Man City moves closer to title; Chelsea held in top-4 bid
(Adam Davy/Pool via AP)LONDON – Manchester City only needs to win five of its remaining eight games to secure the Premier League trophy. Sergio Aguero then fired the ball into the corner of the goal for his first Premier League goal in 14 months. "We want to still fight for the position in Europe.”TUCHEL UNBEATENChelsea extended its unbeaten start under Thomas Tuchel to 10 Premier League games with the draw at Leeds. ZAHA STANCEWilfried Zaha became the first Premier League player not to take a knee before his Crystal Palace team beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0. Zaha had already indicated that he thought taking a knee has lost meaning after being brought in by the Premier League in June as an anti-racism message when football resumed.
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.
Man City making case for defense in latest EPL title charge
Sheffield United's Oliver Burke, right, is challenged by Manchester City's Ruben Dias during the English Premier League match between Manchester City and Sheffield United at the the City of Manchester Stadium in Manchester, England, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. (Laurence Griffiths/Pool via AP)A last-minute consolation and a bundled effort from a long throw-in are the only goals Manchester City has conceded in nine games across all competitions in 2021. City's lead grew to three points on Saturday after its battling 1-0 win over last-place Sheffield United was followed by second-place Manchester United's latest slip-up, a 0-0 draw at Arsenal. Arsenal managed to keep Man United scoreless at Emirates Stadium, meaning Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team has dropped five points in three days after losing 2-1 to Sheffield United on Wednesday. City has a game in hand over United and is now the strong favorite for a third league title under Guardiola.
FA Cup holder Arsenal eliminated, Man City survives scare
Arsenal's Nicolas Pepe, center, battles for the ball with Southampton's James Ward-Prowse, left, and Stuart Armstrong during the Emirates FA Cup fourth round soccer match at St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton, England, Saturday Jan. 23, 2021. (Catherine Ivill/PA via AP)SOUTHAMPTON – Last season’s FA Cup winner Arsenal was eliminated from the competition in the fourth round on Saturday thanks to Gabriel’s own-goal in a 1-0 loss to Southampton, while Manchester City survived a scare to beat fourth-tier Cheltenham 3-1. In an otherwise close game, Gabriel's decision to try to block a shot from Kyle Walker-Peters proved decisive for Arsenal losing its hold on the cup. It was the first goal Arsenal had conceded since Dec. 26 after five consecutive shutouts. CITY UNDER PRESSURECheltenham came close to one of the biggest shocks in the 150-year history of the FA Cup before Pep Guardiola's City team scored three late goals.
The Latest: Northern Colorado not playing Big Sky football
(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The University of Northern Colorado football program won’t participate in the Big Sky Conference and FCS spring championship season. The Big Sky pushed its football schedule from last fall to the spring in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Northern Colorado will develop a spring schedule more in line with traditional spring football practice and explore possible games against regional opponents that reduce risks associated with extended travel. ___North Carolina Central says it will opt out of a spring football season due to concerns about health and safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Eagles are part of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in the Championship Subdivision, which delayed its football season until spring amid the pandemic.
The Latest: Oaklawn Park to allow limited attendance
(Stu Forster/Pool via AP)The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Oaklawn Park in Arkansas plans to allow limited fans during its winter-spring horse racing meet that runs Jan. 22-May 1. Current season box seat-holders and Oaklawn Jockey Club members can enter the grandstand with weekly reservations. The switch gives St. Pete promoters hope that more spectators will be permitted to attend the popular street festival as pandemic restrictions loosen. That move opened room on the schedule for St. Pete to request a later race date. The season ultimately did not start until June and St. Pete was moved to October as the finale.
The Latest: ETSU to allow 10% capacity for basketball games
(AP Photo/Darren Abate)The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___East Tennessee State will allow 10% of capacity for basketball games starting Wednesday night at the Buccaneers’ men’s game with Western Carolina. No single-game tickets will be available, though 100 student tickets will be available for games at Freedom Hall and 50 for women’s games at Brooks Gym. ___The Atlantic Coast Conference announced that the men’s basketball game between No. ___Syracuse's women’s basketball game against North Carolina scheduled for Thursday has been postponed. ___Vanderbilt women’s basketball has postponed the first three Southeastern Conference games of the league schedule as it deals with positive COVID-19 tests, contact tracing and quarantines.
