Category Archives: English Premier League

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Jose Mourinho says title race is over as Man City beats United

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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said his side’s title hopes are “probably” over after 2-1 loss to “lucky” neighbours and title rivals Manchester City.

City widened the gap on top of the Premier League to 11 points thanks to Manchester derby victory at Old Trafford, and became the first team to win 14 successive English top-flight games in a single season.

They took the lead when man-of-the-match David Silva hooked home from close range after confusion at a corner on 42 minutes.

Although United appeared to have been handed a lifeline in first-half stoppage time when poor defending from Nicolas Otamendi and Fabian Delph allowed Marcus Rashford to steal in for a composed finish. However, Otamendi quickly made amends nine minutes after the break when Romelu Lukaku — who had a poor game — lashed at a clearance in the area and the City defender pounced on the rebound to score.

Still, Mourinho took issue and focused on an incident in the 79th minute, when Ander Herrera went down in City’s box under a challenge from Otamendi but was booked for diving instead.

“I think they are a very good team, they are lucky, they have decisions in their favour,” Mourinho said. “My first reaction is that I feel sorry for Michael Oliver. The referee is a human being and he tried his best. He was very committed to have a good match, which I think he had, but made one mistake, which was a crucial mistake.”

Regardless, City has only dropped two points in their first 16 league games. Although they had numerous opportunities to extend their lead, it was their keeper Ederson who made the decisive late intervention with a miraculous double late save from the Romelu Lukaku and substitute Juan Mata.

When asked whether the title race was now over, Mourinho answered: “Probably, yes. Manchester City are a very good team and they are protected by the luck, and the gods of football are behind them.”

Kevin de Bruyne disappointed with Paul Pogba absence in upcoming derby

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Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne claims that he was disappointed that Paul Pogba will be absent for Sunday’s Manchester derby because he relishes coming up against the best players.

Pogba will be starting a three-match ban after he was sent off in Manchester United’s 3-1 win at Arsenal for a challenge on Hector Bellerín.

Although the French international said last week that he hoped Manchester City players would suffer injuries to help United’s title push, de Bruyne rejected the idea that karma was at work.

“I don’t believe in that,” de Bruyne said. “I’m a very straightforward guy. If someone believes it is karma then OK. Everyone has their right to their opinion. I don’t want anyone to get injured. It’s a competition, you want to play against the best teams and the best players.”

“I don’t care [what he says]. He can say whatever he wants. We just have to be focused on whatever we’re doing. He’s a massive player. I know him a little bit. He’s unbelievable. He took a red card and that’s the way it goes – you have injuries and suspensions.”

Should City win at Old Trafford on Sunday they will move 11 points clear at the top, but De Bruyne remains wary of celebrating too early, and that nobody will care about Manchester City’s present club-record 20-match winning run if they fail to pick up any trophies this season.

“It means we [would] almost have a four-game advantage,” he added. “It’s a good gap but doesn’t mean anything. Football goes very quick. It’s a busy two months when things can change but the way we’re going is good and we need to continue that.”

“If we don’t win anything, are you going to talk about 20 wins? Nobody will care about it. Our winning run is phenomenal and gives us a good advantage but we have a big week with Swansea and Tottenham following the United game.”

“If we lost two out of three and they win everything, they are there. At the moment we are on an up. We need to keep focused with whatever we are doing and keep busy with ourselves.”

Referee Jon Moss admits mistake after south coast derby draw

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Bournemouth defender Adam Smith said referee Jon Moss admitted to wrongly booking him for diving instead of awarding a penalty during Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Southampton.

It was goalless after 32 minutes when Smith fell to the ground under the challenge of Sofiane Boufal. However, rather than point to the spot for a penalty, Moss showed Smith his fifth yellow card of the season, which means he will be suspended for one game.

“For the ref to book me doesn’t help because that’s my fifth yellow card of the season,” said Smith. “I spoke to him after and he apologised and said it was a penalty.”

“I don’t mind him admitting it but the fact he booked me and can’t get it rescinded means I’ll miss the next game.”

“I can’t work out what the referee has seen, but that’s football,” Cherries manager Eddie Howe said. “You live and die by those decisions and I think he’s got it wrong.”

“I think it’s a clear penalty. At the time I had a good view of it and I think if the defender doesn’t get the ball he’s in trouble because he’s committed, he’s on the floor. Adam goes over his leg. It’s hugely disappointing because not only do we not get the penalty but we lose Adam to suspension and it has a knock-on effect to the next game.”

Bournemouth took the lead just before the break when Scotland winger Ryan Fraser slotted a first-time effort past Fraser Forster, but the Cherries, were pegged back when Southampton striker Charlie Austin swept home the equaliser just after the hour mark.

Still, the point takes Bournemouth above Newcastle into 14th place, while Howe’s team prepares for league games against Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City coming up in a tough run of matches.

Arsene Wenger: Ozil and Sanchez to stay beyond January 2018

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Arsene Wenger has ruled out January departures for Arsenal pair Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil bar the case that “something unbelievable” happens.

The contracts for both players are set to expire by the end of the season and both have so far refused to sign new deals at the Emirates.

While there are yet to be concrete offers for Ozil, Sanchez almost joined Manchester City on the final day of the summer transfer window, only for Arsenal to pull out from the deal at the very last moment when they failed to land Monaco’s Thomas Lemar as his replacement.

However, Wenger remains keen to hold on to both players until the end of the season.

“I do not think about that every day,” the Frenchman said. “At the moment, as long as they are here, they have to give their best for the team and for the club.”

“In my head, they stay until the end of the season and that’s a decision that was taken at the start of the season. Unless something unbelievable happens, I can’t see why that would change.”

Still, it remains that Wenger could not offer any assurances that he could keep either player through new deals and extend their stays beyond 2018.

“They’re into the final year of their contract,” he added. “Will they stay longer? That’s impossible to answer today because I don’t know. They have a contract until the end of the season.”

“I am not the only one who can decide that. They have a part to play in that as well. If it’s my decision, yes.”