Ranking impact of each Man City player in title success

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Manchester City won the Premier League title on Sunday after West Bromwich Albion beat their crosstown rivals Manchester United to hand City the title without kicking a ball.

[ MORE: Full reaction to Man City’s title win ]

With five games of the season still to go, they have equaled the earliest title win in English top-flight history and Pep Guardiola‘s men are on course to break records for most wins in a season, most goals scored and the highest number of points in a single PL campaign.

But which players have been most responsible for their success this season?

Here’s a mark out of 10 for the impact each player in Man City’s squad have had in their title-winning season.


Ederson – 10 – Elevated himself to the conversation as the best goalkeeper on the planet. Not only is he wonderful with his feet, he also provides City’s entire defensive unit with extra confidence.

Claudio Bravo – 4 – Made just one PL appearance so far but was in the team that won the League Cup and his experience will have helped Ederson have a fine season.

Danilo – 7 – A decent stand in at either left back or right back. The Brazilian filed in whenever needed and did a steady job. Fine goal at Burnley.

Kyle Walker – 9 – One of the main reasons City won the title. Walker’s $75 million arrival from Tottenham was scoffed at due to the huge price tag but he added pace and power going forward and he has excelled defensively as well as improving with the ball at his feet and moving inside.

Nicolas Otamendi – 8 – Much improved this season and likely to be in the PFA Team of the Year. A few shaky displays here and there but this was by far, by far, his best season in a City shirt. Dangerous from set pieces with five goals.

Vincent Kompany – 9 – Stunning season from Kompany. The captain for all three of City’s PL titles was finally back to full fitness after a nightmare stretch and he also came up big in the League Cup final, scoring to lead the way. Always led by example and this season he rescued his career after multiple injuries.

John Stones – 6 – Stop-start would be the best way to sum it up. Plenty of injuries and a drop in form but still some promising displays. Guardiola bringing in Laporte will be a worrying sign for Stones.

Eliaquim Mangala – 4 – Loaned out to Everton in January after nine PL appearances but some shaky displays before his season-ending injury. Unlikely to be at City beyond this season.

Fabian Delph – 7 – Stood in admirably at left back for the injured Benjamin Mendy for most of the season and got back into the England squad. Calm on the ball and despite a few bad challenges and getting caught out of position, filled in at left back really well.

Aymeric Laporte – 6 – Only arrived in January but in his limited minutes City’s club-record signing showed he is a solid defender. Much better at center back than left back and will probably play as one of a back three moving forward.

Benjamin Mendy – 5 – Really tough for him to get injured so early after some incredible displays from left back. His #SharkTeam moments made sure he remained in the headlines (plus got him a higher rating) and he seems to be at the heart of City’s locker room. Mendy is almost back and will be the best left back on the planet very soon.

Oleksandr Zinchenko – 5 – Did fine when called upon, which wasn’t often, but Pep used him more as a left back than an attacking midfielder.

Fernandinho – 8 – The Brazilian’s season was a fine one as he put aside injuries and suspensions to become a guaranteed starter. His defensive work went unnoticed but there’s a reason why Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva were so good. Fernandinho did a lot of their dirty work.

Kevin de Bruyne – 10 – Simply stunning, especially in the opening months of the season in his new deeper role in central midfield. Leads PL with 20 assists and has scored 11 goals so far. Some of his assists, passes and crosses were out of this world. KDB will fight with Mohamed Salah to win all of the player of the year awards in the PL.

David Silva – 10 – Like KDB, his passing, movement and creativity was sublime and Silva was reinvented as a deeper central midfielder. Like a fine wine, Silva is getting better each season and he is working with a manager who truly understands him. Majestic. Nine goals and 11 assists.

Yaya Toure – 4 – Didn’t play a lot this season but was kept around for his influence behind-the-scenes. This will be his last season at City and this is the season when he has had the least impact, at least on the pitch.

Ilkay Gundogan – 7 – Struggled to get in the team week in, week out but when he did, he often made a difference with goals and assists. The German playmaker can sometimes get overrun in midfield but he oozes class on the ball.

Bernardo Silva – 7 – Some stunning goals later in the season after he settled in the PL and the Portuguese playmaker will surely take over from David Silva in the future in a more central role. Seven goals and 10 assists a very decent return.

