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La Liga Roundup: Sevilla squeeze past Valladolid, go third (video)

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Sevilla’s thin victory at Jose Zorilla Stadium highlights La Liga’s Sunday action.

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Real Valladolid 0-1 Sevilla

If it wasn’t for video assistant referee (VAR), there’s a good chance that Julen Lopetegui and company would have walked away from Valladolid with a point, not three. 


Following a heavy challenge from Valladolid captain Javi Moyano on Nolito, VAR’s intervention concluded that the visitor’s were to be awarded a penalty. Ever Banega’s strike from the spot was stopped by Jordi Masip, only for VAR to overturn the sequence due to encroachment from Masip.

A second time around, Banega rifled the ball into the top right corner of the goal, scoring the first and lone goal of the match.

With the win, Sevilla moved ahead of Atletico Madrid and remain one point away from leaders Barcelona and Real Madrid.

“There is a long way to go and I think my team has a big margin for improvement,” Sevilla manager Lopetegui said following the game. “We are competing well and are happy we got the three points.”

After receiving his second yellow card of the night, Lucas Ocampos was sent off in stoppage time for the visitor’s. The Argentine has accumulated five goals in 12 appearances this season, leading the team.

Sevilla’s win brings and end to Valladolid’s – owned by Brazilian legend Ronaldo – unbeaten streak at home this season.

Unbeaten in eight straight games across all competitions, Sevilla travel back to Seville to host Qarabag in Europa League competition, while Real Valladolid –  now in the 14th spot – travel to Celta to try and overturn their two-game losing streak.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Espanyol 1-1 Getafe

Osasuna 1-2 Athletic Bilbao

Eibar 0-2 Alaves

Villarreal 1-3 Celta Vigo

Nolito rips English climate, ready to leave Man City

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
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Now here’s a way to see your way out of Manchester.

Nolito says his daughter looks different now that she’s been living Manchester for a year, and the 30-year-old Spaniard is ready to leave town.

[ MORE: Liverpool apologies to Southampton ]

Nolito signed a four-year deal before last season, having scored 14, 13, and 12 goals in his previous three seasons with Celta Vigo. He notched just four Premier League goals on debut, scoring six overall in a City uniform.

Here’s his takeaway:

“I’ve learnt little English. It’s hard. Just ‘tomorrow’, ‘good morning’, ‘good afternoon’ and a little more,” Nolito told radio station El Transistor. “My daughter’s face has changed colour – it looks like she’s been living in a cave.”

“I am under the contract, so the club will decide, but I want to leave,” he said.

Don’t let the door hit you. Nolito cost City about $18 million, and his age will likely stop the club from recouping the fee. But he’s a productive scorer and should land on his feet in La Liga.

Leicester City 4-2 Manchester City: Vardy deconstructs Pep’s men

  • Foxes up 2-0 by 5′
  • Vardy hat trick
  • Kolarov scores free kick
  • WATCH: First three goals

Jamie Vardy‘s hat trick led Leicester City to a surprising 4-2 win over visiting Manchester City on Saturday at the King Power Stadium.

Andy King scored in the first half, where Vardy scooped his first two of the day before adding a third in the 78th minute. Aleksandar Kolarov‘s 81st minute free kick dirtied the clean sheet, and Nolito redirected one home in the 90th minute.

Man City will finish the weekend at least four points back of the top, and currently sit in fourth with 30 points. Leicester rises rises to 14th on 16 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Manchester City was in a horrible spot in two blinks, as Vardy and Islam Slimani took advantage of John Stones and Aleksandar Kolarov before the latter beat Claudio Bravo to make it 1-0 in the third minute.

Less than two minutes later, it was time for another. Andy King let loose with a shot from outside the 18 that a flying Bravo could only touch into his goal. 2-0 at the King Power. Scenes.

And Leicester saved its best for the third goal, as Riyad Mahrez made an otherworldly first touch assist on a diagonal ball over Stones’ head, and Vardy touched around Bravo to score it. Wow.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Guardiola doubled down on risk-taking tactics as the second half wore on. And why not? He was down 3-0.

On came Yaya Toure and Raheem Sterling. Out went Kelechi Iheanacho and Jesus Navas. Yes, Yaya Toure as striker.

