Man City 1-0 Man Utd: Kompany goal gives City the edge

Etihad Stadium, ManchesterKompany 45 So, it’s advantage Roberto. The Italian has seen his side overhaul an eight-point deficit in just three weeks. Back then it looked as if April 30th might be the date Manchester City fans would have to endure seeing their neighbours win the title in their own back yard. As it is, Vincent Kompany’s headed goal has taken City to the top of the table. Win their remaining games – which is by no means guaranteed – and they will be crowned champions for the first time…

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Man City vs Man Utd – Match preview and team news

First meets second in the Premier League tonight, in what may be the most important Manchester derby in history, with the winner moving into poll position for a title victory. Just three points separate the blue and red sides of Manchester, as City host their rivals, with the chance to draw level, and in the process gain a clear advantage in the title race due to their superior goal difference. Both teams come into the game in good form, with Manchester City enjoying three wins in a row following their…

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Everton Club Focus – Lethal Jelavic epitomises newfound attacking threat

Everton’s 4-0 win over Fulham on Saturday not only marked the third consecutive Premier League match in which David Moyes’ side have scored four goals, but also confirmed that the Toffees’ new found goal scoring form is no mere fluke. The headline statistic of 12 goals in three games is impressive enough but taken further, to include the three league games before Everton saw off Sunderland 4-0, the totals rise higher still. In their last six Premier League outings, five of which have been won and the other drawn, Everton…

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Aston Villa Club Focus – Point earned could be vital in race for survival

Another goalless display, another game of wasted chances, another missed opportunity. It has been a similar story throughout the season for Aston Villa, but the point earned away to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday afternoon could prove to be vital in their hopes for survival. It was not the greatest game you will ever see, a Midlands derby very rarely is. Gritty and dogged defending were the key words in this encounter, nullifying creativity and flair. The type of game Alex McLeish loves to see, but not many of the…

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Stoke City are showing little sign of Premier League progression

As Stoke City’s fourth season in the Premier League draws to a close, they occupy familiar territory. In the past three seasons the Potters have finished 12th, 11th and 13th, with points totalling 45, 47 and 46 respectively. With four games remaining, Stoke occupy 14th with 43 points and a game in hand over the congested group of teams either side of them. Despite incorporating a more attractive style of play and considerable investment allowing recruitment from further up the football food chain, they appear unable to progress beyond their…

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Newcastle Club Focus – Heavy loss at Wigan sees final Champions League spot up for grabs

Newcastle’s six match-winning run came to an abrupt halt with a 4-0 loss to relegation haunted Wigan Athletic. It was a shock defeat for the Magpies, which is likely to put a serious dent in their claim for a Champions League spot. For whatever reason Alan Pardew’s side failed to turn up for the first 45 minutes and went into the interval four goals behind. To further compound their woes results from their rivals could not have been much worse. The teams immediately below them, Tottenham and Chelsea, both enjoyed…

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Carrick insists Manchester derby will not decide Premier League title race

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has said Monday evening’s derby between United and Manchester City will not decide the outcome of the Premier League title race between the two sides, the Daily Mail has reported. United manager Sir Alex Ferguson had suggested the winners of the match at the Etihad Stadium would go on to lift the title at the end of the season but Carrick declined to agree with his manager, insisting that the battle between the two sides would continue on past Monday. Carrick said: “Whatever happens, the…

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Manchester United Club Focus – Giggs in bullish mood ahead of his 36th Manchester derby

Manchester United veteran Ryan Giggs has said that his side are aiming to “put out a statement” in tonight’s crucial derby game, reaffirming their position as league champions and the city’s number one team. Giggs acknowledged the importance of the potential title decider, whilst also referring to the regularity with which he has faced these sorts of games throughout his illustrious career at Old Trafford. Should he feature at the Etihad, it would be Giggs’ 908th game for United, and his 36th Manchester derby. Giggs scored against City on his…

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Carlos Tevez wants to stay at Manchester City

