Raheem Sterling double leads Manchester City to 3-1 win over Crystal Palace

Manchester City's Raheem Sterling celebrates after the match with manager Pep Guardiola. (Action Images via Reuters)
Updated 14 April 2019
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Raheem Sterling double leads Manchester City to 3-1 win over Crystal Palace

LONDON: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola threw himself backward then banged the side of the dugout with his fist after seeing Raheem Sterling skew wide an early chance from close range against Crystal Palace.
Sterling responded in the best way possible.
The England winger put City ahead five minutes later and added a second goal — his 21st of the season in all competitions — to lead City to a 3-1 win that kept the pressure on Liverpool in the Premier League title race on Sunday.
City moved a point clear of Liverpool, which plays Chelsea later.
“When I was younger you always want to score your first opportunity and sometimes it doesn’t happen like that,” Sterling said. “You don’t beat yourself up. There’s 80 minutes left, you just have to be ready for the next opportunity.
“That’s the mentality, just keep going.”
That’s exactly the mentality City must have, too, as the team looks to retain the league title for the first time. It can’t do much more — this was a ninth straight league victory stretching back to Feb. 3, and the champions know they will keep the trophy if they win their remaining five games.
Palace was always likely to be a challenging test for City, with Roy Hodgson’s team one of four to have beaten the champions in the league this season. Palace also ended City’s 18-game winning run in the league last season with a 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park, an atmospheric ground that Guardiola has said is one of the toughest to visit.
As it was, City dominated the game and barely gave Palace a chance until Luka Milivojevic scored a free kick in the 81st minute to make it 2-1 and set up a tense finish. Any hope that Palace — and Liverpool — had was snuffed out when Gabriel Jesus, on as a substitute for Sergio Aguero, made the three points safe for City with a goal on the counterattack in the 90th.
“It will go down to the wire,” Sterling said of the title race. “I don’t see us slowing down now. Liverpool have a great squad, great self-belief, but so do we.”
Sterling’s early miss came when he was picked out by a cross from David Silva from the byline. Sterling swung his left foot at the ball and it dribbled wide.
Anguish turned to ecstasy within a few minutes for Sterling when he latched onto Kevin De Bruyne’s threaded through-ball and lifted an angled shot into the roof of the net.
His second goal wasn’t so pretty but it was just as effective, as he turned home a finish from Leroy Sane’s driven ball across the area in the 63rd.
The game came between a two-legged Champions League quarterfinal against Tottenham, which leads 1-0 after the first match. Guardiola left out holding midfielder Fernandinho because of a minor injury.
“This pressure is incredible,” Guardiola said.


Chelsea moves into top 4 after draw with Burnley

Updated 23 April 2019
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Chelsea moves into top 4 after draw with Burnley

  • Chelsea moves into the final Champions League qualifying spot

LONDON: Chelsea moved into the Premier League’s top four on Monday with a frustrating 2-2 draw with Burnley.
Goals two minutes apart from N’Golo Kante and Gonzalo Higuain put Chelsea on top at Stamford Bridge after Jeff Hendrick had given Burnley an early lead.
But Ashley Barnes pulled the visitors even in the 24th minute and Chelsea was unable to get the winner despite dominating possession and finishing with 22 shots.
Chelsea moves into the final Champions League qualifying spot, one point above Arsenal and three ahead of Manchester United, but has played one game more.
Burnley, meanwhile, all but guaranteed its Premier League status for another season.
The Clarets are nine points above Cardiff in the final relegation place with three games left and have a far superior goal difference.