Man City one win away from PL title (video)

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  • Man City have one-point lead 
  • Kompany scores winner
  • Win at Brighton will seal title

Manchester City controls its own destiny heading into the final week of the season.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Following 70 long minutes of action, in which Leicester City’s strong defense repelled wave after wave of Manchester City attack, the Sky Blues found the breakthrough through captain Vincent Kompany.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Pep Guardiola‘s squad held on for the final 20 minutes of the match, defeating Leicester 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Monday

The win puts Manchester City at 95 points, one above Liverpool at 94 points, with just one game remaining.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Man City travel to Brighton knowing a win will seal the title, while Liverpool host Wolves knowing they must win and hope for some help from Brighton.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Despite Manchester City failing to reach last year’s points heights, this year, if anything, showed that Pep Guardiola’s side can win in tight games, even when it looks like they’re running out of gas or answers.

Man City opened the match on the front foot and dominated throughout, with around 61 percent possession. Man City youngster Phil Foden had the game’s first chance, but his effort in the box went straight to Kasper Schmeichel. More often than not, Man City found space around the edge of the box, but with around eight to nine Leicester City players hunkering around the box, it left very little space for the likes of Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling to exploit.

Even when they did, it involved passing one or two defenders, but getting stymied by the third.

Leicester City offered a some resistance, especially on the counter attack, but Ederson didn’t have much to worry about as Kompany and Aymeric Laporte kept things on lock down.

After the first 45 minutes and another 25 into the second half, it appeared that maybe Liverpool’s dream of winning its first title in the Premier League era could become reality, as Man City edged closer to a scoreless draw. Then, in the 70th minute, Kompany stepped up, quite literally, and fired home a massive strike that sent reverberations across the Premier League to put Manchester City up.

Guardiola’s men continued to attack after the goal, looking for a second, and that decision also kept Leicester City on its heels, forcing more players back and less into the attacking areas. Kelechi Iheanacho had a terrific chance to level the score in the 87th minute off a great diagonal ball from Hamza Choudhury, but Iheanacho put his shot well wide of goal. It turned out to be Leicester’s last chance of the game.

USMNT prospect Ledezma earns praise from van Nistelrooy

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Even for talents of the highest levels with top soccer education, sometimes a kid’s gotta learn how to eat.

Richard “Richie” Ledezma, 18, is in the midst of his first year at Eredivisie side PSV Eindhoven, a spot which beckoned after a five-match, one-goal season in the USL with Real Monarchs of the USL.

[ MORE: Chicago adds USMNT hero ]

Ledezma starred for U.S. U-20 team at the World Cup after his first half-season with PSV, which saw him play with the U-19s while trying to lose some weight.

From Goal.com:

“PSV help me with my nutrition, with my food and how I eat. It’s the quantity of food you eat, I guess,” he added. “Because I came a little chubby, when I got here, I guess. They all called me ‘fatty’ and stuff, so I was like, cool, you know? So no more McDonald’s.”

Goal’s James Westwood had a wide-ranging interview with Ledezma and also spoke with soccer royalty: longtime Real Madrid and Manchester United scorer Ruud van Nistelrooy was Ledezma’s coach with the U-19s.

“He’s making a difference in midfield with very quick-thinking passes, movement, can score a goal, play people in, he’s creating chances for the whole team.”

That’s not just good praise from a legend, but a solid sign for fans of the United States men’s national team. A proper No. 10 or playmaking midfielder could allow Gregg Berhalter or another future USMNT coach to use Christian Pulisic on the wings.

Ledezma has some work to do before he breaks into the first team of the Dutch runners-up, who have signed former Stoke City man Ibrahim Afellay and has Gaston Pereiro in the fold as well.

Newcastle reportedly in for $28M mercurial Nice attacker

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L’Equipe says that Newcastle United have returned to Nice in the hopes of landing Allan Saint-Maximin.

The Ligue 1 outfit wants $28 million for the playmaker, who could team up with Miguel Almiron and (maybe) Joelinton to give the Magpies a much-improved attack.

[ MORE: Chicago adds USMNT hero ]

Saint-Maximin, 22, has 10 goals and 10 assists across his last two seasons with Nice, and played everywhere in attack for Patrick Vieira: both wings, center forward, second striker, attacking mid… even some left and right midfield.

The player, however, has been a headache for Vieira at times, with the manager saying Saint-Maximin believes that he has enough talent to reach the highest level without the required amount of work.

That said, the youngster’s skill set is electric. He’s a March birth date, too, so a relatively young 22. That $28 million would be another transfer record broken for Newcastle, assuming it happens ahead of the Joelinton move.

Or… as Newcastle fan knows, neither could go through.

Clark County “declines to prosecute” Ronaldo for rape

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Cristiano Ronaldo will not face sexual assault charges for a June 2009 incident in the United States, attorneys say.

An American woman filed a civil lawsuit against the Juventus superstar last year, claiming that Ronaldo forced himself upon her while she was in a prone position in his hotel room.

[ MORE: Bayern keen on Zaha ]

Ronaldo had expressed belief that he would be cleared of the claims, and claimed that graphic documents produced by German publication Der Spiegel were altered and fabricated.

Las Vegas police issued a warrant in a bid to get Ronaldo’s DNA, and the DA’s office says the woman’s refusal to name her attacker stopped them for collecting “vital evidence.” The woman reached a civil settlement with Ronaldo in 2010.

From News3LV.com:

“Based upon a review of the information presented at this time, the allegations of sexual assault against Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” the D.A.’s office said. “Therefore, no charges will be forthcoming.”

Bayern Munich kicking the tires on big Zaha bid

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A sensational report is linking Wilfried Zaha not just with a move away from Crystal Palace, but a move clear of the Premier League altogether.

90min.com says that Bayern Munich has turned to Zaha, having been rebuffed in their pursuit of Manchester City’s Leroy Sane.

Palace wants $100 million for Zaha, but so far has only received a $50 million offer from Arsenal for his services. Reports Monday said Arsenal is upping its bid, and offering a loan of Reiss Nelson as a make-good. Palace has had good Fortune with loans from the big boys of the PL, in particular with Ruben Loftus-Cheek two seasons ago.

A lot of this makes sense for all parties, apart from Sane, and it will be interesting to see if the report brings a bigger bid from the Gunners.

Zaha is a sensational player, and has created chances year-after-year for the Eagles. He wants to taste the Champions League, but Palace is not willing to let him go for (much) less than its asking price given its sale of Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United.

Bayern will spend less on Zaha than it would on Gareth Bale or Sane, and get a determined player who is very much in his prime. Zaha would also get the chance to showcase himself with actual breathing room on the pitch, thanks to Serge Gnabry, Robert Lewandowski, and others.

And Palace, of course, will end up with between $80-100 million and the knowledge that it won’t need to mark Zaha on a Premier League pitch. More importantly, the money raised from Zaha and Wan-Bissaka will allow them to strengthen at nearly every position (above what they have now, not above AWB and Zaha).