Mame Diouf

Man City 7-2 Stoke City: De Bruyne leads rout

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  • Gabriel Jesus scores twice
  • De Bruyne provides two assists
  • Man City have scored 24 goals in last five PL games

Manchester City obliterated Stoke City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday with Kevin De Bruyne the chief architect in humiliating the Potters.

Gabriel Jesus scored twice, plus goals from Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, David Silva, Fernandinho and Bernardo Silva did the damage. City had led 3-0 but Stoke fought back through a Mame Diouf goal and a Kyle Walker own goal to make it 3-2 early in the second half but that only angered Man City.

Pep Guardiola‘s men are top of the Premier League with seven wins from eight and are in scintillating, sensational form. City have scored 29 goals in their opening eight games of the season. That’s the first time that has happened in the top-flight since Everton in 1894.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]  

City dominated early on Leroy Sane should have put them 1-0 up. Kevin de Bruyne’s cross found the German winger but he smashed over.

Soon after City did led as Kyle Walker intercepted a pass from Darren Fletcher and he played a one-two with de Bruyne before cutting the ball back for Jesus to tap home. 1-0.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Soon after it was 2-0 as Sane and KDB combined with the latter knocking through a wonderful reverse ball and Sane found Sterling to tap home. 2-0 to City as they totally dominated.

It was soon 3-0 as another flowing move saw Jesus play in Sane who crossed the ball to Sterling and his pass found Silva who finished superbly.

Before the break Stoke did pull one back as Diouf and Jese combined with the former seeing his shot deflected over Ederson and in. There was time for Jack Butland to make a fine stop from de Bruyne as City continued to pour forward.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Stoke made it 3-2 two minutes into the second half as 18-year-old Stoke debutant Tom Edwards sent in a cross from the right and Diouf’s header deflected off Walker and in. The shock comeback was well and truly on.

De Bruyne almost made it 4-2 moments later but Butland saved well, but the Belgian was on hand soon after as his cross from the right was tapped home by Jesus. 4-2 to Man City.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

The goals kept on coming for Man City as Fernandino smashed home a stunning strike to make it 5-2 and then KDB slotted a magnificent through ball for Sane to score and make it 6-2.

U.S. national team defender Geoff Cameron went close to pulling another one back for Stoke but hit his shot into the side-netting as City saw out yet another convincing win in style with substitute Silva slotting home to make it 7-2.

Stoke City 2-1 Southampton: Crouch haunts Saints again

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  • Stoke have won four of their last six matches against Saints
  • With 15 matches still to play Southampton have lost 12 PL games in 2017 – as many as they lost in 2016
  • Forster saved Berahino’s PK with Stoke 1-0 up

Stoke City beat Southampton 2-1 as Peter Crouch scored a late winner against his former club, the second time in a row he’s been the hero against Saints.

The Potters led 1-0 at half time after Mame Diouf‘s opener but Saido Berahino had a penalty kick saved by Fraser Forster as Saints hung in there.

Southampton thought they’d nabbed a point late on as Maya Yoshida popped up with a fine finish but Crouch struck with a scrappy late goal to seal the victory.

With the win Stoke move on to eight points, the same total as Southampton.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]  

Stoke started brightly as Eric Choupo-Moting’s shot was deflected over by Virgil Van Dijk, back at the heart of Southampton’s defense for his first start since Jan. 22.

The Potters continued to do most of the pressing in the first half as Xherdan Shaqiri‘s shot was saved well by Forster and then Diouf’s shot was blocked superbly by Mario Lemina.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Nathan Redmond prodded an effort wide for Southampton after racing free and at the other end Stoke had another good chance as Joe Allen burst into the box but his cutback was cleared by Ryan Bertrand.

Choupo-Moting again forced Forster into a fine save as Stoke continued to create the better chances and finally that paid off. Diouf beta Mario Lemina and headed home the opener from Shaqiri’s superb corner and it should have been 2-0 soon after.

Van Dijk clumsily hauled down Berahino in the box but the striker had his spot kick saved by Forster and Saints only trailed 1-0 at half time.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

In the second half the visitors pushed hard for the equalizer as Cedric Soares’ cross was nodded over by Long from a good position.

Saints sent on Sofiane Boufal and Manolo Gabbiadini late on in search of a winner as Mauricio Pellegrino‘s men pinned Stoke back.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

The equalizer did arrive and it came from an unlikely source: Japanese defender Yoshida. He reacted first to Long’s flick on and the center back scored acrobatically to make it 1-1 with 15 minutes left on the clock.

Crouch then popped up to score a scrappy winner as Cedric slipped and Choupo-Moting’s shot was only half blocked by Forster before their substitute pounced to play the hero.

Manolo Gabbiadini had two chances late on but couldn’t take them as Saints suffered their third defeat of the season.

Winding paths: Ronaldo, Rooney match history on same day

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Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo have accomplished much, both together and apart.

There’s something about reading their names together that still calls forth dominant memories of red blurs dancing across the pitch at Old Trafford.

