Aguero reaches 400 goals in Man City stroll, Newcastle stun Spurs

Manchester City's Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring the opening goal against Bournemouth. (Reuters)
Updated 25 August 2019

Aguero reaches 400 goals in Man City stroll, Newcastle stun Spurs

  • Argentine striker inspired the champions’ 3-1 win at Bournemouth
  • Raheem Sterling was also on the scoresheet — making it six goals in four games this term

London: Sergio Aguero reached 400 career goals as the Manchester City striker inspired the champions’ 3-1 win at Bournemouth, while Tottenham suffered a shock 1-0 defeat against Newcastle on Sunday.
With Premier League leaders Liverpool off to a perfect start with three successive victories, City are already under pressure to keep pace.
Pep Guardiola’s side did just that thanks to Aguero as City’s record goalscorer hit another milestone with a clinical double in the south-coast sunshine.
Raheem Sterling was also on the scoresheet — making it six goals in four games this term for the England winger — as City’s second win of the season lifted them to within two points of Liverpool.
It was a landmark day all round for City, with captain David Silva involved in all three of the goals on his 400th appearance for the club.
“We felt Bournemouth’s physicality, a nice three points and a big compliment to the players, a few things to improve, that’s good it’s happened when we are winning games,” Guardiola said.
“The quality of our players in front made the difference and we won the game.”
Guardiola was less enthused by a VAR review that denied City a penalty when Jefferson Lerma appeared to trip Silva.
City were last week left frustrated during a 2-2 draw with Tottenham when a last-gasp goal from Gabriel Jesus was disallowed by VAR due to a contentious handball against Aymeric Laporte.
Asked if City deserved a spot-kick, Guardiola replied in an sardonic manner: “No, no, no. Penalty? No.
“It was clear hands last game, clear hands. A penalty today? No, please.
“The challenge this season will be amazing for us after winning back-to-back two titles, the challenge will be great.”
Meanwhile, Steve Bruce silenced his critics as Newcastle won at Tottenham to secure their first points under the polarizing Magpies boss.
Since taking over from Rafael Benitez in the close-season, Bruce had found himself under pressure after losing his first two games, with fans doubting his credentials and former players claiming his squad were uncertain about his methods.
But Joelinton first goal for Newcastle in the 27th minute gave Bruce some breathing space for a few days at least.
Davinson Sanchez was caught playing the offside trap, allowing Brazilian forward Joelinton to collected Christian Atsu’s inch-perfect ball and fire home.
Newcastle were helped by a poor performance from Tottenham, who have won only once in their first three games.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side were frustrated by VAR after the decision-review system ruled not to award a penalty when Harry Kane had tumbled under a challenge from Jamaal Lascelles.
Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen was only used as a substitute amid uncertainty surrounding his future ahead of the European transfer window shutting next week.
In the day’s other game, Wolves forward Raul Jimenez scored a stoppage-time penalty to rescue a 1-1 draw against Burnley at Molineux.
Ashley Barnes had put Burnley in front after 13 minutes with a blistering strike, giving the forward four goals in three games this season.
But Jimenez netted from the spot in the 97th minute after the Mexican was tripped by Erik Pieters.
Wolves have drawn all three of their league games this term.


World’s richest horse race Saudi Cup to ‘open doors’ for tourists to Saudi Arabia

Updated 34 min 16 sec ago

World’s richest horse race Saudi Cup to ‘open doors’ for tourists to Saudi Arabia

  • Race billed as the richest on the planet with prize fund of $20 million
  • Visa procedures for the event were also confirmed on Monday

LONDON: Next year’s Saudi Cup horse race in Riyadh will help open up Saudi Arabia to visitors from around the world, Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia chairman Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al-Faisal said on Monday.

The race, billed as the richest on the planet with a prize fund of $20 million, will be run at the King Abdul Aziz racetrack in Riyadh on Feb. 29.

The race over a distance of nine furlongs (1,800 meters) on the dirt track will have a maximum field of 14 starters and will be free to enter and to participate in.

Prince Bandar told Arab News the race will allow visitors to the Kingdom an opportunity to enjoy everything the country has to offer.

“This event was initiated by the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia, it has been two years in the making, and we were extremely encouraged by the position of the government,” he said.

“They have been very supportive in everything they can do to ensure it is a successful event, there is a definite political will to do so.”

Prince Bandar referred to an announcement earlier this month that Saudi Arabia would open its doors to tourists from around the world by the end of 2019.

“So that works for us very nicely,” he added.

Prince Bandar said while the prize money was obviously important in building the reputation of the event, it was not the sole reason for its hosting and that he hoped it would establish Saudi Arabia as a major racing nation on the global stage.

Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia's chairman Prince Bandar (C) with a host of UK trainers and jockey Frankie Dettori at the London launch of the Saudi Cup. (AN Photo/Daniel Fountain)

“It definitely falls in line with the kind of activities that are now opening up the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its people and culture to people from all over the world, so that they can come and experience the country first-hand and have the opportunity to see a part of the world that has not been visited as often as we would like.

“The introduction of the Saudi Cup as an international race is without doubt the most significant event in the history of horse racing in Saudi Arabia and it demonstrates our resolve to develop this great sport in the Kingdom and also our ambition to become a leading player on horse racing’s world stage,” he added.

During his address in central London Prince Bandar said: “We will be thrilled to welcome international competitors to these new races. I am especially pleased that we will be having turf racing in Riyadh for the first time, things are really beginning to take shape.”

The prince also said he was keen for women jockeys and trainers to get involved with the Saudi Cup, adding they would be “most welcome” to compete at the event, and that he hoped it would entice some of the world’s most promising female talent.

“Women have been very active in equestrianism as a whole in the Kingdom, it is quite normal in Saudi Arabia for them to compete at that level,” he said.

Also announced at the London launch were the meeting’s support races, which include a staying handicap race run over 3,000 meters, a middle-distance race over 2,100 meters, while the two races on the dirt track are over 1,200 meters and 1,600 meters.

Tom Ryan, Saudi Cup Race Director, said the races and the horses competing in them had been selected to offer the most competitive spectacle possible for the estimated 10,000-12,000 expected to be watching at the racetrack itself and global television audiences.

World-renowned jockey Frankie Dettori also spoke at the event and described his experiences of running horses on the King Abdul Aziz dirt track.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have been going there for a number of years, and the quality of the dirt track in Riyadh is second to none, probably the best I’ve ridden on. 

“I’ve ridden European horses on it, and they take to it really well, and the new turf track will give the day even more appeal. 

“I’m sure this is going to attract a lot of interest from around the world, I hope I’ll be there on the starting line come February 29.”

Visa procedures for the event were also confirmed on Monday, with the Saudi Cup following a similar system used by recent sporting events hosted in Saudi Arabia. Racegoers who buy a ticket for the Saudi Cup will automatically receive a visa to enter the Kingdom.

Prince Bandar said: “In Saudi Arabia, we’ve had experience with Formula E and other such events, whether it is in hospitality or entertainment and we have no problem with accommodation for those involved with the horses or who wish to attend the event.

“We will also be providing programs and packages for people who wish to tour Saudi Arabia, whether it is for the archaeology, for nature, or the seas, deserts or mountains — we have everything accounted for.”