Guardiola: Man City ‘can compete with everyone’ with performances like Saturday

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Manchester City isn’t in second place yet, but it made a statement of power against the Premier League’s current No. 2 side on Saturday.

The two-time reigning champions dominated Leicester City from Moment One, allowing a goal against the counter attack but coming back for a 3-1 win.

[ RECAP, 3 THINGS: Man City 3-1 Leicester ]

The Etihad Stadium saw the side that’s thrilled them in recent seasons, and Leicester learned how far it has to go to contend for a title.

“We missed the kind of energy we had today with our fans,” Guardiola said. “We know that is our identity and if we are able to do it we can compete with everyone.”

Guardiola bristled when asked if showings like Saturday give him hope of catching Liverpool and winning a third-straight title.

Pep implied that Liverpool’s incredible season is what’s leading the league more than anything Man City is doing wrong. The champs’ 38 points would be one back of Barcelona in La Liga, Guardiola said.

[ WATCH: Newcastle’s Almiron finally scores ]

Liverpool has 49 points and a match-in-hand.

“When we lose we are a disaster, and it’s impossible and when we win we can catch them, so come on,” he said. “We are one point behind Leicester. We are third. It’s good. … What I want to see is my team trying to play with and without the ball like that. After that, when one team is 70 games, 60 victories and one draw, hats’ off. We have one less point that Barcelona who are leading Spain.”

Solskjaer reacts to Manchester United loss to Palace, transfer market

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Ole Gunnar Solksjaer knows his Manchester United team wasn’t good enough in Saturday’s 3-1 home loss to Crystal Palace.

He also thinks the club needs to add some players in the transfer market.

[ MORE: Van de Beek deems loss “really bad” ]

“You can see we are short and they deserved the points,” Solskjaer said after the game. They were sharper than us in challenges, tackles. We started off slowly and that had a knock-on effect for the rest of the game when they got the first goal. We had a long season last season and we didn’t finish until August 16 and we have not had enough preparation time to be sharper. We’ve worked hard with the ones who’ve been here, there have been a few players away on internationals.”

Sure, that’s true, but Solskjaer should know those excuses wouldn’t be afforded to Liverpool or Man City, clubs he’s trying to reach, and so they aren’t adequate now.

Whether the club needs to buy some better talent or not, few will argue that United doesn’t have the ammunition to stick with Palace at home. Juan Mata wasn’t in the 18 and probably would start for at least half of the Premier League’s clubs.

But Solskjaer’s men were wobbled, especially at the back, and the Norwegian manager left big buys Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Donny van de Beek on the bench. The latter came off the bench to score United’s lone goal.

The Red Devils have spent plenty on players — yes, even under Solskjaer — and did get a very good performance out of Bruno Fernandes that was wasted by out-of-sorts Daniel James, Anthony Martial, and Marcus Rashford.

“We will improve quickly, hopefully quicker than we’ve seen today,” Solskjaer said. “Today was a performance that you don’t see very often from these players because these players are better than that.”

As for transfers?

“We are always looking to improve if there is something out there that is available at the right price. We always want to strengthen. But we can all look ourselves in the mirror, instead.”

Manchester United’s Van de Beek: “We lost 3-1 at home, that’s really bad”

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Donny van de Beek scored off the bench for his Manchester United debut, but it didn’t mean that much coming in a troubling 3-1 home loss to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Van de Beek came on for Paul Pogba with United down 1-0 and quickly saw his side dip two goals down on a controversial penalty.

[ RECAP: Man United 1-3 Crystal Palace ]

The former Ajax midfielder then snapped a reaction shot inside the far post to pull United within 2-1, but finished the day with not much more than the goal in 23 minutes. Van de Beek was credited with 30 touches, a tackle, and 18-of-23 passing.

“First match for the club, a day you want to win,” Van de Beek said to Manchester United TV. “It doesn’t matter how, you want to win and I’m really disappointed that we lost 3-1 at home, that’s really bad. In the week of training we did really well, we trained good so my feeling was really positive. But today we played too slowly, too long with the ball and I think against an opponent like Crystal Palace you need to speed up the game to create something. That was not good enough.”

It may take Solskjaer some time to get his best XI in order and the Red Devils were playing a Palace team with a PL match and League Cup outing under their belt. Still, the performance was poor and Van de Beek may find himself starting soon.

Zaha double helps Palace sink sloppy Manchester United

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Manchester United – Crystal Palace: Wilfried Zaha scored twice and Crystal Palace earned a deserving 3-1 win over sloppy, disinterested Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Andros Townsend opened the scoring before Zaha’s penalty made it 2-0. Substitute debutant Donny van de Beek took one back for 0-1 United before ex-Red Devils winger Zaha iced the three points.

[ MORE: Van de Beek reacts ]

The win was Palace’s second-straight at Old Trafford after the South London side went 30 years between wins at the Theater of Dreams. Patrick van Aanholt keyed a Palace upset of the Red Devils in August 2019.

Palace moves to 2-0 and sits atop the PL table for now.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]   


3 things we learned from Manchester United – Crystal Palace

1. United backs slumber continues: United was caught off guard on the opening goal and its midfield and center backs made a number of errors in possession that allowed Wilfried Zaha and Jordan Ayew chances to make the game 2-0. The Lindelof handball to give Palace its two penalty bids was a tough break, but Zaha’s second came off Lindelof’s mishit poke and Harry Maguire being left between two minds.