The Latest: Greg Norman in hospital after father-son tourney
Greg Norman, left, of Australia, walks with his son Greg Norman Jr. on the 18th fairway after hitting their tee shots during the first round of the PNC Championship golf tournament, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman shared photos on social media Friday suggesting he has been hospitalized with COVID-19. The 65-year-old Australian posted a video on Instagram on Thursday night saying he was experiencing coronavirus symptoms, then posted photos Friday showing himself in a hospital bed. “My Christmas Day.”Norman’s son, Greg Norman Jr., also said on social media that he and his wife, Michelle, have tested positive. Jefferson, who also oversees wide receivers for the team, has been deemed a high-risk close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. The team said two staff members also tested positive and that all four are self-isolating in accordance with Premier League and government protocols.
Liverpool routs Atalanta; Real Madrid and Bayern Munich win
Liverpool's manager Jurgen Klopp celebrates after the end of the Champions League, group D soccer match between Atalanta and Liverpool, at the Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo, Italy, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. Liverpool won the game 5-0. Perhaps because it’s similar to the way his Liverpool squad pours forward with speed and precision, often overwhelming its opponents. In another rout, Borussia Mönchengladbach beat Shakhtar Donetsk 6-0 in Group B to match its biggest European Cup away win. Ajax and Porto also won, while Lokomotiv Moscow and Atlético Madrid drew 1-1.
Champions League: Madrid in trouble despite late fightback
(AP Photo/Martin Meissner)With one point from its opening two games, Real Madrid is facing another fight to preserve its proud record of qualifying for the knockout stage in all of its seasons in the Champions League. Heading into the 87th minute against Borussia Mönchengladbach, Madrid was losing 2-0 and on course for four straight losses in the Champions League for the first time. Madrid is in bigger trouble, though, in its 25th campaign in the Champions League, in which the team has never been eliminated in the group stage. Defending champion Bayern Munich is having no such trouble, with a 2-1 victory at Lokomotiv Moscow extending its winning run in the Champions League to 13 games. However, Jota scored in the 55th for a historic goal for Liverpool and substitute Mohamed Salah converted a stoppage-time penalty.
City lacking usual spark amid injuries, fixture pile-up
Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez reacts during the English Premier League soccer match between West Ham and Manchester City, at the London Olympic Stadium Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. Star midfielder Kevin De Bruyne will be on board, recently back from injury and fresh from protestations about the workload being forced on soccer players this season. “I try to demand everything from my players,” City manager Pep Guardiola said at the weekend, “but there is a limit for human beings.”Sympathy is usually in short supply when it comes to Man City and the debate over workload and fixture congestion. In short, being the busiest team in English soccer in recent years appears to be taking its toll. If he is to add to his collection of trophies won at City since 2016, don’t expect them to come easily this season.
Ronaldo in doubt for Messi's visit to Juventus
Some talking points ahead of the second round of games in the Champions League:NO RONALDO VS. MESSI? The highly anticipated matchup of Cristiano Ronaldo against Lionel Messi likely won’t happen because Ronaldo has the coronavirus. Alvaro Morata replaced Ronaldo against Dynamo Kyiv last week and scored twice in a 2-0 win. Eden Hazard was added to the Madrid squad and could make his season debut after nursing a muscle injury. Diego Simeone's side was thrashed 4-0 by defending champion Bayern Munich and next hosts Salzburg in Group A on Tuesday.
4-0 rout by Man City deepens Watford's relegation concerns
(Adrian Dennis/Pool via AP)WATFORD As the ball rolled past him and Manchester City's score racked up, goalkeeper Ben Foster increasingly feared for Watford's Premier League survival. It wasn't even lifted by Watford's last desperate roll of the dice firing its third manager of the season. Sterling set up the third when his close-range shot was saved by Foster Watford's star performer and Phil Foden tapped into an empty net in the 63rd minute. Javi Gracia was still at the helm when City crushed Watford 6-0 in the final game of last season in the FA Cup final. The Champions League doesn't resume until August when City will be protecting a 2-1 lead over Real Madrid in the last-16.