Guardiola apologises to Phillips for comments about weight – Newstrends
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Guardiola apologises to Phillips for comments about weight

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Pep Guardiola

Guardiola apologises to Phillips for comments about weight

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has apologised to Kalvin Phillips for saying the midfielder was overweight when he returned from the 2022 World Cup.

Guardiola had told reporters that Phillips was not in the right condition to go through training sessions after returning from Qatar, where he was used for only 40 minutes in two substitute appearances in England’s campaign.

Phillips endured a wretched time at City after signing from Leeds United in 2022, making only six starts in 18 months, and the 28-year-old joined West Ham United on loan last month.

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After making the switch to West Ham, the midfielder said his confidence had taken a “big knock” from Guardiola’s comments.

“Yeah, I’m sorry,” Guardiola told reporters on Monday.

“I apologise to him. I spoke to him before making the comment. I never, ever don’t speak to the team before I say something here, or the player in that case.”

City, who are third in the Premier League, can close the gap to leaders Liverpool by one point if they beat Brentford at home later on Tuesday.

Guardiola apologises to Phillips for comments about weight

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United in hot chase for Osimhen amid transfer speculations

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Victor Osimhen

United in hot chase for Osimhen amid transfer speculations

Reports from Malu Mpasinkatu, Italy’s foremost pundit on African football, suggest that Manchester United is actively working on securing a deal for Napoli striker Victor Osimhen as the competition to acquire his services intensifies.

This season, Rasmus Hojlund remains Manchester United’s leading goal scorer, netting 13 times across all competitions. However, with his last goal dating back to February 13, the Premier League giants are eager to bolster their attacking options in the upcoming transfer window.

Manager Erik ten Hag’s team has been linked with several top strikers, including Brentford’s Ivan Toney, Bologna’s Joshua Zirkzee, and Osimhen.

Manchester United’s pursuit of the Nigerian striker dates back to last summer, where both Osimhen and Harry Kane were top targets on Ten Hag’s transfer wishlist. However, neither deal materialized, with Kane eventually moving to Bayern Munich and Osimhen opting to stay at Napoli after guiding them to their first Scudetto in thirty years.

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Recent reports suggesting Osimhen’s proximity to a move to Paris Saint-Germain, with a lucrative four-year contract on the table, have spurred Manchester United to revive their interest and potentially hijack the deal.

Speaking on Radio Goal, Mpasinkatu revealed that United is ready to enter a bidding war for the 25-year-old striker.

“From my information, there is talk of [Marcus] Thuram at PSG instead of Mbappe. Osimhen wants to play in the Premier League, and Manchester United and Chelsea are keen on him. As for [Jonathan] David, he could be a suitable replacement for Osimhen, being young yet experienced in European football. Lille may demand a high fee for him, but their sold players have shown good performances elsewhere.”

While Osimhen’s goal-scoring output this season hasn’t matched his previous campaign, where he secured the Serie A top scorer accolade with 26 goals, his contribution of 15 goals and four assists in 27 appearances across all competitions still stands out, especially considering Napoli’s challenges.

United in hot chase for Osimhen amid transfer speculations

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EPL: Liverpool suffer title blow in loss to Crystal Palace

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EPL: Liverpool suffer title blow in loss to Crystal Palace

Andy Robertson insisted Liverpool will “keep fighting” despite their English Premier League (EPL) title hopes suffering a huge blow as they fell to a 1-0 defeat by Crystal Palace at Anfield.

Eberechi Eze converted from Tyrick Mitchell’s cut-back to finish off a flowing Palace move early on and the visitors were deservedly in front at the break.

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds ramped up the pressure in the second half but, just as in recent games against Manchester United and Atalanta, their finishing let them down as they fell to a first league loss at home since October 2022.

Defeat leaves Liverpool two points behind leaders Manchester City.

“I think we are always still in it. We are still there,” Liverpool full-back Robertson told Sky Sports. “We will keep fighting, keep going to the end, and let’s see where it gets us.

“With six games to go we will give it everything we have got. The problem is there’s two world-class teams doing it as well and that’s the difficult part.”

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Palace started brightly and led through Eze’s well-worked opener, before a slip from Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk gave Jean-Philippe Mateta a golden opportunity to double their lead.

The striker was clean through and lifted his effort past the returning Alisson Becker but Scotland skipper Robertson sprinted back to hook the ball off the line.

Liverpool rallied and Wataru Endo struck the bar after Palace failed to deal with a corner before Dean Henderson made a fine reaction save to deny Luis Diaz.

Oliver Glasner’s Palace retained a threat on the counter-attack until the break but were largely penned inside their own half in the second 45 minutes.

Henderson made another superb stop from Darwin Nunez, Diogo Jota’s close-range effort was blocked by Nathaniel Clyne with the goalkeeper nowhere to be seen and Curtis Jones somehow sliced wide when through on goal.

Mateta did have another big chance to score the visitors’ second from a rare Palace attack but Alisson made a remarkable save from point-blank range.

Liverpool kept pushing for an equaliser but could not find a way through, with Mohamed Salah’s goalbound effort from inside the six-yard box blocked by Mitchell in stoppage time.

The Reds are now left to reflect on a potentially decisive loss with just six matches remaining in the league campaign.

EPL: Liverpool suffer title blow in loss to Crystal Palace

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Aston Villa stun Arsenal 2-0, dent gunners title challenge

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Aston Villa stun Arsenal 2-0, dent gunners title challenge

Aston Villa produced an outstanding performance to stun Arsenal at Emirates Stadium and leave Manchester City in pole position in the Premier League title race.

The game started with high anticipation for the Gunners after Liverpool’s shock home defeat by Crystal Palace but Arsenal were desperately disappointing and ended up well beaten as Villa boss Unai Emery made a winning return to his former club.

Arsenal were fortunate to remain on level terms for so long against the impressive visitors, who secured a deserved win to move three points ahead of Tottenham in fourth having played a game more.

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The only surprise was that it took Villa until six minutes from the end of normal time to open the scoring – Ollie Watkins and Youri Tielemans hit the woodwork in each half before Leon Bailey finally broke the deadlock with a low finish at the far post.

Arsenal were kept out in the first half when Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez made a stunning save from Leandro Trossard, but the visitors wrapped up the win when Watkins raced clear in the 87th minute to loft a composed finish over David Raya.

It completed a perfect weekend for reigning champions City, with Pep Guardiola’s side now two points clear at the top with Arsenal ahead of Liverpool on goal difference.

Aston Villa stun Arsenal 2-0, dent gunners title challenge

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