Raheem Sterling – 9 – His best goalscoring run in his career with 22 goals and nine assists and he could have scored at least 10 more. Sterling has kept his pace and trickery but can now see a pass and in the opening months he scored plenty of clutch late winning goals. A superb season.

Leroy Sane – 9 – Like Sterling, the winger matured this season with both nominated for the PFA Players’ Young Player of the Year award and Sane also nominated for the main POTY gong. The German winger has wonderful balance and his direct running scares the life out of defenders. Star for the future.

Phil Foden – 5 – Only played in a handful of games and he will be disappointed to have been injured just when he was breaking into the team on a regular basis. The time will come for the “Stockport Iniesta” to shine (he’s still just 17) as Pep has high hopes for the academy graduate who led England’s U-17 side to glory during the season.

Brahim Diaz – 3 – Like Foden, used mostly in the cup competitions but showed plenty of promise. Will surely get minutes in the remaining games of the season.

Gabriel Jesus – 8 – Scored 14 goals and added three assists as the young Brazilian battled back from a knee injury around the turn of the year. He’s shown he can step in for Aguero long-term and will only get better.

Sergio Aguero – 9 – Was benched at times this season but broke Man City’s scoring record and definitely adapted his style to Guardiola’s philosophy of high-pressing from the front. 30 goals and seven assists in all competitions says it all.

PSG signs defender Thilo Kehrer from Schalke

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PARIS (AP) French champion Paris Saint-Germain has signed defender Thilo Kehrer from German club Schalke on a five-year contract.

PSG gave no financial details but Kehrer reportedly cost 37 million euros ($42 million).

[ MORE: Europa League wrap ]

The 21-year-old German helped Schalke finish second in the Bundesliga last season. He also helped Germany’s under-21 team win last year’s European Championship.

Kehrer is seen as an eventual replacement for 33-year-old central defender Thiago Silva, who has been with PSG since 2012.

He will be working under German coach Thomas Tuchel, who is bringing more young players into the team.

Kehrer says “I am going to meet some extraordinary teammates and work with a coach that has done a great job in Germany in recent years.”

NDOYE RETURNS

Cheikh Ndoye has returned to his former club Angers on loan from second-tier English side Birmingham.

The 32-year-old midfielder, who has made 27 international appearances for Senegal, joined Birmingham last year on a three-year deal.

He played 40 games last season, but with Birmingham reportedly under pressure to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations, he was loaned out and thus reduced the club’s wage bill.

Ndoye captained Angers from 2015-2017.

Last weekend, Angers opened its first-division campaign with a 4-3 home loss to Nimes.

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Dyche: “Strength of character” got Burnley past Istanbul Basaksehir

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Burnley manager Sean Dyche has his team one round from the Europa League group stage after another clutch goal from Jack Cork.

And the intense Clarets boss knows its down to their dogged work.

[ MORE: Europa League wrap ]

“The strength of character of the players is so important and before extra time I was talking to my group and they were all focused on me,” Dyche said. “I looked at theirs and there were bodies everywhere and two players catching eyes with their manager.”

“We have to do what we have to do to win games and we’ve never hidden from that. But in extra time I thought we were running all over them fitness-wise and therefore our play improved.”

Burnley moves onto play Olympiacos in the playoff round, and advancing past the Greek side would give them six more matches including three home dates at Turf Moor.

The Clarets bought Matej Vydra, Joe Hart, and Ben Gibson this summer. Ex-Middlesbrough defender Gibson made his Burnley debut on Thursday and  Hart has been sensational in posting three clean sheets in as many matches. Vydra is yet to debut.

Burnley’s status as a Europa League qualifier through Premier League play is about as impressive as anything this side of Leicester City’s miracle title run. The longer this goes on, the more strain it puts on their season, but it’s improbable to root against them.

Burnley drew Saints in its Premier League opener, and hosts Watford on Sunday.

Americans Abroad in 2.Bundesliga: Parker joins Green on Furth

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When it comes to Americans Abroad, few leagues have as many active USMNT-eligible players than Germany’s second tier.

Maybe it’s a knock-on effect of Jurgen Klinsmann’s USMNT tenure, but seven players with American blood have taken part in matches over the first two weekends in 2.Bundesliga (four with U.S. connections have not).

[ MORE: Europa League wrap ]

Julian Green has yet to find the goal for Greuther Fuerth, but not for lack of trying. Only one player in the league is averaging more than his four shots per game.

