Getty Images

Man City obliterates Burton Albion 9-0 in Carabao Cup

Leave a comment

Manchester City started a strong lineup in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semifinal against League One side Burton Albion, and boy did it pay off.

Pep Guardiola‘s side put on an attacking clinic for the ages as they hammered Burton 9-0 as Gabriel Jesus picked up four goals, while five other blue shirts found the back of the net, including Kevin De Bruyne, Kyle Walker, and Riyad Mahrez.

A few Manchester City starters were rested, with Sergio Aguero not in the squad and Ederson, John Stones, and Raheem Sterling all on the bench, but de Bruyne, Walker, and Jesus all found the starting lineup as did David Silva and Ilkay Gundoguan, and the lower league minnows never had a chance.

De Bruyne scored just five minutes in to begin the onslaught, and Manchester City never looked back. Jesus opened his bursting account on the half-hour mark, and doubled his number four minutes later thanks to a great chip from Gundoguan.

Jesus had his hat-trick just before the hour mark, and bagged a fourth five minutes past it. Academy product Phil Foden also got in on the action in the 62nd minute as City scored four goals in a 13-minute second half span. Oleksandr Zinchenko also scored, and Mahrez’s messy effort trickled in with seven minutes remaining to complete the demolition.

After putting seven goals past Rotherham in early FA Cup action last time out, Manchester City becomes the first English club to record at least a combined 16 goals across two consecutive fixtures since they did it back in 1987 (source: Opta). Burton Albion had achieved much just to reach this point of the competition, having already defeated Premier League side Burnley back in the third round and taking down fellow Championship clubs Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest, and Middlesbrough on its way to the semifinals.

Manchester City takes its incredible goalscoring form back to the Premier League where they face newly-promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday followed by a Sunday meeting with Huddersfield Town, before the second leg against Burton Albion which will be little more than a formality.

Foden, Gundogan star for seven-goal Man City

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Manchester City rolled past Rotherham United 7-0 in the FA Cup on Sunday, with Ilkay Gundogan starring and Phil Foden scoring his second senior goal.

A trip to the Etihad Stadium was always going to be a tall ask for the Championship side, and Pep Guardiola‘s inclusion of Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling in the Starting XI didn’t help the Millers.

[ REPORT: Mourinho turns down job ]

De Bruyne cued Sterling up for the first goal of the game, while Foden, Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez, Nicolas Otamendi, Leroy Sane, and a Rotherham own goal also dotted the score sheet.

Gundogan was the playmaker for four of City’s seven goals, while Sterling also picked up an assist.

Foden’s goal was his first senior goal for City, and it must’ve seemed to him like it took ages for the ball to cross the line considering it took a relatively long time anyway.

The own goal followed, making it 3-0 into halftime.

City out-attempted the Millers 23-1, though that one shot did go on target (Silver lining alert?).

Gundogan set up Foden’s goal, and was provider for the final three goals of the match as well.

It’s no surprise to hear that Foden is definitely sticking around the Etihad Stadium.

Here are all the markers via the FA Cup’s Twitter feed:

Liverpool duo, Aubameyang are CAF Player of the Year finalists

Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Mohamed Salah‘s bid to become the third player to win consecutive African Player of the Year awards faces some stiff competition.

[ MORE: Top PL storylines, Wk 21 ]

Salah (Egypt) is joined by Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane (Senegal) and Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon) as finalists for the confederation’s award, set to be handed out Jan. 8 in Senegal.

The Egyptian won in 2018 — his first year as a finalist — edging second place Mane and third place Aubameyang last year. Aubameyang won the award in 2015, and Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez claimed the honors in 2016.

Salah will be the heavy favorite despite Aubameyang’s outstanding year, if only because he was the lone member of the three to appear in the 2018 World Cup.

Still injured from a Sergio Ramos challenge in the UEFA Champions League Final, Salah scored both of the Pharoahs goals as Egypt failed to claim a point in a group with Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Uruguay.

