Manchester City 2-0 West Ham United: City win Premier League title

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Manchester City were crowned Premier League champions on Sunday, as they beat West Ham 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium.

Throughout the PL campaign City have led the way for just 14 days of the season, yet when it mattered most the Citizens finished top of the pile to lift the PL trophy.

Samir Nasri opened the scoring just five minutes before the break as the Frenchman worked some space on the edge of the box and smashed a low effort in to ease the tension around the Etihad. Just after half time the win was sealed as captain Vincent Kompany hammered home from close range and City’s fans enjoyed the rest of the match.

MORE: Final Premier League standings

City clinched their second PL title in three seasons in comfortable fashion as West Ham hardly tested the Citizens. Manuel Pellegrini has delivered the PL title in his first season in charge of City, as the Blue half of Manchester will party way into the night.

At the final whistle City’s players sunk to their knees in celebration, as fans flooded the pitch, after winning five of their last six games to put them top of the standings on 86 points after scoring 102 goals in their 38 PL games this season. Over the course of the season, City showed they were the PL’s best.

VIDEO: Manchester City’s players react to winning Premier League title

Tension was in the air at the Etihad early on as City tried to get an early goal to ease the nerves. In the 10th minute Pablo Zabaleta raced down the right wing after a neat one-two and clipped the ball to the back post to find an unmarked David Silva but the Spaniard blasted the ball way over the bar as Pellegrini had a wry smile on his face.

source: AP
City deliver second PL title in three years after a comfortable win.

West Ham continued to frustrate City as the first half played out with Yaya Toure curling an effort just passed the far post as the Hammers set up two banks of four on the edge of their own box. Midway through the half Aleksandar Kolarov rifled an effort towards the top corner but Adrian saved superbly  as City continued to press.

MORE: Man City are the 2013-14 Premier League champions

It was all City as West Ham struggled to get out of their own half and just before half time they finally took the lead. Nasri got the ball 25-yards out, jinxed inside and smashed a low effort towards the bottom corner that Adrian got a hand to but couldn’t keep out. Soon after Aguero was played in down the right and knocked the ball across to Pablo Zabaleta went in 1-0 up at the break as they were just 45 minutes from winning the title.

VIDEO: City celebrate title, as fans swarm the pitch

Within three minutes of the restart City doubled their lead as a corner caused havoc in the box and Kompany hammered home from close range. That goal sparked jubilant scenes from the home fans as ‘the Poznan’ was performed in unison as party. West Ham showed no attacking intent as City pushed forward in search of a third goal. City were trying all kinds of outrageous tricks and flicks in the party atmosphere as Toure scooped the ball to Nasri who smashed goalwards but Adrian saved.

City continued to push for a third but they stroked the ball around with ease to see out the win as the party at the Etihad was in full swing way before the final whistle had blown.

LINEUPS

Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov, Garcia, Toure (Negredo, 86′), Nasri, Silva (Milner, 76′), Aguero, Dzeko (Fernandinho, 69′)

Goals: Nasri (39′), Kompany (49′)

West Ham United: Adrian, Reid, McCartney, Nolan (Jarvis, 64′), Tomkins, Carroll (C. Cole, 72′), Taylor, Noble, O’Brien, Diame (J. Cole, 81′), Downing

Champions League preview: Spurs host Leipzig, Valencia visits Atalanta

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Two more UEFA Champions League Round of 16 ties kickoff Wednesday, including one being labeled as the biggest in a club’s existence.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

That would be Serie A side Atalanta, which hosts Valencia at 3 p.m. at Gewiss Stadium.

Atalanta had played in two consecutive Europa Leagues, but this is their first move into the Champions League. To make the knockout rounds is exceptional, and club president Antonio Percassi is fired up.

“We must be honest, this is the most important game in the history of this club,” Percassi told Sky Sport Italia. “It doesn’t seem real. It’s exciting just thinking that tomorrow we’ll be in a Champions League Round of 16. It’s wonderful for our fans too. … This is going to be a unique experience that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.”

Atalanta finished second in its group to Manchester City, and is fourth in Serie A. Valencia won its group.

There’s a Premier League side in action on Wednesday, too, as Spurs begin life without Heung-Min Son.

Jose Mourinho spun a tale about how badly Tottenham will need its fans against RB Leipzig, comparing the home-field advantage to an emergency rescue crew of sorts.

Leipzig is led by Julian Nagelsmann, who was once referred to as “Baby Mourinho” by his players.

The 32-year-old was quick to distance himself from the story.

