Kyle Walker

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Goodbye, quadruple! Wigan bounce 10-man City from FA Cup

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Manchester City’s quest for the historic quadruple is over after Pep Guardiola‘s 10-man side was shocked by League One side Wigan Athletic in the fifth round of the FA Cup at the DW Stadium on Monday.

[ MORE: Money from Wembley replay “will support Rochdale for 2 or 3 years” ]

Will Grigg scored the game’s only goal, a late winner after the home side had been thoroughly outplayed and out-possessed for 78 minutes. With 45 places currently standing between them in the English football pyramid — and Man City garnering “best of all time” consideration — “upset” doesn’t even begin to describe Monday’s result.

On the other hand, City represent the third Premier League side knocked out of this season’s FA Cup at the hands of Wigan: Bournemouth, in the third round; followed by West Ham United, in the fourth.

City were reduced to 10 men during first-half stoppage time, when Fabian Delph went flying in on Max Power as the two contested a 50-50 ball inside Wigan’s defensive third. Referee Anthony Taylor initially withdrew his yellow card from his pocket, but protests from the aggrieved party appeared to change Taylor’s mind, and Delph was off.

Prior to Deplh’s dismissal, Wigan had done well  enoughto hold their own against the runaway PL leaders. The Latics had a pair of half-chances, most notably through Grigg in the 12th minute, that could have easily gone their way. Much of the play, though, as is to be expected, was controlled by City (first-half possession: 82 percent), though Guardiola’s men were unable to break through before going a man down.

Still, the share of possession remain unchanged throughout the entirety of the second half, as City patiently probed and used possession as their best means of defense… until the 79th minute arrived.

[ MORE: Man Utd draw Brighton in FA Cup QF; Chelsea get Leicester ]

The ball was played back to Kyle Walker, into space; rather than receiving the ball at first opportunity, Walker let it run on as he prepared to play it back to Claudio Bravo; Grigg saw his opening and pounced quickly; his first touch used his body to shield Walker from the ball, and his second set up the shot; Grigg went for the far post, curling the ball around Bravo and nestling it just inside the post.

Wigan will now host another PL side, Southampton, in the quarterfinals.

WATCH: Sterling misses all-time sitter; Man City’s Pep, Kompany react

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Sometimes the photo tells the story, yes?

Mistakes happen, but sometimes they come from your best player and are really, truly ugly.

[ RECAP: Burnley 1-1 Man City ]

Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling had a chance to bury hosts Burnley in the 71st minute of what would wind up a 1-1 draw at Turf Moor on Sunday.

City had been knocking on the door of an insurance goal for some time, and Kyle Walker sent a medium-hit low cross across the face of Burnley keeper Nick Pope.

All Sterling had to do was place a semi-confident foot on the ball.

He didn’t, and Burnley scored about 10 minutes later to earn a quality point against the champions elect.

Both manager Pep Guardiola and captain Vincent Kompany were asked about Sterling’s miss on the NBCSN broadcast.

“He’s been incredible for us,” Kompany said, after laughing. “He’s scored more goals last minute goals than anyone in this league but today it didn’t quite happen. But again I give top marks to everyone for effort.”

“It’s football, sometimes things happen,” Guardiola said. “Next game he’s going to score.”

Burnley 1-1 Man City: Clarets snatch late point

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  • Man City extend lead atop the table to 16 points
  • Burnley just fourth team to take points off City this season
  • Clarets without a win in nine PL games

Burnley battled to a 1-1 draw against Premier League leaders Manchester City at Turf Moor on Saturday, with the Clarets making the most of City’s wasteful finishing.

City took the lead in the first half via a stunner from Danilo, but Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s late equalizer grabbed a point for Burnley.

With the win City briefly extend their leat atop the table to 16 points, while Burnley stay in seventh place.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]  

City dominated early on with Vincent Kompany going close at the back post, then Ben Mee clearing expertly under pressure at the back post.

The opening goal of the game arrived via a stunner from Danilo as the Brazilian full back curled home a beauty from outside the box following a short corner to make it 1-0.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Burnley responded well to going behind as Mee was found unmarked 12-yards out and volleyed at goal but Ederson saved well.

