Guardiola, Caballero, Sterling react to Man City going second

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The gap between first and second in the Premier League is still a decent margin for anyone to overcome, but Manchester City is giving neutrals hopes of a title fight.

City beat Bournemouth 2-0 on Monday at the Vitality Stadium, moving to within eight points of Chelsea in the race for the PL crown.

Pep Guardiola said he was happy to possess with a “thousand million” passes and admitted he’s happy with the controlling win, but he also refused to be drawn into a conversation on catching the Blues.

[ RECAP: Bournemouth 0-2 Man City ]

As for the Top Four, yeah, he’ll talk about that.

“We know how the gap between all the teams is so close,” Guardiola said. “Today we started the game in fifth position in the Premier League and now we’re second. It will be a battle to qualify for the Champions League this season.”

Wily Caballero was fired up by the win, and the chance to chase a Champions League spot. The Argentine started City’s first three matches of the season, allowing a goal in each of three wins, before taking a seat for 19 PL contests.

Now City moved to 6-0 in Caballero’s PL starts this season after a pair of big stops on Monday, and he’s got two clean sheets in his last three outings.

“As a team we work, we fight together, and we achieve what we want, the three points,” Caballero said. “I was waiting for this opportunity for a long time, so I tried to help my team. We work well together and this is important. We have to win our games, after we’ll see what happens with the rest of the teams. We have to do our job.”

[ PL PLAYBACK: Who has Top Four edge? ]

Raheem Sterling scored and assisted in the win, starring in attack along with David Silva. It was just his second Premier League goal since the calendar turned to October, and should ease his burden.

“I’m always trying to get on the scoresheet and that doesn’t always happen. That’s part of my game and I need to add more goals to my game.”

This was as good as Sterling has looked in a while, and he could be a difference maker in the Top Four race.

UCL Playoff Wrap: Liverpool, Sporting CP, CSKA advance to group stage

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It was another memorable European night for Liverpool in front of the Kop at Anfield.

Lifted by three goals in the opening 21 minutes, the Reds cruised to a 4-2 win over Hoffenheim 1899 in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League playoff stage Wednesday evening. With the win, Liverpool returns to the Champions League group stage for the first time since the 2014-2015 season.

[ MORE: Champions League scores ]

Sadio Mane set up Emre Can twice and both Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino chipped in with goals of their own to lead Liverpool to victory. After Can’s double and Salah’s goal gave Liverpool a three-goal lead, Hoffenheim’s Julian Nagelsmann brought Mark Uth off the bench onto the field and he promptly scored in the 28th minute to draw within two.

Firmino again put Liverpool ahead by three goals with a goal into an open net in the 63rd minute. Hoffenheim recorded a consolation goal in the 79th minute through Sandro Wagner but Liverpool was resolute and held on for victory.

Liverpool, and the rest of the winning clubs, will learn their fates for the group stage on Thursday.

Here’s a look at the rest of the Champions League playoff scores:

Slavia Prague 0-0 APOEL (APOEL advances 2-0 on aggregate)

FC Copenhagen 2-1 Qarabag FK (Qarabag advances on away goals, 2-2 on aggregate)

FCSB (Steaua București) 1-5 Sporting CP (Sporting CP advances 5-1 on aggregate)

CSKA Moscow 2-0 BSC Young Boys (CSKA advances on aggregate, 3-0)

VIDEO: A sneak peek of Everton’s Europa League journey – Part 2

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In Part 2 of Everton Unseen, European football returns to Goodison Park as Everton host MFK Ruzomberok in the qualifying round of the Europa League.

Click play on the video below to get a feel for how Goodison Park will be in the second leg of the Europa League in Part 2 of this videos series.

[ MORE: Live Europa League scores

[ WATCH: Part 1 of Everton Unseen ] 

http://www.nbcsports.com/video/everton-unseen-part-2-everton-host-mfk-ruzomberok-europa-league

FIFA to send in emergency team to run Cameroon football

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ZURICH (AP) FIFA says it is sending in an emergency management team to run the troubled Cameroon football federation.

The panel to be appointed by FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) will oversee elections by next March to replace disputed polls in 2015 for the Cameroon federation board.

FIFA’s intervention comes amid speculation Cameroon could be stripped of hosting the next African Cup of Nations in June-July 2019.

CAF President Ahmad this month cast doubt on Cameroon’s ability to prepare for the expanded 24-team tournament.

FIFA says Wednesday it acted after “recent failed attempts … to reconcile the football stakeholders in Cameroon and overcome the current impasse.”

Transfer Roundup: Tottenham complete signing of Sanchez, Clucas joins Swansea

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Tottenham reportedly broke the bank for its first transfer of the summer.

The North London club confirmed that it had completed a transfer with Ajax for defender Davinson Sanchez after the Colombian international passed a medical. According to The Telegraph, the deal is worth around $54 million, a club record. The deal is subject to acquisition of Sanchez’s work permit but given the transfer fee and him being in Colombia’s squad, it’s likely a mere formality at this point.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The 21-year-old defender brings speed and strength to Tottenham’s backline as well as a year of seasoning in the Eredivisie, which features plenty of attacking talent. Sanchez will battle with Eric Dier, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen for a place in Spurs’ three-man backline.

It’s a risk moving to a new club a year ahead of the World Cup, but Sanchez is hoping that with appearances in the UEFA Champions League and Premier League up for grabs, he can do well enough to keep his place in the Colombia National Team squad.

Here’s some more transfer news from across England:

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