AP Photo/Jon Super

Spurs outlast Man City in chaotic UCL 2nd leg

Leave a comment
  • Four goals in first 11 minutes
  • Sterling, Son score two each
  • Aguero gives City first lead of tie in 59th
  • Llorente puts Spurs back in front

Fernando Llorente’s 73rd minute goal withstood the review of VAR and Raheem Sterling‘s stoppage time finish did not, as Tottenham Hotspur advanced past Manchester City in an all-timer of a UEFA Champions League semifinal second leg.

It finished 4-3 to City on the day and 4-4 on aggregate, with Spurs scoring the only away goals. Tottenham will meet Ajax in the semifinal.

Heung-Min Son scored twice for Spurs, with Llorente’s winner overcoming a glance off his arm.

Sterling scored twice for City, who also got goals from Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero. The quadruple hunt is dead.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

It didn’t take long for City to level the tie, a third minute pass from Kevin De Bruyne finding Sterling. The English winger cut inside as Kieran Trippier gave him room to fire a shot just inside the far post and into the side netting.

Son then demanded City score at least twice with an eighth minute marker to make it 2-1 on aggregate when Aymeric Laporte‘s poor intervention fell to the South Korean. Ederson got the a piece of it, but not enough to stop the ball from heading into the goal.

Then, again! Lucas Moura played Son into the left of the box, and Son curled one side netting to put City in an awful place after less than 10 minutes.

City was unbowed, a long pass finding Bernardo Silva in line for an 11th minute goal to make it 2-2 on the day and 3-2 to Spurs over two legs.

But wait, there’s more.

Sterling finished from an acute angle — really, though, it was a tougher task than we’ve made it sound — after De Bruyne swung a delightful cross over the fray.

The match made it an absurd (not really) 25 minutes without a goal, making it to halftime with the most notable occurrence being Moussa Sissoko‘s injury.

Son gave away a free kick to De Bruyne outside the 18, and Spurs faced a nervy moment in the 48th minute. But the Belgian sent an arrow just over the goal and it remained 3-3 on aggregate.

Sterling then forced a great save out of Lloris, with Danny Rose getting away with a tug on Bernardo as the pair went for the rebound.

Lloris then made a tremendous parry with his left arm to deny De Bruyne, and Ilkay Gundogan‘s corner led to more City possession but no immediate threat.

Spurs countered with great danger in the 58th, Ederson stymying a half-strength header from Fernando Llorente and then collecting a Christian Eriksen shot.

That’s when Aguero struck to take their first lead of the tie, taking a lay-off from De Bruyne and blasting inside the near post. 4-2, 4-3.

Son’s run tested Ederson in-tight to give Spurs a 72nd minute corner, which led to a goal.

Llorente put Spurs back in front on the day to bring the tie to 4-4 with Spurs claiming the only away goals, the goal defying a slight touch of the Spaniard’s elbow upon VAR review.

Bernardo then won City a corner as the match entered its final dozen minutes plus stoppage. Gundogan blazed over goal, and an Aguero header was soon claimed by Lloris.

Sterling then struck in the third minute of stoppage time, but the goal was taken off the board for offside by VAR!

Man City ease past Palace, keep title hopes on track (video)

Leave a comment
  • Man City go top of the table
  • Sterling scores twice; 17 PL goals this season
  • 3 defeats in 5 for Palace

Manchester City beat Crystal Palace 3-1 at Selhurst Park on Sunday to keep their title bid on track.

Two classy goals from Raheem Sterling set them on their way to victory, with Gabriel Jesus grabbing a late goal after Luka Milivojevic had pulled one back for Palace. In the end, Pep Guardiola‘s men won with minimum fuss to put the pressure back on Liverpool, who they have a game in hand of in the Premier League title race.

With the win City momentarily moved back to the top of the table on 83 points, and the reigning PL champs know they will win the title if they win all of their remaining five games. Palace remain in 13th on 39 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

City started brightly and had a big chance to take the lead, with David Silva wriggling away from defenders inside the box and then setting up Sterling who somehow dragged his effort wide.

But Sterling was clinical with his next chance. Kevin De Bruyne played a wonderful ball through to Sterling and he took one touch before clipped a delightful shot into the far top corner to make it 1-0.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]  

Leroy Sane then dribbled at goal and forced Vicente Guaita into a smart stop at his near post and Aguero smashed a shot over the bar. Palace tried hard to contain City but didn’t have many chances of their own as Benteke, Zaha and Townsend struggled to impact the game.

City looked dangerous on the break throughout the game, and should have been 2-0 up as Ilkay Gundogan clipped a lovely ball over the top but three Man City players got in each others way and De Bruyne’s shot was saved by Guaita.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings

Guaita then saved as De Bruyne’s cross flicked off Martin Kelly and towards his own goal, but Palace’s goalkeeper reacted well down low. Man City doubled their lead in style, as a flowing move saw Aguero, Silva and Sane combine to set up Sterling as he tapped home to make it 2-0.

But Palace set up a nervous finish for City, as Milivojevic curled home a free kick to make it 2-1 after Cheikhou Kouyate caused havoc in the defensive wall.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Despite that scare, City wrapped up in the win in the 90th minute as De Bruyne launched a counter and set up substitute Gabriel Jesus (who looked to be just offside) to slot home the third.

