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Man City beat Real Madrid 4-3 in epic UCL semi-final

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Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva were on target for Guardiola’s men, who held a two-goal lead three times.

But Karim Benzema’s double and a brilliant individual effort from Vinicius Junior gave Madrid hope of another famous Champions League fightback at the Santiago Bernabeu on May 4.
Guardiola lamented letting Liverpool escape “alive” in the Premier League title race after a 2-2 draw at the Etihad nine days ago and will have similar regrets after a blistering opening that could have seen City go 4-0 up inside half an hour.
“I want to try to convince to my players that we won the game and we have to go to Bernabeu to play like we did today,” said Guardiola.
“It doesn’t matter if we would have won by one goal or four, in the Bernabeu you have to show who you are otherwise there is no chance. It is a good test for us.”
Madrid, the record 13-time European champions, were playing in their 30th semifinal to City’s third, but the English champions lived up to their tag as pre-tie favourites early on.
Only 92 seconds had passed before the Madrid rearguard was breached by Riyad Mahrez’s quick feet and perfect cross for De Bruyne to stoop and head past Thibaut Courtois.
Jesus pounced to make it 2-0 after just 10 minutes when David Alaba failed to deal with De Bruyne’s cross.
“We started the game very badly, we were too soft in conceding the goals,” said Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti.
“After that the team showed what they have shown recently, a great reaction.
“We have to defend better. If we defend better in the seocnd leg we’ll win. If we don’t, we will be out.”
The Spanish champions-elect were without Casemiro and his absence showed as City cut through midfield on the counter-attack at will.
Guardiola was furious with Mahrez after he selfishly smashed into the side-netting with Foden awaiting the cross for a tap-in.
Moments later it was Foden who was guilty of wasting a glorious chance when he dragged wide another pinpoint De Bruyne through ball.
Benzema dragged Madrid back from the dead to see off Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea in the previous two rounds and again rose to his side’s rescue before halftime.
The Frenchman cushioned in his 40th goal of the season off the post from Ferland Mendy’s cross.
“We never gave up,” said Benzema. “Sometimes you have to grin and bear it and we did that. City are a great team but kept working hard and got the three goals.”
Yet, Madrid’s good work in steadying the ship towards the end of the first half was undone in another slow start after the break.
Mahrez hit the post when one-on-one with Courtois before Dani Carvajal blocked Foden’s follow-up on the line.
Fernandinho was forced to deputise at right-back after replacing the injured John Stones in the first half.
And the City captain had a major role to play in two goals in two minutes at either end.
Firstly, he picked out Foden to restore City’s two-goal lead.
But the 36-year-old showed his age as Vinicius sprinted clear of his Brazilian compatriot from the halfway line before slotting past Ederson.
City continued to create chances at an alarming rate for Ancelotti but it took something special when they did finally get a fourth.
Oleksandr Zinchenko was fouled on the edge of the area, but Romanian referee Istvan Kovacs played advantage and Silva thrashed into the top corner.
Again City failed to put the tie to bed as Mahrez was inches away from finding the far corner from the narrowest of angles.
But there was a final twist eight minutes from time when Aymeric Laporte handled inside the area.
Benzema was the coolest man in the stadium as he chipped the spot-kick down the middle to leave the tie on a knife-edge headed back to the Spanish capital.

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Salah: I’ll be at Liverpool next season for sure

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Mohamed Salah

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah said he will be at Anfield next season “for sure” but would not be drawn over whether he will sign a new contract.

Salah’s deal ends in June 2023, leading to speculation he could be sold if he did not sign a new one as he would leave on a free in a year’s time.

When asked about his future before Saturday’s Champions League final, he said: “I don’t want to talk about that.

“I just want to see Hendo [Jordan Henderson] with the trophy.”

The Egypt striker, 29, added: “I don’t focus on the contract at the moment. I don’t want to be selfish.

“I am staying next season for sure.”

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Salah’s team-mate Sadio Mane said he would announce his decision on his own future after the final against Real Madrid in Paris.

