Monthly Archives: April 2017

He can play in ten positions – Guardiola marvels over United star Pogba

Paul Pogba may well have earned mixed testimonials for the duration of his 1st season back at Manchester United, however the France midfielder has an unlikely champion inside the kind of Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.
Jose Mourinho announced world’s most costly player will miss Thursday’s derby against City at the Etihad Stadium by way of injury, news that may be most likely to come as a relief to Guardiola.
Speaking ahead with the match, the Catalan recalled Pogba’s impressive show as his Bayern Munich needed added time to see off Juventus 6-4 on aggregate inside a thrilling Champions league tie last season.
“I met Paul Pogba for the first time when Bayern Munich played Juventus,” he explained.
“In each games I was actually impressed. He played in ten positions. He is an outstanding player and he can do certainly all the things.
“Of course in some cases it is not effortless to handle the expectations you might have any time you arrive here, particularly with the amount of revenue. It wasn’t uncomplicated.
“He’s an outstanding player and I think he made a very good season.”
Guardiola is also accused of failing to live as much as expectations in his 1st season at City, who are fourth in the Premier League – a point along with a location above United – and saw their final opportunity of lifting silverware dashed in Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final defeat to Arsenal.
His record against the top rated seven inside the Premier League leaves significantly to become desired, with a December win against Arsenal his only achievement following overcoming United by precisely the same 2-1 scoreline final September.
A morale-boosting victory will be timely for City, but Guardiola appreciates he has his operate reduce out against old foe Mourinho and an English contingent at United he prices extremely.
“All of them, they are ideal,” he stated. “I am a massive fan of Michael Carrick. He is on the list of ideal holding midfielders I’ve ever seen in my life by far. He’s the level of Xabi Alonso and Sergio Busquets.
“[Marcus] Rashford is a massive talent of course and [Jesse] Lingard. England is secure, you may have outstanding players.
“Not just right here in City – United, Tottenham, Chelsea. Come on, guys, you may do it [with the] international group!”

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The challenge should be to preserve going – Pochettino delighted as Spurs hunt Chelsea

Mauricio Pochettino is hunting forward to continuing Tottenham’s Premier League title push inside the derby against Arsenal just after beating Crystal Palace 1-0 on Wednesday.
Victory for Spurs saw them again close the gap to leaders Chelsea in the prime with the table to 4 points ahead of facing rivals Arsenal on Sunday.
Tottenham possess a difficult run-in, starting against Arsene Wenger’s men, but Pochettino is satisfied that his side are nevertheless alive and kicking within the title race soon after Christian Eriksen’s decisive late aim at Selhurst Park.
“It was unbelievable – a really fantastic functionality,” he told Sky Sports. “I believe [in the] second half we played much better than in the 1st half.
“It was challenging inside the initially half for us to move the ball and come across the space, but we changed the shape at half-time and it was more fluid – we began to seek out the space and started to push Palace deeper and deeper.
“It was superior to get the 3 points and be alive within the race for the title. The challenge is always to maintain going.
“It is generally superior to win, nevertheless it is accurate [the Arsenal game] is really a huge derby, perhaps the final at White Hart Lane, and I believe it will be an exciting game.”
Palace manager Sam Allardyce rued his side’s fatigue in the closing stages, getting beaten Liverpool on Sunday – 24 hours just after Spurs played Chelsea in the FA Cup.
“Wow. It was an outstanding team work by the players, that have had significantly less time for you to recover against an exceptionally very good side,” Allardyce mentioned.
“Our application was outstanding and we gave Tottenham a hell of a game inside the initial half, nip and tuck, but naturally it would take place that we would tire offered the lack of recovery time compared to Tottenham.
“It was a terrific purpose by Eriksen, but a shame for the lads they couldn’t hold out.”

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Aguero and Silva train with Manchester City immediately after Wembley injuries

Sergio Aguero and David Silva have handed Manchester City a fitness increase ahead of Thursday’s derby against United in the Etihad Stadium.
The influential attacking duo have been substituted through Sunday’s sapping 2-1 extra-time loss to Arsenal inside the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, prompting fears over their availability to get a crunch clash with Jose Mourinho’s men.
But Omnisport understands Aguero and Silva were involved in a recovery session with the rest of Pep Guardiola’s squad on Monday – an encouraging sign that two of your Catalan’s essential players could still play a part inside a match that is certainly most likely to have an enormous say in the battle to for Champions League qualification.
City are a point plus a place improved off than United in fourth with six matches remaining after their rivals eased to a 2-0 win at Burnley on Sunday.
Silva was substituted throughout the initial half at Wembley, obtaining been on the receiving finish of a heavy challenge from Arsenal defender Gabriel, and team-mate Yaya Toure told reporters the Spain playmaker was affected by a sore hamstring.
Aguero scored his 30th target of the season to open the scoring just after the hour but taking a knee for the back from Laurent Koscielny at some point caught up with him. At his post-match news conference, Guardiola stated the Argentina star was “dead” when he produced way for Fabian Delph throughout further time.
Fernandinho also limped off to prompt an enforced double adjust in the 99th minute – Alexis Sanchez netted Arsenal’s winner 86 seconds later – but the midfielder is confident he will likely be back for the derby.
“I believe I can recover really nicely by Thursday and need to be 100 per cent for the game,” mentioned the Brazil international, whose compatriot Gabriel Jesus could take pleasure in his first action considering the fact that suffering a broken metatarsal in February when United pay a visit to.
“Now we will have to raise our heads. We have an incredibly vital derby on Thursday and our aim now is always to finish inside a position that may get us for the Champions League.
“It’s a decisive game, they may be behind us by one point and they won their game on Sunday.”

