Manchester City 2-1 Swansea City: Jesus rises to save City on Sunday

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Manchester City dominated possession, pummeling Swansea in the opening 45 minutes, but only managed one early goal and gave it away as Gylfi Sigurdsson drew level with 10 minutes to go. It appeared City had squandered another three points, but there was Gabriel Jesus to win it in added time.

The first half was all Manchester City. Jesus, starting in place of Sergio Aguero for the second straight match, had the game’s best early chance as he possessed the ball on the penalty spot in the eighth minute, but was unable to get a shot off under heavy pressure from Federico Fernandez.

He would make up for the early slip-up by atoning just moments later with the opening goal. David Silva slipped his way into the box along the end line and delivered a ball into the front of net. The ball bounced off the feet of Raheem Sterling as he was bundled over, but Jesus pounced to pummel the ball assuredly past Lukasz Fabianski for the 11th minute strike.

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City continued to pound the Swansea area, and Yaya Toure forced an athletic save from Fabianski in the 21st minute with a powerful free-kick destined for the top-left corner before the Swansea goalkeeper lept high to punch it away. Sterling nearly fed Jesus a second on 26 minutes, but as the Brazilian came barreling in to meet the low cross, he couldn’t get a touch again marked by Fernandez.

There was a controversial moment just before halftime as Sterling burst into the box and was challenged by Fabianski who came off his line to dispossess Sterling. The English international went to ground, and was booked by referee Mike Dean for diving, but replays clearly showed Fabianski catching Sterling’s leg. While it may not have been enough to award City a penalty, it was certainly enough to rule out a dive.

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In the second half, Swansea saw more of the ball in the opening moments, with Sigurdsson nearly bringing the visitors shockingly level with an exquisite free-kick, but Willy Caballero was there to produce a top save similar to Fabianski’s on Toure in the first half. Moments later, Leroy Sane almost scored a stunner, striking the post with a shot from an impossibly tight angle, with Fabianski’s face showing surprise at a shot produced from that position as opposed to a cross.

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The Swans were unable to capitalize on their bright spell, and the game snoozed to a crawl as the hosts possessed the lion’s share of the ball yet again, looking to see the game out. That left Swansea to snag the initiative again, and they took advantage. Sigurdsson grabbed the ball above the top of the box, and surprised everyone by shooting low to the right corner. His shot seemed to catch Caballero off guard as well, as the Manchester City goalkeeper dove late, unable to stop the equalizer with 10 minutes remaining.

That forced Guardiola to bring on Sergio Aguero, and City pushed hard for a late winner, but they were uninspiring and unable to find a way through Swansea’s packed midfield until the winning moment two minutes into injury time. David Sliva delivered a perfect ball into the box, and Jesus rose high to head the chance. The initial effort was saved by Fabianski, but the ball trickled free and Jesus was there to pounce on the winning goal.

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The win sees Manchester City above both Arsenal and Liverpool into third with the Gunners and Reds both falling on Saturday. Swansea remains above the relegation zone despite the loss, but their margin of error is slimmed thanks to Hull City and Sunderland both winning below them.

New York Red Bulls introduce space at RBA for autistic families

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for New York Red Bulls
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HARRISON, N.J. (AP) The Red Bulls have announced plans for a permanent sensory-friendly space at their stadium for families impacted by autism.

Formerly executive offices, the space overlooking midfield is a calm area that is free from the crowds and the noise of Red Bull Arena during matches. Families can use it for free.

The team announced the new space on Saturday before the Red Bulls were set to host the Chicago Fire. It was Autism Awareness Night at the stadium.

“Families deserve to feel welcome and comfortable each time they step foot into Red Bull Arena, not just one night a year,” Red Bulls GM Marc de Grandpre said in a statement released by the club. “We hope all sports teams and entertainment venues are inspired to take similar action to provide comfort for families with loved ones on the autism spectrum.”

League Two game restarted in empty stadium after fans storm field

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LONDON (AP) An English soccer game restarted in an empty stadium after a pitch invasion led to the crowd being told the fixture had been abandoned.

There were five minutes remaining in Leyton Orient’s fourth-tier game against Colchester on Saturday when a sit-down protest was staged on the pitch by Orient fans against Italian owner Francesco Becchetti.