Yet it was Vardy who scored next, taking advantage of an out-to-lunch Stones to inch a tight-angled shot off the post and just over the line via Goal Decision System.

Kolarov made it 4-1 with a terrific free kick that curled to nestle inside the post behind the wall, then found Nolito for a goal in the final minute of scheduled time.

Matty James came into the match during stoppage time for his 100th Leicester experience, which came 570 days after an ACL tear ended his 99th.

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Manchester City 1-1 Everton: Dominant and wasteful from City

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  • Pep goes 3 at the back
  • Lukaku puts Everton up
  • Stekelenburg saves two pens
  • Nolito equalizes

Romelu Lukaku‘s counterattacking goal stunned dominant Manchester City, who missed two penalties in a 1-1 draw with Everton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Lukaku worked Gael Clichy in the 64th minute and cut his shot around a sliding Claudio Bravo to make it 1-0.

City still leads the Premier League, but is level on points (19) with victorious Arsenal. Everton sits sixth with 15 points.

[ STREAM: Every PL game on NBC Sports ]

Manchester City was lively, earning a penalty shout in the 11th minute when Leroy Sane hit the deck after beating Bryan Oviedo. There was grey area, but Sane’s fall wasn’t exactly nuanced, and referee Michael Oliver was unmoved.

Given Kevin De Bruyne‘s skill on a free kick, a 17th minute free kick felt almost as likely as a penalty… but the wall did its job and City won a corner. Pressure continued.

Everton should’ve arguably been down a man when Seamus Coleman slid into Raheem Sterling, studs onto lower ankle. City’s English attacker was down for a spell, but returned to the game.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

But City won another deserved penalty, which Stekelenburg stopped! Jagielka was again the culprit, this time cutting down Aguero, but Stekelenburg flew off the line to parry the Argentine’s hard shot.

Stekelenburg made another save on Aguero moments later, but Nolito finally found his way through when he headed David Silva‘s cross home in the 72nd minute.

Champions League roundup: Manchester City storms Steaua, Ajax draws at home

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Despite a pair of missed penalties by Sergio Aguero, Manchester City eased past Steaua Bucharest in Romania and set themselves up for a cruise into the group stage with a 5-0 away win in the Champions League playoff round first leg.

Aguero missed penalties in the eighth and 21st minutes, but his teammates picked him up, and the Argentinian still managed a trio himself from open play to overshadow any negatives. David Silva started things off in the 13th minute, and it only got worse for the home side from there.

Raheem Sterling looked bright all match, and the youngster fed Aguero for City’s second in the 41st minute. After halftime, City was clinical as they put the matchup away. New signing Nolito got his first goal for City in the 49th minute on a threaded pass by Kevin De Bruyne. Aguero’s second came in the 78th minute thanks to a ball from Nolito, and the hat-trick came in the 89th minute when Fernandinho fed Aguero from midfield, and the Argentinian burst forward towards the box and finished under pressure.

City deserved the monstrous scoreline, outshooting Steaua 24-8 (12-2 on target), and holding 70% of possession through the match.

Elsewhere, Borussia Monchengladbach also took control of its matchup with Swiss side Young Boys, as the Germans won 3-1 on the road behind a brace from 31-year-old Brazilian striker Raffael. Andre Hahn scored as well to put Bonchengladbach well in front heading back home.

Dutch giants Ajax played to a disappointing 1-1 draw at Amsterdam Arena against Russian side FC Rostov. Ecudorian veteran Christian Noboa handed the visitors a surprising lead just 13 minutes in with a low free-kick that squirted through the wall and past goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen. Davy Klaassen bagged a penalty 34 minutes in to equalize, but the hosts will be disappointed to concede an away goal and will head to Russia with work to do.

FC Copenhagen took care of APOEL Nicosia 1-0 in Denmark, with young Serbian attacker Andrija Pavlovic collecting the winner just before halftime after a poor decision by APOEL’s Dutch goalkeeper Boy Waterman to come out and challenge Pavlovic on the wing, leaving his net vacated.

Finally, Dinamo Zagreb drew 1-1 at home with Austrian side FC Salzburg. Valentino Lazaro opened the scoring with a diving header in the 59th minute for Salzberg’s away goal. Croatian youngster Marko Rog leveled things in with a penalty in the 76th minute after Bernardo hacked down the 21-year-old in the box.