Pep Guardiola

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Latest Manchester City record a very Pep Guardiola mark

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Manchester City did what now?

The Premier League soon-to-be runners-up set a league record for passing on Wednesday in a 5-0 blowout of Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Led by David Silva in a vintage performance, Pep Guardiola’s men completed 787-of-840 passes according to Opta.

Silva completed 104 of those passes at 94 percent, and City’s 93.7 completion rate is the best percentage since the league started keeping passing data 17 years ago.

That includes an almost absurd 42-of-48 (86 percent) on long passes (nuts!). Rodri only misplaced one of his 50 passes and striker Gabriel Jesus completed all of his 21 passes despite playing in the thick of the final third.

Here’s Pep Guardiola, who likes a pass, y’know? From the BBC:

“We played really good all the games but unfortunately dropped points. In general the way we are playing and the performances are really good. … David Silva is a huge competitor, playing in the small spaces he is a fantastic player. He played really good.”

Sometimes it’s better to get feedback from the people on the other end.

Steve Bruce really put a bow on facing City on Wednesday.

“Interview in the rain after being beaten 5-0, painful. Not as half as painful as watching that. We are disappointing but they were far too good for us, we have to do better, we gifted them some goals and you cannot do that against a team of this caliber.”

No kidding. City finishes with Brighton, Bournemouth, Watford, and Norwich City and also had to contest an FA Cup semifinal, possible final, and the Champions League next month.

Stream Man City-Newcastle, Sheffield United-Wolves, West Ham-Burnley

Manchester City - Newcastle preview
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Manchester City – Newcastle: Man City looks to take another step toward sealing second place on the table as plucky Newcastle United visits the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday (Watch live at 1pm ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) and that highlights three games at 1pm ET.

The nine losses Pep Guardiola’s overseen this season are the most in a single league season over his celebrated career, but City’s still second and the advanced stats say they’re playing the best football in the league.

MANCHESTER CITY – NEWCASTLE STREAM LIVE

WEST HAM – BURNLEY STREAM LIVE

SHEFFIELD UNITED – WOLVES STREAM LIVE

It’s a funny game, and the same wisdom can be applied to Steve Bruce’s strong season at Newcastle. The well-traveled and well-liked boss has led the Magpies to a better season that Rafa Benitez did in 2018-19, though it’s pivotal to note that Bruce has been blessed with much better transfer outlay.

Here’s a look at the team news for all three games at 1pm ET.


Team news

Sergio Aguero remains out for Man City after undergoing knee surgery, while John Stones comes into the starting lineup. Newcastle are without star wingers Miguel Almiron (on the bench) and Allan Saint-Maximin (out of the squad), while USMNT right back DeAndre Yedlin comes back into the team.

West Ham bring Andriy Yarmolenko into the starting lineup, while Sebastian Haller is on the bench. Burnley have Chris Wood on the bench, while Kevin Long is at center back with captain Ben Mee out injured for the final few weeks of the season.

Sheffield United bring Billy Sharp in to replace the injured David McGoldrick, while Jack O’Connell comes into the starting lineup. Wolves make one change with Diogo Jota coming in for Leander Dendoncker.


What they’re saying

Man City’s Pep Guardiola on bouncing back from Southampton: “Of course we have confidence in the players and we are the same guys. We’ve done it in previous seasons. The way we played is similar, but we have to win the games. Next season will be next season. We will try to score more goals and avoid conceding chances. The control is there, the way we play is there. We need to try to increase these kind of things.”

Magpies boss Steve Bruce on leading scorer Jonjo Shelvey“It becomes easy, the game of football, like a game of golf, to him. He’s blessed with a natural ability. He can see a pass that other people can’t. He can deliver a pass. He can score a goal. Physically and mentally, he’s bought into everything we’ve tried to put over to him and fair play to him. At the minute, he’s reaping the benefits of how good he looks, and of course he’s playing at the top of his game, which is always good to see because he has been outstanding in the last few games.”


Odds and ends (Full matchweek odds)

DraftKings’ heads will explode if Newcastle gets this one done, +2000 being attached to the Magpies as opposed to Man City’s -835.

