Red-hot Manchester City hammer Southampton

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Manchester City breezed past Southampton at the Etihad Stadium as Pep Guardiola’s side continued their fine start to the season

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Joao Cancelo put City ahead and Phil Foden doubled their lead before the break. Riyad Mahrez scored early in the second half and Erling Haaland grabbed his obligatory goal as City dominated from start to finish.

With the win they move on to 23 points for the season as they remain unbeaten and momentarily went top of the table.

Saints have now lost four on the trot and have picked up just seven points from their first nine games.

WATCH FULL MATCH REPLAY


What we learned from Manchester City vs Southampton

Intensity key as City have momentum: All eyes will now be on City’s next Premier League game, their trip to Liverpool next Sunday. They are well ahead of Liverpool so far this season but their struggles at Anfield in recent seasons are well documented and Jurgen Klopp’s high-pressing style does put them off. This feels like peak City, though. They’re hungry to win the ball back, have quality on it when they do and they have so many players in form and flying. It’s hard to not predict City running away with the Premier League title this season and this game coming up at Anfield will show how just how much they’ve accelerated away from Liverpool over the summer.

Erling Haaland only scores one but opens up space for others: He hit the post early on and made some good runs and PL Fantasy team players everywhere will have been disappointed Haaland only scored once. That’s just 20 goals in his first 13 games in all competitions for City. Haaland went close on a few occasions and although his final pass through to Foden, or others, was just off at times, he opened up space for City’s other forwards to run into. Foden and De Bruyne benefitted from that and although Haaland wasn’t all over the scoreline, his impact was plentiful.

Saints can’t be judged on this defeat: Before this game there was growing pressure on Ralph Hasenhuttl amid reports he will be fired soon. It wasn’t a terrible display from Saints but this was all about damage limitation. The three defeats (by a one-goal margin) against Everton, Aston Villa and Wolves before this did the damage. Let’s see if Hasenhuttl is given the next few weeks to try and push them up the table as back-to-back games against West Ham and Bournemouth seem crucial as to whether or not he is given the time to turn this around. After almost four years in charge he’s kept Saints in the Premier League but now their new owners have spent big money in the summer on talented youngsters, they seem to be demanding more of a return.


Tactical focus

Graphic via FotMob.com

After a very slow start Pep Guardiola made an intriguing tactical switch which helped kick-start his team. He went from the 4-3-3 system to a 3-4-2-1 as Cancelo played as a left wing-back and dominated the game. That switch created overloads which Southampton couldn’t deal with as Kyle Walker-Peters was left isolated and City were ruthless. That move to a three-man central defense gave City the extra man further up the pitch and they took full advantage of it.

 [ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]


Pep Guardiola happy with display; praise for Foden, Haaland

“The result is good, we play quite good. We struggled to break their high pressing. Last season we suffered a lot against them but today we were much better. Some players were not at their best but we create a lot of chances. We were solid. It was a good game. For a long time Phil Foden is playing really good. The impact from him is great. Erling Haaland had the chances again. He scored a brilliant goal. It’s an incredible weapon for us, a big threat. I am so satisfied.” – Pep Guardiola to BBC Sport

Ralph Hasenhuttl on his future as Saints boss

“It is not my decision to make. Since I’ve come here, and it’s been nearly four years now, we have been fighting for results. The problem is not here today, it’s from other weeks where we did not get enough points. As long as I’m here [we will still fight].” – Ralph Hasenhuttl to BBC Sport


Stars of the show

Joao Cancelo: Sensational goal to get City going and oozed quality on the ball. Great cross for Haaland’s goal too.

Phil Foden: Lovely assist and goal and he is so hungry to win the ball back.


What’s next?

Man City travel to Copenhagen on Tuesday in the UEFA Champions League group stage and then have a massive game at Liverpool on Sunday, Oct. 16. Southampton host West Ham next Sunday.


How to watch Manchester City vs Southampton live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday
TV Channel: Peacock 
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium


Key storylines

City look unstoppable right now and Haaland and De Bruyne are ripping teams apart. Not to mention that Guardiola has a stable of incredible players to rotate and they look hungrier than ever to show everyone exactly how good they are. After smashing Manchester United 6-3 at home last weekend, the only concern for Guardiola is how they switched off late on to cough up a few goals. That said, City were barely in second gear at that point and could have scored 10 goals, at least, against their bitter rivals. For Southampton, well, they have the youngest squad in the Premier League and it’s showing. There have been ups and downs so far this season and they’ve come out on the wrong end of four one-goal losses in their last five. There isn’t an awful lot wrong (aside from not having a top striker) but after this game at City they need to pick up a few big wins to stop a growing tide of dissent towards Hasenhuttl. One strange fact: Saints drew home and away against Man City in the PL last season.


In-form players to keep an eye on

Basically all of City’s team is in top form but Haaland, De Bruyne, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish are all looking incredible, while Manuel Akanji has slotted in seamlessly at center back. Southampton’s best player this season has been Armel Bella-Kotchap, closely followed by Romeo Lavia (bought from Manchester City this summer) but the latter remains out injured. Joe Aribo has quietly scored a couple and is doing his best to get their attack going.


Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup

John Stones, Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips remain out injured, while Rodri wasn’t risked for the Manchester derby but he comes back into the starting lineup. All of that means that Ake starts at left back with Cancelo at right back with Akanji and Dias at center back. Riyad Mahrez replaces Jack Grealish in attack.


Southampton team news, injuries, lineup

Lavia is close to a return, while Tino Livramento is stepping up his recovery from a long-term knee injury. Hasenhuttl has brought in Salisu, Perraud, Diallo and Adam Armstrong to the starting lineup as it looks like he’s done back to his preferred 4-2-2-2 formation.



Lionel Messi goal, assist leads Argentina awakening vs Mexico

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Lionel Messi’s second-half goal gave Argentina’s World Cup hopes a massive lift as the Albiceleste broke through against stubborn Mexico to win 2-0 in Lusail on Saturday.

Enzo Fernandez, 21, also scored for Argentina in the win, which comes after a 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia in the opener.

STREAM LIVE ARGENTINA vs MEXICO

Mexico’s brave performance was broken by Messi’s splendid finish and now Mexico (1 point) needs to beat Saudi Arabia (3 points) and get help from Argentina (3 points) vs Poland (4 points) to make the Round of 16.

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Lionel Messi: Of course he did.

The world’s — maybe history’s — greatest ever player had a frustrating day and spent 65 minutes thinking this could’ve been his last World Cup match.

Twenty-five minutes later, he had a goal and an assist and Argentina was heading to Poland likely a draw or better away from going to the knockout rounds.

C’est la Messi.

Mexico executed Tata Martino’s masterful plan for over an hour and looked set to walk away with a point. Messi wasn’t getting the ball in dangerous spaces and Lautaro Martinez was so ineffective that he was taken off the pitch.

Then: One hesitation when Angel Di Maria spotted Messi. Two touches for the Atomic Ant. 1-0.

Messi would later assist young Enzo Fernandez’s goal to re-certify his status as one of the very best to do it in any team sport. Argentina only had 0.28 expected goals on the day but when you have two magic shots, it’ll get the job done.


Stars of the show

Lionel Messi

Nicolas Otamendi

Hector Moreno

Argentina vs Mexico
fotmob.com

Lionel Messi goal video: GOAT things

Enzo Fernandez goal video: Pearler of a finish delivers Messi assist


How to watch Argentina vs Mexico live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 2pm ET, Saturday Nov. 26
Stadium: Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

It’s Messi, of course, who says he’s playing in his final World Cup, but it’s also about who’s going to step up as a difference maker for Argentina. Lautaro Martinez had a goal taken off the board for a razor-thin offside versus Saudi Arabia, while Julian Alvarez had a shot saved in his sub’s role and both Paulo Dybala and Angel Correa were unused subs in the opener.

Mexico’s midfield was excellent to start the tournament. Will Hector Herrera again join Edson Alvarez and Luis Chavez is setting the tone for Tata Martino’s team? And can El Tri find a finisher after Henry Martin and Co. failed to find the back of the goal versus Poland.


Argentina quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 3
World Cup titles: 2 (1978, 1986)
World Cup appearances: 17
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONMEBOL (2nd place)
Coach: Lionel Scaloni
Key players: Lionel Messi, Angel de Maria, Lautaro Martinez

Mexico quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 13
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 16
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONCACAF (2nd place)
Coach: Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino
Key players: Guillermo Ochoa, Hector Herrera, Raul Jimenez

Belgium vs Morocco: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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Belgium will look to get back to their best and make it two wins from two in the group stage but Morocco will make it extremely tough for Kevin de Bruyne and Co.

STREAM LIVE BELGIUM v MOROCCO

Roberto Martinez saw his side totally dominated by Canada in their Group F opener but they took their one big chance and won the game, largely thanks to poor finishing from Canada and Thibaut Courtois saving a penalty kick. The No. 2 ranked team in the world has to improve. Fast.

Morocco caused Croatia plenty of problems in their opening game and a draw was a fair result as their high-pressing caused Croatia a lot of problems. They will look to do exactly the same against Belgium and could have plenty of joy if Hakim Ziyech is found in dangerous areas in the final third.

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Here is everything you need for Belgium vs Morocco. 


How to watch Belgium vs Morocco live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 8am ET – Sunday, November 27
Stadium: Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor 
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

Kevin de Bruyne was almost apologetic after being named man of the match against Canada as he said he and his teammates really struggled in their World Cup opener. Belgium have to give their back three more protection as they are really susceptible to speedy wide players cutting in wide and teams playing direct and cutting out their midfield playmakers. Roberto Martinez will surely start the likes of Meunier and Onana in this game to try and give Belgium a little more control and solidity. Michy Batshuayi is expected to continue to fill in for the injured Romelu Lukaku once again.

Morocco will try and do exactly what Canada did to Belgium and they have the players to do it. Ziyech and Boufal will cause problems out wide and Morocco looked solid defensively against Croatia. There is a real whiff of an upset in the air around this one as Morocco will be roared on by their large group of supporters in Qatar.