[ WATCH: Rooney’s record-tying goal ]

Ronaldo arrived at Manchester United in Summer 2004, and Rooney followed one year later. By the time they hit their prime, the Red Devils not only reclaimed the Premier League crown but won three-straight titles. There was a League Cup, a Club World Cup, and a Champions League title as well.

This is Ronaldo’s seventh year at Real Madrid, which seems almost forever ago, like we should be watching their video in black-and-white.

Rooney has further etched his name in United history, matching Bobby Charlton with his 249th goal for the club on Saturday.

[ MORE: Analyzing the USMNT roster ]

This on the same day Ronaldo scored in helping Real Madrid to a 39th-straight match without a loss, one shy of Barcelona. He’s played in 28 of those, and in an odd twist of fate, he’s unbeaten in 11 more with Portugal. He, too, is on 39.

Rooney. Ronaldo. Charlton. Barcelona. Manchester United. Real Madrid.

That’s quite a list.

Since parting, both players have done alright for themselves. Ronaldo has three of his four Ballons d’Or, a league title, two Champions League crowns, and this summer’s EURO win. Rooney’s accolades are as strong as one of the world’s greatest players of all-time, but still impressive: two PL wins, three England Player of the Year awards, and the most goals in England history.

At times, it begs the thought of what would’ve happened should they have stayed together? It’s impossible to replace Ronaldo, but who knows how many fewer miles would be on Rooney’s engine had he shared the burden with an Ronaldo or an adequate replacement.

United brought in Antonio Valencia, Michael Owen, Gabriel Obertan, and Mame Diouf that window. The next year, it was Bebe and Chicharito. In 2011-12, United added Ashley Young. United only added one more PL title, and managed a UCL final loss. What could’ve been.

Rooney’s going to pass Charlton soon. Real has a tough test from a wounded Sevilla in the second leg of their Copa del Rey matchup.

But it feels fitting to recall both Ronaldo and Rooney on a day where both continued their legacy-printing careers.

Follow @NicholasMendola

Chelsea 4-2 Stoke City: Blues win 13-straight to equal PL record

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  • Willian scores twice
  • Stoke level things twice
  • Chelsea equal PL record of 13-straight wins

Chelsea won their 13th game in a row in the Premier League on Saturday but it was hard work for Antonio Conte‘s side.

The Blues won 4-2 as two goals from Willian and a goal each from Diego Costa and Gary Cahill did the damage but Stoke had twice equalized through Martins Indi and Peter Crouch in the second half.

The win now means Chelsea have equaled Arsenal’s record of most consecutive wins in a single season and they can set a new record by beating Tottenham Hotspur on Jan. 4. The Blues are top on 47 points, while Stoke remain on 22 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Chelsea started slowly and their first big chance of the game arrived when Costa was found at the back post and he took one touch and rifled a shot on goal which Lee Grant saved and then a deflection saw the ball come straight back to him.

Gary Cahill’s header then forced Grant into a save as Stoke continued to frustrate Chelsea with the half time whistle fast approaching. Charlie Adam flicked a header just wide as Stoke’s high-press made Chelsea uncomfortable.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings

Grant then denied both Costa and Eden Hazard with a brilliant double save but from the resulting corner Chelsea took the lead. Cesc Fabregas’ corner was headed home powerfully by Cahill as he beat Ryan Shawcross to the ball.

1-0 to the Blues at half time.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

57 seconds into the second half Stoke were level as a free kick was nodded down by Peter Crouch and the Dutch center back prodded home to make it 1-1. Game on.

Willian then drilled a shot just wide as Chelsea tried to get going and the Brazilian winger soon put the back ahead.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

Victor Moses dazzled his marker and played the ball into Hazard and he teed up Willian to drill home via a slight deflection. 2-1 to Chelsea. Stoke leveled things up with 26 minutes to go as Bojan and Mame Diouf combined to see the latter cross and Crouch finished. 2-2.

A minute later Chelsea were back ahead as Fabregas set up Willian and he sent a high shot into the net. 3-2 to Chelsea after a pulsating few minutes.

The game calmed down in the closing stages but Stoke continued to threaten and Costa should’ve done better when clean through on the break. However, Costa did finish things off as he shrugged of Martins Indi and rifled home an unstoppable shot to make it 4-2.

Chelsea looks unstoppable as Conte’s juggernaut continues to win.

Vardy suspension appeal denied by FA; will serve three match ban

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Despite their best attempt, Leicester’s star striker will have to serve his suspension.

[ MORE: Lampard believes Chelsea will win Premier League title ]

The FA announced on Tuesday that Jamie Vardy‘s three-match ban will be served immediately after the Foxes striker was sent off against Stoke City.

[ MORE: Mane strike gives Liverpool edge over Everton ]

Vardy, 29, was shown a red card in the first half after a rash, two-footed challenge caught Stoke forward Mame Diouf.

Leicester’s next three fixtures include home matches against Everton and West Ham before the Foxes hit the road to take on Middlesbrough. The Foxes currently sit 15th in the Premier League table, three points above the relegation zone.