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USMNT player of the year Zack Steffen reflects on superb 2018, is ready for Man City

Tue, 18 Dec 2018 09:06:00 GMT

At the beginning of 2018, Zack Steffen hadn't played a minute for the United States men's national team. At the club level, he had been a starter with the Columbus Crew for just a single season, and the team's future in Ohio was very much in doubt. Twelve months later, the Crew are saved, Steffen is the U.S. No. 1 goalkeeper and he has just completed a multimillion-dollar transfer to Manchester City that will see him head back to Europe in July. That's enough to get a player named U.S. Soccer's...

Two teams, eight leagues apart: Clevedon Town face might of Manchester City in FA Youth Cup

Tue, 18 Dec 2018 07:52:00 GMT

Gabriel Jesus scored twice as Man City produced a convincing win over a battling Everton side in Manchester. Gabriel Jesus scored twice as Man City produced a convincing win over a battling Everton side in Manchester. Gabriel Jesus scored twice as Man City produced a convincing win over a battling Everton side in Manchester. Alejandro Moreno and Dan Thomas recap all the action from Saturday's array of fixtures in the Premier League. For a club that has invested heavily in their Academy structure, it was a surprise when Manchester City were dumped out of this year's UEFA Youth League, the under-19s equivalent of the Champions League. Last season, they went all the way to the semifinals in Switzerland before losing to eventual winners Barcelona in a 5-4 thriller. But while it was a shock for them to fail to make it out of the group stage for the first time since the tournament was inaugurated, defeat in this season's domestic...

LIVE Transfer Talk: Manchester City eye move for Real Madrid's unhappy Isco

Mon, 17 Dec 2018 05:27:00 GMT

Amid fierce questioning about Isco's future at Real Madrid, Santiago Solari had stern words as to players not being untouchable at the club. The transfer window for Europe's biggest clubs might be closed, but they are still working tirelessly behind the scenes to line up the arrival of their next star. Transfer Talk has been scouring the world's media to see who could be heading to your club when Jan. 1 arrives. TOP STORY: Guardiola eyes ostracised Isco Transfers How a transfer works With help from former Tottenham and Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli, we show you a step-by-step guide to a transfer. What's a medical like? Can a 44-year-old man cut it in the Premier League? Our writer suffers -- and suffers some more -- through a medical at Everton. Watch live games, ESPN FC TV and MLS Rewind on ESPN+ in the U.S. FC Exclusives - Arsenal want Bailly, Cahill - Pogba not for sale; Juve keen - Steffen on brink of Man City transfer - Under eyed by City, Arsenal, Chelsea - Real Madrid interested in Diaz Manchester City are ready to test Real Madrid's resolve with a lucrative offer for Isco, according to AS. The Malaga-born midfielder has been out-of-favour since Santiago Solari took...

Weekend numbers: Messi's 43rd hat trick for Barcelona; Ronaldo gets Juve's 5000th

Mon, 17 Dec 2018 04:08:00 GMT

The FC crew answer your tweets on Liverpool's chances of winning the Premier League, Jose Mourinho's ability to manage a top side again and more. Are too many Liverpool stars excluded from Gab Marcotti's Premier League team of the weekend after their win over Manchester United? Gab Marcotti believes the personality issue between Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho is merely the Man United manager's attempt to create a scapegoat. Manchester United's Jose Mourinho believes he can still reach the top four in the second half of the season despite trailing fourth-placed Chelsea by 11 points. Following Manchester United's resounding defeat at Liverpool, Craig Burley slams the club's lack of leadership, from the boardroom to the pitch. Jose Mourinho was happy with his team selection and has no regrets about not playing Paul Pogba Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp rated the 3-1 win over Manchester United as one of the best performances he has seen since he has been at the club as he reflected on what he called a perfect night. Jose Mourinho did not appreciate getting asked if he has the backing of the dressing room following Manchester United's loss to Liverpool. Chelsea's Mauricio Sarri admitted that Eden Hazard's injury is not a serious one and that he was substituted as a precaution during their win over Brighton. With Liverpool getting their first league win over Manchester United since 2014, FC's Shaka Hislop examines the gulf in class between the two sides. Alexis Nunes and Shaka Hislop break down Arsenal's surprising loss to Southampton, and determine if more defensive struggles are on the horizon for the Gunners. Liverpool went back to the top of the Premier League table with an emphatic 3-1 win over Manchester United, while Cristiano Ronaldo helped Juventus to yet another milestone with a goal in their 1-0 derby win against Torino. Meanwhile, Lionel Messi did Lionel Messi things (scored three, assisted two) as Barcelona thrashed Levante 5-0. Here are the best numbers from the weekend's action: 1 Lionel Messi is the first player to reach double figures for both goals (14) and assists (10) in the top...

