Manchester City back on top, David de Gea costs Manchester United once more

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, left, celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Burnley and Manchester City at Turf Moor in Burnley. (AP)
Updated 28 April 2019

Manchester City back on top, David de Gea costs Manchester United once more

  • Manchester City moved back ahead of Liverpool to the top of the Premier League
  • United halted a run of seven defeats in nine games, but failed to capitalize

MANCHESTER: Manchester City moved back ahead of Liverpool to the top of the Premier League with a 1-0 win at Burnley, while Chelsea consolidated their place in the top four thanks to another error from Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea in a 1-1 draw on Sunday.
Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat to Leicester means Chelsea now hold a two-point lead over the Gunners in the chase for Champions League football next season with United a further point back in sixth with just two games remaining.
In contrast to the faltering form of all four contenders for third and fourth, as Tottenham also lost at home to West Ham on Saturday, the top two continue to cede no ground in the title race.
City extended their winning run to 12 straight Premier League games and now just need to win their final two at home to Leicester and away to Brighton to retain their title and stretch Liverpool’s long wait to win the league to at least 30 years.
Pep Guardiola cut a frustrated figure as City labored for the first 45 minutes at Turf Moor.
However, they clicked into gear after the break and wave upon wave of attack on the Burnley goal was finally rewarded after the hour mark when Sergio Aguero’s shot squeezed just 29 millimeters over the line before Matt Lowton hacked the ball clear.
The goal was Aguero’s 20th in the Premier League this season.
“We could have won by more distance, I’m so happy for the victory and now we have a week to prepare and hopefully we arrive at Brighton with the chance to be champions,” said Guardiola.
United halted a run of seven defeats in nine games, but failed to capitalize on Tottenham and Arsenal’s defeats as De Gea, so often his side’s savior in recent seasons, was at fault again to hand Chelsea a share of the points at Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had made five changes to his starting line-up and was rewarded with a bright start as United scored for the first time from open play in just short of nine hours of football through Juan Mata.
However, two minutes before the break De Gea spilled Antonio Rudiger’s speculative long-range effort and Marcos Alonso levelled on the rebound.
De Gea was also at fault for goals in United’s previous three games in defeat to Barcelona, Everton and City.
“David is unquestionable for me,” said Mata of his compatriot. “His level has been fantastic for this club. The amount of points he has saved us is incredible.
“We all have good and bad moments in our careers but the important thing is how we react.”
Arsenal’s top four challenge has collapsed over the past week, conceding three times in three straight league defeats for the first time since 1967.
The Gunners were dominated from start to finish by Brendan Rodgers’s Leicester, although the visitors were not helped by a 36th-minute red card for Ainsley Maitland-Niles at the King Power.
Leicester were unlucky not to lead long before then, but made the extra man advantage count as Youri Tielemans opened the scoring and Jamie Vardy struck twice late on.
“The second yellow card gave us a lot of problems to control our gameplan and be efficient,” said Arsenal boss Unai Emery.
“We continued with one player less but knowing it was going to be difficult. That has conditioned the result a lot.”
Victory keeps the Foxes in the hunt for seventh, which could reap a place in the Europa League next season if City win the FA Cup.


German club releases Turkish player over Instagram post

Updated 4 min 2 sec ago

German club releases Turkish player over Instagram post

HAMBURG, Germany: Turkish midfielder Cenk Sahin has been released by German soccer club St. Pauli following his Instagram post in support of his country’s invasion of Kurdish-held regions in northern Syria.
The second-division club said on Monday that “Sahin has been released from his training and playing duties with immediate effect. The prime factors in reaching the decisions were his repeated disregard for the club’s values and the need to protect the player.”
Sahin on Friday wrote on Instagram: “We’re on the side of our heroic military and armies. Our prayers are with you!“
It led to calls from St. Pauli fans for the player to be sacked, and messages of support for the Kurds.
The Hamburg-based club said Monday it conducted an internal review amid further talks between club officials and the player.
“After numerous discussions with fans, members and friends whose roots lie in Turkey, it has become clear to us that we cannot and should not attempt to gauge nuances in perceptions and attitudes from other cultural backgrounds in detail,” St. Pauli said. “That we reject acts of war is not open to doubt or discussion, however. These acts, and the expression of solidarity with them, run counter to the values of the club.”
Sahin’s existing contract will remain valid, but St. Pauli has given him permission to train and play for other clubs. Sahin, who joined the German team from Istanbul Basaksehir in 2016, is reportedly back in Turkey. A switch can only be completed in the winter transfer window.