Gabriel Jesus

AP Photo/Rui Vieira

Man City loses, advanced to UCL quarters on aggregate

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  • City advances to 2nd quarterfinal in 3 years
  • First home loss since Dec. 2016
  • Jesus scores lone City goal

Mohamed Elyounoussi and Michael Lang scored for Basel, who became just the fourth team to beat Man City over 90 minutes this season, but the Premier League hosts advanced to the UEFA Champions League Final with a 5-2 win on aggregate at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

Gabriel Jesus scored Man City’s lone goal in the 2-1 loss, as City goes onto the UCL quarterfinals after a year away from the final eight.

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City handed a start to 17-year-old Phil Foden and brought in 18-year-old Brahim Diaz after 66 minutes

Jesus may’ve thought Bernardo Silva‘s pass would find him near the back post, but it’s unlikely he expected Man City’s opener to come through not one but two defenders’ legs.

Leroy Sane drove across the heart of the Basel defensive third to find Silva, and the Portuguese playmaker sent a cross back post that Jesus tapped in for 1-0.

Basel leveled the leg at one through the young Norwegian-Moroccan attacker Elyounoussi, a name you’ll likely hear in the transfer rumor mill soon.

Elyounoussi took the ball in the center of the pitch and rifled his shot past Claudio Bravo.

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WATCH: Silva’s pass for Man City goal megs two defenders

AP Photo/Rui Vieira
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Artwork, and it needed two teams.

Manchester City opened up the business end of its pretty much completed tie with Basel in the UEFA Champions League’s Round of 16 with an aesthetically-pleasing goal.

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Leroy Sane drove across the heart of the Basel defensive third to find Bernardo Silva, and the Portuguese playmaker sent a cross back post that Gabriel Jesus tapped in for 1-0 (Basel would equalize through Mohamed Elyounoussi to make the aggregate score 5-1).

Oh, by the way, that pass megged two Basel defenders like twins in a stylized movie (for Basel supporters, perhaps Kubrick’s Grady Twins?).

Boost for Man City: Jesus back in first team training

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Pep Guardiola reported some good news on Friday as Gabriel Jesus is set to take part in first-team training as he makes his way back from injury.

Jesus picked up a knee ligament injury on New Year’s Eve against Crystal Palace and has missed Manchester City’s last 11 matches. But marksman Sergio Aguero has more than held down the fort, and now Guardiola has a selection headache as Jesus tries to get fit for the Carabao Cup final on February 25. Man City face Wigan in the FA Cup this Monday, though it’s not clear if Jesus will be fit in time for that.

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Without Jesus in the lineup, Aguero has been in sparkling form, scoring 14 goals in 11 matches in all competitions, including a pair of hat-tricks, one ending with four goals scored. While Jesus had a good scoring record early in the season, it would be hard to see Guardiola replacing Aguero after his goal-scoring exploits the last two months, which is good for a team in the running for four titles this season.

Now Jesus will have more time to recover and find his form in moments off the bench, and he won’t have the pressure to score, with Aguero and co. shouldering the load.

Salah fit for Liverpool; Klopp had to sell Coutinho

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Mohamed Salah will be available for Liverpool against Manchester City in their massive clash at Anfield on Sunday (Watch live, 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via

Salah, who leads Liverpool in scoring with 17 Premier League goals so far this season, missed Liverpool’s two games, victories against Burnley in the PL and Everton in the FA Cup, with a groin injury but the Egyptian winger is ready to be unleashed against league leaders Man City.

Speaking in his press conference ahead of this monster clash against unbeaten Man City, Jurgen Klopp revealed that Salah is back.

“If nothing happens in this moment, Mo is back,” Klopp said. “He is training completely normal. That is of course very important for us.”

As for Philippe Coutinho, who departed Liverpool for Barcelona in a $197 million deal last weekend, Klopp admitted that he could do nothing to stop the Brazilian playmaker departing Anfield and “it was 100 percent clear there was no chance I could use him in second half of the season.”

More from Klopp, here:

“There was no other option. If there is somebody maybe who should be angry, massively disappointed, in this case, then it could be the manager of the club the player is leaving,” Klopp said. “But I am not [angry], because I know we tried absolutely everything to convince Phil to stay here and carry on going together with us. It was his dream [to move to Barca] and it is the truth when I say he left Liverpool for only one club and we really had to accept that. The club was fighting until the last second and tried everything. It would have been very difficult if we had said, which we could have done, ‘look, here is your contract and you have to stay here’, and to use him in the second half of the season.”

So, great news for Klopp that Salah will be fit to face Man City but the comments surrounding Coutinho suggest that the magician was ready to not play for Liverpool in the second half of the season.

Time will tell if Klopp made the right call to sanction the sale of Coutinho, but given the huge amount of money they received from him and $100 million of that already spent on Virgil Van Dijk to significantly improve their defense, plus the likes of Adam Lallana and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ready to step into the No.10 role, it seemed like the right time to cash in on Coutinho.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Barcelona preparing fresh bid for Coutinho, and more

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Liverpool FC appears to be preparing to lose one of its biggest stars in the coming months.

According to a report from Sky Sports News’ Guillem Balague, Barcelona is preparing to launch another bid for Philippe Coutinho worth nearly $180 million, and the report states that Liverpool is now more likely to accept an offer, whether in January or after the World Cup this summer.

The Reds rejected a trio of offers for Coutinho over the summer despite the Brazilian lodging a transfer request with the front office. The last bid was reportedly worth around $150 million, which before Neymar’s transfer to Paris Saint-Germain would have been a record transfer bid.

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It would be very surprising to see Liverpool offload Coutinho now, with the team still in the race for a UEFA Champions League position for next year as well as this year’s Champions League knockout stage. At the same time, Coutinho would have to adjust to a new club and new setting just six months before a World Cup, which may keep him in Liverpool until then.

The report states that Coutinho signing a new contract at Liverpool is the least likely outcome, a very disappointing note for the Merseyside club.

Here’s some more transfer rumors around the Premier League and Europe: