on November 29, 2015 in Norwich, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
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Arsenal’s fans are sweating on news regarding Alexis Sanchez’s left hamstring injury and it seems as though the wait for a diagnosis will go on.

[ MORE: Chelsea’s new stadium plans ]

Arsene Wenger has come under plenty of criticism for playing Sanchez, 26, despite the Chilean star complaining of a hamstring injury before the Norwich game on Sunday, and when he pulled up clutching his left hamstring in the second half Wenger’s face was one of anger and disappointment.

Multiple reports claim that Sanchez’s injury is still being assessed by Arsenal’s medical staff as Wenger faces an anxious wait to see how long his star forward is out for.

Here’s what Wenger had to say directly after Arsenal’s draw at Norwich, as the media questioned why he would play Sanchez if he was already struggling with a hamstring complaint.

“Nobody is scientifically developed enough, not even the press, to predict exactly when a guy will be injured,” Wenger said. “I would have rested him but he felt perfectly alright before the game. We declared that he had no problem. Despite all the tests he looked alright. The players are there to play football not to be rested when the press decides that they need to be rested. He [Alexis] says it is a kick on his hamstring but I believe that is not really the reality.”

The reality is that Sanchez — who has scored nine times in 20 appearances this season — could miss some crucial games for the Gunners, including their UEFA Champions League Group F showdown with Olympiakos next Wednesday in Greece. Arsenal need a win by a two-goal margin or any win by scoring three or more goals to advance to the last 16 of the UCL, but with Sanchez out and plenty of others struggling, the dreaded injury plague struck the North London club in November, a month they always seem to falter in, once again.

[ MORE: City now valued at $3 billion ]

Santi Cazorla suffered a knee injury against Norwich and like Sanchez it’s unclear how long the Spanish midfielder will be out for. The only piece of good news to come from Sunday’s draw in Norfolk is that Laurent Koscielny should be available to play against Sunderland on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on USA and online via Live Extra) after overcoming a hip injury which forced him off early last weekend.

However, with Francis Coquelin out long-term, plus Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs making their way back slowly and long-term absentees Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Tomas Rosicky out until January, Wenger’s squad is being stretched to the limit.

Report: Chelsea, Man United to battle for Muller

Telekom Cup 2015 - "Bayern Munich v FC Augsburg"

Chelsea are set to join Manchester United in bidding for Bayern Munich and Germany star Thomas Muller.

[ MORE: Chelsea’s new stadium plans ]

Muller, 26, has previously revealed he turned down a move to United but with Pep Guardiola’s future at Bayern unclear beyond the current season, the product of Bayern’s academy may feel now is the right time to move on even though he’s contracted to the German powerhouse until 2019.

If he does, Europe’s biggest teams will be lining up and according to a report in the Daily Mirror Chelsea want to sign Muller and will make an audacious move to make him their main striker as Jose Mourino and Diego Costa‘s fallout continued with the Spanish international left on the bench during the draw at Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.

With Costa sulking, Mourinho  has been linked with moves for a number of strikers in January and next summer with Jamie Vardy, Saido Berahino and Antoine Griezmann all mentioned in the gossip columns.

[ MORE: City now valued at $3 billion ]

In the past Muller has said that he turned down “astronomical offers” to join foreign clubs and United were his main suitors. With the man who gave him his debut at Bayern, Louis Van Gaal, now in charge at United and the Red Devils continuing to spend big, Muller has been constantly linked with a switch to Old Trafford but many Bayern greats are urging him to remain at the Allianz Arena to become a Bayern legend, or at the very least join the all-conquering Barcelona rather than head to England.

Muller’s predatory finishing alongside Eden Hazard, Oscar and Willian certainly seems like a good fit at Chelsea and you can understand why they would want to break the bank to get him, but offloading Costa and others first must be the priority which is why any such deal for Muller seems unlikely to happen until next summer at the earliest.

If the man who has scored 141 goals in 325 games for Bayern is intent on leaving the Bundesliga after spending his entire career in Bavaria, then Chelsea and United will be falling over themselves to sign him.