The Senegal international, who has scored 120 goals in 268 games for the Reds, will also enter the last 12 months of his contract from June.

He told Sky Sports News: “This question [about my future] I will answer after Champions League. If I’m staying or not, I’m going to answer after [the] Champions League.”

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has dismissed suggestions the outcome of Saturday’s game will be a factor in whether some players decide to extend their contracts or not.

“No, not at all,” he said. “What, if we win it they want to go? We are in talks with all the players, it is just not the moment to talk about the results of these talks. None of them are sitting there not knowing what we are planning.

“There is just not the time, we play every three days. The players have this idea, we have this idea, sometimes they match immediately, sometimes not and then we work together.

“We have known each other for ages.”

Salah joined from Roma in 2017 and has scored 156 goals in 253 games for Liverpool.

He has helped the club win the Premier League in 2019-20, the 2019 Champions League, the FA Cup and League Cup this season plus the FIFA Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup during his time at Anfield.

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Falcons’ Nnadozie wins top French Women’s league award

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Super Falcons goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie

Super Falcons goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie has been awarded with the Bruno Martini Award for Goalkeeping Revelation of the Season in French women’s football, reports soccernet.ng.

The French Association of Professional Football Goalkeeper Coaches awarded the Paris FC goalkeeper for her excellent performance in the league. She helped Paris FC finish third in the league, as the capital team also qualified for a place in next season’s UEFA Women’s Champions League.

The award is voted for by other goalkeepers, professional football goalkeeper coaches, and members of the goalkeeper coaches’ association.

Nnadozie was nominated alongside Stade de Reims goalkeeper, Emily Alvarado and Issy GPS goalkeeper, Colette Morche.

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The goalkeeper was elated with her recognition in the award given by the AEGB and thanked the association and her club for the laurel.

“I want to use this opportunity to say a big thank you to the AEGB Football Association France, for this great award. A special thanks to Paris FV, you guys made it possible.”

It was Nnadozie’s second nomination and she has now won one of them. She was also selected as one of the best five goalkeepers in the French Women’s league by UNFP, Ligue 1 organisers but missed out on the biggest prize.

Nnadozie has been invited to the Super Falcons ahead of the camping for the Women African Cup of Nations.

Asisat Oshoala also selected her as her favourite Super Falcons goalkeeper and described her as “a very good goalkeeper” in a FIFA Plus TV interview.

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Breaking: Man City win EPL in dramatic comeback despite Liverpool beating Aston Villa 3-1

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Manchester City on Sunday clinched their sixth English Premier League title coming back from 0-2 against Aston Villa to a surprising 3-2 win at the Etihad Stadium on the final day of the league.

The title chaser Liverpool although won their game against Wolves but it was not enough to lift the league trophy.

The City’s three goals came in five minutes to seal the title.

The win on Sunday sees Pep Guardiola’s Man City successfully defend their EPL title.

Matty Cash and Philipe Coutinho had given Aston Villa a 2-0 advantage before Man City scored three times in five minutes late in the second half.

A brace from Ilkay Gundogan, a substitute, and Rodi helped City snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and with it the EPL title.

A nervous Man City fell to Cash’s header in the 37th minute before Coutinho doubled Steven Gerard’s side’s lead in 69 minutes.

The introduction of Gundogan changed the dynamics of the encounter, with the German international heading into the net before Rodri drilled in the equalizer two minutes later.

Gundogan completed the comeback from Kevin de Bruyne’s cross to send the fans into frenzy mode as Guardiola’s side clinched the club’s fourth title in five years, punctured by the 2020 triumph of Liverpool, who finished second.

 

The final day final scores are:

Arsenal 5-1 Everton

Brentford 1-2 Leeds United

Brighton 3-1 West Ham

Burnley 1-2 Newcastle (Burnley are relegated)

Chelsea 2-1 Watford

Crystal Palace 1-0 Manchester United

Leicester City 4-1 Southampton

Liverpool 3-1 Wolves

Manchester City 3-2 Aston Villa

Norwich 0-5 Tottenham

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