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Premier League roundup: Leicester, Man United roll; Spurs leap Arsenal

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We know the managers don’t love the schedule congestion in the Premier League, but after a day like Tuesday we’re thrilled to have a midweek like this.

Manchester United looked like the Red Devils of old, Leicester City continued its incredible run, Arsenal continued its tumultuous table run and Spurs looked ready to the bright lights.

Those were just four of the teams toiling on Tuesday.

Manchester United 3-0 Stoke CityRECAP

The combination of Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney will receive a lot of the accolades, but Juan Mata put forth an all-world effort in orchestrating the other two members of his power trio. United scored first half goals at home for the first time in 11 matches, and Old Trafford was, at least for a day, the Theater of Dreams.

Leicester City 2-0 Liverpool — RECAP

Jurgen Klopp won’t be pleased, but Jamie Vardy banged in a pair of goals to give the Foxes a three-point table lead heading into the weekend. England coach Roy Hodgson was in attendance, and it’s hard to imagine he isn’t salivating at the thought of in-form Vardy and Rooney in an attack with Raheem Sterling this summer in France.

“Apologies, normal-sized human, but it seems I have robbed you of a trio of points.” (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Arsenal 0-0 Southampton — RECAP

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is understandably frustrated that his side couldn’t find the back of the goal, but he’ll watch the tape and realize Saints goalkeeper Fraser Forster was guilty of robbery on so many occasions that he’d get a life sentence from any sensible judge.

Sunderland 0-1 Manchester CityRECAP

Sergio Aguero scored early, and that’s all the league’s No. 2 team needed to advance past Sam Allardyce‘s side, as the big English manager slumped back in the dugout, wondering what his team will look like once the transfer buys hits the pitch together.

West Browmich Albion 1-1 Swansea City — RECAP

Opinion here, but Tony Pulis spent another afternoon robbing soccer fans of entertainment before Gylfi Sigurdsson broke through and put Swans up top. Baggies striker Salomon Rondon snared a point late, but West Brom was unconvincing again and sits just a trio of points above Swansea.

Norwich City 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur — RECAP

The Canaries could be in real trouble, but Spurs sure have made a lot of teams feel that way. Dele Alli scored, won a penalty for Harry Kane to convert, and then watched as Kane added a second goal as the North London side ran through Carrow Road with ease. Spurs now have the best goal differential in the Premier League (25).

West Ham United 2-0 Aston Villa — RECAP

Poor Remi Garde. We’re sure he’s a better manager than this, and Jordan Ayew‘s needless and vicious elbow had the last-place Villans down a man for most of this one. Dmitri Payet was again a string-puller for the Irons, who got goals from Michail Antonio and Cheikhou Kouyate.

Crystal Palace 1-2 Bournemouth — RECAP

Alan Pardew‘s Eagles are struggling, and now sit closer to the drop zone than the Top Four after coughing up an early lead provided by Scott Dann and Wilfried Zaha teaming up. Selhurst Park watched in horror as Marc Pugh dizzied the Palace ‘D’ for one goal and Benik Afobe buried his third in three games for the eventual match winner. That’s five-straight losses for Pardew’s Palace.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02: Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace is challenged by Charlie Daniels of Bournemouth during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and A.F.C. Bournemouth at Selhurst Park on February 2, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)


Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Leicester City 24 14 8 2 44 26 18 7-4-1 7-4-1 50
Manchester City 24 14 5 5 46 23 23 9-1-2 5-4-3 47
Tottenham Hotspur 24 12 9 3 44 19 25 6-4-2 6-5-1 45
Arsenal 24 13 6 5 37 22 15 7-3-2 6-3-3 45
Manchester United 24 11 7 6 31 21 10 6-4-2 5-3-4 40
West Ham United 24 10 9 5 38 28 10 5-5-2 5-4-3 39
Southampton 24 9 7 8 32 24 8 6-2-4 3-5-4 34
Liverpool 24 9 7 8 30 34 -4 4-4-3 5-3-5 34
Stoke City 24 9 6 9 24 28 -4 5-2-4 4-4-5 33
Watford 23 9 5 9 27 26 1 5-2-5 4-3-4 32
Crystal Palace 24 9 4 11 25 29 -4 4-2-7 5-2-4 31
Everton 23 6 11 6 40 34 6 3-4-5 3-7-1 29
West Bromwich Albion 24 7 8 9 23 31 -8 4-4-5 3-4-4 29
Chelsea 23 7 7 9 32 34 -2 4-4-4 3-3-5 28
Bournemouth 24 7 7 10 29 39 -10 3-4-4 4-3-6 28
Swansea City 24 6 8 10 23 32 -9 4-4-4 2-4-6 26
Norwich City 24 6 5 13 28 46 -18 4-3-5 2-2-8 23

Newcastle United 23 5 6 12 25 41 -16 3-5-4 2-1-8 21
Sunderland 24 5 4 15 28 47 -19 3-3-6 2-1-9 19
Aston Villa 24 2 7 15 18 40 -22 1-4-6 1-3-9 13

Sarri sacked: Juventus fire manager after one season

Sarri sacked
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Sarri sacked: Maurizio Sarri has been fired by Juventus after just one season in charge following the Bianconeri‘s shocking exit from the UEFA Champions League round of 16 on Friday.