Carlos Tevez wants to put his troubled Manchester City past behind him and remain at the Etihad Stadium to play a part in the club’s future, the Independent has reported. Tevez joined City in a controversial move from Manchester United and missed five months of the current Premier League season after falling out with manager Roberto Mancini. Tevez was fined and suspended for reportedly refusing to warm up during Manchester City’s Champions League match with Borussia Dortmund, and responded to the punishment by returning to Argentina. Mancini later declared Tevez…

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Blackburn Rovers Club Focus – Abject Rovers on brink of relegation

If ever proof was needed that Blackburn Rovers’ memorable 11-year stint in the Premier League is on the verge of coming to a miserable end, then the limp, lifeless and lacklustre performance at White Hart Lane on Sunday was it. The ill-fated visitors, who are in the midst of a tough relegation battle, suffered a morale-sapping 2-0 defeat at the hands of Champions League chasing Tottenham Hotspur. That desperately disappointing result left Steve Kean’s jaded side in 19th place and three points adrift of safety, although based on their dreary…

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Tottenham Club Focus – Three points, a good win, but have the FA struck again?

Sunday at White Hart Lane and three points taken against Blackburn Rovers saw Tottenham Hotspur reclaim fourth place. Spurs are back in the mix with four clubs now chasing third and fourth. The performance against Blackburn was the team’s best since the Swansea game, although the fact Rovers did not manage one attempt at goal summed up their abject performance. Right from the outset, the Lilywhites set the tone, with Luka Modric bursting into the box to set up Aaron Lennon. From then the match was one-way traffic with Rafael…

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Unlikely Wigan survival bid gathers pace with Newcastle triumph

Just a matter of months ago the situation for Wigan Athletic looked bleak. As the full-time whistle blew on the Latics’ 3-1 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur blew on January 31, Roberto Martinez’s side were marooned at the bottom of the Premier League, four points from safety with the knowledge that they still had to play Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United and Newcastle United before the end of the season. But 12 points from those four games has transformed the outlook at the DW Stadium. Since that depressing late January evening Wigan…

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Hodgson expected to be named England manager

Roy Hodgson is expected to be named the new manager of England after the Football Association confirmed an interview was due to take place on Monday, the Guardian has reported. Hodgson is currently Head Coach of West Bromwich Albion and previously managed Liverpool and Fulham. The FA on Sunday evening released a statement that confirmed Hodgson as the governing body’s choice to replace Fabio Capello, revealing that the 64-year-old is the only candidate they have approached. Hodgson is out of contract at West Brom at the end of the season…

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Benayoun confident van Persie will stay at Arsenal

Arsenal midfielder Yossi Benayoun believes Robin van Persie will sign a new contract to remain at the Emirates Stadium before his current deal expires in summer 2013, the Daily Mail has reported. With little over a year left on his Arsenal contract van Persie has been mentioned in connection with a move to Manchester City or possible switches to Italian club Juventus or Barcelona, the Spanish side knocked out of the Champions League semi-finals last week by Chelsea, the parent club of the on-loan Benayoun. But Benayoun stressed it was…

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Confidence key for Chelsea, reveals Di Matteo

Chelsea interim manager Roberto Di Matteo has hailed the confidence coursing through his side following the Blues’ devastating win over Queens Park Rangers and progression to the Champions League final, AFP has reported. After at times looking frail under Di Matteo’s predecessor Andre Villas-Boas, Di Matteo has admitted his squad are relishing every fixture that comes their way in a hectic end to the season. As well as their three remaining Premier League games Chelsea face finals in both the FA Cup, against Liverpool next weekend, and the Champions League,…

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Wenger believes Arsenal stutter is down to a lack of belief

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has suggested the inconsistent results recorded by his side in recent games is because the players do not believe in themselves, the Metro has reported. The Gunners drew 1-1 with Stoke City on Saturday, having previously drawn 0-0 with Chelsea and lost 2-1 at home to relegation threatened Wigan Athletic. Prior to these last three results Arsenal comfortably dispatched Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-0 and defeated Premier League title-chasing Manchester City with a single goal. While there may have been some disappointment amongst the Arsenal hierarchy at the…

