Sergio Aguero

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Opportunistic Spurs, VAR produce draw at Man City

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Tottenham Hotspur flummoxed controlling Manchester City, twice answering goals in a 2-2 draw at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday and then getting a shocking reprieve from VAR in stoppage time.

The draw snaps a 15-match league winning streak for City.

Gabriel Jesus‘ well-crafted would-be winner was taken off the board when VAR found the ball to glance off Aymeric Laporte‘s arm.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

On a day when Harry Kane was largely invisible, Erik Lamela was dynamite in producing a goal before assisting Lucas Moura.

Kevin De Bruyne had two assists for City, setting up Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero. But Aguero will be remembered more for his angry run-in with Pep Guardiola after a second half substitution.

Man City out shot Spurs 13-1 in the first half, but Spurs scored with its only shot on target.

For the match, the shots margin was 30-3.


Four stars 

4. Davinson Sanchez – Couldn’t reach De Bruyne’s second assist of the day, but was otherwise impenetrable.

3. Raheem Sterling – A menace down the flank with a pretty headed goal to boot (or head).

2. Erik Lamela – Subbed off with a goal and an assist in the 85th.

  1. Kevin De Bruyne – On fire from Moment No. 1.

Three things we learned (from JPW)


The game began with monstrous spells of possession from the hosts, and Spurs had trouble getting any touches on the ball over the first quarter hour.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Sterling broke through in the 20th minute when De Bruyne swept a gorgeous cross to the back post. The English striker was at an acute angle and Hugo Lloris will have wanted to do better with a well-placed header.

That seemed to have snapped Spurs out of their funk, if only for a minute, as Tanguy Ndombele spotted Lamela on a counter and the Argentine used two Spurs to craft a clever shot around Ederson.

The stalemate lasted a dozen minutes, as De Bruyne moved toward the touch line and cut an invitation outside the six. Aguero RSVP’d with the outside of his boot.

De Bruyne looked ready to single-handedly will a third goal past Lloris, but it was Spurs who claimed the next marker when Moura — on for less than a half-minute — headed Lamela’s corner home.

Rodri then pasted a shot that Lloris tipped over the bar, and the French goalkeeper had to react quickly after charging out to misplay the corner.

Giovani Lo Celso subbed into the match for the final few minutes to make his much anticipated Premier League debut.

VIDEO: Guardiola, Aguero involved in heated exchange

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Pep Guardiola and Sergio Aguero went at it during Man City’s clash with Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

After being subbed off in the second half with the score locked at 2-2, Man City’s all-time leading goalscorer was far from impressed.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

Aguero turned to Guardiola and threw some abuse his away, and Pep wasn’t shy in dishing some back either as the coaching staff jumped in to separate the two.

Watch the heated exchanged in the video below, as a pulsating clash on the pitch spilled over onto the Man City bench.

We haven’t heard the last of this, as Aguero and Pep haven’t exactly seen eye to eye in the past as the Argentine striker had to change his style of play to fit in with Guadiola’s system at Man City.


HIGHLIGHTS, STREAM LINK: Man City leads Spurs off KDB brilliance

Photo by Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images
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It’s been sloppy at times on the whole, but a few moments of beautiful football have Manchester City leading Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad Stadium.

[ WATCH LIVE: Man City v. Spurs ]

It’s 2-1 after 45 minutes, with Spurs countering tactically and literally after the hosts took a deserved lead.

Kevin De Bruyne has provided both of Man City’s assists, the first for Raheem Sterling‘s acute header — maybe this one’s on Hugo Lloris — and the second to Sergio Aguero in his office.

Spurs countered when Tanguy Ndombele played Erik Lamela into the final third.

The Argentine’s finish was deceptive and exquisite, using two men to curl a ball around the screened

Could Messi, Aguero continue playing for Argentina?

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There’s still the third-place game to play, but in effect, Argentina’s Copa America is over, and now the national team can turn its attention towards qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.

But there will be at least one major question hanging over the Albiceleste over the next few months. Will Lionel Messi play for Argentina again? And what about other veterans, such as Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and Nicolas Otamendi?

[READ: Transfer Rumor Roundup]

For Messi, when asked about his future after the match, he seemed like he hadn’t made up his mind.

“Yes, I do not know,” Messi told reporters after Brazil’s 2-0 win on Tuesday over Argentina. “I enjoyed myself very well with this group. If I have to help, I’m going to do it, there’s a nice team to grow and if I can help from wherever I am and accompany them, I’ll be there.”

For Aguero, he was much clearer. He’ll always be there if called.

“I am available to follow, if they call me,” Aguero said. “I will never say no to the national team.”

Messi is now 32-years old, while Aguero is 31-years old. By 2022, the pair will be 35 and 34, respectively, certainly not at their physical peak. And yet, it’s likely that others won’t take their place by then and force them out of the national team.

For Messi, he’s had multiple occassions where he’s “retired” from the national team. The first came after the 2016 Copa America Centenario in the U.S., when he said he wouldn’t play for Argentina again due to administrative mishaps during the tournament, as well as exhaustion after three straight years of losing in the final.

After the 2018 World Cup, in which Argentina struggled and was run over by France in the round of 16, Messi again took a break from the national team, but came back this spring for a pair of friendlies before this summer’s Copa America.

Aguero sits a few caps shy of 100, while Messi is well above that mark, but both players’ club teams will surely welcome a break for at least one season to allow the players to focus on the club campaigns fully, and not have to travel across the Atlantic Ocean for games.

An Argentina without Messi in it will look much different, but that future could be here as early as this weekend.

 

Copa America: Argentina dispatches Qatar to advance (video)

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A roundup of Sunday’s action from the final round of Group B play at the 2019 Copa America in Brazil…

[ WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: France gets by Brazil in ET | England bests Cameroon ]

Qatar 0-2 Argentina

Argentina bounced back from a defeat and a draw in their first two games to avoid what would have been an indefensible disaster — failing to advance from the group — by beating Qatar 2-0 in the two sides’ Group B finale.

Lautaro Martinez scored what turned out to be the game-winner after just four minutes. Qatar attempted to play the ball out of the back, but a pass from a Qatari defender was badly mishit and went straight to Martinez, who was quick to corral the ball and run it down for a one-time finish from just inside the box.

Sergio Aguero put the game to bed with a brilliant individual goal in the 82nd minute. After receiving the ball 40 yards from goal, Aguero bust forward and went past two defenders in a flash before picking out a small window to hit with his left-footed finish from 12 yards out.

Up next for Lionel Messi and Co., is a quarterfinal tangle with Venezuela.

Colombia 1-0 Paraguay

Having already secured a place in the quarters, Colombia finished group play with a perfect nine-point record and locked up first place in the group edging past Paraguay.

Gustavo Cuellar bagged the game’s only goal in the 31st minute, when he snuck the ball between the goalkeeper’s legs from an impossibly tight angle.

Colombia finished Group B with three victories, by way of four goals scored and zero goals conceded.

Monday’s Copa America schedule

Chile v. Ecuador — 7 p.m. ET
Ecuador v. Japan — 7 p.m. ET