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Pep Guardiola praises ‘incredible’ Man City win over Chelsea

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Pep Guardiola could do nothing but gush about his players after Manchester City shockingly demolished Chelsea 6-0 at the Etihad on Sunday.

The Manchester City boss said it was one of the most incredible performances he’s seen his players put on, and while it still wasn’t perfect – because of course he would say that – it still blew him away.

“Incredible week, incredible game,” Guardiola said during his post-match media availability. “We were lucky to score the first three goals because Sergio [Aguero] missed one, and after the 4-0 they were much better than us. In the second half after 5-0 it was tough for them with that result mentally it was not easy, but in general we make an incredible performance against Chelsea.”

After Aguero’s hat-trick and Raheem Sterling‘s brace, Pep even went so far as to say he believes it might be the most stellar performance he has seen his team put on at the Etihad, and much of that had to do with his high esteem of Chelsea coming into the game.

“Yes,” Guardiola said when asked if this was one of the best performances by his Manchester City team. “I know how they [Chelsea] play, they destroy the openings…I’m not talking about winning or losing, they play incredible, and that’s why I’m very pleased.”

With Aguero moving into the lead as all-time Manchester City goalscorer and also tying the Premier League record for most hat-tricks with his 11th, Guardiola had all praise for the Argentine, not just for his current form but also his longevity.

“I’ve said many times, this is ninth season or tenth season here…I don’t know how many seasons…and he’s scored every single season a lot of goals. I admire this kind of players, with the consistency, like David [Silva]. Young players come, other people come, one season, two seasons, but he stays for a long time, and that is fantastic.”

Finally, with Manchester City moving top of the Premier League on goal differential, Guardiola mentioned that while Liverpool controls its own destiny in the title race given they own a game in hand, he’s so proud of his team for maintaining a competitive mentality even after winning the title last year.

“I’m proud the most about, after what happened last season, I have said many times that I feel that way, what we have done last season, still being there every single game, every single game, trying and trying and they’re still there in the position. That means a lot to me and that means a lot to the club, for the organization, for all the people working here, so that is why…11 games [for us], the other one is 12, so we are going to try until the end to retain the title.”

Americans Adams, McKennie have big Bundesliga days

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USMNT youngsters Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie put in elite but very different performances for their Bundesliga clubs on Saturday.

Adams continues to take RB Leipzig by storm, the Major League Soccer export easily adjusting to an upgrade in league through the Red Bull system.

[ MORE: Brighton beats Derby County ]

The New York Red Bulls Academy product, 20, has started four matches for his new Bundesliga side, and RBL has won all four by a combined score of 11-1.

Adams picked up his first Bundesliga assist on Saturday in creating Youssef Poulsen’s 12th goal of the season in RBL’s 3-1 win at Stuttgart.

He covered the third-most ground in the game, at 12.65 kilometers, registering a game-high 39 sprints. His 109 runs were 19 more than anyone else, and he won 13 tackles. And while some of those big numbers are typical for that position on the pitch, there’s no denying his impact on a Champions League side.

Meanwhile, fellow American midfielder McKennie had a different task on Saturday, going 90 minutes and starting at right back as 10-man Schalke gutted out a 0-0 draw with Freiburg.

McKennie, 20, covered the fourth-most ground of anyone in the game at 11.56 km, winning a game-high 13 tackles and putting a pair of shots on goal.

Notably, he completed 34 of 35 passes.

McKennie is a half-year younger than Adams, but the similarities are there.

FIFA transfer reforms target $400M for lower-tier clubs

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ZURICH (AP) — FIFA believes it can direct up to $400 million each year toward clubs worldwide entitled to a share of transfer fees paid for their former players.

FIFA says a key part of intended transfer market reforms will “ensure clubs are adequately rewarded for training players.”

[ MORE: Lingard, Martial injured ]

Since current transfer rules were updated in 2001, clubs have been due training compensation and solidarity payments from transfers paid in the careers of players they helped nurture.

FIFA acknowledges the “overly complicated and burdensome” system of calculating payments is understood by too few clubs.

A clearing house will aim to process transfer payments more efficiently.

FIFA research suggests tens of millions of dollars were paid to clubs last year instead of their entitlement of at least $350 million.

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

Brighton outlasts Derby despite Ashley Cole goal (video)

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Despite a late scare, dominant Brighton and Hove Albion put an end to Frank Lampard‘s run in the FA Cup with a 2-1 defeat of Derby County at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.

Anthony Knockaert and Jurgen Locadia scored in the final dozen minutes of the first half for the Seagulls, who will learn their quarterfinal foe on Monday.

[ MORE: Lingard, Martial injured ]

Substitute Ashley Cole scored in the 80th minute for the Rams, who were heavily outshot in the match.

It was Cole’s first goal in England since 2012, when he bagged a Premier League marker for Chelsea against Stoke City.

Locadia was injured just before the Seagulls conceded, and looked to be in considerable pain with an ankle injury.

American attacker Duane Holmes started up top for Derby but was subbed after 45 minutes. The 24-year-old Columbus-born man has become a regular starter under Lampard.

Sir Alex Ferguson to manage Man Utd in anniversary match

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The 20th Anniversary of Manchester United’s treble, to the day, will see Sir Alex Ferguson managing the club.

This, of course, is for a single night only, as the Red Devils celebrate their 1999 treble with a testimonial of sorts against Bayern Munich, who it beat 2-1 to win the Champions League on May 26, 1999.

[ MORE: Lingard, Martial injured ]

“I’m really looking forward to what will be a special day at Old Trafford. It will be great to catch up with some familiar faces and a great opportunity to support the work of Manchester United Foundation,” Ferguson said.

Players for the game are not confirmed but imagine the possibilities: Peter Schmeichel was across the field from Oliver Kahn. Lothar Matthaus had to deal with Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole. David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, and the Neville brothers started or were in the 18.

Keep in mind that Solskjaer scored the winner for Ferguson’s United that day at the Camp Nou, as the Red Devils scored twice in stoppage time for a remarkable comeback win.