Manchester City 3-1 West Bromwich Albion: Silva injury sours easy win

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Two goals in the first 10 minutes gave Monday’s match between Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion a very early academic feel, and the Baggies were only able to add drama for about 20 minutes en route to a 3-1 loss.

The biggest story for City comes via health, as it may have to attempt its run at the Premier League title without David Silva. The flashy Spaniard was stretchered off after suffering an ankle injury late in the second half.

Sixteenth-place West Brom has still played one less match than 18th place Cardiff City and 19th place Fulham, and leads both by three points in the race for Premier League survival.

Meanwhile, City pulls to within six points of No. 1 Liverpool and one of No. 2 Chelsea. The Citizens have played one less match than both the Reds and Blues.

It started very poorly for West Brom, as Pablo Zabaleta headed home after Ben Foster saved Sergio Aguero’s third-minute shot, and Aguero doubled the lead just seven minutes later with a shot from just outside the 18.

source: APBut Graham Dorrans put the Baggies right back in the match with a juggling goal off a counterattack to make it 2-1 in the 16th minute. Dorrans made amends for a poor first touch by popping the ball over his mark before striking low past Joe Hart.

Martin Demichelis restored the two-goal lead in the 36th minute when he slipped by Jonas Olsson and easily scored after Vincent Kompany flicked Samir Nasri’s corner to the back post.

Stephane Sessegnon almost pulled back a goal with a point-blank shot that was deflected over by Kompany.

The second half was less than thrilling, with City’s threat more or less removed by the injury to Silva and removal of Aguero. For whatever reason, West Brom did not play the role of aggressor in seeking out goals and there were precious few chances between the sides as the game played out.

LINEUPS

Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy; Silva (Milner, 70′), Garcia, Fernandinho, Nasri; Dzeko (Kolarov, 89′), Aguero (Jovetic, 64′)

Goals: Zabaleta (3), Aguero (10), Demichelis (36)

West Bromwich Albion: Foster; Jones, Dawson, Olsson, Ridgewell; Mulumbu (Morrison, 84′), Dorrans; Brunt, Sessegnon (Berahino, 76′), Amalfitano; Vydra (Anichebe, 60′)

Goals: Dorrans (16)

Schweinsteiger waiting on visa, training in Mallorca

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Bastian Schweinsteiger is waiting on a visa to make his trip to Chicago official.

It’s a formality, albeit a bit trickier now given the political climate in the United States. The former Manchester United midfielder is training at Real Mallorca ahead of the move.

The transfer was announced one week ago, and Schweinsteiger is anxious to get back on the pitch. Set for a 1-year, $4.5 million deal, the midfielder has not missed any Chicago matches yet.

[ MORE: Under-the-radar Premier League XI ]

The Fire is 1-1-1 to start the new season under Veljko Paunovic, and has three home matches next: Montreal (Saturday), Columbus (Apr. 8), and New England (Apr. 15)

Report: Arsenal interested in Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel

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According to a report by The Sun, Arsenal is monitoring the progress of Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

The rumor does make sense. With Petr Cech at 34 years old and having a poor season in front of net and backup David Ospina failing to challenge him for the starting job, the Gunners are looking elsewhere to bring in a potential future starter.

Schmeichel has been one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League the past two seasons. Last season he led the Foxes to the Premier League title, organizing a stunningly good defensive line of patchwork players. This season, the defense has largely regressed and let Schmeichel down, but he has still performed well and has the metrics to remain one of the league’s top shot-stoppers.

The Danish keeper is 30 years old himself, but that puts him in his prime for a goalkeeper. He has been with Leicester City since 2011, and he will tick 250 appearances for the club with his next match. Schmeichel was rumored to be a member of the secret player delegation that worked hard to see Claudio Ranieri pushed out of the club, a sentiment which he and the other players have strongly denied.

Still, with an improbable Premier League title in hand and an appearance in the Champions League quarterfinals now on the cards, there probably isn’t much else for him at Leicester City. It’s possible Schmeichel could look to bank on his past performances and secure a move to a bigger club this summer.

Should Arsene Wenger stay with Arsenal past this season, a possibility that looks more and more likely, he could look to move on from Cech despite signing the former Chelsea goalkeeper just two summers ago.

Diego Costa injured, but will stay with Spain squad for friendly

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Chelsea striker Diego Costa pulled up in Spain training on Sunday, and with the Blues in first in the Premier League and Costa in great form, there were obvious concerns.

With Costa struggling with leg and ankle injuries, the RFEF informed Chelsea that there was an issue, and Costa was pulled from training and sent for tests. X-Rays at the local hospital in Madrid were negative, and he’s rejoined the squad.

According to the RFEF, doctors will continue to monitor the 28-year-old and he will continue with the national team for the rest of the international break. With a World Cup qualification win over Israel already in the books and just a friendly against France to go on Tuesday, it’s odd that Spain would risk Costa moving forward, but they will continue to keep him around.

Costa has scored 18 goals this season to lead the Blues, and he scored in the win over Israel. Spain takes on France in Saint-Denis on Tuesday, with both teams leading their World Cup qualification groups. Spain has a goal-differential lead on Italy with both teams miles above the rest of the Group G, and France is ahead of Sweden by three points in Group A, with the Netherlands back in fourth.

Foul or flop? Player “headbutts” referee, is sent off

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Well, there must be something in the water down in Brasilia, because things got a little weird this evening.

Flamengo drew with Vasco da Gama 2-2, but that was just the start.

In the 54th minute, with Vasco da Gama leading 1-0 at Estadio Nacional Mané Garrincha, 36-year-old Luis Fabiano was sent off for “headbutting” the referee. Headbutting is in quotes because looking at the video, it certainly appears there was little to no contact, and the referee flops.

Yes, the referee flopped. Take a look:

To be fair, Fabiano was already on a yellow, so getting in the referee’s face even without the headbutt/pelvic thrust would likely still have seen him sent to an early shower.

So the former Porto and Sevilla man was sent off, and Vasco da Gama was down to 10 men. Immediately after the red card, Flamengo took advantage, powering in a pair of goals via Willian Arao and Orlando Berrio to take the lead 2-1. But Vasco wouldn’t quit, and they earned a penalty five minutes into stoppage time, which Nene buried for the 2-2 draw.

To top things off, a player named Yago Pikachu scored the opener for Vasco da Gama, which was followed by a delay in the game seven minutes later after a power surge in the stadium. Go figure.