Foden rescues Manchester City in West Ham draw

West Ham United’s midfielder Michail Antonio scores the opening goal during Saturday’s English Premier League football match against Manchester City in London. (AFP)
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Updated 25 October 2020

Foden rescues Manchester City in West Ham draw

  • I’m not a guy who can predict the future. We’ve already dropped seven points, which is a lot: Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City

LONDON: Pep Guardiola admitted he cannot guarantee Manchester City will emerge from their slump after Phil Foden came off the bench to rescue a 1-1 draw against West Ham on Saturday.

Guardiola’s side fell behind to Michail Antonio’s superb overhead kick in the first half at the London Stadium.

Foden came on at half-time and produced an instant equalizer, but City couldn’t deliver the knockout blow and have now won just one of their last four Premier League games.

Injury-hit City, without Fernandinho, Aymeric Laporte, Nathan Ake and Gabriel Jesus, rarely reached peak form in the latest of a growing list of inconsistent displays.

While Arsenal and Porto were beaten in their previous two matches, City still don’t seem to have completely recovered from their 5-2 thrashing by Leicester in September.

They are already five points behind leaders Everton, who play Southampton on Sunday, and look more vulnerable than at any time since Guardiola’s first season in charge.

“I’m not a guy who can predict the future. We’ve already dropped seven points, which is a lot,” Guardiola said.

“We suffered in the last 10 or 15 minutes of the first half. In the second half we were better and scored early.

“We had the chances we needed to win the game, but unfortunately we couldn’t score again.

“We’ve struggled a lot for many reasons. We have to take things game by game and see what happens.”

Adding to Guardiola’s problems, Sergio Aguero suffered a “muscular injury” according to the City boss, who did not know how long his star striker would be sidelined for.

Aguero hasn’t scored in the top flight since January and is notoriously slow to return to his best after injuries.

Just back after several months out following knee surgery, the Argentine was replaced by Foden at the interval.

Tricky trips to Marseille and Sheffield United next week will provide a further test of just how determined City are to recover the all-conquering form that swept them to the title in 2018 and 2019.

After fighting back from 3-0 down at Tottenham with three goals in the last 10 minutes in their previous match, this was another encouraging result for West Ham.

Raheem Sterling scored a hat trick in City’s 5-0 win at West Ham last season and his penetrating run laid on an early chance for Aguero, whose shot was deflected wide.

Guardiola named an unchanged lineup in consecutive games for the first time since October 2017, but City still lacked rhythm and they fell behind to Antonio’s moment of magic in the 18th minute.

Vladimir Coufal swung a cross into the City area and Antonio showed his strength and agility as he held off Ruben Dias before smashing a superb overhead kick past Ederson for his third goal of the season.

Foden made an immediate impact as the 20-year-old grabbed his third goal of the season in the 51st minute.

Joao Cancelo made an incisive burst down the left and aimed his cross into the West Ham area, where Foden controlled and turned in one motion before driving his low shot past Lukasz Fabianski.

With 22 minutes left, Guardiola introduced Kevin De Bruyne, who missed the wins over Arsenal and Porto with a muscle problem.

De Bruyne’s pinpoint pass gave Sterling a golden opportunity to win it for City in the 86th minute, but the forward’s poor touch and hesitant shot allowed Fabianski to save.

Guardiola shook his head and there was more frustration in stoppage-time when Riyad Mahrez’s shot was pushed onto the post by Fabianski.


Golf Saudi strikes partnership with the Club Managers Association of Europe

Updated 30 November 2020

Golf Saudi strikes partnership with the Club Managers Association of Europe

  • Educational program will be tailored to support Saudis’ career pathway in and through golf

RIYADH: Golf Saudi and the Club Managers Association of Europe (CMAE) have signed an ambitious new partnership to work together to roll out a certified Arabic language educational program. This is the first of its kind, aimed at encouraging Saudi nationals to pursue a career in golf.

CMAE will set up an education platform in Saudi Arabia, drawing on its industry-renowned approach, to assist Golf Saudi in developing the domestic golf talent pool and ultimately creating new Saudi national certified club managers.

The association is a nonprofit making professional body with members involved in the management of sports clubs, health and fitness clubs and leisure, city and dining clubs in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

Commenting on the partnership, CMAE’s director of education, Torbjörn Johansson, said: “Golf Saudi’s pursuit of creating a progressive domestic golf market is asking some big questions of the industry and leading organizations. The domestic plans to not only train up but also equip aspiring talent are a major step and CMAE is proud to be a partner and on-hand to provide the tools and analytic expertise.” 

The CEO of Golf Saudi, Majed Al-Sorour, said: “Our partnership with CMAE is incredibly important for Golf Saudi, but also for the golf industry at large. This is only possible if we are able to upskill our domestic workforce. Golf is good for business and can provide a direct boost to the Kingdom’s GDP, as well as providing lucrative jobs and creating new enterprise. These are exciting times for the golf industry in Saudi Arabia and this agreement with the CMAE helps us to develop a world-class training program that will support young Saudi adults in unlocking the full potential of their future career paths within the golf industry.”

Golf Saudi, a subsidiary of the Saudi Golf Federation, is committed to delivering a national development program that transforms the golfing landscape and aims to create 3,700 jobs by 2030.

Since its formation in 2018, Golf Saudi has embarked on an ambitious national golf strategy, which has worked to support the Kingdom’s impressive Vision 2030. This agreement recognizes the importance of training the next generation of Saudis to meet expected future demand, particularly from international tourists, enhancing Saudi Arabia as a golfing destination.