Man City bounce back with Everton win as Gabriel Jesus breaks goal drought

Sat, 15 Dec 2018 06:50:00 GMT

Gabriel Jesus scored twice as Man City produced a convincing win over a battling Everton side in Manchester. MANCHESTER, England -- Three quick thoughts as Manchester City went back to the top of the Premier League with a 3-1 win over Everton. 1. Man City bounce back Manchester City are back on top of the Premier League, until Sunday afternoon at least, and their powers of recovery were firmly in evidence once again. Each of their three previous top-flight defeats had quickly been followed up with a victory, and they repeated the trick here. A brace from Gabriel Jesus and a clincher from Raheem Sterling,...

Gabriel Jesus returns to goal-scoring form in 8/10 showing in win over Everton

Sat, 15 Dec 2018 06:44:00 GMT

Gabriel Jesus scored twice as Man City produced a convincing win over a battling Everton side in Manchester. MANCHESTER, England -- Manchester City returned to the top of the Premier League table with a 3-1 victory over Everton on Saturday. Gabriel Jesus scored either side of half-time before Dominic Calvert-Lewin brought the visitors back into the game with a header. But that hope was short-lived, with substitute Raheem Sterling wrapping up the win with a close-range header. Positives City kept the pressure on Liverpool ahead of Sunday's big game against big rivals Manchester United, but the big...

Power Rankings: Barcelona top, Liverpool climb; Juventus, Man City drop

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 02:18:00 GMT

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop reveals his latest power rankings which see Barcelona edge Liverpool for the pole position. The FC panel wax lyrical about Lionel Messi's latest performance and say he no longer places any stock in individual awards such as the Ballon d'Or. The FC panel assess if Manchester City deserve to be ahead of Barcelona and Juventus as the oddsmakers' favourites to win the Champions League. All change! After last week's top two suffered shock defeats, the latest countdown has a new leader. (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src='https://embed.playbuzz.com/sdk.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk')); Dropping out: Napoli, Ajax. Agree? Disagree? Let us know, and watch Shaka defend his picks on ESPN FC TV.

Champions League XI: Mo Salah and Leroy Sane lead team of the week

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 03:26:00 GMT

The FC team examine the list of teams that Liverpool could face in the UCL round of 16 and who they'd match up best against. The Champions League's best performers from this week. The Champions League group stage is over, but who were the stars of the final group stage games? Here's the best XI from Matchday 6. Goalkeeper -- Alisson (Liverpool) Jurgen Klopp called Alisson's late save from Arkadiusz Milik a "lifesaver" and, in football terms, it was no exaggeration. The goalkeeper made himself big to block Napoli's glorious late chance from a matter of yards, sending Liverpool through and proving once again that the £65m they paid Roma in the summer was money well spent....

Sane earns 8/10 with sensational double to orchestrate Man City comeback

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 10:13:00 GMT

The FC panel assess if Manchester City deserve to be ahead of Barcelona and Juventus as the oddsmakers' favourites to win the Champions League. MANCHESTER, England -- Manchester City came from behind to secure a 2-1 victory over Hoffenheim on Wednesday to top Group F in the Champions League. Andrej Kramaric put the German side ahead from the penalty spot, while City hit the post through Gabriel Jesus and John Stones. Leroy Sane equalised just before half-time with a vicious 30-yard free kick and then grabbed the 61st-minute winner. Positives After an awkward group stage, City secured the point they needed to finish top of Group F. In...

Premier League still full of surprises, with Man City stumbling, Salah back on form, Arsenal on song

Mon, 10 Dec 2018 01:10:00 GMT

The Exploding Heads wrap up the Premier League weekend in a tidy 90-second (plus stoppages) package. When it comes to the Premier League, we're all prone to jumping to conclusions and taking the latest preachings from the pundits as gospel. Well, predictions make fools of us all, and the action last weekend blew a few theories sky high. It turns out Manchester City are not invincible: Fancy that! Likewise, Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri was able to laugh in the faces of those experts, who basically told him he did not know what he was doing using "the world's top holding midfielder," N'Golo Kante,...

