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

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.


NBA star Durant rules himself out for rest of season

Updated 06 June 2020

NBA star Durant rules himself out for rest of season

  • NBA star ruptured his right Achilles tendon in last June’s NBA Finals
  • Kevin Durant among a dozen NBA players who tested positive for coronavirus in the spring

LOS ANGELES: NBA superstar Kevin Durant, who has not played since he tore his Achilles tendon a year ago, said he would not make his debut with the Brooklyn Nets when the season resumes late July in Orlando.
“My season is over. I don’t plan on playing at all,” in the 2019-2020 season, Durant said in an interview Friday with The Undefeated.
“We decided last summer when it first happened that I was just going to wait until the following season. I had no plans of playing at all this season.”
The NBA suspended its season on March 11 as the COVID-19 pandemic erupted, leaving professional sport in North America at a standstill.
The league’s board of governors on Thursday gave the green light to a plan to restart the season at Disney World in Orlando, Florida on July 31, without spectators.
The news was followed by speculation over whether Durant would appear.
Durant, who was the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player for the Golden State Warriors in their 2017 and 2018 championship runs, ruptured his right Achilles tendon in last June’s NBA Finals.
He then left California to join Brooklyn, where fans were hoping he would form a formidable duet with Kyrie Irving, who also arrived last summer.
“It’s just best for me to wait. I don’t think I’m ready to play that type of intensity right now in the next month,” said Durant.
He said however that his rehab was going well.
“I’m doing well. Working out every day. I’m moving. I’m feeling like a normal player again,” he told The Undefeated.
Plans to restart the league received the approval of the players’ union on Friday, although some details remain to be ironed out.
Durant, who is among a dozen NBA players who tested positive for coronavirus in the spring, has not said whether he will accompany his teammates to Florida.