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Men in Blazers podcast: Man City-Liverpool review, USMNT preview

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Rog and Davo recap the Top Four battle between Manchester City and Liverpool, ask (again) whether it’s time for Arsene to go, and break down two of the most important USMNT games in modern history.

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Trio of Premier League clubs eye USMNT’s Bobby Wood

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Bobby Wood may not be fit enough to feature for the USMNT over the current international break, but the Hamburg forward still has plenty of eyes on him.

[ MORE: Cameron eager for return ]

According to Sport Bild in Germany, Wood, 24, is being monitored by Premier League trio Liverpool, Leicester City and Everton as he continues to impress in the Bundesliga.

The Hawaiian born striker has scored nine goals in 23 appearances for the Bundesliga strugglers this season after joining them last summer following impressive displays at the Copa America Centenario for the U.S.

Over the past 12 months Wood has become an integral part of the USMNT — eight goals in 29 appearances for the U.S. tells only half the story as his mobility and link-up play continues to impress — and his absence for Bruce Arena’s side will be felt in their crucial World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Panama in the next week.

If any of these potential moves to the Premier League come off, which would be the best fit for Wood?

At Liverpool he may only be a bit-part player but if Daniel Sturridge leaves this summer he could be worked into the rotation, especially considering the fact that Jurgen Klopp‘s side will have European action to contend with next season. So, definitely the most high-profile option of the three clubs said to be interested but perhaps not the best option for Wood with Divock Origi, Danny Ings and Roberto Firmino also around.

It would be a very similar situation for Wood at Everton, but it all depends on the future of Romelu Lukaku.

If Wood signed for the Toffees he would also continue the long history of having American players at Goodison Park and with only on-loan striker Enner Valencia and youngster Ademola Lookman currently challenging Lukaku for a starting spot, Ronald Koeman would like some extra help up top especially with European qualification close to being secured for next season. Surely Wood could help the Toffees out but if Lukaku stays then there wouldn’t be many chances for the U.S. striker to feature.

Leicester would be an intriguing option for Wood. Basically, he’s an American Jamie Vardy. He chases down defenders, usually feeds off scraps and can play up top on his own or out wide. Plus, he is a pretty lethal finisher when given chances in the box. Maybe Wood would be another gem the Foxes have picked up from the European continent?

Whatever happens, the American striker is certainly making a name for himself.

Liverpool legend Ronnie Moran dies

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Former Liverpool captain and coach Ronnie Moran has died at the age of 83.

His son confirmed his death on Wednesday, stating Moran passed away after losing his battle with a “short illness” this morning.

Moran played for Liverpool from 1952 to 1966 and made 379 appearances for the Reds. He then went on to work for the Merseyside club as a coach from 1966 until 1998 when he retired.

The local lad won an incredible 44 trophies during his time at Anfield — seven as a player — making him a Liverpool legend as he was also 11 league titles and four European cups as a coach and worked under the likes of Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley and Graeme Souness.

Tributes have poured in for Moran as he had a huge say on the careers of many of Liverpool’s greatest players.


The reason being captain of Liverpool Football Club is such a huge honour is because legendary figures like Ronnie Moran held it before I did. I wasn't lucky enough to work with Ronnie but I had the great fortune of being in his company on the occasions when he came to Melwood to walk around the training pitch and although we all regarded him as a true great, he was as humble and down to earth as anyone you could ever come across. I know I speak for all of the current players when I say that we are all deeply saddened by Ronnie's passing and the greatest tribute we can pay to him is to give everything we've got for Liverpool Football Club just as he did each and every single day during the 49 years he spent here. YNWA

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FA charges Man City for incident after Liverpool awarded PK

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The FA has charged Manchester City for its protestations following a penalty awarded to Liverpool on Sunday.

[ MORE: Top relegation battles ahead ]

Referee Michael Oliver pointed to the spot when Roberto Firmino hit the deck following a high boot from Man City’s Gael Clichy.

Here’s what JPW said after the call in his “3 things” post for PST:

Then, at the start of the second when Oliver should’ve waved away a penalty kick call he awarded it. Gael Clichy slipped and then launched into a challenge on Roberto Firmino. Yes, it was a clumsy tackle but Clichy got the ball first. Milner stepped up to score the PK and put Liverpool ahead and perhaps Oliver got out of jail because City equalized and both managers will be fairly happy with the point.

City was not amused by the call, and you can see what earned them the charge in the above video. The flashpoint was one of several penalty shouts in the contest, which ended 1-1.

Pep Guardiola gushed about Manchester City’s bounce back against Liverpool

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It had little to no effect on the makeup of the Premier League table, but it had a major impact on one of the game’s most prominent managers.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, with a massive smile on his face, labeled the 1-1 draw with Liverpool “one of the most special days of my life” and gushed about his team’s ability to bounce back from its elimination from the Champions League at the hands of Monaco.

“Normally, when two teams want to win, that happens in football and it’s fantastic,” Guardiola said after the game. “When one team just wants to make travels and just defend, football is complicated. So congratulations to Liverpool, and of course Manchester City. It’s one of the days I am proud the most.”

The match featured gobs of attacking play, with each team missing big opportunities to build the scoreline. Guardiola was all smiles after the match, and joked around with both the referees and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp in the aftermath at the Etihad.

[ MORE: Game recap from 1-1 draw between Manchester City and Liverpool ]

Guardiola praised his team’s ability to return from such a painful result midweek and put on a positive display, rambling in run-on sentences as he tried to piece together in words how happy he was with his squad. “It’s one of the most special days of my life because the defeat on Wednesday was so tough for us, and to recover how we recovered today with this mentality to play and attack and attack…we could not attack more often because Liverpool is a top top team, and how they run in the last minutes when they rest all week and we were there just three or four days [ago] resignation for qualify for the quarterfinals [of the Champions League].”

“Of course the battle to qualify for the Champions League will go until the final day.”

Guardiola felt they dominated the match and claimed that Manchester City “created more, conceded few, but we do not win.” He said that the players took the Champions League elimination hard, but responded so well. “The players, in the training session they didn’t speak, and for them to react the way they reacted against Liverpool means a lot to me.”

“There are a lot of players here with problems, and yesterday and today they said to doctors, ‘I want to play I want to play.’ Nobody dismissed, nobody said ‘I am a little tired I do not want to play’ when normally that’s happened. All of them they want to play, and they showed it today.”