City’s second-half salvo sinks Huddersfield

first_imgManchester City went past 100 goals for the season and closed back to within four points of Premier League leaders Liverpool with a 3-0 win at Huddersfield Town.Danilo’s deflected long-range effort brought up that landmark, achieved across all competitions, after 18 minutes but Pep Guardiola’s side were some way from their fluent best during the first half.Raheem Sterling headed home the crucial second early in the 54th minute before fellow winger Leroy Sane got in on the act, puncturing a buoyant Huddersfield crowd that came to celebrate David Wagner’s tenure. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Caretaker boss Mark Hudson stepped in after Wagner’s departure this week and oversaw a battling display, albeit from a team 10 points from safety at the foot of the table.Sergio Aguero prodded wide in the third minute after exchanging passes with Sterling, whose strong penalty claims fell on deaf ears when he was brought down by Terence Kongolo.City were unlucky on that occasion, but their opening goal came with a slice of fortune as Danilo’s speculative drive spun off Christopher Schindler and beyond the helpless Jonas Lossl.Ilkay Gundogan went close to doubling the visitors’ lead as the end of a scrappy opening 45 minutes approached.The Germany midfielder was involved in the move that put the game beyond Huddersfield as Sane stayed just onside to collect Kevin De Bruyne’s pass for Sterling to head home.8 – Since the start of last season, Leroy Sané has both scored and assisted in eight @premierleague games for Manchester City, at least three more times than any other player at the club (Sterling and Agüero 5). Spectrum. #HUDMCI pic.twitter.com/xdYnBcAwpQ— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 20, 2019Sane went from provider to scorer two minutes later as he darted on to Aguero’s clever knock down and dispatched a bouncing ball past Lossl.City substitute Bernardo Silva was denied by Lossl before lively Huddersfield replacement Steve Mounie blazed his side’s best chance wide in the final action of the contest.What does it mean? City have appetite for the chaseSince back-to-back defeats against Leicester City and Crystal Palace handed Liverpool the title initiative last month, Guardiola’s men have won six consecutive games in all competitions, scoring 22 unanswered goals in their past four. That untimely wobble is receding from view and, with the likes of Aguero, De Bruyne and David Silva all working back towards full match sharpness, there should be more to come.Sterling relishes a hostile battleAndre Marriner’s decision not to award Manchester City’s right winger a penalty early on truly beggared belief. Sterling had already been bizarrely singled out for boos by a section of the home faithful, but he seems to revel in making a mockery of such nonsense nowadays. Having scored a late winner at the John Smith’s Stadium last season, the England star again produced the game-breaking contribution.Lowe fails to keep the high lineIt seems harsh to single out any of Huddersfield’s tireless defensive unit after their efforts ended without reward. However, it must have been galling for the collective to see Chris Lowe’s concentration waver and play Sane fractionally onside for Sterling’s goal. It was a yard of space the Town left-back could scarcely afford to give to his countryman.Key Opta facts- Sane has had a hand in 20 goals in his past 17 Premier League starts, with eight of his own alongside 12 assists.- Huddersfield have won none of the 34 Premier League games in which they’ve conceded the first goal (D3 L31), losing all 14 at home when conceding first.- Sterling’s two most recent Premier League goals have been headers – only one of his first 57 in the competition came via his head.- Since the start of last season, Huddersfield have failed to score in 32 Premier League matches – nine more than any other side.- Sane and Sterling have combined for six Premier League goals this season – the only duo to combine for more often are Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser (seven goals).6 – Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling have combined for six Premier League goals this season – the only duo to combine for more are Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser (seven goals). Repetition. #HUDMCI pic.twitter.com/0GcE4DSP2R— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 20, 2019What’s next?City head to Burton Albion in the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final on Wednesday, just the nine goals to the good. Huddersfield scored only have 13 in the Premier League all season and must look to add to that meagre tally when they host Everton in nine days. read morelast_img read more

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Copa Libertadores final the only news in Argentina

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — One day everyone in Argentina will say they were there.That is the case for Diego Maradona’s professional debut, and the 1978 World Cup final in Argentina, won by the host.This time, it’s the Copa Libertadores final on Saturday at Monumental de Nunez Stadium, where Boca Juniors and River Plate, the most popular Argentine clubs, face off.Three weeks ago they drew 2-2 at La Bombonera, but away goals won’t matter in the second leg.Except for a brief pause when an Argentine submarine was found in the Atlantic one year after it disappeared with 44 crew members, Saturday’s final has been the biggest news in Argentina. Even a summit of leaders from G20 nations has been eclipsed by the historic superclasico.On Thursday, Boca fans overcrowded the 49,000-seat La Bombonera just to watch a training session. There will be no visiting fans at River’s stadium because of Argentina’s anti-football violence legislation.Players, however, have kept a lower profile, without the traditional provocations.River has reasons to be optimistic. Not only did the team fight back from 2-0 down in the first leg, it has also lifted its three Copa Libertadores titles at home.River coach Marcelo Gallardo, who has won one Libertadores as a player and another as a coach, is still considering his starting lineup after losing suspended striker Rafael Santos Borre and injured target man Ignacio Scocco.But he has a spine to work from: Goalkeeper Franco Armani, who played for Argentina in the last World Cup; veteran defenders Jonatan Maidana and Javier Pinola; captain Leonardo Ponzi and midfielders Gonzalo Martinez and Exequiel Palacios, who will leave the club at the end of the year.Boca also has question marks before the final. The goalkeeper will be either Agustin Rossi or Esteban Andrada. Right back Leonardo Jara did not leave a good impression in the first leg and could be replaced by Julio Buffarini.While Gallardo has been busy finding replacements, Boca coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto — who won the tournament three times as a player — has the luxury of deciding which striker to leave out. If he can’t count on winger Cristian Pavon, he can choose from Carlos Tevez, Mauro Zarate, and Colombians Edwin Cardona and Sebastian Villa. He also has Dario Benedetto and Ramon Abila, who scored Boca’s goals in the first leg.Boca relies on its strikers, who have 14 of the team’s 15 goals in the knockout stage.Boca fans trust in their tradition of winning the Copa Libertadores away, as they have in four of the clubs’ six titles.If there’s another draw on Saturday, there will be 30 minutes of extra time. If the draw persists, the trophy will be decided by penalties. Next year, the Copa Libertadores final will be played in a single match.The winner advances to the Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates next month.___More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsDebora Rey, The Associated Press read more

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