Kyle Walker

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Sterling, Walker joke about bad misses in hilarious Twitter banter

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Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker have been both club and international teammates for nearly two years now, since the latter joined Manchester City back in the summer of 2017. That’s plenty of time for the two to build a strong friendship, and often that includes some good-natured banter.

Manchester City topped Leicester City 1-0 on Monday to put the Citizens back in the pole position for the Premier League title with just one game to go, a massive result that has left Pep Guardiola with just one more 90-minute battle to navigate to see this tense title challenge through. Still, the match was nervy until Vincent Kompany‘s absolute belter to win it, as City dominated the second half but found it difficult to break Leicester City down inside the penalty area.

Until Kompany’s thunderous strike, Man City’s finishing left much to be desired, kept out by Kasper Schmeichel on a number of occasions and leaving City fans nervous they would be held to a draw that would see Liverpool take over as title favorites. Once the result was secured and the pressure was lifted, Sterling and Walker had a little fun at each other’s expense, poking fun at each other’s poor finishes earlier in the match. Sterling first retweeted a fan who sent him a Walker shot from distance in the 17th minute that flew miles over the bar. Walker responded with a 52nd minute Sterling header that also found the seats high over the bar, joking that it looked more like a defender sending the ball out for a corner.

Now now fellas, all in good fun.

The two deserve to enjoy themselves after the season and stretch Manchester City has put together. The club has won a stunning 13 matches in a row, without dropped points since late January. Both Sterling and Walker have missed just one match during that stretch, otherwise both proving vital to the side. The two have often combined on the right flank, although recently Sterling has been moved to the left to accommodate Bernardo Silva.

To pile on the jokes, Sterling mentioned Walker’s skied effort on Instagram as well, adding to his Instagram post about Kompany’s winning blast, “And if anyone has updates for the one @kylewalker2 hit in 1st half, please let us know.” Sterling then posted on Twitter that “legend says we still looking for that ball #nowheretobefound.”

Palace eliminates Spurs from FA Cup

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Tottenham Hotspur’s miserable January continued Sunday with a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace in the FA Cup.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino had targeted cup success and was flummoxed when Chelsea avenged a first leg deficit by knocking the North Londoners out of the League Cup at the semifinal stage at midweek.

[ MORE: Giovinco leaving TFC? ]

Now nine points adrift of leaders Liverpool in the Premier League and facing Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League’s Round of 16, Spurs’ avenues toward a first trophy since the 2008 League Cup.

Having conceded a ninth minute tap-in goal to Connor Wickham and a penalty to Andros Townsend for a handball on Kyle Walker-Peters, Spurs were handed a chance to jump back into the game when Patrick Van Aanholt caught Juan Foyth in the box.

Enter Kieran Trippier and exit music for a wide effort.

Spurs host Watford at 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Make sure to tune-in for our special Transfer Deadline Day show on NBCSN on Thursday, Jan. 31 from 5 p.m. ET as we focus on all of the moves across the Premier League in the January window. You can stream the show live online right here.

Guardiola: Man City needs to ‘recover mentally’ and physically

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Pep Guardiola says Crystal Palace was exceptionally clinical in its 3-2 defeat of Man City on Saturday, and that his men helped the visitors with a terrible conceded penalty.

[ RECAP: Man City 2-3 Palace ]

City enters Christmas four points back of leaders Liverpool, and Guardiola’s men are not looking like the beasts we’ve so often seen in City blue over the past 16 months.

Part of that comes down to Kyle Walker, who may rue watching the highlights of this one even beyond his conceded penalty.

He had a rough game starting with the room he allowed Jeffrey Schlupp for Palace’s opener, and was especially poor when he chopped down Max Meyer in the box for what would stand as the decisive goal for Palace when Luka Milivojevic converted the chance to make it 3-1 for the Eagles.

From the BBC:

“The third goal … We cannot concede the penalty we conceded. We have to try and avoid it. Football is like this. Three shots on goal and three goals.

“There are a lot of games to play. We have to recover mentally and recover our physicality.”

