As Man City humble Leicester 2-0, Mendy upstages Aguero – Newstrends
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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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Court orders Juventus to pay Ronaldo £8.3m

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Cristiano Ronaldo

Court orders Juventus to pay Ronaldo £8.3m

Juventus have been ordered to pay Cristiano Ronaldo £8.3m in owed wages by an Italian court.

Ronaldo, 39, agreed to defer wages when football in Italy was halted by the Covid pandemic in the 2020-21 season.

The Portuguese had claimed he was owed more than £17m by his former club.

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The Court of Arbitration said the club should pay what the player would have received after tax and other deductions.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner spent three seasons in Italy with Juventus between 2018 and 2021, helping them win two Serie A titles.

He left for his second spell with Manchester United and after 16 months at Old Trafford joined Saudi club Al-Nassr.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner – awarded to the world’s best player – was ranked by American business magazine Forbes as the world’s highest-paid sportsman in 2023, with earnings of £109m.

Court orders Juventus to pay Ronaldo £8.3m

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Arsenal need support, love, after Champions League exit – Arteta

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Arsenal need support, love, after Champions League exit – Arteta

 

Mikel Arteta says he has to show his Arsenal side “support and love” after Bayern Munich knocked them out of the Champions League.

Joshua Kimmich’s second-half header in Germany gave Bayern a 1-0 win on the night, and a 3-2 aggregate victory in their quarter-final.

It was a second successive defeat for Arsenal, who lost control of the Premier League title race last Sunday as Aston Villa beat them 2-0.

“I wish I had the right words to say to the players to make them feel better. What I am going to do – and all the coaching staff too – is to be close to the players.” Arteta said.

“I feel so grateful to be the coach and to work with them every single day.”

Arsenal were chasing a first Champions League semi-final spot since 2009, with Arteta accepting his team were inexperienced at this stage of the competition.

This was their first quarter-final appearance since 2010.

“We haven’t played this competition for seven years and we haven’t been in this stage for 14 years,” he said. “There’s a reason for it.

“We want to do everything fast-forward, super-quick, in one season. I think we have the capacity and the quality to be in the semi-final because the margins are very small.

“Those margins are coming from something else that maybe we don’t have yet. We have to learn it.

“When you look historically, it took other clubs seven, eight or 10 years to do it. Today, that’s not going to make us feel better that’s for sure.”

The Gunners, who need City to drop points if they are to win the league for the first time since 2003-04, return to Premier League action at Wolves on Saturday.

“What I need to do is stand right next to them and give them support and our love and we have to pick it up because on Saturday we have a big, big game,” said Arteta.

“We are still playing for the Premier League. The Premier League is there and we really want it. We have to show now that we are capable of turning this around.”

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It’s massive win, says Bellingham as Real Madrid knock out Man City from UCL

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It’s massive win, says Bellingham as Real Madrid knock out Man City from UCL

Manchester City are out of the Champions League following a penalty shoot-out defeat they suffered Wednesday night in the hands of Real Madrid in an epic encounter at the Etihad Stadium.
After a 1-1 draw on the night that left the teams tied 4-4 on aggregate, Antonio Rudiger scored the winning spot-kick after Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic had their attempts saved to see the 14-time winners progress 4-3 in the shoot-out.
Rodrygo had given Carlo Ancelotti’s side the advantage on the night and in the tie with an early goal on the counter-attack but Kevin De Bruyne’s 76th-minute equaliser took the game into extra-time, in which neither heavyweight could deliver the knockout blow.
It was a back-to-the-wall effort by Madrid and Pep Guardiola’s reigning champions were applauded from the pitch even in defeat.

But their hopes of an unprecedented second successive treble are over. It is Madrid who face Bayern Munich in the last four.

Bellingham: This was beautiful

“It’s a relief because you put so much into the game,” said Bellingham, speaking to TNT Sports.

“To win the game was a massive reward.

“It is incredible. Moments like this are magic and it just comes down to mentality.”

Man City 1-1 Real Madrid (Agg 4-4, Madrid win 4-3 on pens)

Sky Sport

 

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