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Manchester City 2-1 West Ham: Silva the hero this time

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  • Ogbonna put West Ham 1-0 up in 1st half
  • West Ham out-shot Man City in 1st half for efforts on target
  • Otamendi, Silva score to complete 2nd half comeback

Manchester City may have its flaws, but Pep Guardiola is a master at covering them up.

A swarming second half performance saw Manchester City complete its second come-from-behind victory in as many Premier League games with a vicious final 45 minutes that saw Nicolas Otamendi score the equalizer and David Silva win it with seven minutes remaining.

The two City goals overshadowed a solid performance from the Hammers, especially in the first half, who found themselves in front at halftime thanks to a goal from Angelo Ogbonna. David Moyes shuffled the deck with Michail Antonio up front as the lone striker and benching Marko Arnautovic for 21-year-old Swiss Edimilson Fernandes. He also was forced to play Adrian in goal with Joe Hart ineligible against his parent club, and the Spaniard came up big on multiple occasions.

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West Ham defended quite well throughout the first half, with Man City holding over 70% possession but hardly finding a shot on net, while the Hammers didn’t simply park the bus but instead pushed forward hard when they were able to win the ball.

In the seventh minute, Antonio nearly had the opener as Cheikhou Kouyate flicked on a corner at the near post and it floated perfectly to the far post but it was just out of reach of the Hammers striker. City had their best chance of the first half as David Silva ripped a shot from outside the box that deflected off a defender’s back, but Adrian was there to acrobatically tip it over the bar.

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West Ham, surprisingly the better side in the first half, eventually earned a stunning opener just a few minutes before the halftime whistle. The Hammers took a short corner that allowed Aaron Cresswell to work some more space, and his cross reached the head of Ogbonna who struck it magnificently to dispatch the game’s first goal past Ederson.

After halftime, Pep Guardiola brought on Gabriel Jesus to keep the ball in West Ham’s half, and the change worked to perfection. The Brazilian made a stellar run through the right side of the box and he fed Nicolas Otamendi in front of net for the equalizer before the hour mark.

The league leaders pummeled the West Ham back line the entire second half searching for a winner. Adrian was required again to deny Jesus with 20 minutes to go, while Raheem Sterling whiffed on an absolute sitter at the right post.

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With City pouring men forward, it was only a matter of time. In the 83rd minute, Kevin De Bruyne lofted a ball towards a host of streaking City attackers, and David Silva met it at the back post with a fabulously ugly finish, having to throw his foot at the ball under pressure from the defender, and he connected for the winner.

The win gives City an eight point lead at the top of the Premier League table, and their 13th straight victory in league play equals the Premier League record. West Ham, meanwhile, suffers its fourth defeat in its last five matches and remains in the relegation zone, three points from safety.

MLS All-Stars to face Juventus in 2018

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For the first time, Juventus will be taking on Major League Soccer’s best in the MLS All-Star Game.

MLS announced on Thursday that the six-time defending Italian champions will take on the MLS All-Stars in Atlanta United’s Mercedez-Benz Stadium on August 1, 2018. Juventus will be the second Italian club to play in the MLS All-Star Game, following AS Roma’s appearance in 2013.

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Since MLS adapted its all-stars vs. foreign club format in 2002 (with a brief return to the old East vs. West format in 2004), MLS has gone 9-6. Last year the MLS All-Stars lost 4-2 on penalty kicks to Real Madrid in Chicago’s Soldier Field.

Klinsmann: “I’m sure I’ll come back” to coaching

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Jurgen Klinsmann hinted that he could return to full-time coaching after the 2018 World Cup.

Klinsmann appears to be enjoying life as a full-time soccer dad after his dismissal from U.S. Soccer in November 2016, having taken home a portion of a $6.2 million buyout from U.S. Soccer for he and his staff. Speaking to Socrates Magazine in Germany, Klinsmann gave his thoughts on the Bundesliga, the German National Team, and whether he’d be back in the hot seat one day.

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“I’m sure I’ll come back,” Klinsmann said. “Right now I’m having a nice break, I enjoy it. I do not know when I’ll take on a coaching job again. I’m looking forward to the World Cup in Russia and then I’ll be back in action.”

