Riyad Mahrez

Riyad Mahrez goal
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Terrific Riyad Mahrez goal the latest highlight in sneaky incredible season

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Riyad Mahrez’s insane season continued with a first-half brace against Burnley which included a goal emblematic of his season wizardry.

Manchester City’s Algerian absolutely cooked Charlie Taylor in the Burnley box on Monday, spinning the defender to the ground before beating a very good goalkeeper in Nick Pope with a vicious strike.

[ RECAP: Man City 5-0 Burnley ]

He’d convert a Sergio Aguero-won, VAR-delivered penalty before halftime to give him nine goals to go with eight assists in the Premier League.

Mahrez and two of his teammates are having three of the sneaky greatest seasons on record (Kevin De Bruyne makes it four without the sneakiness).

Aguero and Gabriel Jesus have stopped each other from getting prime striker minutes in PL play and are the top two expected goals per game players amongst qualified contenders in the league.

[ MORE: Police investigate ‘White Lives Matter’ banner ]

Mahrez’s numbers are bonkers when you consider he’s only started 15 of his 24 league appearances this season. He’s one goal and two assists away from hitting double digit goals and assists for the third time in PL season (2015-16 and 2017-18 with Leicester City).

Only De Bruyne and Wolves’ Adama Traore are having better seasons than Mahrez, according to WhoScored. He’s third on SofaScore’s ratings, too, behind De Bruyne and Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes (whose sample size is even smaller).

He’s also passing at 89.8 percent, incredibly high for a winger.

The 29-year-old Algerian’s incredible goal in the first half is something to behold.

Man City blasts undermanned Burnley

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Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden each scored twice as Manchester City clobbered Burnley 5-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Monday.

The match was tainted by a vile incident just post-kickoff, as a plane with a banner that read “White Lives Matter Burnley” flew over the stadium moments after players from both teams took a knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

[ MORE: Ben Mee fumes after ‘White Lives Matter’ banner flown ]

Bernardo Silva had two assists and David Silva also scored for City, whose 63 points are 20 back of Liverpool. It wasn’t all good news for City, who lost Sergio Aguero to a first-half injury.

City maxes out at 87 points and plays Chelsea on Thursday before meeting Liverpool on July 2.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ]

Liverpool now cannot win the Premier League title with a win over Crystal Palace on Wednesday. Here are the other dates and how the Reds can claim their first PL era title.

Burnley’s 39 points remain 11th and the Clarets remains three points back of the Europa League places.

MAN CITY – BURNLEY FULL MATCH REPLAY


Three things we learned

1. Young Foden continues to show promise: Left-footed. Low. Lethal. Foden’s third Premier League goal was a terrific shot from beyond the arc that left a flying Nick Pope clawing through air.

Foden has 13 goals and 10 assists in 64 first team appearances for Man City and he just turned 20 late last month.

His fourth goal of the season was a terrific bit of Pep-inspired team play.

2. Shorthanded Burnley victim to board errors: The Clarets started with just 17 of the 20 available players available to a match day squad during Project Restart, and five of the players on the bench had no Premier League experience while midfielder Josh Brownhill had one minute and was making his first start since arriving from Bristol City in January. Manager Sean Dyche did not mince words before the game in explaining how short-sighted delays from directors are costing Burnley.

3. City rests up for Chelsea: The fixture list worked out well for Pep Guardiola, who used most of its top choice guys in the win over Arsenal and kept Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Ilkay Gundogan, and Aymeric Laporte rested for Chelsea on Thursday. Liverpool is going to win the league but the question will be whether they are the best team to every do the darn thing. If Liverpool isn’t, it’s likely because City’s 2017-18 team holds the distinction. If City beats Chelsea and then Liverpool, the debate is a lot more interesting even if the Reds go 34-2-2.

Man of the Match

Riyad Mahrez — The Algerian’s incredible goal in the first half was a beauty and his penalty combined with it to give Mahrez 11 goals and 15 assists in 2585 minutes across all competitions. Read more on his extraordinary season here. He left after 60 minutes for Kevin De Bruyne.


Man City – Burnley recap

Burnley adequately stymied City for the first 15 minutes but the hosts should’ve been ahead when David Silva’s pass to Riyad Mahrez was ripped wide by an unwitting and charging Bernardo Silva.

Foden put City ahead with a lethal, low, left-footed strike from beyond the arc that a diving Nick Pope could not reach.

VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Mahrez got his goal in stunning fashion, barbecuing Charlie Taylor with a dribble before fizzing a shot past Pope.

Then there was an exit for Sergio Aguero, who was fouled by Ben Mee with a wayward foot in the box. VAR reviewed the non-call before righteously deemed it a penalty.

Aguero couldn’t take it — he was replaced by Gabriel Jesus — so Mahrez smacked the shot past Pope for 3-0.

It was 4-0 just after halftime when Bernardo Silva set up David Silva for another good-lookin goal.

Kevin De Bruyne led the drive for five when his outlet pass led to a tic-tac-toe, right-to-left, with Gabriel Jesus cueing up Foden for the finish.

Leroy Sane entered the match for Foden with 11 minutes to play, his first first team action since injuring his knee in a Community Shield defeat of Liverpool.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Gabriel Jesus indirectly speaks about City future amid goal-scoring performance, Juventus links

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In the eye of transfer rumors linking him to Serie A leaders Juventus, Gabriel Jesus perhaps delivered one of Manchester City’s most gratifying goals as of late.

[ MORE: 3 things we learned ]

The Brazilian striker’s short-range unbalanced shot in the 80th minute proved to be City’s winner on Saturday against Leicester City, solidifying a six-point lead on the Foxes, who squandered a handful of chances throughout the night.