[ MORE: Man City knock out Real Madrid ]

Juventus claimed its ninth straight Serie A title on the final day of the season last week, but bowing out of the one trophy which has eluded the Italian giants during their decade of dominance, at the hands of Lyon no less, was simply too much for chairman Andrea Agnelli to stomach.

The players struggled a great deal to adapt to Sarri’s tactical system and demands, as did Sarri to being back in Serie A, and things never seemed to click in the already-imperfect marriage. Star midfielder Miralem Pjanic summed up the differences between the sides rather succinctly after the loss to Lyon.

[ MORE: Guardiola: “We’re here to win the Champions League” ]

Juve thanked Sarri for his service in a brief statement on the club’s website.

The club would like to thank the coach for having written a new page in Juventus’ history with the victory of the ninth-consecutive championship, the culmination of a personal journey that led him to climb all the divisions of Italian football.

Mauricio Pochettino is the first, and biggest name, currently being bandied about in connection with the Allianz Stadium job. The Argentine has been out of work since he was sacked by Tottenham Hotspur in November, but it stands to reason he did enough at Tottenham to have earned a chance at a club like Juve.

Outside of Cristiano Ronaldo’s mammoth contract, the majority of the squad could be turned over and refreshed with little to no trouble. Juve have never been shy to spend big money for big stars — a luxury Pochettino didn’t exactly enjoy at Spurs — so if they are interested in Pochettino, the prospect of a project on the scale of Juventus will almost certainly grab his attention.

Guardiola: ‘We’re here to win the Champions League’

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Pep Guardiola has put down a marker as Manchester City beat Real Madrid to reach the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

He now wants his Manchester City side to go on and reach the holy grail and win the Champions League, the trophy their Abu Dhabi owners crave above all others.

Man City beat Real Madrid 2-1 in their Round of 16 second leg, and 4-2 on aggregate, as Guradiola outwitted Zinedine Zidane over two legs to set up a winnable quarterfinal against Lyon in Lisbon, Portugal next Saturday.

Asked by BT Sport after the game what this win against Real Madrid means for Man City and their mentality, Guardiola did not play down their chances.

“For us, it is of course important, we beat them twice. Zizou never lost one knockout game. You see the calm and personality they play with, they are good,” Guardiola said. “But we are here to try and win the Champions League. It is just one step. If we think that is enough, we will show how small of a team we are. To win the Champions League you have to beat the big clubs.”

Man City will face one of those big clubs, likely Bayern Munich or Barcelona, in the semifinal stage of the Champions League but first they have to get past underdogs Lyon, who stunned Juventus as Memphis Depay has led the Ligue 1 side to the last eight.

“I spoke to the scouting department and they told me ‘be alert’ and we have eight days, we will enjoy this tonight and tomorrow, then we will start to think about Lyon,” Guardiola said when asked about their quarterfinal opponents.

Man City are the heavy favorites to beat Lyon and they are the bookies’ favorites to win the Champions League overall.

Pep Guardiola has now piled the pressure on his team to prove just how good they are and even without the injured Sergio Aguero, and with Fernandinho playing at center back, they eased past Real Madrid.

Manchester City have fallen at the quarterfinal stage when favorites in each of the last two seasons and Guardiola knows this is their best chance to win their first-ever Champions League trophy as Bayern Munich or Barcelona are very good, but not unbeatable, if they get past Lyon.

Guardiola looks hungry and he badly wants to win the Champions League for the first time since 2011 as he failed to win the trophy at Bayern Munich and in his first three seasons at Man City.

The stars are aligning for Man City to deliver the one trophy Guardiola hasn’t won since he arrived in Manchester in 2016 and the one trophy the club hasn’t won since their Abu Dhabi owners took over in 2008.

In this year, just a month after they overturned UEFA’s decision to ban them from the Champions League for two seasons, success would surely taste even sweeter for everyone connected with Man City.

Lyon shock Juventus, reach Champions League quarterfinal

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Juventus – Lyon was mean to be a straightforward comeback win for the home side to reach yet another UEFA Champions League quarterfinal.

It was anything but as Lyon shocked Juventus to dump Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. out of Europe as Maurizio Sarri’s side continued their poor form since the restart.

[ MORE: Champions League predictions

Juventus won 2-1 on the night, as Ronaldo scored twice but Juve came up one goal short and for the second season running Ronaldo has failed in his quest to lead the Italian giants to the Champions League title.