Chelsea's win over Man City says a lot about Sarri. PLUS: Sterling stands up, River claim Copa Lib

Mon, 10 Dec 2018 07:33:00 GMT

Manchester City's first league defeat of the campaign probably says more about their opponents, Chelsea, than it does Guardiola's crew. Without Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero and Benjamin Mendy, they marched into Stamford Bridge and dominated the first half, only to be punished by Eden Hazard's quick thinking, N'Golo Kante's finish and Leroy Sane's brief daydream. The goal allowed Chelsea to tighten up further and play on the counter even more; they added a second through a David Luiz header later...

Weekend numbers: Lionel Messi's free-kick record, Romelu Lukaku ends home rut

Sun, 9 Dec 2018 10:05:00 GMT

Craig Burley was surprised to not see a reaction from Manchester City to N'Golo Kanté's first-half goal, in Chelsea's 2-0 win over the title-holders. Gabriele Marcotti outlines Lucien Favre's tactics in Borussia Dortmund's 2-1 win over Schalke. Craig Burley and Adrian Healy breakdown Manchester United's thrashing of Fulham and Jose Mourinho's cryptic comments after the match. Pep Guardiola insists anyone can win the Premier League title and there is no favourite after Man City's loss to Chelsea. Jose Mourinho praised Paul Pogba and outlined what he needs to do to get back into the starting XI. Jurgen Klopp insists he isn't surprised by Mohamed Salah's desire to score after he stayed on his feet during Liverpool's second goal. Mauricio Pochettino has immediately switched his focus to Barcelona after Tottenham's 2-0 win in the Premier League over Leicester. Niko Kovac admits Borussia Dortmund would have to make mistakes in order for Bayern Munich to win the Bundesliga title. Jose Mourinho feels Man United fans cannot point the finger at any of his players following their 4-1 win over Fulham. Maurizio Sarri was quick to rule out Chelsea's title chances after their victory over Manchester City. Jose Mourinho jokingly suggested Man United were trying to save money for January after he found no water at his press conference. Chelsea stunning Manchester City and Liverpool thrashing Bournemouth to go top have made the Premier League title race exciting again. In Spain, Lionel Messi eviscerated Espanyol with a display of supreme skill, while in Italy, Juventus continued their remorseless march to an eighth straight scudetto with a 1-0 win over Inter. Here are the best numbers from an action-packed weekend of football. 15 Here's a ridiculous Messi stat: Messi has more free-kick goals over the last four La Liga seasons (15)...

The Premier League has a title race; can Man City handle the pressure?

Sat, 8 Dec 2018 01:12:00 GMT

Chelsea handed Manchester City their first league defeat of the season overpowering the league leaders at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea handed Manchester City their first league defeat of the season overpowering the league leaders at Stamford Bridge. Craig Burley was surprised to not see a reaction from Manchester City to N'Golo Kanté's first-half goal, in Chelsea's 2-0 win over the title-holders. LONDON -- Pressure, heat of battle, mind games: they are all key elements of every title battle -- apart from when a team wins the Premier League by 19 points and leaves the rest trailing in their wake. Manchester City were so utterly dominant last season that the usual rules of engagement did not apply to Pep Guardiola's team. Indeed, such was City's brilliance that the "race" for the finish line became more a procession rather than an examination of their credentials. But after Chelsea's 2-0 victory...

David Silva, Riyad Mahrez struggle as Man City endure rare off-day

Sat, 8 Dec 2018 11:53:00 GMT

Chelsea handed Manchester City their first league defeat of the season overpowering the league leaders at Stamford Bridge. LONDON -- Manchester City were knocked off the top of the Premier League table as their unbeaten run came to an end with a 2-0 defeat at Chelsea. Pep Guardiola's side were on top until N'Golo Kante smashed in the opener just before half-time. David Luiz headed in a second in the 78th minute to end any hope City had of snatching a point. Positives City have played the rest of the top five away from home and will not expect many tougher trips. In each of their four games against their rivals, they...