U.S. eligible forward Shawn Parker signed with Greuther Fuerth on Wednesday.

Like Green, American-born goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm has collected four points with club Holstein Keil this season, keeping a clean sheet.

U.S. U-19 midfielder Kevin Lankford is in his third season with Heidenheim, and has made a start and a sub appearance in his two appearances.

2.Bundesliga

Julian Green, Greuther Fuerth — 2 matches, 153 minutes, eight shots
Next: Saturday vs. Paderborn

Joe Gyau, Duisburg — 1 appearance, 10 minutes
Next: Friday at Darmstadt

Terrence Boyd, Darmstadt — 2 appearances, 10 minutes
Next: Friday vs. Duisburg

Ken Gipson, Sandhausen — 1 appearance, 26 minutes
Next: Friday at Bochum

Kenneth Kronholm, Holstein Keil — 2 appearances, 180 minutes, clean sheet
Next: Sunday at Jahn Regensburg

Kevin Lankford, Heidenheim — 2 appearances, 1 start, 83 minutes
Next: Sunday at Dresden Dynamo

Jann George, Jahn Regensburg — 2 starts, 175 minutes
Next: Sunday vs. Holstein Keil

Yet to appear: McKinze Gaines, Darmstadt; Lennard Maloney, Union Berlin; Mario Rodriguez, Dynamo Dresden; Andrew Wooten, Sandhausen; Shawn Parker, Greuther Fuerth.

Top Premier League storylines for Week 2

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Week 2 of the Premier League season brings another gigantic match-up, with Arsenal following up its visit from Manchester City by traveling across London to face lively foe Chelsea.

[ STREAM: Watch every PL match live ]

All that and four more things to watch closely this weekend in England and Wales.

New managers Emery, Sarri helm big London rivalry
Chelsea vs. Arsenal — 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC [ STREAM ]

Antonio Conte‘s probable hopes that Chelsea would be a shambles without him didn’t look true when the Blues bashed Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium on opening weekend, while some extreme Arsenal fan hopes that their stumbles were simply down to Arsene Wenger were washed away in a haze of Man City ball possession.

Now Chelsea has a chance to soak the Gunners’ early season in misery, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Arsenal will know they can make opening weekend a thing of the past by joining the Blues on three points with a big away win.

London Derby tests Kane’s August record
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Fulham — 10 a.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN
[ STREAM ]

Harry Kane still hasn’t scored in August, and Fulham allowed a pair of goals in their return to the Premier League last weekend against Palace. The Cottagers have enjoyed Wembley recently in earning promotion through the playoffs, and new player Jean Michael Seri — a reported Spurs target before joining Fulham — looked exceptional in the loss to Palace.

Ryan Sessegnon of Fulham battles with Kieran Trippier of Tottenham Hotspur during an FA Cup fifth round match in 2017 (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Will Jurgen Klopp‘s Reds keep roaring at Selhurst Park?
Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool — 3 p.m. ET Monday on NBCSN [ STREAM ]

Liverpool has won four-straight matches at Selhurst Park, but its record against Palace overall isn’t phenomenal over the last half-decade. That said, Jurgen Klopp’s men are clearly favorite to catch Manchester City if anyone can, and getting wins from matches like this is what contenders do along the way to Titletown.

Take two for Leicester and Wolves
Leicester City vs. Wolves — 10 a.m. ET Saturday on NBC Sports Gold
 [ STREAM ]

Ruben Neves of Wolves announced his entry into the Premier League with a super performance in Wolves’ 2-2 home draw with 10-man Everton at the Molineux, but the one point gained somehow feel less than expected from the newly-promoted side. Leicester was outplayed by Manchester United in its opener, and will hope the King Power Stadium is what will kickstart their season… and maybe help save Claude Puel‘s job as Foxes’ manager.

The Premier League returns to Cardiff with a perceived six-pointer
Cardiff City vs. Newcastle United — 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN
[ STREAM ]

Neil Warnock’s Bluebirds couldn’t get the job done at Bournemouth in Week One and their “doable” three-match stretch to restart life in the Premier League will feel really rough if they cannot land a point or better against Rafa Benitez‘s Newcastle.

This is Newcastle’s best chance at three points over the first month, and the Magpies could be staring at zero points through four matches if they fail to get the job done in Wales (which is a long way from St. James’ Park).