Leroy Sane shines as slick Manchester City crush West Ham, Liverpool win at Watford

Manchester City's Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring their second goal with Leroy Sane (Reuters)
Updated 24 November 2018

Leroy Sane shines as slick Manchester City crush West Ham, Liverpool win at Watford

LONDON: Manchester City stormed to their eighth successive victory in all competitions as Leroy Sane’s brace capped a ruthless 4-0 demolition of West Ham on Saturday.
Pep Guardiola’s side were in clinical form in east London as the champions maintained their unbeaten start after 13 games of the Premier League season.
David Silva and Raheem Sterling struck in the first 19 minutes to put City in complete control.
Germany winger Sane netted before the interval and again in the closing stages to ensure leaders City remain two points clear of second placed Liverpool.
City have scored 19 goals in their last four games in all competitions, with their latest blitz serving as the perfect preparation for next week’s Champions League clash at Lyon.
In this mood, it is hard to imagine who can stop City and their former manager Manuel Pellegrini, now in charge of West Ham, clearly had no answers.
Pellegrini managed City for three seasons between 2013 and 2016, winning the title in 2014, the League Cup twice, and 100 of his 167 games in charge.
The Chilean became the only non-European manager to win the Premier League, and only the second City manager to win two major trophies in one season.
But his City team was nowhere near as potent as the Guardiola model.
And for all West Ham’s shortcomings, City worked as hard as ever to make the most of the openings presented to them.
Sterling, whose previous appearance in a City shirt ended with him being admonished by Guardiola for showboating near the end of the 3-1 victory over Manchester United, was direct and creative, providing the final pass for Silva’s and Sane’s goals.
West Ham had looked tentative and nervy even before City took the lead after 11 minutes, and they were largely spectators as Kyle Walker ran down the right.
He found Sterling, who crossed low for Silva to stroll between the immobile Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena to slip a first-time shot past Lukasz Fabianski from four yards.
West Ham showed little inclination to hit back, and there was so little pressure on the ball that Fabian Delph, although lining up at left back for City, was able to move into the central midfield position and launch a series of attacks.
It was 2-0 to City after 19 minutes as Sane stepped past former City defender Pablo Zabaleta on the left and hit a low pass across goal for Sterling to stroke home.
West Ham briefly spluttered into life when Michail Antonio robbed Aymeric Laporte and set up Marko Arnautovic, but the Austrian’s shot was saved by goalkeeper Ederson.
Then Arnautovic found Antonio cutting in from the right but his well-hit shot rebounded off Ederson’s chest.
But City sealed victory when Fernandinho passed out to Sterling on the right, he volleyed back into the center, and the unmarked Sane controlled the ball, sidestepped Balbuena’s attempt to recover, and rolled in the third.
Fabianski denied both Sterling and Sane in the opening minute of the second half and West Ham’s best chance disappeared when Antonio ran clear of defenders only to hit his shot against the outside of the post.
Sane showed how it was done in stoppage-time, collecting Gabriel Jesus’s cross and shooting across Fabianski, the ball going in off Aaron Cresswell.
Elsewhere, Roberto Firmino ended his English Premier League goal drought and Mohamed Salah also scored as 10-man Liverpool maintained their unbeaten start by winning at Watford 3-0 on Saturday.




Mohamed Salah celebrates his goal against Watford as Liverpool earned another three Premier League points. (AFP)

Firmino headed in a late third for Liverpool at Vicarage Road, for his first top-flight goal since Sept. 15.
Trent Alexander-Arnold's brilliant free kick made it 2-0 after Salah opened the scoring — with his sixth goal in his last seven club games — in the 67th minute from Sadio Mane's cross.
Liverpool will be without Jordan Henderson for next weekend's Merseyside derby with Everton, however, after the midfielder was sent off for two bookings — the second one coming just after he'd been warned by the referee.
Hard-working Watford will feel aggrieved after referee Jon Moss rejected its penalty claims when Andy Robertson appeared to trip Will Hughes in the second half, when the score was 0-0.
It was far from a vintage Liverpool performance but they remained unbeaten in 13 games and two points behind league leaders City.


Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova to clash in US Open first round blockbuster

Updated 22 August 2019

Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova to clash in US Open first round blockbuster

  • Williams has dominated the Russian star in their head-to-head rivalry
  • Sharapova advanced by walkover against Williams in the fourth round at Roland Garros last year

NEW YORK: Serena Williams will begin her quest for a seventh US Open title and record-tying 24th Grand Slam victory against long-time rival Maria Sharapova in the US Open women’s singles draw unveiled Thursday.
Williams has dominated the Russian star in their head-to-head rivalry, winning 19 times with only two defeats, including their past 18 meetings, most recently at the 2016 Australian Open quarter-finals, although Sharapova advanced by walkover against Williams in the fourth round at Roland Garros last year.
Eighth-ranked Williams is looking to match the all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles won by Margaret Court when the year’s final major championship gets under way Monday.
The 37-year-old American has dropped her past three Grand Slam finals appearances, including last month to Simona Halep at Wimbledon and last year to Japan’s Naomi Osaka at the US Open after a controversial game penalty for her tirade at umpire Carlos Ramos.
Tournament officials have said Ramos will not work any matches involving Serena or Venus Williams, who could not face her sister until the semifinals, being in the same draw quarter as Czech third seed Karolina Pliskova.
Serena was placed into the same quarter as Australian second seed Ashleigh Barty, the reigning French Open champion whose first match is against 77th-ranked Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan.
Top-seeded Osaka opens against Russia’s 93rd-ranked Anna Blinkova and could face a third-round date against 15-year-old American Coco Gauff, who eliminated Venus Williams in the first round at Wimbledon in a run to the last 16 in her Grand Slam debut.
Romania’s fourth-seeded Halep, coming off her second Grand Slam title, opens against a qualifier and could face a semifinal against Osaka, who defends a Slam crown for the first time.
“I’m looking forward to the experience,” Osaka said. “Everyone knows I love it here.”
Osaka retired in the third set of a quarter-final match at Cincinnati with a left knee injury but said Thursday she expects no problems with playing at the US Open.
“It’s geting better. I’m a fast healer,” Osaka said. “I’m here and I feel like I’ll be able to play.”
Osaka said while she might watch players who are unfamiliar, she isn’t one to analyze the draw beyond her next opponent.
“I like to know what that one person I’m playing is,” she said. “I like to focus my attention on that one.”
Pliskova, who lost her only Grand Slam final to Germany’s Angelique Kerber at the 2016 US Open, plays her first match against a qualifier.
Venus Williams, 39, won the 2000 and 2001 US Opens but hasn’t won a Slam since her fifth Wimbledon title in 2008. She opens against China’s Zheng Saisai and could meet fifth seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in the second round.