Manchester City surrender unbeaten record, Premier League lead at Chelsea

Sat, 8 Dec 2018 11:35:00 GMT

Chelsea handed Manchester City their first league defeat of the season overpowering the league leaders at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea handed Manchester City their first league defeat of the season overpowering the league leaders at Stamford Bridge. Maurizio Sarri was quick to rule out Chelsea's title chances after their victory over Manchester City. Craig Burley was surprised to not see a reaction from Manchester City to N'Golo Kanté's first-half goal, in Chelsea's 2-0 win over the title-holders. LONDON -- Three points from Chelsea's 2-0 Premier League win over Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. 1. City surrender unbeaten record at Chelsea Manchester City suffered their first Premier League defeat of the season and surrendered top spot in the table to Liverpool after losing 2-0 against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. N'Golo Kante's 44th-minute strike and David Luiz's 78th-minute header secured Maurizio Sarri's first-ever victory over a team managed by Pep Guardiola. But while...

Manchester City running out of serious obstacles in pursuit of Premier League perfection

Fri, 7 Dec 2018 12:23:00 GMT

Steve Nicol says Manchester City's win over Watford was evidence of why they are the best football team in the world right now. There was something ominous about Manchester City's 2-1 victory against Watford at Vicarage Road on Tuesday. Without Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, Aymeric Laporte, Raheem Sterling and Benjamin Mendy, Pep Guardiola's team eased to a win which was much more emphatic than the final scoreline would suggest. Those five absentees were barely missed, if at all, which is staggering when you consider that their combined value in the transfer market right now would probably be close to £600...

Premier League W2W4: Can Chelsea trouble Manchester City? Will Fulham stun Man United?

Fri, 7 Dec 2018 12:15:00 GMT

Alejandro Moreno and Alexis Nunes muse on the latest round of fixtures in the Premier League, including the big one between Chelsea and Manchester City. W2W4 previews the week's Premier League action by highlighting its most compelling storylines ... Will Wolves loss spur Chelsea on against Man City? Maurizio Sarri had an "out." After their defeat to Wolves on Wednesday, various journalists asked the Chelsea manager if a few refereeing decisions that had gone against his side had a material impact on the result, but Sarri steadfastly refused to blame the loss on officiating, preferring to point the finger a little closer to home. "We were suddenly...

Power Rankings: Juventus, Man City, Barcelona 1-2-3; Liverpool, Arsenal in

Thu, 6 Dec 2018 02:26:00 GMT

Giorgio Chiellini talked up the rivalry between Juventus and Inter Milan, insisting there's more than just three points at stake. Sebastian Salazar and Alejandro Moreno debate whether or not Juventus has assembled enough talent to live up to lofty expectations this season. The top three stay the same this week, but there's movement down below. Liverpool make their return to the top 10, as do Arsenal. (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src='https://embed.playbuzz.com/sdk.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk')); Dropping out: Paris Saint-Germain, Tottenham, Sevilla. Agree? Disagree? Let us know, and watch Shaka defend his picks on ESPN FC TV.

David Silva, Riyad Mahrez, Leroy Sane all 8/10 as Man City hold on for win at Watford

Tue, 4 Dec 2018 02:22:00 GMT

WATFORD, England -- Manchester City moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League as they held on in a tense finish for a 2-1 victory at Watford on Tuesday. It appeared to be business as usual when Leroy Sane and Riyad Mahrez scored either side of half-time, but Abdoulaye Doucoure's late goal set up a dramatic finish as they pushed for an equaliser. Positives Watford didn't sit back but City were still able to employ their usual dominant gameplay, enjoying more than 70 percent possession....

Man City hold serve at Watford but Gabriel Jesus' performance will again concern Pep Guardiola

Tue, 4 Dec 2018 02:04:00 GMT

WATFORD, England -- Three points from Vicarage Road on Manchester City's 2-1 win over Watford in the Premier League. 1. Relentless City claim another win at Watford Manchester City heaped the pressure back onto Liverpool at the top of the Premier League by moving five points clear of their closest challengers with a hard-earned 2-1 victory against Watford at Vicarage Road. Having seen Liverpool keep the title race alive with a 96th-minute winner against Everton at Anfield on Sunday, City responded...


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