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Simeone: Atletico had a rough patch in 2016

Diego Simeone insists he has no regrets more than Atletico Madrid’s 2016 form after seeing his side come on sturdy throughout the second half of your season.
4 of Atleti’s five defeats in Spain’s leading flight came prior to the turn of the year, with only leaders Barcelona acquiring the far better of them in 2017 to date.
The Champions League semi-finalists have edged ahead of Sevilla within the battle for third spot – a position they’ve filled for the previous two seasons considering that their 2013-14 LaLiga triumph.
Simeone’s guys have displayed title-worthy form from January onwards but the Argentine was not pondering what could possibly happen to be ahead of Tuesday’s house match against fifth-placed Villarreal.
“Every year brings troubles that you simply need to get via,” he said. “No year is uncomplicated, either when we’ve won LaLiga or finished third, in this league just about every team goes through a rough patch.
“We went through it in the starting from the season but in 2017 we’ve been far more consistent and hope to continue along that line.
“It’s just like each year, we’ve constantly competed nicely, as a great deal in the footballing sense as within the physical and I hope that’ll be the case against Villarreal.
“We have a hard game against a hard opponent that plays fantastic football in a settled 4-4-2 system. They defend as a unit and benefit from any loss of possession, with players that are pretty very good together with the ball and with excellent attackers.”
When asked to explain Atleti’s improvements as the season has worn on, he stuck close to a familiar mantra of tough work.
“Greater consistency within the benefits is normally a outcome from the collective function in the group and, in the exact same time, individual contributions are also becoming extra significant,” he added.
“I believe individual performances have improved in correspondence with all the improvement with the team.
“That’s generally occurred – anytime the team has been strong we’ve had fantastic moments from several various footballers individually.
“That’s what is happened because the beginning of 2017 and we hope we can hold this rhythm up ideal until the finish.”
Simeone declined to comment on Atletico’s forthcoming player registration ban amid reports the club will imminently learn no matter if their appeal against the FIFA ruling at the Court of Arbitration for Sport has been thriving.
He added: “We do not have any information and facts with regards to what may come about.”

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Practically nothing for Leicester to worry – Drinkwater desires Champions League return

Danny Drinkwater desires an additional crack at the Champions League with Leicester City and insists the club have practically nothing to fear from Europe’s elite.
Leicester’s stirring run towards the quarter-finals came to an end on Tuesday as Atletico Madrid held out to get a 1-1 draw as well as a 2-1 aggregate triumph at a raucous King Energy Stadium.
As in their victories on house soil versus against Porto, Copenhagen, Club Brugge and Sevilla, the Foxes provided a reminder in the irresistible qualities and belief that propelled them for the Premier League title final season.
As well usually this time around they’ve fallen short of those levels domestically, with manager Claudio Ranieri sacked as a relegation scrap loomed in February.
A resurgence beneath Craig Shakespeare has taken in further memorable European nights that Drinkwater thinks have brought the best out of his team-mates.
“We did think we could win it,” he stated. “We weren’t in simply to take part. We’re a squad that believes we can do factors some individuals possibly didn’t consider we’re capable of, but we just maintain pushing ourselves on the coaching field and out on the pitch.
“I assume that goes via the dressing room and by means of all of the staff. It’s a tournament and not a league so it really is a win-and-you’re-through scenario.”
A return to Europe is off the agenda this season, as Leicester lie 12th – 20 points shy of seventh-placed Everton.
But, together with the fog of their muddled title defence clearing, Drinkwater is keen to get Leicester firmly back on track next term.
The 27-year-old added: “Now we’ve had a taste of it, we want a lot more. There is nothing for us to become scared of.
“Atletico Madrid are a significant force in Europe and we pushed them each of the way.
“Playing in stadiums like over there in Madrid – that’s Champions League football. You hear the music and you get a tingle down your spine and a buzz.”
Leicester captain Wes Morgan played for the very first time since scoring within the second-leg turnaround against Sevilla inside the last-16, playing via the discomfort of a back challenge and grappling manfully together with the mercurial Antoine Griezmann.
Like Drinkwater, the centre-back feels a sense of unfinished organization and what may possibly have been
“This season has been much more downs than ups, but I really feel we’ve turned it about and we’re coming fantastic now,” he stated.

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