Jesus was quick to redirect praise to teammate Riyad Mahrez, who to many, was player-of-the-match quality at King Power Stadium. The Algerian winger’s wizardry was on full displaying, especially in the sequence leading up to the defending champions’ winner. From the BBC:

“Always when I go on I try to help my team-mates and find space,” Jesus said. “[Riyad Mahrez] has a lot of quality and I thought ‘go’ because I know he has the quality to give me the ball, he gave a very good ball and I can score.”

Despite not being directly questioned about the Juventus link, Jesus indirectly made it clear that, like manager Pep Guardiola, who confessed his future stands in Manchester, he hopes to respect his contract at the Etihad.

“It is important for us, for the club,” the 22-year-old said about Guardiola confirming his stay at City. “We have a contract, we want to stay, of course it’s important.”

From City’s future Champions League ban, to Guardiola’s rumored departure, to the Leicester match, the topic of conversation around the club now revolves around their Round of 16 showdown with Real Madrid midweek.

It seems the storm has passed and the sun is starting to shine over the Etihad, and Guardiola senses that.

“The preparation after 12 days off was good, we have played two good games, and it’s good to prepare for Madrid with these good opponents,” he said. “We are playing the kings of the competition, we will see, we will try to enjoy it and do our game.”

Aguero rewrites record book as Man City unloads on Aston Villa

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Manchester City took over second place in the Premier League with an emphatic 6-1 beating of Aston Villa at Villa Park on Sunday.

Sergio Aguero wrote a new Premier League record with his 12th hat trick, breaking Alan Shearer’s two-decade old record. He also became the all-time leader in goals for a foreign-born player. Aguero added an assist, because why not?

Riyad Mahrez scored a brace, Kevin De Bruyne supplied a pair of assists, and Gabriel Jesus also scored as the two-time reigning league champs opened up a four-goal halftime lead.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Ilkay Gundogan gave away a needless penalty to Trezeguet in stoppage time. Anwar El Ghazi blasted his effort home for the consolation.

City’s 47 points are 14 back of leaders Liverpool, who have a match-in-hand.

Villa is in the Bottom Three with 21 points, its minus-15 goal differential second worst in the league.


Three things we learned

1. City piling up numbers as sensational Aguero sets standard: Sergio Aguero’s two goals gave him a new Premier League record. His 175 goals are the most scored by a non-English player in league history, and it’s fitting that it came off a David Silva assist. That helped is Silva’s 137th for the club.

Then he upped the ante, scoring his 12th Premier League hat trick. No one’s done that.

2. History-chasing De Bruyne puts on show: Kevin De Bruyne’s .636 assists per league match this season have him well on his way to breaking Thierry Henry’s PL single season assist record. KDB has 14, meaning at current pace he’ll tie or break the record even if he misses four matches.

This pass to meet Gabriel Jesus’ run was just stupid.

3. Nightmare debut for Drinkwater: Danny Drinkwater has a new claret shirt after his loan to Burnley changed to a loan to Aston Villa, but the Chelsea man is still in relegation form. Drinkwater was worked by Mahrez for City’s first goal and then played with lower league speed in failing to clear danger on the second. Honestly, the embattled midfielder could’ve been at fault for a third before the match was 25 minutes old.

Man of the Match: A-guer-o.


City was ready to pounce on any mistakes from Moment No. 1, and Mahrez didn’t need much room to make it 1-0.

The Algerian danced past Danny Drinkwater and then used Kortney Hause as a screen to fire a low shot inside the near post.

Mahrez got his second after some real industry from Aguero on the left. The Argentine pushed a ball off the end line and back into the mixer. Both David Silva and Gabriel Jesus got a piece of the ball en route to Mahrez’s finish.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Jesus turned a terrific Mendy pass to rip a shot over the bar in the 26th.

Aguero made it 3-0 when Villa’s back line gave him acres of space to rip a shot that Nyland could only slow on its journey to the back of the net.

Aguero and David Silva each could’ve made it four before the 37 minute mark, the latter curling his free kick around the near post.

Jesus hit the scoreboard off a fantastic and acute pass from De Bruyne, the latest example of the latter’s pure wizardry.

Aguero collected a giveaway and clinically finished past Nyland for 6-0 in the 82nd. It was his 16th hat trick for City.

Mane named CAF Player of the Year

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Sadio Mane has bragging rights for at least the year over his club teammate, and fellow African, Mohamed Salah.

On Tuesday, the Confederation of African Football voted Mane as the African Player of the Year for 2019, his first continental individual award. Mane beat out Salah (Egypt), who had won the previous two seasons and Algerian and Manchester City midfielder Riyad Mahrez. Interestingly, it’s the first win for a Senegalese player since El Hadji Diouf won it in 2002, shortly after joining Liverpool, Mane’s current club.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

“I’m very happy and proud to win this award,” Mane said, per the CAF. “I thank my teammates at the Senegal national team and also my club, Liverpool for their support.”

Mane’s had a heck of a last 18 months or so. He finished tied for the Premier League Golden Boot with 22 goals and also won the UEFA Champions League and the Golden Boot for that competition in 2019. Then he followed that up by leading Senegal to the African Cup of Nations final, and so far this year, he’s got 11 goals in 18 Premier League matches as the Reds are way ahead in the race for the league title.
In addition to Mane, Salah, and Mahrez, Liverpool’s Joel Matip, Tottenham’s Serge Aurier, and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were all named to the CAF Best XI for 2019. Former Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye was also named to the list.