Manchester City 2-1 Arsenal: Stunning goal sees Guardiola earn signature win

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An unbelievable pass and fine finish saw Manchester City complete its comeback and give Pep Guardiola his biggest win of the season as City took down Arsenal 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

Kevin De Bruyne delivered one of the assists of the season and Raheem Sterling finished it off in style as Manchester City moved to third in the Premier League table. Theo Walcott had put Arsenal in front early, but they had little else to offer and allowed City to slowly build their way back in. Leroy Sane was the one to equalize just minutes after halftime before Sterling’s winner.

Arsenal was content to sit back and see City come at them, and when they got on the ball, they were immediately incisive. Unpressured, Alexis Sanchez was able to dribble forward and feed through Theo Walcott, who had snuck behind Nicolas Otamendi, and the English international struck home clinically for the opener just five minutes gone by.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Right down the other end, it should have been 1-1, but the home side missed a huge chance. De Bruyne ripped a perfect cross into the box, and Sterling was there to meet it, but he blasted his header just wide right with the goal gaping.

The game slowed down following that chance, with few chances past the half-hour mark, but Arsenal held much of the meaningful possession. Walcott headed just wide from a Gabriel cross on 35 minutes, and David Silva earned the game’s first yellow card minutes later as he brought down Francis Coquelin on a break.

Pablo Zabaleta appeared to be slowing by halftime, and out of the break Guardiola replaced him with Bacary Sagna. Hardly even out of the break, Manchester City was level. A chipped ball from David Silva caught the Arsenal back line napping, and it slipped Sane through to charge into the box and tap home jus two minutes after the restart. Replay showed Sane was just a hair offside, but the margin was very slight.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Petr Cech saved the game for the Gunners on the hour mark, as Sane nearly put City in front. Fernando won the ball in midfield, allowing de Bruyne to feed Sane again as he stayed clearly onside this time, but Petr Cech came off his line to smother the chance and Sane subsequently shot right into the chest of the Arsenal goalkeeper.

Then, the moment of the match and maybe a moment of the season. One of the most incredible passes you’ll ever see, Kevin de Bruyne got the ball on a throw-in and somehow contorted his body to clip the ball 40 yards across the pitch while facing his own goal. The ball fell right into the lap of Sterling, and still with work to do, he cut inside and beat Cech to his near post to put Manchester City in front. A stunning goal from start to finish, fitting to win this match.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

The win for Manchester City sees them jump the Gunners into third place on 36 points, relief for Pep Guardiola now on two straight wins after the rare pair of losses. For Arsenal, they fall to fourth and now sit just a point above rival Spurs after Tottenham downed Burnley.

Carlos Vela scored a celestial goal. We are blessed to have seen it

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Carlos Vela is making all other spectacular individual MLS seasons look run of the mill.

I mean, look at the gumption on this guy.

[ VIDEO: Rooney sent off, Kamara scores golazo ]

The Cancun-born playmaker left the San Jose Earthquakes back line on the beach with a soft shoe routine to give LAFC its third goal in a 4-0 win on Thursday

Vela, 30, now has 25 goals and 11 assists in 25 league matches for LAFC this season. He added two goals and an assist in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play.

But this one, yeah, this one takes the cake.

First, there’s Vela’s non-chalant dummy before picking up the pass.

Then, there’s Florian Jungwirth’s body language during and after his being cooked with a nutmeg. That’s an entire mood.

Next, Vela dribbles around the keeper and allows a slide tackler so glide past him before finishing with aplomb, the magic touch his going near post as if to say, “Can I beat this guy a second time, or do I have to use the easier route?”

Diego Rossi also had a goal and an assist, while Mark-Anthony Kaye continued his strong season with an assist to ex-Fiorentina prospect Joshua Perez. It’s a first MLS goal for the California-born Perez, now 21.

WATCH: Rooney sees red for forearm shiver, Kamara scores golazo

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Midweek MLS provided plenty to talk about on Wednesday, with two red cards and a golazo in one match alone.

The two main talking points from the New York Red Bulls’ 2-1 win over DC United weren’t really part of what led the victors to three points.

[ MORE: Europa League preview ]

How? Well, one of the world’s marquee names earned a red card via VAR and a returning star scores an absolute stunner, that’s how.

Here’s Ola Kamara’s debut marker for the Black-and-Red, adding to a record which included 49 goals in 97 matches between Columbus and the LA Galaxy before moving to the Chinese Super League for a wildly disappointing time with Shenzhen FC.

All of that is forgotten.

As for the Rooney incident, the Red Bulls already led 1-0 when DC’s star striker went forearm shiver on Cristian Casseres Jr.

It’s the second red of the season for Rooney, who is set for Derby County in January.

Amro Tarek was later sent off for the Red Bulls, who moved ahead of DC in the standings. Kaku and Daniel Royer had RBNY’s goals.

Newcastle takeover could be back on if in holiday relegation battle

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How much do Newcastle United supporters dislike their owner Mike Ashley right now?

Enough that this report is likely to condemn many to hoping their favorite club in the world is in the Bottom 3 come Christmas.

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The Chronicle’s Mark Douglas speculates that Ashley will lower his asking price for the club if it is in a relegation fight come December — something that looks certain after the Steve Bruce-led Magpies got bossed around by promoted Norwich City.

Nothing But Newcastle transcribed Douglas’ chatter from his podcast, in which he says,

“It wouldn’t surprise me if we hear more in December because there are still people sniffing around that football club and if the team are in the bottom three, there’ll be people thinking they can get a bargain out of Mike Ashley again. … He will probably more open to listening to lower offers in January and December which is what happened last December. He was basically saying ‘take it off my hands, you now have to take the risk’'”

This is notable for two reasons. First: the social experiment of wondering how many fans could see themselves rooting for their team to take a major and perilous back step just to see the back of a man they perceive is at the root of their failures (and that perception is widespread in this case).

But second, we can see if this rumor comes true because it’s difficult to imagine Newcastle as comfortably mid table by Christmas.

Fan protests and anger are nothing new, but here’s an effort to show how wobbly Ashley’s reputation is on Tyneside: Fans have taken to selling a black and white striped shirt with player name and number but no sponsor just so they can have a Newcastle jersey that doesn’t put money into Ashley’s pockets. And this is after he broke the club’s transfer record twice in one year.

If we’ve learned anything from the past few seasons, though, it’s that boycotts and anger will spur Ashley into insisting that he’s willing to sell and just conveniently enough it will be before the January transfer window. He “won’t be able to buy any players” with the takeover in play, and talks will hit a wall come late January, when they’ll loan a couple young players from Top Six sides.

Yes he spent significant money on Joelinton, Allen Saint-Maximin, and others this summer, but one decent window doesn’t make a culture. Count us amongst the skeptical, for now.

Messi back in training, could be fit for Betis

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Lionel Messi was back in full training again on Wednesday and may be fit to face Real Betis in the Spanish league on Sunday.

Messi had been training separately from the squad since injuring his right calf in the preseason.

He missed the team’s 1-0 loss to Athletic Bilbao in the league opener on Friday.

Barcelona has not said how long it expects Messi to be sidelined.

[ MORE: Europa League preview ]

Coach Ernesto Valverde is also dealing with injuries to forwards Luiz Suarez and Ousmane Dembele.

Dembele is certain to miss Sunday’s match at the Camp Nou because of a left thigh injury that should keep him out for about five weeks.

Suarez also isn’t likely to play this weekend because of a muscle injury sustained before halftime of Friday’s game in Bilbao.

Two-time defending champion Barcelona hadn’t loss a league opener in 10 seasons.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports