City opens up 13-point lead in EPL, Coutinho scores on debut
Britain Soccer Premier League Manchester City players celebrate at full time after defeating Chelsea during an English Premier League soccer match at the Etihad stadium in Manchester, England, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson) (Dave Thompson)For Pep Guardiola, the biggest challenge now will be convincing his Manchester City players the English Premier League title race is not over. “To try not to believe what other people are going to say.”With City holding a 13-point lead, it's hardly surprising that people have already basically handed Guardiola's relentless team a sixth title in 11 seasons. Liverpool, in third place 14 points behind having played two games fewer, looks to be the only team realistically capable of stopping City. COUTINHO THWARTS UNITEDPhilippe Coutinho marked his debut for Aston Villa with a late equalizer to complete a dramatic comeback in a 2-2 draw against Manchester United, for whom Bruno Fernandes scored twice to put the visitors 2-0 ahead.wftv.com
Man United labors to worrying first loss under Rangnick
APTOPIX Britain Soccer Premier League Manchester United's manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rects after his team received a goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, Monday, Jan.3, 2022. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson) (Dave Thompson)MANCHESTER, England — (AP) — Ralf Rangnick is beginning to understand just how big a job he has taken on at Manchester United. Rangnick fell to his first loss as United manager after Joao Moutinho’s 82nd-minute strike earned Wolverhampton a 1-0 win in the English Premier League on Monday, and his team's first victory at Old Trafford since 1980. Wolves was the first team from the top half to play Rangnick's United and there was a gulf in class and team shape. United's new coach was supposed to bring a better pressing game to the team, but that isn't apparent yet.wftv.com
City reasserts title credentials as rivals drop points
(AP Photo/Alastair Grant) (Alastair Grant)LONDON — (AP) — Manchester City reasserted its Premier League title credentials on a day all of its big rivals dropped points. Chelsea had been anointed by increasing numbers as the title favorite after a strong start to the season. “And it was deserved.”PENALTY MISSBruno Fernandes missed an injury-time penalty as teammate Cristiano Ronaldo looked on in United’s first loss of the Premier League season. Fernandes, who had converted a penalty in all three of his prior Premier League appearances against Villa, adjusted the ball as Ronaldo stood nearby and then blasted it high over the crossbar. SALAH CENTURYMohamed Salah scored his 100th Premier League goal for Liverpool but it was not enough to beat Brentford, which twice pegged the Reds back.wftv.com
Super League rebels back in European soccer's top club body
APTOPIX Britain Soccer Premier League Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes, left, celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's first goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Leeds United at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Jon Super) (Jon Super)LONDON — (AP) — Nine of the teams who were part of the ill-fated launch of a breakaway Super League have been welcomed back into the decision-making organization overseeing the European club game. Six English clubs — Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham — will be members of European Club Association again along with AC Milan, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid. All 12 founding Super League clubs quit the ECA in April when they reneged on previous commitments to UEFA to launch the Super League. The ECA is now chaired by Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the president of Paris Saint-Germain, which never signed up to the Super League that collapsed inside 48 hours.wftv.com
Goal feast for fans as Man U, Chelsea, Liverpool win in EPL
APTOPIX Britain Soccer Premier League Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes, left, celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's first goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Leeds United at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Jon Super) (Jon Super)The return of near-capacity crowds fueled a barrage of goals and a bunch of home wins on the first Saturday of the English Premier League season. Chelsea, the European champion and a big title contender like United, flexed its early-season muscles by overwhelming Crystal Palace in a 3-0 win that could have been heavier in front of nearly 39,000 fans. Aside from Liverpool, the only away winner was Brighton, which came from behind to beat Burnley 2-1 at Turf Moor. Capacities aren’t quite at their maximum, though, because certain areas of stadiums have limited access around players and officials.wftv.com
United makes City wait to celebrate Premier League title
Britain Soccer Premier League Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal from penalty during the English Premier League soccer match between Aston Villa and Manchester United at Villa Park in Birmingham, England, Sunday, May 9, 2021. Manchester United underlined its determination to make City, its fierce local rival, fight to clinch the Premier League trophy by prolonging the title race for at least a couple more days. United beat Aston Villa 3-1 on Sunday to leave City still needing three points to reclaim the biggest prize in English football. It is the 10th time United has come from behind to win in the league this season. Second-half goals by Bruno Fernandes — from the penalty spot — Mason Greenwood and substitute Edinson Cavani completed United's latest comeback at Villa Park and ensured a top-four finish for the second straight season.wftv.com
'We can rest when we retire': Rashford rejects burnout fears
Manchester United's Marcus Rashford rests during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford, Manchester, England, Sunday, March. “It’s the life of a footballer — we can rest when we retire,” Rashford said Wednesday, a day before appearance No. Indeed, his priority is winning trophies with United, which hasn’t happened for nearly four years now — since capturing the Europa League under Jose Mourinho in 2017. Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the semifinals have been the ceiling for United in cup competitions and Rashford said it’s time to put that right. “We unfortunately got kicked out of the Champions League and our focus was to win the Europa League," he said, "and we are not going to be happy with anything less than that.
Arsenal wins derby; Man U, Leicester strengthen top-4 bids
Even after coming from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1, Arsenal is in 10th place and 10 points from the top four. The more significant results on Sunday in the Champions League chase were victories for Manchester United and Leicester, which both pulled further clear. Leicester remains a point behind United after routing Sheffield United 5-0. DERBY JOYAlexandre Lacazette captained Arsenal with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out of the starting lineup following a breach of pre-match protocols. AdIHEANACHO HAT TRICKIt was a miserable start to life without Chris Wilder for last-place Sheffield United, although Leicester had to wait until six minutes before halftime to find a breakthrough.
Winning run ended by Man U but City running away with title
Manchester United won 2-0. Manchester United's 2-0 victory on Sunday halted City's winning run at 21 matches in all competitions. The most important number to Guardiola is 11 — the points advantage City holds over second-place United. City running away with the title seemed unimaginable in November when it lost to then-leader Tottenham. After a one-two with Marcus Rashford, the left back scored his first league goal since 2018, putting the ball through Rodri’s legs.
United ends City winning run at 21 with Manchester derby joy
Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes, center right, scores the opening goal from the penalty spot past Manchester City's goalkeeper Ederson during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, Sunday, March 7, 2021. (Peter Powell/Pool via AP)MANCHESTER – Success for Manchester United these days is being the spoiler as Manchester City goes on to eventually claim the league titles. City manager Pep Guardiola's pursuit of a world-record winning streak ended after United won the derby 2-0 on Sunday. Just like three years ago when Jose Mourinho's derby win prevented City sealing the title that April day. United goalkeeper Dean Henderson threw the ball out to Shaw, who was gifted time and space to run into the penalty area.
Youngsters deliver for Arsenal as scrutiny shifts to Lampard
Arteta had billed the coming week, starting with the visit of Chelsea, as a “crucial” period that would determine which direction Arsenal was heading this season. A first league victory in nearly two months was vital, therefore, to boost Arsenal players' fragile confidence — even if it only lifted them into 14th place. “It's something to build on.”It took 90 minutes for the scrutiny that was hovering over Arteta to drift toward his Chelsea counterpart, Frank Lampard. That's three losses in the last four league games for Chelsea, which has dropped to seventh place and whose identity — and best lineup — is increasingly hard to decipher. The result kept Leicester above United in the standings after they started the day in second and third place.
Man United revels in 6-2 win v Leeds, Vardy sinks Tottenham
Manchester United's Scott McTominay celebrates his side's second goal during an English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Leeds United at the Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, Sunday Dec. 20, 2020. (Michael Regan/Pool via AP)Manchester United waited 16 years to play old rival Leeds in the English Premier League, and then made it look distinctly second-class. The easy win put United ahead of Tottenham, which swept United aside 6-1 in October but is now mired in problems of its own. HIT FOR SIXScott McTominay looked like one of the Premier League's top scorers as Man United swept into an early lead over Leeds. ALLARDYCE BEATENSam Allardyce is the coach Premier League teams turn to when they need to avoid relegation.
Players walk off in protest against alleged racism in CL
(AP Photo/Francois Mori)In a powerful protest against alleged racism, players from Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir walked off the field during a Champions League game on Tuesday and didn’t return after a match official was accused of using insulting language about a Black coach. It sparked a commotion in the technical area that led to Webo being sent off by the referee. UEFA said it would “thoroughly investigate” the incident, while stating the match would restart with a different fourth official inside an empty Parc des Princes stadium. PSG’s players will return to their stadium knowing they have already qualified for the knockout stage. Ronaldo converted spot kicks for Juventus in either half, after briefly embracing with Messi before kickoff when the pair also exchanged a few words.
Fans return to the EPL as Chelsea, Man U enjoy comeback wins
The fans — 2,000 from West Ham, 2,000 from Chelsea — had contrasting experiences on opposite sides of London. Chelsea’s players treated their select group of attending fans to a comeback of their own at Stamford Bridge. The match saw respective managers Frank Lampard, of Chelsea, and Marcelo Bielsa, of Leeds, meet for the first time in the Premier League. Meanwhile, Guardiola didn’t make a single substitution, at a time when he is pushing the Premier League to increase the number of replacements from three to five for player-welfare reasons. It’s now 11 goals in 11 games for the Everton striker after scoring the equalizer in a 1-1 draw at Burnley.
Crisis averted as Man United and Solskjaer come out fighting
After his team’s stirring comeback in a 3-1 win at Everton in the Premier League, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer didn’t hold back, either. Edinson Cavani capped the fightback with his first goal for United deep in stoppage time. ZIYECH STARSLike United, Chelsea also fought back from conceding an early goal and ultimately swept aside Sheffield United in a 4-1 win. And like United, Chelsea had a creative playmaker pulling the strings as the catalyst for the recovery. “We played against him in the Champions League last year,” Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said of Ziyech.
Van Dijk injury causes concern for frustrated Liverpool
Early in what proved to be a painful Merseyside derby for Liverpool, Van Dijk was the subject of a reckless lunge by Jordan Pickford that saw the Everton goalkeeper clatter into the extended right leg of the Netherlands defender. Van Dijk roared in agony and, tellingly, stayed down. There was no official word from Liverpool on the potential length of his absence, but Van Dijk reportedly left hospital on crutches in the evening. Van Dijk might have been marking Keane and Calvert-Lewin for both of those Everton chances. For Southampton’s second goal, Kurt Zouma underhit a back pass before goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga made two errors in a matter of seconds to allow Che Adams to score.
Tottenham humiliates Man United with 6-1 Premier League win
Tottenham's Serge Aurier, left, celebrates after scoring his side's fifth goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. (Carl Recine/Pool via AP)MANCHESTER – Tottenham tore apart Manchester United for a 6-1 victory on Sunday, exposing the defensive weaknesses in Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side by inflicting the team's joint-heaviest Premier League defeat at home. Only once since 1930 has United conceded six at home — to Manchester City nine years ago. Not since 1986 has United opened the league season with back-to-back home losses. United can be aggrieved that Erik Lamela’s apparent playacting led to Anthony Martial being sent off in the 28th minute.
PREMIER LEAGUE 2020-21: Rodriguez, Havertz among signings
James Rodriguez joined Premier League club Everton on Monday, Sept. 7, 2020 in an attempt to revive a career that faltered at Real Madrid. Now, they are both at Everton, a team without a trophy since 1995 and living in the shadow of neighbour Liverpool, the recently crowned Premier League champion. KAI HAVERTZ (Chelsea)The most expensive signing of the offseason at a fee rising to $92 million, Havertz might also be the most interesting. Havertz is the youngest player to reach 100 Bundesliga appearances and scored 36 goals in four seasons with Bayer Leverkusen in the German league. With Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech making up Chelsea's likely attack, Havertz won't be short of quality around him.