Job done for Man City.

Three things we learned from Spurs defeat of Man City

AP Photo/Frank Augstein
1 Comment

It was always going to be a challenge for Pep Guardiola to outfox and Manchester City to outplay Mauricio Pochettino and Tottenham Hotspur three times in just under two weeks.

After Tuesday’s first event, the opening leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal between the Premier League sides, Man City can only be thankful for one thing: That the stinker came first.

[ MORE: Match recap | Kane hurt ]

That’s one of the three things we pulled from Tuesday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Guardiola asleep at the wheel

Starting Riyad Mahrez over Leroy Sane and leaving Kevin De Bruyne on the bench for Ilkay Gundogan was probably designed to make Man City a bit safer, but instead left the side stale.

Even if you approve of the moves, Guardiola stubbornly refused to announce the failure of either — especially stunning given the poor night for Mahrez — by neither introducing KDB nor Sane until putting them both into the fray in the 89th minute.

On a lesser but deadly note, Guardiola had few options at left back due to injuries but Fabian Delph was carved up by Christian Eriksen and Heung-Min Son on the goal.

Now City may need to blank Spurs in the second leg to advance, and if they concede early in the second leg they will need to score at least three goals to advance. Pep is playing a precarious game.

Sissoko terrific on patrol

City had little going for it all night, and Guardiola’s lineup choices betrayed him almost as much as his hesitancy to substitute early in the 1-0 loss to Spurs.

Moussa Sissoko was again a monster for Tottenham Hotspur. The question for the former Newcastle United man may have always been about his desire to perform on a consistent basis, but he’s long been a man for the bright lights.

And Pochettino has gotten the best out of the French midfielder in recent weeks, the big man a force against a Man City midfield expected to thrive in possession.

Narrator voice: It didn’t.

Lloris keeps his head

Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris had a long time to mull on the idea of stopping a penalty, with Video Assistant Referee taking its sweet time to decide whether Danny Rose handled a ball inside the 18.

So did Sergio Aguero, and the Man City man didn’t get the most of his attempt from the spot but better marks go to the French goalkeeper.

Questioned at times this year, Lloris went in the right direction to stymy one of the Premier League’s greatest all-time scorers and he feels the incident gave his side a big boost even if he didn’t personally see the offense.

“I didn’t see it,” Lloris said. “It is part of the game. We have to accept that. We stayed in the game and it gave us even more energy.”

Bonus notes

Fernandinho is fortunate he didn’t throw the whole leg in the garbage with his three-times silly challenge on Harry Kane early which involved two elbows and a push to the back of the head.

— That pass from Eriksen that led to Son’s goal. Wow.

— The wait for the new stadium was worth it; Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was noticeably loud and exploded after the goal.

Sane, Gundogan allegedly racially abused on Germany duty

AP Photo/Martin Meissner
Leave a comment

Three men have turned themselves in to authorities following allegations that they racially abused Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan while the Manchester City duo was on international duty in Germany.

[ MORE: Report: Man United stars lined up for exit ]

The phrases “Negro” and “Turk” were allegedly shouted at Sane, who is black, and Gundogan, who was born (in Germany) to Turkish parents, during Germany’s 1-1 draw with Serbia in Wolfsburg. “Heil Hitler” is also alleged to have been used, according to a report from a German publication.

The abuse lobbed at Sane and Gundogan was “constant” from a certain sect of the crowd in attendance, according to a statement from the German federation immediately after the game.

[ MORE: Sane escapes serious injury despite “vicious foul” ]

“The DFB condemns the racist incident in the international match against Serbia on Wednesday in Wolfsburg in the strongest terms. During the match at the Volkswagen Arena, national team players Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan were constantly insulted by a small group of spectators.

“Thanks to the support of a fan, the DFB was able to locate the ticket buyer for the seats where the spectators were sitting. The police have been turned on and are now investigating.”

Germany’s youth movement calls up 10 without many caps

Photo by Jörg Schüler/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

Germany is sticking with Joachim Low despite a disappointing World Cup and UEFA Nations League, and he’s turning the page on most of the players who helped him win the 2014 World Cup.

The Germans finished 22nd at the 2018 World Cup and were relegated from Division A of the UNL.

[ MORE: PL Player of Year candidates ]

Low made headlines last week when he announced he would no longer call-up Bayern Munich trio Thomas Muller, Jerome Boateng, and Mats Hummels.

It’s not like he’s neglecting experience completely with his call-ups to face Serbia in a home friendly before beginning EURO 2020 qualification with a trip to the Netherlands, who bounced Germany from the UNL on Nov. 19.

Manuel Neuer (32) is still there and will captain the squad, while Toni Kroos (29), Marco Reus (29) and Ilkay Gundogan (28) are the other elder statesmen of the squad

But Germany has 10 players with five or less caps, including teenager Kai Havertz of Bayer Leverkusen.

One of those players is Serge Gnabry of Bayern, and you could construct a lineup with Neuer, Kroos, Reus, and Gundogan which would look mighty dangerous.

Ter Stegen

Rudiger — Sule — Ginter

 Kehrer — Kimmich — Goretzka — Klostermann

 Gnabry — Werner — Sane