Man City completes sweep of English trophies with FA Cup win

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SocManchester City's Gabriel Jesus scores their second goal at Wembley Stadium in London on May 18, 2019 (Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley)
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Manchester City's Vincent Kompany lifts the trophy as they celebrate after winning the FA Cup at the Wembley Stadium in London on May 18, 2019. )Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley)
Updated 18 May 2019

Man City completes sweep of English trophies with FA Cup win

  • Now City is the undisputed power of English football — a status it claimed from neighbor Manchester United

LONDON: Raheem Sterling scored a hat trick as Manchester City completed the first sweep of English men’s football trophies by routing Watford 6-0 in the FA Cup final on Saturday.
The fourth piece of silverware was sealed with four different scorers at Wembley Stadium, with David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus also netting in the humiliation of Watford.
Victory for Pep Guardiola’s side came a week after the Premier League trophy was retained to join the League Cup and Community Shield already in City’s possession.
“What a season,” City captain Vincent Kompany said. “What a tremendous club.”
But the unprecedented achievement by football’s costliest squad comes against the backdrop of investigations into City’s compliance into football’s spending rules that could lead to the Abu Dhabi-owned team being banned from the Champions League.
More than $1 billion has been spent on transfer fees alone since 2008 when Sheikh Mansour bought a team that was more accustomed to playing in lower leagues than lifting trophies.
It wasn’t until 2011 that City ended a 35-year trophy drought by winning the FA Cup.
Now City is the undisputed power of English football — a status it claimed from neighbor Manchester United.
Watford was contesting its first cup final in 35 years and never had a look in after Roberto Pereyra was denied the chance to snatch a shock lead in the 11th minute by goalkeeper Ederson.
The City players were celebrating in front of the Watford fans in the 26th.
After Abdoulaye Doucoure gave the ball away, City broke forward and Sterling headed through for David Silva to strike into the net.
City’s other Silva — Bernardo — was the provider of the second in the 38th, chipping to the far post where Gabriel Jesus diverted the ball into an empty net. Sterling ensured it crossed the line and was credited with the goal.
The onslaught came in the second half with De Bruyne exerting his influence after coming off the bench.
The Belgian netted in the 61st, receiving the ball from Gabriel Jesus, who had combined with Sterling.
Gabriel Jesus found the net seven minutes later after being released by De Bruyne’s throughball, sliding past Heurelho Gomes after the goalkeeper came off his line.
Then the record-equaling final victory margin came from a double inside six minutes from Sterling, who grew up near Wembley and has a tattoo of the stadium’s arch.
The Football Writers’ Association player of the year tapped in after latching onto Bernardo Silva’s cross in the 81st, and met the rebound after Gomes pushed his initial shot onto the post.
“It just shows what the manager’s building here,” Sterling said. “At the start of the season he said, ‘Let’s try and get the mentality right and go for the Premier League again,’ and we’ve done that again, exceptionally well.
“It’s a credit to all the boys, being mentally switched on throughout the season which has been long with the World Cup as well. Everyone’s been focused and on their A game the whole way through.”


Uefa to investigate Turkish footballers’ military salute in Euro-qualifier against Albania

Updated 14 October 2019

Uefa to investigate Turkish footballers’ military salute in Euro-qualifier against Albania

  • Turkey’s 1-0 win over Albania in Istanbul came on Friday, amid Turkish army clashes with Kurdish fighters in northern Syria
  • French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had planned to attend the Euro qualifying match between France and Turkey this evening, but has now canceled his attendance

LONDON: Europe’s football governing body Uefa says it will investigate a military salute given by Turkey footballers after Everton star Cenk Tosun scored a goal against Albania.
Turkey’s 1-0 win in Istanbul came on Friday, amid Turkish army clashes with Kurdish fighters in northern Syria.
Tosun posted the salute photo on Instagram, with the message: “For our nation, especially for the ones who are risking their lives for our nation.”
Uefa does not allow political gestures.
The win keeps Turkey at the top of its group in the Euro 2020 qualifying matches.
On Wednesday Turkey launched a major offensive in areas controlled by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Dozens of civilians and fighters have been killed on both sides.
Uefa spokesman Philip Townsend told Italian news agency Ansa the Turkish salute “could seem like a provocation.”
“I can guarantee that we will examine this situation,” he said.
Turkey’s military push is now overshadowing the Euro qualifying match between France and Turkey, set for Monday evening in Paris.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has decided to change plans and not attend the match.