Sevilla beats Man United 2-1 to reach Europa League final
(Ina Fassbender/Pool Via AP)COLOGNE Luuk de Jong scored the winning goal as Sevilla came back from a goal down to beat Manchester United 2-1 on Sunday and reach the final of the Europa League. Sevilla goalkeeper Yassine Bounou kept his team in the semifinal at 1-1 with a string of saves either side of halftime, before de Jong won it. With the game at 1-1 and heading for extra time, Sevilla substitute de Jong made the breakthrough in the 78th minute. United had taken the lead in the ninth minute with yet another penalty in a season packed with them. Diego Carlos tangled with Marcus Rashford as the United forward had his shot saved, and then Bruno Fernandes stepped up to send the penalty into the top-left corner.
United, Chelsea into CL; Bournemouth, Watford down from EPL
(Oli Scarff/Pool via AP)Manchester United and Chelsea qualified for the Champions League at the expense of Leicester on a frantic final day of the Premier League season on Sunday, while Bournemouth and Watford were relegated to end five-year stays in the top flight. United won 2-0 at Leicester through goals by Bruno Fernandes and Jesse Lingard to give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team a third-place finish. Captain Jack Grealish scored Villa's goal in what could be his last game for his boyhood club. Bournemouth did what it had to do and beat Everton, 3-1, but ended up one point behind Villa. Also, Southampton beat Sheffield United 3-1, with Danny Ings scoring his 22nd goal of the season.
Man United qualifies for Champions League, denies Leicester
Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes, left, scores his side's opening goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League soccer match between Leicester City and Manchester United at the King Power Stadium, in Leicester, England, Sunday, July 26, 2020. (Oli Scarff/Pool via AP)LEICESTER Manchester United will return to the Champions League at the expense of Leicester after winning 2-0 at the King Power Stadium on the final day of the Premier League season on Sunday. Having been 14 points behind Leicester in January, United finished four points above the 2016 champions. While most coronavirus restrictions have been lifted across England, Leicester is still in a local lockdown in an effort to contain infections. When the pandemic forced the Premier League into a 100-day shutdown in March, Leicester was third with an eight-point lead over then fifth-place United.
De Gea mistakes see Chelsea beat Man U to reach FA Cup final
(Andy Rain, Pool via AP)LONDON At least David De Gea was spared having a crowd inside Wembley to witness his latest mistakes in the Manchester United goal. Gifted goals to beat United 3-1 on Sunday, Chelsea will be returning to the national stadium on Aug. 1 to face Arsenal in an all-London FA Cup final. Olivier Giroud's close-range deft touch from Cesar Azpilicueta's cross was pushed into his own goal by De Gea. De Gea hadnt played in the competition since the 2018 final when Chelsea beat United. It means Frank Lampard's first season as Chelsea manager will end with a cup final.
Youngsters justifying the faith of top Premier League teams
Manchester United's Mason Greenwood celebrates after scoring a goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Bournemouth at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, Saturday, July 4, 2020. (Peter Powell/Pool via AP)Some of the top Premier League teams are putting their faith in youth in the high-stakes finale to the longest-ever soccer season in England. Jamie Vardy passed the 100-goal mark in Premier League goals by netting twice as Leicester beat Crystal Palace 3-0 for its first win since the restart. With five more rounds left, Leicester stayed a point clear of Chelsea and three points ahead of fifth-place Manchester United. Finishing in sixth will earn the team a berth in the Europa League next season, as may seventh.
Rashford back to the day job after activism during pandemic
FILE - In this Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 file photo, Manchester United's Marcus Rashford celebrates during an English Premier League soccer match against Manchester City at Etihad stadium in Manchester, England. Manchester United and England player Marcus Rashford is urging the government to provide free meals for needy students over the summer holidays. My day job, the Manchester United striker tweeted this week alongside a picture of him at practice at the teams training facility. They are qualities the United manager sees in Rashford the soccer player, too, having already made him his No. He has changed the lives of so many kids this summer, Solskjaer said, which is more important than any game of football he will probably play.