- Saints have won five of their last 10 PL games vs. City (5-2-3)
- City have won have won 19 of the 23 games in which they’ve scored first this season
- Southampton have dropped more points from winning positions than any other team (18)
Manchester City host Southampton at the Etihad on Saturday (Watch live on NBCSN, 7:45 a.m. ET and online via Live Extra) with the Citizens eager to close the gap on league leaders Liverpool.
City are four points behind the Reds, but crucially have two games in hand. However, just one slip up would mean that Manuel Pellegrini’s side will all of a sudden lose their favorite tag. Ominously, City have won 13 of their 14 home games in the Premier League this season and according to Opta they have a 62.78 percent chance of lifting their second PL title.
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However Southampton represent a dangerous proposition for City, as Saints are in eighth place and are stacked with exciting young English talent. Jay Rodriguez, Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw are all surging towards the English national team and will want to put in another top performance to catch Roy Hodgson’s eye. They hammered Newcastle United 4-0 last weekend, and City only managed a 1-1 draw away to Saints earlier in the campaign.
In team news Sergio Aguero will miss out for City, while Victor Wanyama could return for Saints but Nathaniel Clyne, Kelvin Davis and Maya Yoshida are all out.
What they’re saying
James Milner on ‘relaxed Saints’ being a threat: “They’ve have had a good season and we know they are a good side from previous meetings. When we played at their place earlier in the season we didn’t play that well but came away with a draw, which in hindsight was a decent result. They are playing with freedom at the moment and because of their position in the table, there isn’t really any pressure on them.”
Mauricio Pochettino on facing City: “We are never fearful of who we are playing against, we always try to play our game, to impose our style, to be brave regardless of the opposition we are facing. We know we are going to be facing very tough opposition against Manchester City but we are still going to be trying to play our game.”
The pressure is building on Man City and they face a potential banana skin this weekend. City love to do things the hard way, and it seems as though the title race will go down to the wire this season. Against Saints they have to start well, as the away team will try to keep the ball and out possess their opponents. The last thing City want is a draining match where they have to come from behind. I am going for a shock draw, because I think Southampton are flying towards the end of the season. City to slip up in the title race.
With three matches remaining for all 18 Bundesliga clubs, there’s clarity at the very top and bottom but plenty to sort in the races to qualify for Europe and avoid the relegation playoff.
[ RECAP: Man City 5-0 Swans ]
We focus on the latter here, with all three teams on 30 points losing away from home this weekend, including one to the 17th place side in Germany.
Hamburg 1-0 Freiburg
Lewis Holtby scored a 54th minute goal to keep the hosts’ slim survival hopes alive, and USMNT forward Bobby Wood got into the match for the final 23 minutes as Hamburg scooped up a rare win.
Augsburg 2-0 Mainz
The visitors had more of the ball but couldn’t rebound from a 29th minute Michael Gregoritsch goal, allowing Alfred Finnbogason to seal the result in stoppage time.
Borussia Monchengladbach 3-0 Wolfsburg
Wolfsburg has a hefty edge on Mainz and Freiburg in terms of goal differential, but won’t be feeling too confident after watching Lars Stindl, Raffael, and Christoph Kramer all score before halftime.
RB Leipzig 2-5 Hoffenheim
Eintracht Frankfurt 0-3 Hertha Berlin
Stuttgart 2-0 Werder Bremen
Hannover 96 0-3 Bayern Munich
Borussia Dortmund 4-0 Bayer Leverkusen
Koln 2-2 Schalke — USMNT’s McKennie goes 90
Pep Guardiola was thrilled with his club’s response to sealing the Premier League title: More dominance.
[ RECAP: Man City 5-0 Swans ]
Man City battered Swansea City 5-0 at the Etihad Stadium on the strength of goals from five different players.
“From the first minute to the last one, we played what we have shown in the season,” Guardiola said on NBCSN after the match. “(We scored) a lot of goals and we didn’t concede. We play to keep improving our game here and for the next season.”
Guardiola could hardly differentiate between the club’s stylish Sunday goals, saying, “The first one, the second one, of course the third one. … The Yaya pass was amazing. All the goals were so good.”
And he was also pleased with the support from the Etihad Stadium crowd, though he admits he was grateful to escape before the City faithful stormed the pitch.
Guardiola said he thinks the supporters are still behind their team despite the decisive UEFA Champions League loss to Liverpool because of how hard City plays week-in and week-out.
“That’s happened because they know that we are not liars in the way we want to play,” he said. “They know that we tried our best from the beginning to the end. We knew from the beginning how happy they were.”
LONDON — Antonio Conte versus Jose Mourinho. Chelsea versus Manchester United.
The FA Cup final on May 19 will be some showdown between two Premier League giants as Chelsea breezed past Southampton 2-0 in their semifinal at Wembley on Sunday.
Conte against Mourinho is a battle which has become increasingly feisty over the past two seasons as they’ve had public spats and insulted one another.
Speaking after the game, Conte was asked about his relationship with Mourinho and potential fireworks on the sidelines, as well as on the pitch, during the final.
“With Jose [Mourinho], we have clarified the situation and that is the most important thing. There is not a problem between him and I,” Conte said. “I think this is a final between two great teams. In my mind I can tell you last season we arrived as favorites against Arsenal. I think in this season season we are not arriving as favorites but as you know very well, last season we lost the cup.”
Conte then revealed he respects Mourinho despite the words the two had earlier this season.
The Italian coach responded to Mourinho’s comments about him, and other PL managers, acting like “clowns” on the sidelines by saying Mourinho was a “fake, little man” as United’s manager also hit out and made a remark about Conte’s involvement in a previous match-fixing investigation.
“We are talking about two managers with a strong character and about two winners and when your mind, your heart, your blood and there is the will to win, for sure we want to try to win this trophy,” Conte said. “The same way Manchester United wants to achieve this. I have great respect for United’s story, for Mourinho’s story. I think they have the same respect for Chelsea’s story and my story.”
Let’s see if that respect is on show during what should be a fantastic final next month as it could well be Conte’s final game in charge of Chelsea.
- Swans give guard of honor
- Four different goal scorers
- Fabianski saves PK
Five different players scored as Manchester City hammered Swansea City 5-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Fans flooded the pitch after the final whistle, many congregating around a surprised Benjamin Mendy in his return from injury.
Kevin De Bruyne scored the highlight reel goal, with David Silva, Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, and Bernardo Silva also scoring for the Premier League champions in their first match since sealing the title through a Manchester United loss to West Brom.
[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]
Man City put together another brilliant team goal to open the scoring, with Kevin De Bruyne playing Raheem Sterling toward the end line and David Silva burying Sterling’s cutback in the 12th minute.
Sterling made it 2-0 in the 16th minute, capping off a 1-2 between Fabian Delph and David Silva with a back post tap-in.
Lukasz Fabianski caught a curling effort from Bernardo Silva as the match reached the half hour mark. He’d stop De Bruyne two minutes later.
[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]
[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]
De Bruyne scored an otherworldly goal from 25 yards in the 54th minute.
Swansea almost had an answer through Ki Sung-yeung’s corner kick, but Alfie Mawson headed over the bar.
Federico Fernandez conceded a penalty kick to Sterling, and Jesus saw his chance saved by Fabianski. That didn’t stop Bernardo Silva from carving a rebound goal for 4-0.
Benjamin Mendy made his long-awaited return from injury with a 75th minute substitution for Delph.
Fellow substitute Phil Foden took a play started by Yaya Toure and nearly found an assist when Fabianski caught Jesus’ header.
Jesus got his goal when he popped Toure’s scooped past over Fabianski in the 88th.