Mee also had an effort at the back post he couldn’t bundle home, but City looked dangerous on the break as De Bruyne forced a good save from Nick Pope.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

City pressed relentlessly for the second goal at the start of the second half with Sergio Aguero denied by Matt Lowton‘s block and going close from several short corner kick routines. A beautiful counter from City then saw Aguero tee up Sterling but under pressure he put his shot over.

Burnley hung in their valiantly and Mee had another chance from a set piece situation but couldn’t get enough on his header.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Sterling had a glorious chance to wrap up all three points for City as KDB’s killer ball found Kyle Walker who crossed to the back post and unmarked and three yards out, Sterling somehow put the ball wide.

City were punished for that miss as Burnley finished the game strong. First a flowing move saw Aaron Lennon played in and on his first start for the club he smashed a shot on goal which looked destined for the net but Ederson pushed his effort onto the post.

Burnley kept pushing forward and were rewarded late on as Lowton’s long ball forward found Gudmundsson at the back post to slot home and seal a point for the home side.

Financial flex: Man City sign Laporte for $80 million

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Let’s pretend, for a brief moment, that Manchester City’s current does indeed have a weakness — what would you, the layman to Pep Guardiola‘s genius, say that weakness is?

[ MORE: Tuesday’s transfer rumor roundupMonday | Sunday ]

You might contend that they are were a bit thin defensively, especially given captain Vincent Kompany‘s eternal struggle with injuries. You might even be have been right until.

Enter: Man City’s newest $80-million signing — 23-year-old center back Aymeric Laporte, from Athletic Bilbao. The 6-foot-3, yet-to-be-capped Frenchman was officially announced as the club’s first January signing on Tuesday.

All snark about City’s financial flexing aside, with four trophies still in play this season, a reliable third center back was sorely needed during the January window. Laporte should immediately compete with Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones for starter’s minutes.

[ MORE: Arsenal agree Aubameyang fee; Giroud, Batshuayi latest ]

Following their capture of Laporte, City have now signed four of the five most expensive defenders in the history of transfers: Laporte ($80 million), Benjamin Mendy ($70 million), Kyle Walker ($70 million), Stones ($68 million), Eliaquim Mangala ($65 million). Only Virgil Van Dijk, Liverpool’s $100-million man, got away.

Laporte set to join Man City for $80 million

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Aymeric Laporte is heading to Manchester City.

On Monday Athletic Bilbao confirmed that the 23-year-old center back had triggered his own release clause of $80 million and was leaving the club. Club officials from Man City have been in Spain talking to the Bilbao academy product in recent days.

[ MORE: Latest transfer news ] 

The defender posted a farewell message to Athletic’s fans via the official club channels and it is believed the deal will be announced by Man City very soon.

As is protocol in Spain’s La Liga, the release fee is paid by the player to the league which then releases him from his contract and free to sign for another club. So, basically, City have paid Laporte’s release fee.

Here’s more from Bilbao in a statement on their website.

“Today, 29th January 2018, the Liga Profesional de Fútbol (LPF) has certified to Athletic Club that the player Aymeric Laporte has met the requirements demanded in the applicable legislation for the valid unilateral resolution of the employment contract that bound him to our Club. Said certification indicates that the player has unilaterally shown his will to terminate the contractual relationship that bound him since 2009-2010 season and that the amount of compensation established in the contract has been deposited. Athletic Club would like to thank the player for his dedication during the time he has been with the club.”

No confirmation has arrived from City on the deal as of yet, but here’s what the French international defender has had to say.

Laporte will become the second most expensive defender in history behind Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk who arrived from Southampton at the start of the January window for a huge $100 million.

In fact City have now bought four of the six most expensive defenders in history with Laporte joining Kyle Walker, John Stones and Bennjamin Mendy in the top six.

The tough-tackling, speedy center back is composed on the ball and it seems like he will be a perfect long-term replacement for Vincent Kompany.

Center back is the one area where City have struggled in recent years as Kompany’s injuries have piled up, Stones has taken a while to develop and the likes of Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala have struggled at times, even though the former has stepped up this season and was recently handed a new deal.

Guardiola’s machine has a new defensive cog as one of the most sought after defenders in the world will shortly become a City player.