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Torres predicts more Chelsea goals after QPR hat-trick

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres hopes he can continue the goal scoring form that brought a hat-trick against Queens Park Rangers on Sunday, suggesting that the treble could be the first of many he claims for Roberto Di Matteo’s side, the Guardian has reported. Torres struck twice in the first-half and once more just after the hour mark days after he sealed Chelsea’s progression to the Champions League final with a late goal against Barcelona in the Nou Camp. In those two games Torres has scored more goals under interim boss…

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Arsenal captain van Persie one of the greatest, claims Benayoun

Yossi Benayoun has hailed Arsenal captain Robin van Persie as one of the best players he has ever played with after the Dutchman scored in the Gunners’ 1-1 draw with Stoke City on Saturday, the Daily Telegraph has reported. Benayoun added that Arsenal’s chances of finishing third in the Premier League rest a great deal on the shoulders of the skipper. The Israel international said: “I was lucky to play with some of the great strikers in my career and Robin at the moment is one of the best in…

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Di Matteo surprised by Chelsea rout of QPR

Chelsea interim manager Roberto Di Matteo has admitted he did not expect his side to find the form to hit six goals against Queens Park Rangers on Sunday, Press Association has reported. A Fernando Torres hat-trick and goals from Daniel Sturridge, John Terry and Florent Malouda emphatically decided the West London derby in the favour of the Champions League finalists, and dented the R’s hopes of Premier League survival in the process. Djibril Cisse scored a late consolation for Mark Hughes’ team as the match finished 6-1. Di Matteo, who…

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Wenger unhappy with Stoke fan abuse

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has spoken about his disgust at some taunts from Stoke supporters during the 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium, BBC Sport reports. The Frenchman saw his side peg back the Potters thanks to Robin van Persie, who scored his 35th goal of the season, but Wenger was disappointed more with matters off-the-field than just a point at the Britannia Stadium. Stoke and Arsenal have enjoyed a fierce rivalry since comments from Wenger over Ryan Shawcross’ tackle in 2010 which broke midfielder Aaron Ramsey’s leg. Wenger was…

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Liverpool close in on signing Ramirez

Bologna midfielder Gaston Ramirez could be on his way to Anfield after Liverpool have reportedly made an offer, The Daily Mail reports. Pablo Bentancur, Ramirez’s agent, has revealed there has been an offer from an unnamed Premier League side, which is believed to be the Reds. The Uruguayan midfielder has enjoyed an excellent campaign with Bologna so far and although signing a new deal earlier this season, Ramirez could be open to leaving. The 21 year old has scored six goals in 30 appearances this term and has attracted attention…

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Southgate backs Welbeck for England

Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck is one of the most important stars for England’s future, according to the FA head of elite development Gareth Southgate, The Daily Star reports. The 21 year old striker has been in great form for the reigning Premier League champions and is reportedly on the brink of signing a new five-year deal worth around £50,000 a week. His development at Old Trafford has been noticed by England chiefs, who have already given him his international debut, and Southgate expects Welbeck to become an England regular.…

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Wenger not setting targets for Wilshere return

Arsene Wenger has revealed that Arsenal plan to go ‘step-by-step with Jack Wilshere’s fitness and refuse to set a timetable on his proposed return, arsenal.com reports. The midfielder has not played this season after undergoing surgery last September and was recently ruled out of the European Championships this summer, due to a relapse in his ankle problem. Wilshere has been earmarked as a potential player in the Olympic Games this summer, but the 20 year old is just concentrating on regaining full fitness at Arsenal before entertaining the idea of…

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Ivanovic calls for Di Matteo to be Chelsea boss

Branislav Ivanovic has backed interim manager Roberto di Matteo to be made permanent Chelsea boss at the end of the season, The Guardian reports. The Serbian defender has seen Di Matteo change Chelsea’s fortunes this season and since the February dismissal of Andre Villas-Boas, the Blues have lost just once as well as reaching the finals of the FA Cup and Champions League. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is reportedly interested in Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola, who is set to leave the Nou Camp at the end of the season. Guardiola…

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