As for Lyon, who haven’t played in over 5 months as the French league was cancelled in April due to the coronavirus pandemic, they put in a heroic display as they now face Manchester City in Lisbon, Portugal in the last eight on Aug. 15.

[ LIVE: Champions League schedule ]

Lyon got off to the perfect start in Turin, but it was fortunate, as Houssem Aouar won a very dubious penalty kick as VAR checked the decision but somehow it stood.

Memphis clipped home a delicious panenka to put Lyon 1-0 up and leave Juventus needing to score three goals on the night to advance.

Federico Bernardeschi went close and Anthony Lopes saved well from Ronaldo’s free kick as Lyon sat back and soaked up pressure.

Juventus won a penalty kick before half time, as Memphis handled Miralem Pjanic’s free kick but it look harsh as his arm wasn’t in an unnatural position.

Ronaldo slotted home the spot kick to make it 1-1. Game on.

At the start of the second half Ronaldo smashed home a beauty to make it 2-1 as Juve needed one more goal to advance to the last eight.

Ronaldo was everywhere and he then set up Gonzalo Higuain to head home, but his effort was off target from close range.

And Juve couldn’t find one more goal to send them through as Lyon advanced on the away goals rule and shocked everyone by dumping the Italian champions out of Europe.

3 things learned: Man City v. Real Madrid

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Manchester City – Real Madrid was a fairly straightforward win for the hosts, as they reached the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals by beating the 13-time European champions 2-1 on the night and 4-2 on aggregate.

[ MORE: Champions League predictions ]

Raheem Sterling opened the scoring for Man City after a bad mistake from Raphael Varane was ruthlessly punished. Real’s Eden Hazard and Karim Benzema combined well at times and although Ederson denied them early on, Benzema pulled one back in the first half as Rodrygo’s cross was nodded home by the French striker.

Benzema and Jesus both went close for either team in the second half and the latter made the most of another big mistake from Varane to make it 2-1 and seal Man City’s spot in the quarterfinals for the third-straight season with relative ease.

[ LIVE: Champions League schedule ]

Here’s a look at what we learned from the Etihad, as Manchester City – Real Madrid was an open affair but the hosts always looked in control.


Pep Guardiola is like Indiana Jones entering the desert on his way to reaching the holy grail. Lisbon is now his ‘Canyon of the Crescent Moon’ as Man City have a quarterfinal, semifinal and final between them and footballing immortality. Man City have longed for Champions League glory and given their successful appeal against their two-season UEFA ban, they will now stride into Lisbon, Portugal as the favorites to be crowned champions of Europe. They strolled past Real Madrid and even without the injured Sergio Aguero, you’d fancy them to sweep all before them to reach the promised land. Man City have always found a way to mess things up in the Champions League but this season feels different. They gave up their Premier League trophy easily to Liverpool but it seemed like the Champions League was always the main focus this season. They now face Lyon in the quarterfinals and then their toughest test, likely either Barcelona or Napoli in the semifinals. Guardiola knows the holy grail is within reach as he is closer than ever to finally delivering the trophy Man City’s Abu Dhabi owners have built this whole project to win.


Missing captain and legendary Sergio Ramos through suspension from the first leg, Real Madrid needed young defender Edgar Militao to step up in is place. They did not need silky smooth defender Raphael Varane to give the ball away early on to give up a cheap and avoidable goal. Although Real recovered from that early error, they failed to get Luka Modric on the ball as much as they wanted to and Eden Hazard and Benzema only showed flashes of promise. Just when it seemed like Real would push hard for a second goal which would have taken the game to extra time, Varane made another big mistake. And that was that. After impressing in La Liga since the restart and winning the Spanish title, Real Madrid looked remarkably subdued as perhaps a few weeks off before this game impacted them. The Kings of Europe will have to wait another year to add another crown to their collection. Manchester City – Real Madrid was historic, as it marked the first time Zinedine Zidane has ever lost a Champions League game in the knockout rounds. The way his team limped out of Europe was surprising and disappointing for Real Madrid.


It was a surprise to see Phil Foden start ahead of David Silva, Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva in a game of this magnitude but there’s always a method to Pep’s madness. And it isn’t madness, is it? It’s genius. Just like he did in the first leg at Real Madrid, Pep raised eyebrows as he started a central midfielder (Foden this time, Kevin de Bruyne in the first leg) as a false nine. Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling were rampant from each flank early on, putting defenders under pressure in their own box, and that was how they opened the scoring. But Man City then failed to build on that lead and let Real back into the game. Pep changed things around at half time and Jesus looked more comfortable centrally and so too did Foden. It was a small tweak but it got Man City back on track and Guardiola’s tactical nous made the difference, even though Man City were handed the win on a platter thanks to Real Madrid’s shaky defensive display.