Newcastle and Man City have been twice already this season, both at St. James’ Park. The Magpies drew City 2-2 in league play via Jonjo Shelvey’s late goal before losing 2-0 to City in an FA Cup quarterfinal in late June.

It is rare that Sheffield United (+310) are the underdogs at home but they’ve looked a bit shaky since the restart, while Wolves (+107) are the favorites and need a win to boost their Champions League. The tie is +210.

West Ham (+104) are the favorites and a win against Burnley (+285) would significantly boost their survival hopes. The tie is +235, which looks like a decent bet.


How to watch Man City – Newcastle United stream, start time

Kickoff: 1 pm ET Wednesday
TV Channel: NBCSN
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com

All Premier League games, stream

Kickoff: 1 pm ET Wednesday
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com

Guardiola, Klopp disagree on gap between Man City, Liverpool

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Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp believe Man City and Liverpool are in very different places.

Very, very different places, according to the post-game reaction of Guardiola and Klopp.

[ MORE: Klopp happy with Liverpool ]

Asked by ProSoccerTalk after the game if Man City’s 4-0 win against Liverpool proves they aren’t that far behind the new Premier League champions ahead of the 2020-21 season, this was Guardiola’s response. Seriously, it was this long.

“The gap to Liverpool is more than 20 points. That is the difference between one team and the other one,” Guardiola said via Zoom. “It is 20 points. Like two seasons ago it was 25 [in favor of Man City], now it is 20 points for them. That is the reality. That result is not going to be confused with my players as to what is the reality. They were incredible, much better than us. We are not consistent and we have to recover the consistency that we had the previous seasons. It doesn’t matter anywhere we play. We take a result and points. But I am happy today because we beat a team who are the Champions of Europe and England. Like, they were really incredibly focused to beat us. I saw their faces, the way they shout, the way they communicated, they way they won it and that’s why. They didn’t come hear to celebrate absolutely anything.

“I think they celebrated and they are going to celebrate but I think they drank enough beers in the early days of the week but they came here to compete against us, without a doubt, and that is why for us, to prepare Arsenal and [Real] Madrid, it will be so important, this game, to take confidence and say ‘okay, we can do it’ but next season will be completely different. Everyone starts from zero and you have to show, first to Liverpool but especially for ourselves, that we can do it. That we can do what we have done these last few years, winning a lot of titles in many different competitions.”

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

ProSoccerTalk then asked Klopp what he thought about Guardiola pointing out the 20-point gap between Liverpool and second-place Man City?

“If anybody thought before that game that the quality gap between Liverpool and Man City is 20 or 23 points, I cannot help these people. That is how it is,” Klopp smiled. “Football is not about that. Football is about winning games and we did that, in a pretty impressive manner, to be honest. I saw pretty much all of the Man City games and even the games they lost were good. Unbelievable. It is the truth. It was not that they didn’t perform or whatever. They had moments when the opponents scored and that was tonight the case.

“We had our situations and if you’ve watched us before, you know we score in situations like this, more often than not. Tonight we didn’t. Not at all. Then to concede a penalty… I was really happy with the start of the game, to be honest. We were there, we were completely in the game, we pressed them, it was not comfortable for them. It was a good game. Both teams pressed high. Both teams tried to play football. When do you see that? You don’t see that a lot of times. In the very decisive moments, City was better tonight. You can see that in the result. We cannot change that. If anybody thought we were 20 points better than City, I cannot help them.”

This reaction from Guardiola and Klopp is somewhat predictable given their respective situations.

With six games of the season to go, Man City will finish a long way behind Liverpool in the table but don’t let that deceive you.

Pep Guardiola wants you to think they are a long way back to Liverpool which will in turn make his players think that and they will come back hungrier and fitter next season. Not to mention for the FA Cup semifinal against Arsenal and their Champions League clash against Real Madrid.

Jurgen Klopp wants you realize that Liverpool’s season has been incredible but it is not a true reflection as to their quality compared to Man City’s.

The real answer? Probably a bit of both. Man City and Liverpool are the clear title contenders and will be again next season but the result on Thursday proved they are very evenly matched. Well, they are closer than the current 20-point gap anyway.

