Associated Press

Sane backs Guardiola, Low after Hoffenheim win

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Leroy Sane had a tough summer.

The 22-year-old was surprisingly left off the Germany World Cup roster by Joachim Low, with rumors swirling as to the reason why. With Germany bounced from the World Cup early, Sane then had to earn his way back into the Manchester City starting lineup as well thanks to poor on-field form.

He might be on his way back, and he has nothing but praise for his bosses.

Sane was fantastic in Manchester City’s win over Hoffenheim in Champions League play on Tuesday, assisting Sergio Aguero’s goal and earning what should have been a penalty. It’s possible his performance could earn him more playing time this season going forward, having played just 281 Premier League minutes thus far.

“I’m looking forward to more,” Sane said after the match. But not about his playing time. He was referencing the criticism he received from those in charge.

Every player obviously craves more playing time, but Sane decided to back both his club manager Pep Guardiola and his country’s head coach Jogi Low despite the hardships he faced. After such a tough summer where Sane lost both his starting positions, it would have been easy to criticize his managers for freezing him out, but instead he had nothing but praise.

“Jogi Low and Pep Guardiola both know exactly how to deal with me,” Sane said to German television channel Sport1. “I love challenges, especially with Pep Guardiola. I’m looking forward to receiving more criticism from such great coaches – it even delights me a bit.”

“Criticism is normal in football. I focus only on myself, I want to improve.”

Man City 2-0 Brighton: Aguero and Sterling on target

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  • Manchester City held nearly 80% possession
  • Sergio Aguero scored his 5th goal of the season
  • Man City earned its third clean sheet in a row

Manchester City had little trouble moving to the top of the Premier League table on Saturday, brushing Brighton & Hove Albion aside for a 2-0 win. Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero put the finishing touches on the pair of goals and City was never truly put to the test at the back.

The match started quite open, as both teams earned corners in the opening two minutes. Aguero tried an audacious overhead kick in traffic but it was weak and blocked.  Anthony Knockaert earned himself an early caution with a late, studs-up tackle on Oleksandr Zinchenko, catching the Ukranian square in the shin. Knockaert may consider himself lucky to remain on the pitch with just a yellow card shown.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Brighton hardly had a touch of the ball as Manchester City had 70% possession through the opening 20 minutes. The hosts pummeled the Brighton box with 12 crosses over that span, but failed to produce a shot on target. Finally, they opened up the Seagulls right on the half-hour mark and it came on the counter. Leroy Sane forced the turnover, and he made a run which Aguero found, with the German crossing across the face of goal to Raheem Sterling for the sliding finish.

City continued to push forward, and Sane pulled back for Zinchenko on 37 minutes, but his stinging shot was blocked. Sterling put on a show weaving through the box past defenders, but his effort towards the near post was just tipped over by Matthew Ryan.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Following the halftime break, City remained the more dangerous team by a clear margin. Near the half-hour mark, a second was nearly produced as Sane rifled a cross into the box, but the Brighton defenders threw their bodies around to block three separate efforts on net.

That second would come shortly after on 65 minutes, and it was spectacular. Sergio Aguero ran straight down the middle on the ball past no fewer than five Brighton defenders before feeding Sterling on the left. The England international didn’t stay on the ball long, returning it to Aguero at close range, and he finished easily.

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City’s second would wrap things up, as Pep Guardiola withdrew Sane and and Aguero with 20 minutes to go. Brighton threatened little all match, with just 21% possession and one lone shot on target. The three points at the Etihad push Manchester City up to the top of the Premier League table at the moment, with Liverpool still to play. Brighton sits in 14th, stuck in the crowded bottom half of the table with five points.

Man City slumps to home loss vs. Lyon

AP Photo/Dave Thompson
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  • Cornet, Fekir score
  • City sloppy in midfield
  • Sane-inspired comeback bid falls short

Maxwel Cornet and Nabil Fekir scored first half goals as Lyon stunned Manchester City 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday in the UEFA Champions League.

Leroy Sane set up Bernardo Silva to pull a goal back for Man City, but the second did not arrive for the hosts.

Man City is off to Hoffenheim next on Oct. 2, when Lyon will host Shakhtar Donetsk.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

City had a lot of the ball, but a giveaway at midfield helped Lyon go on top.

Kyle Walker didn’t close down his mark on the left, Ederson was slow in acting on the cross, and Fabian Delph made a laughable mess of defending it.

The ball fell to Cornet, who left little doubt with a drive inside the far post.

City was denied an Ilkay Gundogan equalizer when assist man Raheem Sterling was inches offside.

And the hosts took a 2-0 deficit to the locker room with more poor midfield play, with Fekir blasting a Fernandinho giveaway past Ederson.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Anthony Lopes made a fine stop on Gundogan as City pushed to get back into the game.

Mikel Arteta opted for Leroy Sane off the bench as suspended manager Pep Guardiola watched from the stands.

A counter attack nearly saw the score line balloon to 3-0, but Memphis Depay‘s clever bid was touched by Ederson before hitting the post and bounding in front of the line.

Sane was the provider on City’s strike back into the contest, as he cut back for Bernardo to finish.

Riyad Mahrez sent a cross into the box that Sane couldn’t turn on goal, and it remained 2-1 as the 84th minute began in Manchester.

Ederson had another timely intervention on Memphis in the 89th minute to keep City alive.

Sergio Aguero tried to put the game on his back in the 90th, but his shot was touched out for a corner.

Report: Premier League ‘happy’ with Saturday VAR trials

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Video Assistant Referee was used behind the scenes in five Saturday kickoffs in the Premier League, with the BBC reporting that the results were positive.

[ MORE: What did we learn on Saturday? ]

Five decisions went under the proverbial microscope in the quintet of 10 a.m. ET matches, though only one would’ve been overturned had the VAR been in touch with the on-field officials.

That was a Leroy Sane goal ruled no good for offside, as the Man City man was reportedly deemed just onside in what could’ve been a four-goal win over Fulham. It went 3-0 to the champions.

Four other decisions, including an awarded penalty to Bournemouth, were correctly given and would not have been overturned by VAR.

VAR will be in play for the FA Cup and League Cup this seasons in all matches at Premier League stadia.

Man City roll over Fulham

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  • City out-attempts Fulham 28-9
  • Three different goal scorers
  • Fulham one point above drop zone

Leroy Sane, David Silva, and Raheem Sterling scored goals as Manchester City cruised past Fulham with a 3-0 win at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

Man City remains unbeaten and has 13 points, two back of leaders Chelsea and Liverpool. Fulham has just two points on the season.

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Slavisa Jokanovic will be fuming with his Cottagers, even given the competition, after a pair of goals inside of the first 21 minutes.

Fernandinho caused a turnover in the midfield and raced down the left to send an invitation to Sane for a straight-forward finish.

It was Silva to Silva with help on the second goal, with Bernardo’s cross taking turns en route to David. The Spaniard usually finishes from these positions, and made it 2-0.

Sterling tapped in a 47th minute pass from Sergio Aguero for City’s third.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]