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As Man City humble Leicester 2-0, Mendy upstages Aguero

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It was supposed to be all about Sergio Aguero, but it was a fellow Manchester City player with an uncertain future that made the difference as the Premier League leaders took another huge step towards the title on Saturday evening.

Benjamin Mendy was making just his second Premier League appearance in four months as he nimbly avoided one challenge and coolly sidefooted home the crucial opener in a 2-0 win over Leicester City that propelled Pep Guardiola’s side 17 points clear at the top of the table.

City had dominated against Brendan Rodgers’ strangely unadventurous side and were only missing a goal until Mendy became the game’s unlikely hero.

Aguero was one of the first players to sprint over to celebrate with the enigmatic Frenchman, who has found himself on the periphery of Guardiola’s plans this season.

But it almost seemed unfair that the Argentine was never presented with an opening as enticing as the one Mendy converted in the 58th minute.

Just five days after the announcement that Aguero would leave the club, he was given the opportunity to show from the first whistle that he still has plenty to offer at the highest level.

Against Leciester, the 32-year-old made his usual astute runs, worked hard off the ball, linked up with the team – but somehow the big chance he was craving never came.

Indeed, his biggest goal contribution was getting Fernandinho’s 30-yard strike into the bottom corner of the Leicester goal disallowed, with Aguero standing in an offside position when he leapt out of the way of the Brazilian’s superb fifth-minute shot.

The striker could not hide his frustration during the game as he was forced to feed off scraps while others went close to scoring, with Kevin De Bruyne firing against the bar, and Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus both forcing Kasper Schmeichel into action.

He clasped his hands in frustration when Jesus failed to square the ball to him after he had found some space for himself in the six-yard box.

He held his head in his hands after he volleyed high over the bar when a poor clearance had dropped for him around the penalty spot, and then slapped his thigh when he failed to control a short pass as he darted into the box.

And he was already in the dugout, replaced by Raheem Sterling two minutes after Mendy’s goal, when fellow forward Jesus poked in City’s second goal in the 74th minute.

Still, despite Aguero’s disappointment, this was a victory that showed City’s strength in depth as they ramped up their bid for an unprecedented quadruple.

While Mendy’s long-term future at the club remains uncertain, he stepped seamlessly into a side that easily dealt with a team that scored five times at the Etihad Stadium in September.

He was one of six players that started against the Foxes after staying behind at the Etihad Campus during the international break.

Goal.com

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UCL: PSG advance to semis, beat Bayern on away goals

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There was joy around Paris, France, last night and among fans of the Paris Saint-Germain Football Club globally as the French team defeated Bayern Munich on away goals to qualify to the UEFA Champions League semifinal.

Eric Maxim Choupo Moting’s header levelled the scores on aggregate but the PSG’s three away goals allowed the French champion to progress to the next round.

In a match where the PSG had many chances to score, it can count itself lucky as the missed chances did not come to bite them at the end as Bayern failed to get the all-important second goal.

In the other quarterfinal, Chelsea conceded a late goal in the 93rd minute but it did not matter as Chelsea qualified to the semifinal with a 2-1 aggregate.

Mehedi Taremi’s exceptional overhead kick beat Chelsea keeper Mendy at the twilight stages of the game but Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell’s goals from the first leg were enough to shepherd Chelsea to the Champions League semis for the eighth time, more than any English side in the competition’s history.

Full-time: PSG 0 Bayern 1 (Aggregate Score- PSG 3 Bayern 3).

PSG qualifies to the UEFA Champions League semis via the away goals rule.

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National Sports Festival: Boxer knocks out opponent in 15 seconds

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Ondo state boxer, Adedeji Adegbola, on Friday, knocked out his opponent, Oluwafemi Adetoye of Yobe state, in a record 15 seconds of their first round heavyweight boxing bout at the ongoing National Sports Festival in Benin.

The bout, held at the Oba Akenzuwa Cultural Center, Benin, was at the semi-finals stag

With the win, Adegbola has qualified for the semi finals of the heavyweight category and placed him with the medals range, alongside five team mates vying in other weight categories.

Adegbola said that he trained very hard for the festival, while expressing his optimism of clinching the gold medal in the heavyweight category.

“I am happy and I thank God, I trained very well ahead of the festival and I thank my coaches for the advice and the training process,” he said.

According to Guinness World Records, the fastest knockout in boxing history was in a Golden Gloves tournament at Minneapolis, United States on Nov. 4, 1947, when Mike Collins knocked out Pat Brownson in four seconds.

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UCL: Mbappe inspires PSG to beat Bayern as Chelsea thrash Porto

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Kylian Mbappe scored two goals to help Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) to an emphatic 3-2 win over Bayern Munich in their UEFA Champions League (UCL) quarter-final first-leg tie at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old French striker scored in the first half and second to punish Bayern’s shaky defence and end the defending European and world club champions’ 19-match unbeaten run in the UCL.

The French champions also became the first team to win a European away match against both Bayern and Barcelona in a single season.

PSG scored with their first attack, thanks to a howler from Manuel Neuer, Bayern Munich goalkeeper. The Bavarians’ captain let a Mbappe shot slip through his hands into the net following a PSG fast break in the third minute.

The hosts recovered from their nightmarish start and fashioned several chances of theirs but Keylor Navas, PSG goalkeeper, denied Thomas Muller, Leon Goretzka, and Benjamin Pavard. They were however dealt another sucker punch by PSG in the 18th minute.

A routine corner kick was half cleared and Neymar — with his second assist of the night — picked out an unmarked Marquinhos to control and slot home for a 2-0 lead.

Eric Choupo-Moting was drafted in to fill in for injured Lewandowski, Bayern’s dependable goalscorer, and the Cameroonian finally made one count after previously hitting the bar. The 32-year-old was picked out by Pavard’s cross and his header found the bottom corner in the 37th minute for a 2-1 score line.

Muller had another opportunity before the interval but Navas held the German international’s header to preserve the visitors’ lead at halftime.

A frantic second half began with both sides exchanging chances — Neymar Jr. was denied by Neuer while Navas also saved from both Jerome Boateng and Pavard.

Another header would eventually beat PSG’s Costa Rican shot-stopper, this time Muller meeting Joshua Kimmich’s in-swinger in the six-yard box to equalise 2-2 on the hour.

An undeterred PSG were continually invited by Bayern’s defence and the deadly duo of Neymar and Mbappe combined again to retake the lead in the 68th minute. The Brazilian superstar released the French forward who was afforded time by Boateng in the penalty area to beat Neuer at the near post.

Hansi Flick’s side continued to pour forward with Choupo-Moting, David Alaba and Kingsley Coman all going close but PSG held on to take a 3-2 lead to the second leg set for Parc des Prices stadium next week Tuesday.

Chelsea-Porto match

Chelsea defeated Porto 2-0 in the other match of the night at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjan stadium in Spain.

The tie, which was moved to Sevilla’s stadium due to COVID-19 restrictions, was livened up by Mason Mount’s first UCL goal to hand the Blues a 1-0 lead.

Porto, despite missing suspended duo Sergio Oliveira and Medhi Taremi, started the better side and Super Eagles of Nigeria’s Zaidu Sanusi should have put the hosts in front but the full-back blazed high and wide with the goal at his mercy.

Chelsea had several opportunities to double the lead in the second period before Ben Chilwell pounced on an error to round the goalkeeper and tap into an empty net to seal the 2-0 win.

The win sees Thomas Tuchel become just the second Chelsea manager to win his first three UCL knockout stage games.

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