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Haaland, Foden’s hat-tricks sink United in Manchester Derby

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Erling Haaland and Phil Foden scored hat-tricks as Manchester City thrashed Manchester United 6-3 to move to within a point of Premier League leaders Arsenal on Sunday.

Haaland has scored hat-tricks in each of his last three Premier League home games to take his tally as a City player to 17 in 10 competitive games for the English champions.

“You can see the passes we give each other. We always want to go forward and to attack,” Haaland told Sky Sports.

“It’s what I love about the team. In the end, it’s amazing. There is nothing more to say.”

Antony’s strike and Anthony Martial’s late double ensured United avoided a record defeat in the Manchester derby as they remain in sixth, nine points off the top.

Since also conceding four times inside the first 45 minutes at Brentford in August, United had bounced back with four consecutive Premier League wins to offer hope they are heading in the right direction under Erik ten Hag.

But the Red Devils were given a rude awakening of the gulf that still exists between the Manchester giants.

City could have scored many more than the four they managed in a blistering first half performance that swept away any doubts caused by an inconsistent start to the season from Pep Guardiola’s men.

Within four minutes it took two goal-line clearances and a fine save from David de Gea to deny Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne, and Bernardo Silva the opening goal.

Four minutes later, City did open the floodgates when Foden swept home Silva’s cross for the Manchester native’s first derby goal.

Ilkay Gundogan’s free-kick hit the post and Foden blasted another big chance wide before Haaland inevitably made his mark on 34 minutes.

Haaland’s Hat-trick Haul

United were left to bemoan the absence of Raphael Varane to defend a De Bruyne corner as he received treatment on an ankle injury that forced him off at half-time.

Without the Frenchman, there was no match for Haaland’s presence in the penalty box as his header crossed the line before Tyrell Malacia’s attempted clearance.

Moments later, City showcased their ability to counter-attack as Jack Grealish fed De Bruyne, who perfectly picked out Haaland to convert on the stretch at the back post.

Haaland then turned provider with a low cross that Foden converted to leave United trailing 4-0 at half-time for the third time in a year.

Unlike, in a 5-0 defeat at Old Trafford to Liverpool last season and at Brentford last month, there was some semblance of a United response after the break.

Antony smashed home his second goal in as many Premier League appearances since a £82 million ($92 million) move from Ajax.

But Haaland quickly reclaimed centre stage with a thumping finish to meet Sergio Gomez’s cross.

Michael Owen’s record of three hat-tricks in his first 48 appearances had stood as a Premier League record for over two decades, but Haaland has needed just eight.

City were on course to match the record margin of victory in a Manchester derby when Haaland set up Foden to smash home and complete his hat-trick.

That was Foden’s final involvement as he was withdrawn in a quadruple change as Guardiola could afford to also hand a rest to De Bruyne, Gundogan and Grealish.

United took advantage of City taking their foot off the accelerator in the final 10 minutes as substitute Martial scored twice to cut the arrears.

Ten Hag left Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench for the full match and his decision to instead give Martial a chance to impress on his return from injury proved correct.

The Frenchman headed in the rebound after Ederson parried Fred’s shot and then emphatically fired home from the penalty spot. (AFP)

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Germany Exit Qatar Despite 4 – 2 Win Over Costa Rica

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The Germans have been knocked out of the World Cup in the group stage for a second consecutive time despite a 4-2 win over Costa Rica on Thursday.

This was after the four-times champions were consigned to third place in the Group E following Japan’s victory over Spain.

Costa Rica deployed a five-man backline but Germany still found a way through in the 10th minute when David Raum made a cross that was headed home by Serge Gnabry.

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This restarted the game quickly fearing goal difference being a factor.

But after learning that Japan were leading Spain in the other group game, Germany appeared to have  let their guard down with Costa Rica scoring  twice with Yeltsin Tejeda arriving late to score the first before Juan Pablo Vargas bundled a second over the line.

Germany’s Kai Havertz grabbed a brace after coming on as a substitute to seal the three points before Niclas Fuellkrug added a fourth late in the game but the final results left Japan at the top of the group while Spain finished second having scored more goals than Germany.

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Ronaldo Misses Portugal Training Ahead Of South Korea Clash

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Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo did not train with his Portugal teammates on Wednesday ahead of their final World Cup group game against South Korea.

The Portuguese striker, 37, was doing “specific recovery work” according to a source from the Portuguese football federation.

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Ronaldo, without a club since leaving Manchester United during the tournament, scored a penalty in his country’s opening win over Ghana.

Portugal beat Uruguay 2-0 in their second match to qualify for the last 16, with Ronaldo appearing to claim a goal but he did not touch the ball and it was awarded to teammate Bruno Fernandes.

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Mexico exit World Cup despite beating Saudi Arabia

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Mexico suffered an agonising exit from the World Cup on goal difference on Wednesday despite beating Saudi Arabia 2-1 in a dramatic finale to Group C.

Second-half goals from Henry Martin and Luis Chavez secured victory for Mexico but they finished third behind Poland after Salem Al-Dawsari’s late strike.

Mexico desperately pushed for a third goal in an effort to improve their goal difference as they faced elimination on FIFA fair play rules.

Saudi Arabia’s win over Argentina in their opening match was one of the World Cup’s great upsets, but they crashed back down to earth with a 2-0 loss to Poland in their second game.

Coach Herve Renard urged his players to show that was no flash in the pan and write themselves into Saudi football history by reaching knockout rounds for the first time since 1994.

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Having failed to win either of their first two group games for the first time in 44 years, Mexico knew victory was essential if they were to stand a chance of reaching the last 16 at an eighth successive World Cup.

Mexico boss Gerardo Martino ditched the back five he used in the 2-0 loss to Argentina and brought in Martin to lead the attack.

It almost reaped immediate rewards but Saudi goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais raced out to block Alexis Vega after he was slipped in behind the defence by Hirving Lozano.

Al-Owais, one of the heroes of the 2-1 win over Argentina, tentatively palmed away a bouncing cross ahead of a lunging Martin and held weak attempts by Chavez and Orbelin Pineda.

Mohamed Kanno whipped a free-kick just over for Saudi Arabia, who saw defender Ali Al-Bulayhi forced off with injury — adding to their mounting casualty list.

Mexico continued to attack without success and Ali Al-Hassan nearly sent the bulk of the largely Saudi crowd wild late in the first half with a diving header that flashed wide of the far post.

Chavez tested Al-Owais right after the interval and Martin soon broke the deadlock as he turned in from close range following Cesar Montes’ clever flick-on at a corner.

Mexico’s second goal arrived just five minutes later when Chavez sensationally curled a free-kick into the top corner from 30 metres.

Keeping an eye on the score between Argentina and Poland, Mexico pushed relentlessly for a third goal, with Lozano’s effort ruled out for a tight offside.

Martin blazed over when he had a glorious chance and Chavez had another free-kick turned away by Al-Owais, who also sprawled to his right to claw out a drive from Lozano.

Uriel Antuna then had another goal disallowed for offside before Al-Dawsari’s late strike put an end to the drama.

AFP

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