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Foden strike keeps Manchester City on Liverpool’s heels

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Manchester City secured a hard-earned 1-0 victory at Bournemouth on Saturday as Phil Foden’s first-half goal moved them one point behind Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Foden converted from close range in the 24th minute and it proved enough for Pep Guardiola’s side who were well below their best against a feisty Bournemouth.

The hosts looked capable of an equaliser after the break when Marcus Tavernier had two decent opportunities in quick succession and Enes Unal headed just wide at the death.

City have 59 points from 26 games with Liverpool, who play Chelsea in the League Cup final on Sunday, on 60.

The mark of champions is to accumulate victories even with sub-standard performances and City have proved masters of that in claiming three successive Premier League titles.

Despite dominating possession, they were severely tested at the Vitality Stadium and their relief at the final whistle was palpable as they held on to turn up the heat on Liverpool.

Guardiola’s side lacked their usual fluency but still stretched their unbeaten league run to 11 games with a second successive 1-0 victory, after a midweek win over Brentford.

“The players surprise me every time, the character, always competitive when they are tired,” Guardiola said.

“Winning 0-5 is not a reality. Hopefully we can have a week off soon to rest the legs.”

Erling Haaland still looked short of his best form after returning from injury and missed an early opportunity when he fired wide with the sort opportunity he usually converts.

But Manchester City have plenty of other match-winners, not least Foden who once again displayed his increasingly influential role in the team as he poached his ninth league goal of the season.

Haaland showed great strength to roll his marker and get a shot off that home keeper Neto did well to keep out but the ball fell to Foden who coolly turned in the rebound.

Shortly before that, Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson was forced into a save from Milos Kerkez’s dipping effort.

Manchester City could not build on their lead after the break, however, and Bournemouth, roared on by a vociferous home crowd, pinned them back.

This was as Tavernier twice went close and leading scorer Dominic Solanke also had a good opportunity.

Bournemouth’s best chance fell to substitute Unal as his header skidding off the turf and inches wide of the post.

Bournemouth are without a win in their last seven league matches and are eight points above the relegation zone in 14th place in the table.

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EPL: Lee Sharps wants ex-PSG coach to replace Ten Hag at Man Utd

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Former Manchester Player, Lee Sharps wants former Paris Saint-Germain manager Unai Emery to replace Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag’s long-term future at Man United is unclear because of the Re Devils’ performances this season.

Man United currently sit outside of the Premier League top four behind the likes of Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City.

In a recent interview with DAZN, Sharpe said:

“If I were choosing and Erik ten Hag was to go, Unai Emery would be at the top of my list.

“I think given the support and the full backing, he could replicate what he has done at [Aston] Villa. I think he’d be a class manager for United.”

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Europa League: Klopp reacts as Atalanta sends Liverpool out of competition

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Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, has hailed his players despite their exit from the Europa League.

The Reds beat Atalanta 1-0 in Bergamo, but lost the tie 3-1 on aggregate.

After Mohamed Salah’s early penalty, Klopp’s men failed to get more goals, despite having control for most of the game.

Klopp has now said they will concentrate on the Premier League, where they are in third place, two points behind leaders Manchester City.

“It was clear we gave ourselves a massive hurdle. I liked the game a lot tonight with the desire and power the boys show. It was incredible from them.

“It was really tricky and we were too hasty in moments. We won the game and that was the reaction we wanted to show. It was difficult and we knew it would be but they deserve to go through 100%.

“We have to focus on the league and that is exactly what we will do from now. Tonight we won the game so we are back to winning ways.

“We have a few days to recover to go again against Fulham. That will be a different game but it will be tricky,” Klopp said.

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Juventus releases statement after order to pay Cristiano Ronaldo’s unpaid wages

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Italian giants Juventus have released a statement after being ordered to pay their former player, Cristiano Ronaldo his unpaid wages.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport, CAS, ordered the Serie A giants to pay Cristiano Ronaldo his unpaid wages.

The court gave the verdict following a dispute arising from pay reductions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ronaldo, who now laces his boots for Saudi Super League side, Al-Nassr, told the court he was owed €19.5 million ($20.81 million) by the Turin giants in unpaid wages.

The Court ruling will see Juventus pay Ronaldo around half that amount, with a €9.8 million settlement reached.

The Italian giants quickly moved to make a statement after the ruling, stating, “The arbitration tribunal ruled Juve had to pay half of the sum requested by the 39-year-old Portugal striker.

“They partially granted the request made by [Ronaldo]… ascertaining Juventus’ pre-contractual liability resulting from the failure of negotiations and ordered the defendant to pay an amount of approximately Euro 9.8 million.”

Juventus have also hinted at their desire to contest the ruling in their statement, saying:
“The Company, also with the support of its legal counsel, is reviewing the decision made by the arbitration board, reserving all assessments and initiatives to preserve its rights.”

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