Category: AFP

Wenger expects Arsenal revival over Christmas

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London (AFP) – Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal’s 1-0 victory over Newcastle will breed the confidence they need to cope with a hectic Christmas schedule. After seeing his side end a three-match winless run thanks to Mesut Ozil’s spectacular first-half goal at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, Gunners boss Wenger has no worries about a potential lack of stamina. “You could see that we had played three games in six days and the third game is a bit more difficult physically. Nobody else had to play Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday, but I still think we had plenty of chances to score more ... Read more

UK, Russian police team up to avoid World Cup trouble

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Ahead of a sell-out European football match, Manchester police tracked fans’ movements via CCTV and Russian security officials joined them in the control room to learn more about tactics. Officers, tipped off about a group of potentially disruptive supporters in the hours before last week’s Champions League clash between Manchester United and CSKA Moscow, moved swiftly to intercept them. The fans “are keen on participating in disorder in Manchester,” Inspector Lee Cooklynn told a pre-game briefing at police headquarters five miles from the stadium in northwest England. Police held the group of around 60 in ... Read more

De Bruyne is my Man City blueprint – Guardiola

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Pep Guardiola said Kevin De Bruyne incarnated Manchester City’s future after the Belgian’s sublime display inspired his side to an emphatic 4-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur. De Bruyne smashed in City’s second goal on Saturday and had a hand in their third, scored by Raheem Sterling, who went on to complete a brace as City registered a record-extending 16th successive Premier League win. De Bruyne’s hurtful passing repeatedly tore holes in the Spurs defence and Guardiola said that ability on the ball, allied to his exemplary work-rate, made him a figurehead for the club’s young ... Read more

Conte upset by lack of credit for champions’ run

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London (AFP) – Chelsea manager Antonio Conte believes that Manchester City’s run of victories has denied his team the credit they deserve for their own recent good spell. A narrow but deserved 1-0 victory for the Premier League champions over a defensive Southampton, which came thanks to Marcos Alonso’s free-kick on the stroke of half-time, made it eight victories and a draw from their last ten matches. However, it still leaves them third, 14 points adrift of leaders Manchester City, who have won a record 16 successive league matches. “We won a difficult game and I want to remember that ... Read more

Torres lifts Atletico above beaten Valencia

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Madrid (AFP) – Atletico Madrid leapfrogged Valencia into second in La Liga thanks to Fernando Torres’s first goal at the Wanda Metropolitano to edge out Alaves 1-0 on Saturday. Valencia remain five points off leaders Barcelona in third after falling to a second defeat in three matches 2-1 at Eibar. Barca can regain their six-point lead over Atletico and open up an 11-point gap over Real Madrid ahead of next weekend’s El Clasico between the two with victory over Deportivo la Coruna on Sunday. Atletico remain unbeaten in La Liga this season, but had to wait until 16 minutes from ... Read more

Torres lifts Atletico to second as Valencia falter

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Madrid (AFP) – Atletico Madrid leapfrogged Valencia into second in La Liga thanks to Fernando Torres’s first goal at the Wanda Metropolitano to edge out Alaves 1-0 on Saturday. Valencia remain five points off leaders Barcelona in third after falling to a second defeat in three matches 2-1 at Eibar. Barca can regain their six-point lead over Atletico and open up an 11-point gap over Real Madrid ahead of next weekend’s El Clasico between the two with victory over Deportivo la Coruna on Sunday. Atletico remain unbeaten in La Liga this season, but had to wait until 16 minutes from ... Read more

Eibar deal more damage to Valencia’s title hopes

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Madrid (AFP) – Valencia missed the chance to close to within two points of La Liga leaders Barcelona as Joan Jordan’s towering header three minutes from time handed Eibar a 2-1 win at Ipurua on Saturday. Atletico Madrid can now usurp Valencia and move into second when they host Alaves later on Saturday, while Barca can open up at least a six-point gap at the top with victory over Deportivo la Coruna on Sunday. Santi Mina quickly cancelled out Takashi Inui’s opener for the hosts as both sides struck early in the second period after a goalless first half. However, ... Read more

De Bruyne makes it sweet 16 for awesome Man City

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Kevin De Bruyne produced another virtuoso performance as Manchester City crushed Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 on Saturday to register a record-extending 16th consecutive Premier League victory. The Belgian maestro scored City’s second goal, after Ilkay Gundogan had opened the scoring, and Raheem Sterling added two more in a thumping win that provisionally sent Pep Guardiola’s men 14 points clear at the summit. Victory embellished the record for consecutive English league wins City had set in Wednesday’s 4-0 win at Swansea City and the breathtaking manner of it was further evidence of their apparent invincibility. Guardiola, who ... Read more