Klinsmann has been linked with a number of jobs over the past few years, even before he was fired as U.S. Men’s National Team coach, including with Everton, Sunderland, and Club Tijuana in Liga MX. But instead, Klinsmann has remained in the stands, cheering on his son Jonathan at the 2017 Under-20 World Cup along with the rest of the U.S. parents in their section.

Following the disastrous start of World Cup qualifying and the fact that Klinsmann never took the U.S. to the level he promised, it is hard to see where he will go next, unless it’s a lower level, with lower expectations. Based on his work with the USMNT and Bayern Munich, he has shown that he struggles tactically and is mainly a man-motivator, which is just one part of the coaching package.

The 53-year-old former German coach and player also had a bit of a warning to the Bundesliga, after a particularly tough season in Europe. Three Bundesliga teams (Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig) made the UEFA Champions League, but both Dortmund and Leipzig finished third in their groups, dropping down to the Europa League. FC Koln, Hoffenheim and Hertha Berlin all failed to advance to the knockout stages in the Europa League as well.

“The recent development at the European level is not a good sign, it is important that everyone is aware that success is lacking,” Klinsmann said. “Recently, you have lost too much ground.

“It’s a very critical moment. There is a certain amount of satisfaction after winning the World Cup in Brazil and the Bundesliga clubs having done very well in the Champions League.”

Report: Ibrahimovic to sign with MLS next week, LA Galaxy likely landing spot

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It appears Zlatan Ibrahimovic will finally be taking his talents to the United States.

According to a report from ESPN FC, Ibrahimovic has played his last game for Manchester United, with the club ready to let the Swede out of his contract in order for him to sign in Major League Soccer. While it’s not 100 percent clear where Ibrahimovic will end up, the report states the Galaxy are the leading contenders for his services.

[READ: International preview, what to look forward to this week]

Ibrahimovic certainly comes to the U.S. with a rich pedigree, with a trophy room full of league titles and UEFA Champions League titles.

But there are questions hanging over Ibrahimovic. The 36-year-old is coming off a torn ACL and whether he’s healed now, 12 months since the injury, he’s made just five appearances for Man United this season, with four of them coming off the bench.

With many MLS clubs moving towards signing younger, up and coming talents, especially from South America, can Ibrahimovic keep up in a physical league, coming off a major injury and at his age? It’s likely he can make an impact, but considering the kind of money he’s likely to be on, it will be tough for him to be worth it without bringing an MLS Cup.

If he does sign with the LA Galaxy, it would be a massive statement back to their new noisy neighbor in LAFC, after the expansion club made waves signing Carlos Vela as a Designated Player and Bob Bradley as head coach. Ibrahimovic will have to quickly gel with Sigi Schmid’s squad, including with Giovani and Jonathan Dos Santos in midfield.

Wilshere could have left Arsenal last August

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It’s hard to imagine an Arsenal team without Jack Wilshere on the books, but it nearly came to be during last summer’s transfer window.

Speaking openly in England’s training camp this week, Wilshere detailed how Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger approached him one day in August and told him the England international wasn’t in Wenger’s plans.

“It was an honest conversation,” Wilshere told The Guardian. “It had been boiling up for a while. Everybody knew I had a year left on my deal and had been out on loan, got injured and wasn’t really in his plans. He just said: ‘At the moment we are not going to be offering you a contract so, if you can get one somewhere else, you can go.’”

Wilshere said that he looked around but ultimately wanted to win his place back in the Arsenal first team, and he did so by November, after mainly playing in the Carabao Cup and UEFA Europa League through the first three months of the season.

This week, Wilshere earned a recall to the England National Team for the first time since the Three Lions’ disastrous defeat in Euro 2016 to Iceland and he’s played 31 appearances this season in all competitions, the most since the 2013-2014 season, showcasing a new-found fitness level.

That being said, Wilshere hasn’t found the form for Arsenal that earned him plaudits in the past from Xavi Hernandez. Wilshere looked off the pace in Arsenal defeats to Tottenham, Ostersunds and Manchester City in February, failing to make an impact in his central midfield role.

Wilshere has three months left on his contract, and while he said it wouldn’t be a distraction, the longer his future is unresolved, surely it will be in the back of his mind.

We had a sneak-peak in 2016-2017 with Wilshere playing on-loan at Bournemouth. Perhaps next season we’ll see Wilshere playing away from the Arsenal colors again. This time, on a permanent basis, unless Wenger changes his mind.