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When can Manchester City win the Premier League?

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The magic number for Manchester City to clinch the Premier League title has emerged.

Five more wins.

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City eased by Arsenal on Thursday to go 16 points clear atop the Premier League table with 10 games to go.

Pep Guardiola‘s men will guarantee the title if they win their next five games, with the fourth of those games coming against crosstown rivals Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium. You get the sense Jose Mourinho’s side will be doing their best to make sure that doesn’t happen early, while City could seal the title with their trip to Wembley to face Spurs in mid-April.

They would have been able to guarantee their title win if the won all four games and then beat rivals Man United on Apr. 7, but Brighton’s involvement in the FA Cup quarterfinal on Mar. 17 has seen City’s game against the Seagulls postponed to a later date in the season.

Here are City’s next five games in the Premier League:

March 4: Chelsea, home
March 12: Stoke, away
March 31: Everton, away
April 7: Man United, home
April 14: Tottenham, away

Of course, if City’s title rivals (for arguments sake, we will call them that…) slip up in the next few weeks then they could clinch the title even earlier than April 14 but they are set for a record-breaking season.

The earliest a team has clinched the PL title is Manchester United, who hold the top three earliest title wins in history as they clinched the trophy on Apr. 14 2001, plus Apr. 22 2000 and Apr. 22 2013. City will be hoping to beat United’s Apr. 14 record, which they will definitely equal if they win their next five games in the Premier League.

With 75 points on the board from 25 wins in 28 games, plus 82 goals scored with just one defeat, this City side are on the brink of becoming the best the Premier League era has ever seen.

The added bonus of wrapping up the PL title in record time would allow City to focus on winning the UEFA Champions League for the first time in club history, as Guardiola and Co. already wrapped up the first piece of silverware of the season, the League Cup, last weekend.

Nothing to separate Portland and 10-man LAFC

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There was entertainment value in Los Angeles FC’s potential playoff preview with the Portland Timbers on Sunday in the City of Angels, but all that arrived was a scoreless draw.

[ MORE: Atlanta 1-1 Seattle ]

Both Giovani Savarese’s Timbers and Bob Bradley‘s nickname-free expansion club remain in the West’s Top Four. PLAFC remains unbeaten at home during their maiden voyage through Major League Soccer.

Adama Diomande came close for the hosts, who finished with 10-men when Lee Nguyen went studs-up on Sebastian Blanco‘s thigh for a pretty easy red card (though it took some time for Silviu Petrescu to produce the red).

VIDEO: France stars projected onto Arc de Triomphe

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If France’s players had any doubt about the level of import their World Cup title had back home, it was erased when their photos were projected onto one of the most celebrated monuments in the world.

The photos of Hugo Lloris, Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, and company made their way onto the Arc de Triomphe on Sunday, hours after France defeated Croatia 4-2 in the World Cup Final.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

The Arc de Triomphe honors those who died in the French Revolution and early 19th century wars, and sits above France’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.

How humbling must it be for those players to grace such a heavy monument (both in weight and substance).

Dalic: In one day, Croatia went from lucky to unlucky

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Ante Cacic’s Croatia was on pace to miss out on the World Cup.

Zlatko Dalic’s Croatia rallied the troops to second place in their qualifying group, a playoff defeat of Greece, and a run to the World Cup Final.

Pretty decent stuff.

[ MORE: FIFA awards Golden Ball, Golden Glove ]

And surely the 51-year-old will reflect on that, probably even this evening, but he’s more focused on a letdown after Sunday’s 4-2 loss to highly-favored France.

Key to the match was a penalty awarded to France when a partially-obscured Mario Mandzukic handled a ball inside the 18, leading to Antoine Griezmann’s pivotal goal.

The PK was awarded via VAR, and France went up 2-1 en route to a three-goal lead. From the AFP:

“I never comment on referees but in a World Cup final you do not give such a penalty,” said Dalic.

“It in no way diminishes France’s win. We were a bit unlucky. Maybe in the first six games we were favored by luck and today we weren’t.

“I have to congratulate my players. Maybe today we played our best game at these championships. Against such a strong side as France you must not make mistakes. We are a bit sad but we must also be proud of what we’ve done.”

Croatia had two-thirds of the ball and doubled France’s shot attempts, and Dalic isn’t the least bit controversial in wondering whether the match is much different if that penalty goes unawarded by referee Nestor Pitana.

Atlanta comes back to draw 10-man Seattle (video)

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A scrappy if not downright venomous affair between the lowly Seattle Sounders and high-flying Atlanta United ended in a 1-1 draw in Georgia on Sunday.

The Sounders went ahead through a Nicolas Lodeiro penalty kick, awarded via VAR a la this morning’s World Cup Final, but Atlanta leveled the score with a highlight which show every bit of the game story.

[ MORE: FIFA awards Golden Ball, Golden Glove ]

Just check Josef Martinez’s barking at Stefan Frei, who made an uncharacteristic error on the play, after his 19th goal of the season (Nice cross, Julian Gressel).

Martinez needs nine more goals to break the MLS single season record, and he has 13 games to score them.

Jordan McCrary was sent off for Seattle in the 63rd minute for a second yellow, but Seattle navigated the final half hour or so to scoop up an unlikely point.

Atlanta still sits first with its earned point but opens the door for New York City FC to reach the top of the table when it plays its match-in-hand, while Seattle is now 11 points back of the West’s final playoff spot.