2 Van de Beek says hello, Ole scratches head: The former Ajax star came off the bench for Pogba and reacted quickly to side-foot a loose ball across goal and inside the side netting, giving United a little bit of hope on a day it was without vigor from many of its players (McTominay had his moments but was mostly sloppy).

Questions will again be asked of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after his expensive sub got on the score sheet, but this was more about off days from Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, and Pogba. Really poor from three stars around the always-lively Bruno Fernandes, who was credited with five key passes but got absolutely nothing from the aforementioned three and fellow starter Daniel James.

3. Zaha waves to the transfer market: Too expensive for the top sides he’d like to play for and clearly a step above the rest of Palace’s players, Zaha was stroked home his penalty and was too clinical for Lindelof on his second goal. Roy Hodgson will be hoping suitors continue to be put off by the price tag because “Wilf” is the key to Palace’s success (Well, perhaps after Hodgson, who is getting so much out of these Eagles).

Man of the Match

You can’t get past Zaha, but Palace’s midfield was so good on the day. James McArthur is already building off a career year and both Jeff Schlupp and Townsend were busy out wide. Palace was simply better in form and execution for another win at Old Trafford.


Manchester United – Crystal Palace recap

Palace was all over United to start and it was no more than they deserved when Townsend snapped Jeff Schlupp’s cross past David De Gea when Luke Shaw lost sight of the English winger.

United found some footing after 15 minutes and Paul Pogba forced Vicente Guaita into a stooping save. And Scott McTominay’s rip was slightly deflected by Cheikhou Kouyate to go just wide for a 22nd-minute corner.

Palace was otherwise largely unthreatened in the half despite a lack of possession, aside from a penalty shout of marginal interest.

VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brought on Mason Greenwood for an ineffective Daniel James.

Jordan Ayew helped turnover McTominay early in the first half and took a bounding low shot that De Gea handled in the 49th.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah nearly turned the screw on his former loan side when he spotted Greenwood at the back post at the hour mark but the latter couldn’t turn his header on goal.

Zaha was offside before scoring for the second week in-a-row, the AR’s flag raised and video not required after another United error at the back.

Donny van de Beek entered for a United debut in the 67th minute, an ineffective Paul Pogba making way for the Ajax product.

A corner kick soon came to United and McTominay’s flicked header to the back post came too quick for Lindelof to wrap his body around the ball. The chance leapt over the cross bar.

VAR had a look at an in-tight penalty shout when a Palace shot turned off Lindelof’s arm and into the arms of De Gea.

It was given and De Gea quickly got low to stymy Ayew’s poor effort. But VAR saw De Gea’s back foot raised above the line and a retake awarded to Palace. Zaha nailed it.

Van de Beek pulled one back for United with quick thinking off a bungled clearance, but Zaha darted past Lindelof to shoot between the defender and Harry Maguire for 3-1.

Arsenal – West Ham: How to watch, start time, team news, prediction

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Arsenal – West Ham: Mikel Arteta and Arsenal take on another London pal when his former manager David Moyes brings West Ham to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday (Watch live at 3pm ET Saturday on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Arsenal beat Fulham in its first match of the Premier League season and will be further buoyed by a new long-term contract for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

West Ham has been very frustrated by the transfer market, with captain Mark Noble reacting publicly when the club sold Grady Diangana. That was before a 2-0 home loss to Newcastle on Saturday.

STREAM ARSENAL – WEST HAM LIVE

Here is everything you need to know ahead of Arsenal – West Ham this Saturday with team news, odds, stream link and more.


Team news: Arsenal – West Ham (INJURY REPORT)

Shkrodan Mustafi and Pablo Mari are out for Arsenal, while Granit Xhaka passed a late fitness to make the XI. Gabriel Martinelli and David Luiz remain long-term absences.

Jack Wilshere rolled his ankle at training this week for West Ham and is not expected to be available, and David Moyes is leaving Sebastien Haller, Andriy Yarmolenko, and Felipe Anderson on the bench in favor of five backs and, presumably, “steel.”


What they’re saying

New defender William Saliba on a lifelong affair with Arsenal: “I had an Arsenal jersey when I was little with Thierry Henry [on the back], so I liked the club since then. Now I am very proud to have the Arsenal jersey. I don’t know why! I went in the shop, and I only wanted Arsenal. I liked Vieira and Thierry Henry because I was little and I only knew the French players and they were very good. I am very, very proud to have the number four, so I have to be ready to carry number four.”

David Moyes on West Ham’s cup win after losing to Newcastle: “I just want to win whatever game we play next. I’d have taken 3-0 before the game but I thought that by the end I was disappointed that we hadn’t won by more. Keeping a clean sheet was good as well and we look forward to the next game and get a win in that. Any cup win, any competition I am thrilled to do so.”


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

The home Gunners are -190 to win while West Ham getting anything would surprise the bookmakers to the tune of +340 for a draw and +475 for Moyes’ boys to upset his former midfielder.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links


Prediction

Arsenal did the double against West Ham last year and it will be interesting to see whether Moyes tries to beat the Gunners with his top talents or again opts for grinders as he did in the loss to Newcastle. We think Arteta will have more up his sleeve and the Gunners were off all week. Arsenal 4-0.


How to watch Arsenal – West Ham stream and start time

Kickoff: 3 pm ET Saturday
TV Channel: NBCSN
Online: NBCSports.com