Arsenal host Manchester City at 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday – and even Arsène Wenger admits that the Gunners need a win if they want to stay in the race for the Premier League title.
Currently in fourth, Arsenal are six points away from Chelsea in first. But the Blues should have an easy time of it at Crystal Palace, while there will likely be nothing simple about Manchester City’s visit. The Citizens are unbeaten in their last five, keeping a clean sheet all the while. Then there’s the added complication that, although City are currently third, they also have two games in hand.
(READ MORE: ARSENAL VS. MANCHESTER CITY PREVIEW)
That makes this match something like a title six-pointer, if such a thing exists. And both managers know it.
“I think that if we win on Saturday we can be 12 points on top of Arsenal if we win the two games that here we have in hand,” said Manuel Pellegrini. But the City manager is keeping perspective: “”It is a match of six points but it is not the last match and not the match that will decide the title.”
While Pellegrini is thinking about a twelve-point gap, Wenger is focused on pulling even with the visitors: “City are favourites with Chelsea and Liverpool to win the title but when you play one of the favourites you have the opportunity to shorten the distance. Champions keep going when everybody else would give up and we have an opportunity to show we have that mentality on Saturday.”
After a 6-0 drubbing at Chelsea and losing out on three points against Swansea midweek, mental fortitude doesn’t seem to be high on the list of traits Arsenal possess. But if there’s ever a time to prove they can think like champions, this game against Manchester City would certainly be it.
Play until you hear the referee’s whistle. In theory, so simple. In practice, it only takes a single second of concentration lapse to become an internet sensation for all the wrong reasons.
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Such is life for Karyn Forbes, member of the Trinidad and Tobago women’s national soccer team. In the above video, you’ll observe Forbes, a 24-year-old midfielder, giving away perhaps the most bizarre penalty kick you’ll ever see. You’ll have to watch for yourself to believe it.
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Unfortunately for Forbes, though the whole of the ball might have crossed the whole of the end line, the referee did not blow her whistle… not until Forbes picked the ball up with her hands and carried it to her goalkeeper.
BERLIN (AP) The German Football League (DFL) has given the go-ahead for the possible testing of video replays in the Bundesliga over a two-year pilot phase.
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The DFL says it will be lodging an application with FIFA to take part if the pilot phase is approved by the International Football Association Board at its next annual general meeting on March 5.
The DFL says video replays could be used by a “team of impartial match officials for the purpose of avoiding any evidently incorrect decisions” and that the pilot phase would be preceded by “intensive preparations.”
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These would include the settlement of costs among FIFA, the IFAB, the DFL and German football federation, as well as training for the candidates.
West Ham United hope Dimitri Payet is going absolutely nowhere after the club announced on Thursday the 28-year-old Frenchman has signed a contract extension through the summer of 2021.
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Payet’s current contract was scheduled to keep him at the Premier League club through the summer of 2020, but a series of standout performances (6 goals, 4 assists so far this season, mostly during the season’s opening three months) and rumors of interest from “bigger” clubs meant tacking on another year — and plenty more cash — was the best way to keep Payet in east London for the foreseeable future. The club confirmed earlier this week that negotiations over an extension were underway.
“He’s the best player I’ve signed in 25 years,” said West Ham co-owner David Sullivan. “He’s a [$43 million] player. He’s a supreme footballer. He makes every player in our side play better. On his day, he’s world class, he’s unstoppable.”
Payet, who’s been at West Ham just eight months after signing last summer, could still depart in the summer should he finish the current season strong and/or show up and show out at the European Championship, which kicks off in June. In that event, West Ham would now bag a much heftier transfer fee than they would have done prior to the extension.
Remember that Dele Alli goal? No, not that one… that one. Of course you remember it. How could you not?
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How often does a player receive the ball out of the air, flick it over his head, spin 180 degrees and hit an inch-perfect volley from 20 yards out to secure all three points for his team? The answer is, of course, not very often.
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Thus, a goal such as Alli’s stunning winner against Crystal Palace last month has been, and will continue to be, immortalized through numerous recreations in this Digital Age. Above is Alli’s goal recreated in hand-drawn crayon.