Salah already won the BBC’s award. Surprisingly, Aubameyang was left off the BBC’s five-man shortlist, which instead chose Kalidou Koulibaly, Mehdi Benatia, and Thomas Partey. That’s trying a bit too hard, in this man’s view. Alex Iwobi and Wilfred Ndidi were also denied by the CAF.

El Hadji Diouf, Samuel Eto'o, and Yaya Toure were the others to win back-to-back African POTY honors.

Top 5 Premier League managers of 2018

AP Photo/Rui Vieira
3 Comments

The big boys occupy the top three spots in our list of the best Premier League managerial performances of the 2018 calendar year.

But you might be surprised at both their order and the men who rivaled each other for fourth and fifth.

And Nuno Espirito Santo, we still almost plugged you into the mix despite a half-year in the league.

5. (tie) Claude Puel, Leicester City (37 matches, 48 points) and Roy Hodgson, Crystal Palace (37 matches, 44 points) — Two men who did very different jobs in 2018.

Hodgson was just above the relegation zone, and led Palace well up the table through the power of Wilfried Zaha. The Eagles, however, have been less inspiring in the first half of this season.

Puel, on the other hand, didn’t do much at all with his Foxes after riding into 2018 in eighth place (They finished in ninth). But the oft-maligned manager has kept Leicester cool despite the departure of Riyad Mahrez and, more saliently, the horrible helicopter crash which claimed the life of Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others.

4. Eddie Howe, Bournemouth (37 matches, 50 points) — Put aside the Cherries’ recent and mighty struggles against any decent opponent, Bournemouth entered 2018 in the drop zone and finished 12th. That was 11 points clear of the drop zone. They are 11 points clear of the drop entering 2019, and Howe remains one of the most talked-about, “Would he leave for (Bigger Team X)?” managers in the game.

3. Pep Guardiola, Manchester City (37 matches, 88 points) — City’s second half of the season completed a record-smashing title campaign with all the accompanying pressure.

2. Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool (37 matches, 88 points) — The tiebreaker? Klopp’s Reds went 3W-1D against Guardiola’s Citizens in 2018.

  1. Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham Hotspur (38 matches, 85 points) — City spent about $160m from Jan. 2018 to date; Liverpool spent about $298m; Spurs spent just under $33 million, and their wage bill was sixth in the Premier League.

Man City scores three in Southampton

Leave a comment
  • David Silva opens scoring
  • Saints level through Hojbjerg, who is later sent off
  • City scores a minute apart before halftime

Manchester City stopped its rot with a 3-1 win over Southampton at St. Mary’s on Sunday.

David Silva and Sergio Aguero scored to go along a James Ward-Prowse own goal, as City pulled to within seven points of Liverpool ahead of a big match on Thursday at the Etihad Stadium.

Saints are in 17th place, above victorious Burnley on goal differential, as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg scored a wonderful goal in the first half but was sent off in the second for a high challenge.

[ STREAM: Watch every PL match live ]

Alex McCarthy stopped an early chance, and Southampton nearly had a gilt-edged opportunity were it not for an off-balance Charlie Austin.

That was when Saints’ hopes to a big hit, with Bernardo Silva finding David Silva alone in the heart of the box for a calm finish past McCarthy. Dave’s done this before.

Riyad Mahrez took a long dribble after City broke the Saints’ high press, but blazed an arrow wide despite the presence of Raheem Sterling to his left for a presumably easier finish.

Saints leveled the score line through Hojbjerg, who took the ball off Oleksandr Zinchenko, dribbled into the City box, kept space from Vincent Kompany, and sweetly struck a ball past Ederson.

Raheem Sterling put City back in front, albeit the own goal route and with no help from McCarthy’s slow reaction to a deflected pass.

Aguero went a more traditional route, nodding home from a cross to make it 3-1 into the break.

McCarthy denied Mahrez a chance at 4-1 in the 80th minute of a mostly quiet second half, which got a little louder when Hojbjerg was shown red in the 85th for a studs-up challenge on Fernandinho.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]