Belgium quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 2
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 14
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Roberto Martinez
Key players: Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard

Morocco Rica quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 22
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 6
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CAF
Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic
Key players: Achraf Hakimi, Yassine Bounou, Youssef En-Nesyri, Romain Saiss


World Cup 2022 Group E: Spain, Germany, Japan, Costa Rica schedule, fixtures, rankings

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Japan and Spain sent early messages in Group E with an upset of Germany and demolition of Costa Rica, respectively, to start the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

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Japan reached the Round of 16 at the last World Cup and gave Belgium everything it could handle before bowing out 3-2, while Costa Rica surprised everyone in 2014 when it emerged atop a Group D with England, Italy, and Uruguay, then beating Greece in the Round of 16.

Of course, Spanish boss Luis Enrique and Germany’s Hansi Flick will be fancying themselves the favorites to emerge from the group, but the latter now knows better than ever before that anything can happen in Qatar after a 2-1 loss to Japan. Spain hammered Costa Rica 7-0 in their opener and they look the real deal.

[ MORE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub

Below is everything you need to know on World Cup 2022 Group E.


Group E schedule (all times ET)

Recap/highlights: Spain 7-0 Costa Rica – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Germany 1-2 Japan – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Sunday, November 27: Spain vs Germany – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm
Sunday, November 27: Japan vs Costa Rica – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 5am
Thursday, December 1: Japan vs Spain – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm
Thursday, December 1: Costa Rica vs Germany – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm

How To Watch Group E matches live

  • When: November 23-December 1 2022
  • Group stage game kick-off times: 5am, 8am, 11am, 2pm (all ET)
  • Location: Qatar
  • TV channels en Español: Telemundo, Universo, Peacock
  • Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)

Follow along with ProSoccerTalk for the latest news, scores, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 World Cup, and be sure to subscribe to NBC Sports on YouTube!


Group E table

1. Spain — 3 points (+7 GD)
2. Japan — 3 points (+1)
3. Germany — 0 points (-1)
4. Costa Rica — 0 points (-7)


Spain

Current FIFA world ranking: 7
World Cup titles: 1 (2010)
World Cup appearances: 16
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Luis Enrique
Key players: Rodri, Pedri, Pau Torres, Jordi Alba

Germany

Current FIFA world ranking: 11
World Cup titles: 4 (1954, 1974, 1990, 2014)
World Cup appearances: 20
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Hansi Flick
Key players: Manuel Neuer, Antonio Rudiger, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka

Costa Rica

Current FIFA world ranking: 31
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 5
How they qualified: Qualified from CONCACAF via interconfederation playoffs
Coach: Luis Fernando Suarez
Key players: Keylor Navas, Joel Campbell, Celso Borges, Bryan Ruiz

Japan

Current FIFA world ranking: 24
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 7
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from AFC
Coach: Hajime Moriyasu
Key players: Maya Yoshida, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Takumi Minamino, Daichi Kamada

Croatia vs Canada: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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Newly famous international darlings Canada will try again for a number of firsts, when they face Croatia in their second game at the 2022 World Cup on Sunday.

STREAM CROATIA vs CANADA LIVE

Canada outshone many of the tournament’s heavyweights during the first round of group games, ultimately falling just short of their first World Cup point and, had things gone just a bit differently, their first win.

Group F is an intriguing one, with favorites Belgium struggling in their opener and Croatia and Morocco both failing to impress against one another. As things stand, it’s wide open for anyone (and everyone).

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Here is everything you need for Croatia vs Canada. 


How to watch Croatia vs Canada live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 11am ET, Sunday (November 27)
Stadium: Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

On one hand, Canada were downright brilliant when they made their World Cup return, 36 years in the making on Wednesday. On the other hand, they lost 1-0 to Belgium and are the only team in Group F without a point thus far. The Canucks won plaudits (and new fans) as they showed no fear whatsoever playing against the no. 2 team in the world and were comfortably the better side on the day, so said Belgium boss Roberto Martinez after the game. Alphonso Davies was denied by Thibaut Courtois from the penalty spot, with the game still 0-0 and Canada seeking its first-ever World Cup goal (yeah, that too). Sunday, perhaps.

As for Croatia, their opening draw with Morocco raised a few red flags for a nation that went all the way to the World Cup final just four (and a half) years ago. With five of 11 starters age 30 or older, Croatia have very little range and mobility, and no explosiveness anywhere in the side. Despite holding nearly 65 percent of possession in the game against Morocco, Croatia managed just five shots in 90 minutes (two on target) and a paltry 0.52 xG. If things don’t turn around on Sunday, it’ll be the end of an iconic era that, unfortunately, lasted one cycle too long.


Croatia quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 12
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 6
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Zlatko Dalic
Key players: Luka Modric, Andrej Kramaric, Mateo Kovacic

Canada quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 41
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 2
How they qualified: Qualified from CONCACAF (1st place)
Coach: John Herdman
Key players: Alphonso Davies, Jonathan David, Milan Borjan, Jonathan Osorio

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