Mahrez dedicates goal vs Spurs to deceased Leicester City owner

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After scoring the winning goal for Manchester City against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium, he stuck his hands into the air and pointed. And stared.

Mahrez, a former Leicester City player, said after the game that in that moment he was thinking about the Foxes owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha who passed away on Saturday in a helicopter crash outside the King Power Stadium.

“The [Leicester City] boss was very special to me,” Mahrez told Sky Sports after the match. “I spent four and a half years there. I have many memories of him. He was such a good person; a good human. When I scored, I put my hands up to the sky for him. He did a lot for me and for Leicester.”

Mahrez spent four years at Leicester City, helping the Foxes win the Premier League title and earning PFA Player of the Year in the process. He moved to Manchester City this past summer after years of speculation, but clearly still has strong ties to his former club, and the news over the weekend had a profound effect on the 27-year-old.

“I am very, very sad,” Mahrez said. “That is why when I scored I put my hands in the sky for him. He did a lot for me and Leciester and it is difficult to speak about. It it is very sad. He was like a dad. He was very special. He was such a good person, a big heart and it was heart-breaking and shocking for me to hear this news and for all of the other people who died with him. It is a difficult situation I am with Leicester and the family of the victims.”

Mahrez said that there was never a question of if he should sit Monday’s match out in the aftermath of Srivaddhanaprabha’s sudden death.

“I always wanted to play [against Tottenham],” Mahrez said. “I know he would have wanted me to play. He was passionate about football. It was difficult but I kept thinking about him. It was difficult to sleep as well.”

On Sunday, when news broke of Srivaddhanaprabha’s death, Mahrez posted on Instagram a picture of himself with the boss, calling him “one of the best people I’ve ever met” and said “I will never forget you.”

Tottenham 0-1 Man City: Early Mahrez goal moves City back to first

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It was hard to tell which was in worse shape, the pitch at Wembley Stadium fresh off an NFL game the day before or the Tottenham attack which fell completely flat in a 1-0 loss to Manchester City on Monday. The field, which featured a faded NFL logo and yard lines from the game yesterday morning, saw Riyad Mahrez score the game’s lone goal which Tottenham could not overcome.

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The visitors only needed the single strike just six minutes into the match to move back into first place in the Premier League table. Mahrez was the man charging into the area to finish off a cross by Raheem Sterling in the game’s first attack, as the latter beat Kieran Trippier one-on-one to run the end line before his cutback to the penalty spot.

Harry Kane came close to a long-range equalizer just minutes after City opened the scoring, rifling inches high, but that was the closest they would come. Moussa Sissokho had a chance on a break down the right flank after beating Benjamin Mendy in the 23rd minute, but instead of shooting at a gaping net, he tried a quick cross that was blocked. Kane had another opportunity just past the half-hour mark charging into the box on the ball, but Ederson was there off his line to smother the ball before a shot could be taken.

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That was it before halftime as Manchester City controlled the pace of play but failed to generate anything before the break. They should have scored on 54 minutes, but David Silva couldn’t control a cross with the goal wide open at point blank range, and while off balance he laid off to Sterling whose effort was blocked on the doorstep.

Tottenham was slowly choked from the game, unable to generate a solid chance on net. Spurs finished without a single shot after the 10th minute until Erik Lamela skied a brilliant opportunity well over the bar in the 74th minute with the equalizer in his grasp. Substitute Dele Alli found Lamela on the break, but the ball bounced off the rough pitch at the last second, and Lamela whipped the effort into the night sky before collapsing onto his knees in disgust. Spurs struggled to create much else, consistently dispossessed before creating a chance and misfiring on crosses. City, meanwhile, just created enough to remain dangerous, while defending stoutly and maintaining superiority.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Spurs pressed for an equalizer and pinned City back in the final 15 minutes, but a positive showing from Alli off the bench wasn’t enough to earn a way back. The visitors defended well on set pieces, and there were no more dangerous moments from the hosts on the battered field.

The win moved Manchester City to first in the table on 26 points, level with Liverpool but ahead on a far superior goal differential. They have six consecutive clean sheets in Premier League play and four straight in all competitions. Spurs, meanwhile, saw a four-game Premier League winning streak snapped, but questions about form will be raised as the previous three matches across all competitions featured a pair of 1-0 wins plus a 2-2 draw against PSV Eindhoven in Champions League play after conceding an 87th minute equalizer. Tottenham rests in fifth place with 21 points, one behind rivals Arsenal in fourth.

Man City hangs five on Burnley as KDB returns

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  • City remains unbeaten
  • David Silva shines
  • De Bruyne returns in sub role

Fernandinho had a goal and an assist as Manchester City cruised past Burnley 5-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

David Silva had two assists for Man City, with Sergio Aguero, Leroy Sane, Bernardo Silva, and Riyad Mahrez also scoring as City goes stays atop the table.

Kevin De Bruyne entered the game for the final 35 minutes or so, returning from a long injury absence.

Burnley remains 12th with nine points.

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Aguero came close but was denied by Joe Hart, but the Burnley keeper couldn’t do anything when the Argentine opened the scoring off a back post finish of a David Silva cross.

Man City should’ve had it 2-0 just before halftime, as Hart did well to palm David Silva’s header away but right to Aguero. He cut it over the yawning frame from a tight angle.

City out-attempted Burnley 13-4 in the half.

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City went up 2-0 in hilarious fashion, as Leroy Sane appealed for a penalty and Burnley’s players protested… while the ball was still in play.

David Silva kept pumping his legs to get to the ignored orb, and cut back for Bernardo to finish.

Fernandinho made it 3-0 in the 56th, when he side-footed a partial clearance into the top corner from atop the box.

Mahrez and Sane scored late to make the score line a proper reflection of the contest.

Men in Blazers podcast: Mahrez’s penalty, Mourinho escapes, Arsenal shines

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Rog and Davo wonder where in orbit Riyad Mahrez‘s penalty kick is after City’s 0 – 0 draw with Liverpool, recap Mourinho’s escape from the gallows in United’s 3 – 2 comeback win over Newcastle, and Arsenal’s Title To Lose.

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Guardiola explains Man City’s Mahrez-Jesus penalty change

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It’s one of the moments that could, all-told, honestly decide the Premier League title.

So putting Riyad Mahrez‘s awful penalty miss under the microscope after Man City’s 0-0 draw at Liverpool makes a lot of sense.

[ MORE: Recap | 3 things from Anfield | Stars/Duds ]

Here’s what happened: Gabriel Jesus won a penalty kick off Virgil Van Dijk and walked toward the spot to take it. But a message from the sideline was relayed by Benjamin Mendy, sending Mahrez to the white paint.

Mahrez, who had made 7 of 9 penalty kicks in his career, made it 7 of 10 with a shot that looked intended for small aircrafts around Anfield. From the BBC:

“He had the courage and the balls to take the penalty, in training he shoots perfect penalties but sometimes it happens. The usual taker is Sergio Aguero but he wasn’t there. We played so well so if you want to analyze the result it was ok. Last season we lost here, and this season we drew, maybe next season we will win.”