Pep a bit grumpy when quizzed on Liverpool’s title

Pep Guardiola reacts to Liverpool win
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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola doesn’t like to lose a game, let alone a title.

So it was clearly a challenge for the trophy-collecting Spaniard to comment on his club’s Thursday loss to Chelsea handing rivals Liverpool the Premier League title.

“Big congratulations for Liverpool for this great season and the title they won,” he offered after the game.

[ MORE: Chelsea 2-1 City | Pulisic scores ]

So what went wrong in your bid for a threepeat, Pep?

“We were not consistent like the previous season. We arrived after four titles in one season. Liverpool after winning the Champions League they were incredibly confident. After 30 years they played every game like the last game and we didn’t play that way.”

A bit grumpy on TV, but how about the post-match presser with the media?

Still grumpy.

Guardiola further explored the season, noting the departure of team leader Vincent Kompany and long-term absence of star center back Aymeric Laporte.

[ RELATED: Liverpool win title – everything to know ]

From The Manchester Evening News:

“We are far but the other 18 teams are farther,” Guardiola said. “Liverpool didn’t drop points so we have to recover for the next season to be more consistent and recover the points we missed this season. That is the reality when the gap is like this. Two seasons ago we had 25 points more than Liverpool, now they have the distance. In the last ten competitions we have played we have won eight which never happened in this country. You cannot win them all, it can happen to miss one.”

I wouldn’t want to be Newcastle, even at home, for the visit from Man City in an FA Cup quarterfinal on Sunday.

But I also wouldn’t want to be Pep when City gives Liverpool a guard of honor at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

Chelsea – Man City stream: How to watch, stream info, start time, odds, prediction

Chelsea - Man City preview
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Chelsea can hand Liverpool the Premier League title by drawing or beating Sergio Aguero-less Man City on Thursday at Stamford Bridge (start time at 3:15 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com). But that’s not the only part of this Chelsea – Man City preview.

Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Crystal Palace gives the Reds 86 points. City maxes out at 87 points, so even a draw in London will give the Reds a first Premier League era title. Here are all the scenarios up to and including July 5.

CHELSEA – MAN CITY STREAM

Chelsea can pull within a point of third-place Leicester City with a win over City and build a five-point cushion on chasers Manchester United and Wolves.

Team news

Chelsea is fairly fit, with Fikayo Tomori out but close to training and Callum Hudson-Odoi lacking fitness.

Pep Guardiola’s men will be without Sergio Aguero, who left the season and Golden Boot race after a knee injury against Burnley that’s required surgery.

Guardiola said that Gabriel Jesus won’t play every match in his place, with Raheem Sterling and… wait for it… Ilkay Gundogan candidates to lead the line.

Claudio Bravo, Eric Garcia, and John Stones are also out for City.

[ MORE: Full PL TV schedule ]  

What they’re saying

Chelsea boss Lampard on potentially giving Liverpool its crown“I have got absolutely no thought in Liverpool’s situation on this game for us, it makes no odds to us at all. I and we respect Liverpool and Manchester City as two fantastic teams in the last two or three seasons, they have been dominant. We can only look at it for what this match means to us. We want to win. We go against a great opponent and it’s the only way I see it.”

Man City’s Guardiola on FA Cup v Premier League“We can’t deny that we have one eye on Newcastle. Chelsea and Liverpool are prestigious and important games but Newcastle is our game. A final for us.”

Odds and ends

The visitors’ odds of a win remain at -127 even after Sergio Aguero was injured, according to DraftKings, while a Chelsea win is +320.

De Bruyne joined Riyad Mahrez on the score sheet when Man City beat Chelsea at the Etihad in November, N’Golo Kante scoring for the Blues in a 2-1 loss.

Prediction

There’s a lot to debate here, but Gabriel Jesus is going to be so pleased to get the spotlight up top (though not at the expense of Aguero going under the knife). He can be a difference-maker and we expect a goal from him, and Kevin De Bruyne’s due for another assist as he chases the PL single-season record. That said, it all comes down to Lampard’s lineup and plans. Will he play his best players or keep an eye on Sunday’s FA Cup visit to Leicester City. Man City 2-1.