City next heads to the road for matches at Leicester City and Southampton, two sides who won on Saturday, while Liverpool hosts Newcastle United and Arsenal.

Champions League Weds. preview: Pogba returns to Turin

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Manchester United knows a result against Juventus in Turin will be important on Wednesday, but it will know just how important by the time it kicks off at 3 p.m. ET

Valencia and Young Boys meet in Spain at 12:55 p.m. ET, fresh off a draw in Switzerland last month. A Valencia win would move the Spanish side ahead of United, while a Young Boys win or draw would keep United second regardless of how it fares at Juve.

[ MORE: Liverpool falls in Serbia ]

Paul Pogba is a key part of United’s hopes in Italy, and he’ll be very much in focus given his former status as a key player for The Old Lady. The new key attacker? Some guy named Cristiano Ronaldo. Here’s Pogba, via ManUtd.com:

“Obviously having such a top player like Cristiano is always positive,” Pogba said. “I think definitely that he’s very happy to be here and I believe that it’s a remarkable achievement for Juventus as they succeeded to have a player like him, because basically he scores goal just like he drinks water, so very easily.”

Ronaldo’s former club, Real Madrid, will be knocked from its Group G perch after the early match. AS Roma is in Moscow to face CSKA, and Real’s 3 p.m. kickoff at big underdogs Viktoria Plzen will be under plenty of scrutiny given the result and a tighter than expected meeting in Madrid last month.

Let’s get to the other Premier League club in action: Group F leaders Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola‘s men are home to Shakhtar Donetsk, looking to produce something similar to the Oct. 23 3-0 win in Ukraine.

City fullback Kyle Walker said the team is laser-focused, having learned from its loss to Liverpool to end its last Champions League run. From ManCity.com:

“I don’t think anything changes within the set-up of the week and the focus of the players but we have to take into consideration that the teams are different to the ones we’re facing week in, week out in the Premier League. The standard is definitely a level up. It’s something we have to think about and hopefully, we’ll put it right on Wednesday evening.”

A win for City would clinch a spot in the knockout rounds if Lyon defeats Hoffenheim in France.

Full Weds. schedule

12:55 p.m. ET kickoffs
Valencia vs. Young Boys
CSKA Moscow vs. AS Roma

3 p.m. ET kickoffs
Man City vs. Shakhtar Donetsk
Lyon vs. Hoffenheim
Viktoria Plzen vs. Real Madrid
Juventus vs. Manchester United
Benfica vs. Ajax
Bayern Munich vs. AEK Athens

Rare Walker goal slips Man City past Newcastle

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  • Walker, Yedlin score rare goals
  • Match level 1-1 at half
  • Dubravka shines in loss

Kyle Walker‘s goal of the season candidate lifted Manchester City past Newcastle United on Saturday at the Etihad Stadium.

The match was 1-1 at the break after DeAndre Yedlin‘s first Premier League goal answered Raheem Sterling‘s opener.

By the final stanza, the match very much looked like Newcastle was happy to limit its goal differential damage and City was happy with the win.

[ STREAM: Watch every PL match live ]

Riyad Mahrez was the target of Man City’s early plan, and he cooked Paul Dummett before dragging a shot wide of the near post in the fourth minute.

It was 1-0 after 430 seconds, though, as Raheem Sterling found the ball off a Jamaal Lascelles giveaway. He cut past DeAndre Yedlin and belted a shot past a flying Martin Dubravka.

The Newcastle keeper kept Gabriel Jesus off the board in the 18th minute after the latter worked past Ciaran Clark in the Magpies’ box.

Then the stunning equalizer with Yedlin racing past Gabriel Jesus to slot Salomon Rondon’s perfect past beyond a splayed Ederson. Game on.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Walker scored an amazing goal in the 52nd minute to restore City’s lead, drilling a low shot through traffic from 25 yards.

And he tried his luck on a 57th minute free kick, catching Dubravka off guard for a parry and leading to the ball in the net a few moves later… offside, though.

Dubravka made a trio of outstanding saves in sequence during the 64th, stopping Fernandinho once and David Silva twice. He’d then stop Aguero in stoppage time after a marvelous pass from Fernandinho.