“Tomorrow it is Leipzig against Tottenham, not Mourinho v. Baby Mourinho,” he said. “I have great respect for Mourinho. He has won lots of titles with big clubs, the Champions League twice. He has made his mark on European football at some big European clubs. I think it his 59th knockout game in the CL and it is my first so there is obviously respect there.”

Liverpool’s Robertson not a fan of Atletico Madrid theatrics

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Liverpool fullback Andy Robertson was not impressed with Atletico Madrid’s display as his side fell 1-0 in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League’s Round of 16 tie on Tuesday.

The Reds fell behind on a fourth-minute Saul Niguez goal and couldn’t get a shot on target despite 73 percent possession in Spain.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Atleti executed its plan to near-perfection, slowing restarts and taking advantage of counterattacking opportunities to assuage the constant pressure of Liverpool.

At times it was reminiscent of early-century Italian national team play, and both neutrals and Liverpool knew what they were in for once Atleti took the lead.

“We gave them the best possible start to get the fans behind them and then they can start falling over and things like that, trying to get under our skin a bit which I think we handled quite well to be honest,” Robertson told BT Sport. “We know we are better than (how they played). We put in a decent performance and we can be better than that. Luckily we have got a second leg to put it right.”

Given the performance and the reputation, you’d still fancy the Reds to “put it right” at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp thinks Atleti will feel plenty of pressure at Anfield, and he will certainly feel the officiating will be more to his liking.

Liverpool’s Klopp: ‘Our people will be ready’ for second leg at Anfield

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Jurgen Klopp didn’t have any issue with Diego Simeone’s defense-first Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie on Tuesday.

The Spanish side flummoxed Liverpool’s attack and the Reds didn’t manage a shot on target despite eight attempts and 73 percent possession at the Wanda Metropolitano.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

What Klopp didn’t appreciate was the referee’s work, though, implying that Polish official Szymon Marciniak was overwhelmed by the occasion. Marciniak has worked UCL matches for six seasons, twice overseeing quarterfinal ties.

Klopp was shown a yellow card in the second half, and the Liverpool boss felt Sadio Mane was harassed by Atleti. Klopp removed yellow-carrying Mane at halftime.

“He was targeted obviously,” Klopp said after the game. “The only thing they wanted was to make sure he got a yellow card. The score is 1-0, that’s all but you need to be really strong as a ref in this atmosphere. So many things happened, after 30 minutes already three players were on the ground. The first yellow card was a striker from us. I’m not sure they even got a yellow card, which is funny.”

Atleti’s Angel Correa was shown a yellow, while Klopp, Mane, and Joe Gomez were cautioned for Liverpool.

The Liverpool boss found himself laughing a few times, especially when he was asked about Simeone’s touchline personality.

Klopp said before the game that if the German was a four in intensity, then Simeone was a 12. Simeone followed suit by constantly urging the crowd to get behind the home side on Tuesday.

That didn’t bother Klopp, but he issued a public relations officer’s dream in reacting to it.

“Wow, wow,” he laughed. “That’s energy. I don’t think I have to do it that much (at Anfield). Our people will be ready. Welcome to Anfield. It’s not over yet.”

Klopp finished his remarks by saying of Jordan Henderson‘s removal from the game with a hamstring injury, “I hope it was a precaution, but I’m not 100 percent sure”

Haaland wins first leg after Borussia Dortmund-PSG comes to life late

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Erling Haaland scored twice in a mid-second half flurry as Borussia Dortmund beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie on Tuesday.

The hosts also got an assist from teenager Giovanni Reyna, who became the youngest American to appear in a Champions League match.

Haaland now has 39 goals in 29 appearances between Red Bull Salzburg and BVB, 11 of those for his new German employer.

Neymar scored off a Kylian Mbappe goal for PSG, who brings an away goal back to the Parc des Princes for a March 11 second leg.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Neymar had an early free kick, missing just wide of the far post.

Jadon Sancho troubled the keeper twice in the first half hour, first with a cross that Mats Hummels headed over goal. Then, Keylor Navas picked another Sancho offering out of the air.

Sancho kept serving, and Erling Haaland couldn’t turn a promising cross on target.

Dortmund walked into halftime with a scoreless match but a 7-2 edge in shot attempts. Neither of PSG’s shots were on target.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre put in American teen Giovani Reyna in the 67th minute.

Two minutes later, it was 1-0 to the hosts through Haaland’s close-range goal.

Neymar replied from close range himself after a powerful, clever dribble from Kylian Mbappe led to a pass through the box.

But Haaland got his second in the 77th minute with a scorching shot that serves as the first senior assist of Reyna’s senior career with Dortmund (Watch it here).