Not yet: Pogba leads Manchester Derby comeback

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  • Kompany heads City in front
  • Gundogan coolly makes it 2-0
  • WATCH: City’s goals
  • Pogba’s quickfire brace levels it
  • Alexis Sanchez involved in 3 goals
  • City fails to clinch title

It took 16 minutes for Manchester City’s day to go from celebrating the Premier League title to losing to a rival for the second time in a week.

Paul Pogba scored twice in 100 second-half seconds to put Manchester City’s title celebrations on pause, and Chris Smalling made amends for an early error to lead United to a 3-2 win over City on Saturday at the Etihad Stadium.

Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan scored to stake City to a halftime lead. City can next win the league with a win at Tottenham next week accompanied by a Man Utd loss versus West Brom.

United is now 13 points behind City and four points ahead of Liverpool and Tottenham.

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The home support at the Etihad was screaming for a penalty when a sliding Antonio Valencia saw a cross bound off his hand.

United earned a corner kick when Ederson played short to Vincent Kompany out of the box. The Belgian’s pass was picked off by a surging Red Devils press.

Paul Pogba had a few timely interventions in the center of the park, though one was unaided by his teammates and led to David Silva lashing over the goal.

David De Gea made a right leg stop when Bernardo Silva got a tame in-tight effort on goal.

The poetics of Kompany getting on the board in the 25th minute aren’t lost on the blue side of Manchester, and he thundered by Chris Smalling to smoke a header beyond De Gea despite a strong tug on the back of shirt.

An ethereal turn from Gundogan put the title on their lips, as he finished a 1-2 by slipping a goal inside the far post.

Raheem Sterling skied two good chances to make it 3-0 over the goal.

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It wouldn’t have been a Manchester Derby with a drama-free second half, but Pogba made sure it was chock full of fun.

First, the United midfielder ran into the box to collect an Ander Herrera chest pass of Alexis Sanchez’s cross, and it was less than four minutes later that he deftly headed Sanchez’s cross directly to make it 2-2.

Jesse Lingard dragged a shot wide in the 60th minute as United looked to complete the comeback, but the Red Devils found their 3-2 lead through Smalling when the defender raced onto Sanchez’s free kick in the 70th minute.

Now down to a rival for the second time in a week, Guardiola introduced Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus. Then Sergio Aguero, who nearly won a penalty when Young skittered into his ankle inside the box after knocking the ball away from the Argentine.

The game descended into a foul and banter festival for about five minutes, as Martin Atkinson handed out yellow cards to Fernandinho, Sergio Aguero, and Paul Pogba.

De Gea didn’t have his A-plus game, but made an A-plus save on Aguero in the 89th minute. And he made an outstanding save when Sterling plunked a ball off the post and back toward the goal line on the ensuing corner kick.

Sweden not keen on Zlatan’s World Cup return

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With Zlatan Ibrahimovic already making his mark in Major League Soccer with three goals in his first three games for the LA Galaxy, the veteran Swedish forward is eyeing a return to international duty for the 2018 World Cup this summer.

“A World Cup without me wouldn’t be a World Cup” said Ibrahimovic, 36, recently as he also confirmed during an appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel Show that he will be going to Russia but didn’t give specific details if it was as a spectator or a player.

Well, perhaps we won’t be having a World Cup because it appears not all of his former teammates would be on board if Zlatan took a U-turn on his decision to retire from the Swedish national team after EURO 2016.

Back-up goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson had the following to say to outlet Main Oppose.

“We managed to qualify and go through to the World Cup without him, and I think we can manage to play well at the World Cup without him,” Johnsson said. “But it’s up to the coach to see if he wants to bring him – and I am sure if he does join, he will play well. As a team, we play as a collective, all the players together. With Zlatan, as a person, as a player he’s an individualist, and the play goes around him. Instead, now, we play more the team all together.”

Boom.

Zlatan has said multiple times that he is thinking about a return to the Swedish national team squad and with World Cup squads set to be announced in around about one month from now, surely Sweden’s head coach Janne Andersson must now if he will call up Zlatan.

The positives for Sweden are obvious. The can bring in their all-time leading goalscorer to jump off the bench late in tight games to try and get them out of Group F where they face Germany, Mexico and South Korea.

The negatives are centered around what Johnsson said, with Sweden looking like a tighter unit and all pulling together to get to the World Cup after missing out on qualifying for the last two in 2010 and 2014.

Zlatan has actually only played in two World Cups, in 2002 and 2006, scoring just once, and if he does go to the World Cup he will be taking the spot of one of Marcus Berg, John Guidetti, Ola Toivonen and Issac Thelin in the squad. Berg scored eight in qualifying, while Emil Forsberg scored four and the Swedish attacking unit seems to flow a lot better from Zlatan.

Look, Zlatan will probably go to the World Cup. But it appears not everyone will be happy with this decision.

PHOTOS: Tottenham’s stunning new stadium

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Tottenham Hotspur’s new $1 billion stadium is taking shape and it is looking magnificent.

The plan is for Spurs’ new home at White Hart Lane to be ready for the 2018/19 season, with reports stating that Mauricio Pochettino‘s men will play their first couple of games away from home next season in order to squeeze in a few more weeks for construction.

Spurs’ newΒ  home will seat 62,062 fans and will be the second-largest stadium in the Premier League behind Manchester United’s Old Trafford.

Take a look at the photos below in the spring sunshine in London, with the largest single-tier stand in Europe looking sublime as the roof panels are going on and the stadium is really starting to come to life.


Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso handed three-game ban

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After being named in the PFA’s Premier League Team of the Year on Wednesday, it has been a mixed few days for Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso as he has received a three-game ban with immediate effect after being found guilty of violent conduct.

Alsono, 27, stamped on Shane Long‘s calf in Chelsea’s 3-2 comeback win at Southampton last time out but referee Mike Dean missed the incident completely.

Since then Alonso has received a retrospective charge from the English FA and although the Spanish left back appealed the decision and the length of the ban, it was upheld and he will now miss Chelsea’s next three games.

Alonso will miss the clash at Burnley on Thursday, the FA Cup semifinal against Southampton on Sunday and the trip to Swansea City on Apr. 28.

Who will come in for Alonso?

Antonio Conte has already stated that Emerson Palmeri, a January arrival from AS Roma, will start at Burnley on Thursday and if the Brazilian full back impresses then it is highly likely he will stand in for Alonso in the big FA Cup semifinal on Sunday against Saints. Other options would be Davide Zappacosta playing as the left wing-back or even Cesar Azpilicueta out there.

As for Saints, they feel hard done by after Dean didn’t spot Alonso’s foul even though he was standing yards away from the incident and looking straight at it. At the time of the incident they led 1-0 going into half time and their manager Mark Hughes believes it would have made a big difference as Alonso’s cross set up Olivier Giroud to make it 2-1 and the Spaniard made a big difference from left back in the incredible 3-2 comeback victory. Still, at least Saints won’t have to play against Alonso on Sunday with revenge in the air…

PHOTOS: Liverpool unveil new 2018/19 kit

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Liverpool have gone for a “pepper red” kit for the 2017/18 season.

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On Thursday the Anfield club released their new jersey for next season with New Balance once again their kit suppliers.

The key features of this new kit is a small collar, with a fresh white and red look throughout.

Check out the images and video below.