It forced the referee to take the players off the field. The protests lasted for more than an hour before the crowd was told the game had been abandoned and the stadium eventually cleared. The teams came out and finished the game.

Leyton Orient lost 3-1 a week after its relegation from the English Football League was confirmed after 112 years.

“A decision was taken with the police to announce that the game had been abandoned as it was felt this would help clear the pitch, which proved correct,” the EFL said in a statement. “However, it was deemed appropriate that the game needed to be played to a conclusion in order to maintain the integrity of the competition.”

La Liga: Barcelona, Real Madrid hold serve in tight title race

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A roundup of Saturday’s action in Spain’s top flight…

[ MORE: Super-duper Sunday preview — North London derby, plus 6 of top 7 ]

Espanyol 0-3 Barcelona

Barcelona are doing all they can do — win — in their bid to usurp Real Madrid in the race for the title. While they entered the weekend — and still are — ahead of their El Clasico rivals based on head-to-head results this season, Los Blancos still have a game in hand which will surely decide whether Madrid claim their 33rd top-division title, or a 25th for Barca.

On Saturday, Luis Enrique’s side had more than just the title at stake — also at stake: the Derbi Barceloni, against fellow Catalan side Espanyol.

For 45 minutes, the home side held firm and refused to break, but once Luis Suarez put the Blaugrana ahead in the 50th minute, that was all she wrote. Ivan Rakitic doubled the advantage in the 76th minute, and Suarez completed the scoring 11 minutes later.

Real Madrid 2-1 Valencia

By the time the derby kicked off, Madrid had already applied the pressure and gone three points clear with a 2-1 victory that was a whole lot closer than the final score indicates.

Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring just before the half-hour mark, and Zinedine Zidane’s side was well on its way to victory. Ronaldo followed up his opening goal with a missed penalty kick 10 minutes into the second half, and Daniel Parejo pulled the visitors level with a sensational free kick just eight minutes before the end of regular time. Points looked sure to be dropped, and the door opened wider for Barca, but Marcelo was prepared to play the part of hero on the day, and the Brazilian left back bagged one of the season’s more improbable goals, a right-footed strike from the top of the box, in the 86th minute.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Las Palmas 0-5 Atletico Madrid
Real Sociedad 2-1 Granada

Sunday’s La Liga schedule

Osasuna vs. Deportivo La Coruña — 6 a.m. ET
Real Betis vs. Alaves — 10:15 a.m. ET
Eibar vs. Leganes — 12:30 p.m. ET
Celta Vigo vs. Athletic Bilbao — 2:45 p.m. ET

Monday’s La Liga schedule

Malaga vs. Sevilla — 3 p.m. ET

Championship Focus: It’s all about the playoff places now

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With Brighton & Hove Albion and Newcastle United having already clinched the Championship’s two automatic promotion places, all eyes turn to the four teams behind them still jockeying for playoff positioning…

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3rd — Reading — 82 points, +2 GD
4th — Sheffield Wednesday — 81 points, +16 GD
5th — Huddersfield Town — 81 points, +1 GD
6th — Fulham — 77 points, +27 GD

First of all, the Championship remains the least sensible league in the world. Disagree? Just try to explain the above wildly varying points totals and the corresponding goal differentials. Go ahead, I’ll wait

As for the weekend’s results, Reading and Wednesday did themselves major favors in the race for third with victories over Wigan Athletic (1-0) and Ipswich Town (1-0), respectively, while Huddersfield, who entered the weekend in that top playoff place, played 67 minutes with a man advantage against Birmingham City, and lost 2-0. All three of Reading, Wednesday and Huddersfield have clinched their place in the promotion playoffs, which begin two weeks from Saturday, on May 13.

[ MORE: PL Sunday preview — North London derby, plus 6 of the top 7 play ]

Given Leeds United’s 3-3 draw with Norwich City, a win would have clinched the fourth and final playoff place for Fulham, but the Cottagers dropped a pair of points themselves in a 1-1 draw with Brentford at Craven Cottage. Still, Fulham are all but into the playoffs with a three-point lead on Leeds, and a goal differential that’s 13 goals better.