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Nketiah makes last-minute winner for Arsenal as Haaland scores hat-trick for Man City

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LONDON, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) — Striker Eddie Nketiah scored a last-minute winner to give Arsenal a 3-2 win at home to Manchester United and retain their five-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the Premier League, with a game less played.

The striker scored a left-foot volley in the 90th minute to decide an edge-of-the-seat game that Arsenal deserved to win, although it also highlighted Manchester United’s continued improvement under Erik ten Hag.

Marcos Rashford’s hot streak continued in the 17th minute when he put United ahead, but Nketiah’s first goal of the match quickly leveled the scores seven minutes later.

Bukayo Saka put Arsenal ahead in the 53rd minute, only for Lisandro Martinez’s diving header six minutes later to leave things all square.

Arsenal did most of the pressing from them on, but it wasn’t until the last minute of normal time that Nketiah’s second goal of the match assured the points.

Earlier in the day, Erling Haaland’s fourth hat-trick of the season saw Manchester City to a 3-0 win at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

He opened the scoring in the 40th minute with a powerful header from Kevin de Bruyne’s cross and netted his second from the penalty spot four minutes after the break.

The Norwegian then scored his 25th league goal of the campaign after good work from Riyad Mahrez to round off the afternoon.

Leeds United controlled their match at home to Brentford and never looked in danger of losing as Brentford failed to have a shot on target, but despite five shots on target, they failed to really test Brentford keeper David Raya.

On Saturday, Liverpool and Chelsea played out a disappointing 0-0 draw at Anfield, which served to highlight the problems the two sides are facing.

Chelsea had an early goal from Kai Havertz ruled out for offside, and the best news for coach Graham Potter was an impressive cameo from new signing Mykhailo Mudryk.

Without Bruno Guimaraes, Newcastle were held to a 0-0 draw by Crystal Palace, whose goalkeeper Vicente Guaita made seven saves to deny Eddie Howe’s side a goal.

Leicester City ended a four-game losing streak but will have been disappointed after Even Ferguson’s 88th-minute goal earned Brighton a 2-2 draw.

Brighton had taken a 27th-minute lead through Kaoru Mitoma, but Leicester hit back with goals from Mark Albrighton in the 38th minute and a 63rd-minute effort from Hervey Barnes.

Jarrod Bowen scored twice to end West Ham’s seven-game winless run with a 2-0 win at home to fellow strugglers Everton, who remain second from bottom and with coach Frank Lampard more questioned than ever.

Ollie Watkins’ 77th-minute header gave Aston Villa a 1-0 win away to Southampton, who remain bottom of the table. The home side thought they had taken the lead through James Ward Prowse’s deflected effort, but it was ruled out by the VAR.

Sam Sturridge’s 83rd-minute goal denied former club Bournemouth a win at home to Nottingham Forest. Jaidon Anthony had given Bournemouth a 28th-minute lead, but Sturridge’s goal leaves Bournemouth in the bottom three.

Source(s): Xinhua

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Analysis: Bayern remains in unrest, Nagelsmann’s future depends on success against Paris

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by Oliver Trust

BERLIN, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) — Seven days ahead of the last-16 duel against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, Bayern Munich remains in a state of deep unrest.

The delicate statements of keeper Manuel Neuer create a decisive rift in the Bavarian side and in the club’s surroundings.

The 2014 world champion accused the club’s leaders of “brutal” actions when firing his favorite goalkeeper coach Toni Tapalovic.

Everything between the noisy departure of the currently injured 36-year-old German international and the dismissal of coach Julian Nagelsmann seems possible.

The outcome of the showdown against the French giant seems to play a vital role when it comes to predictions.

Not only that former Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel is mentioned as a possible Nagelsmann successor. Further involved parties such as chairman Oliver Kahn and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic seem exposed to great pressure.

An opinion battle of pundits and former Bayern players endangers the team’s efforts to concentrate on sportive issues.

THE COACH

Nagelsmann is mentioned as the initial point for the Tapalovic sacking while Neuer is sidelined due to a skiing injury.

Inside reports speak of a damaged relationship between the coach and the captain. The Bayern manager is said to need success against Paris to secure his future at the club.

While Nagelsmann called Neuer’s statements far from helpful considering the team is ahead of important games, the Bayern coach triggered indignation among rival Paris assuming the news of the injury loss of star striker Kylian Mbappe is a bluff.

The coach is said to have lost support in the locker room while he claims it’s on Neuer to put things back to normal. “My doors are open,” he said.

SALIHAMIDZIC/KAHN

The leaders face the allegation to disturb the team’s internal harmony and not consider players’ demands.

Both claim Neuer is putting personal issues above the club’s purposes. “We expected other reactions from him,” Salihamidzic said while Kahn announced “straight talking” with Neuer shortly.

Both are under fire after Nagelsmann failed to lead the team to calm waters despite the club having paid 25 million euros to secure his signing from Leipzig 18 months ago.

NEUER

The goalkeeper’s statements are considered a direct attack on Nagelsmann as the Bayern coach is said to have neglected the relationship with his team captain.

Reports speak of the coach consulting midfielder Joshua Kimmich instead of Neuer when discussing team issues.

TEAM DIVIDED

Several squad members expressed understanding for Neuer and revealed the team’s inner struggle.

Nagelsmann and the club leaders’ harsh comments on the free day trip of striker Serge Gnabry to a fashion fair in Paris between two league games have been taken by surprise by most players.

Source(s): Xinhua

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Premier League announces charges of breach of financial rules against Manchester City

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LONDON, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) — Premier League champions Manchester City have been charged by the Premier League with a series of breaches of the competition’s financial rules.

The Premier League issued a statement on Monday morning confirming it had “referred a number of alleged breaches of the Premier League Rules by Manchester City Football Club to a commission under Premier League Rule W.3.4.”

The Premier League explains the commission is “independent of the Premier League and member clubs” and that the members of the commission will be appointed by the independent chair of the Premier League judicial panel, in accordance with Premier League rules.

“The proceedings before the commission will, in accordance with Premier League rule W.82, be confidential and heard in private. Under Premier League rule W.82.2, the commission’s final award will be published on the Premier League’s website.”

“This confirmation is made in accordance with Premier League rule W.82.1. The Premier League will be making no further comment in respect of this matter until further notice,” reads the statement.

The charges are thought to come from an investigation which opened in March 2019 in relation to the seasons from 2009 to 2018. They relate to financial information, over the club’s income, payments to playing and coaching staff, profitability and financial sustainability.

Manchester City are currently second in the Premier League, five points behind Arsenal and it is so far uncertain what punishment they would face if found guilty, although it is possible they could have points taken away from them and face a heavy fine.

Source(s): Xinhua

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Lautaro’s header decides Milan Derby

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ROME, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) — Lautaro Martinez continued his scorching form with his header deciding the Derby della Madonnina on Sunday, as Inter Milan beat AC Milan 1-0 in Serie A.

The Nerazzurri lost the Milan Derby back in September but took revenge on their city rivals in the Supercoppa last month, while AC Milan were looking for a resounding response after a dismal run since the start of 2023.

Inter Milan had a relatively full squad to choose from, but AC Milan still had to do without Mike Maignan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Head coach Stefano Pioli made a tactical tweak to opt for a 3-5-2 system, as Rafael Leao was benched again. The Italian manager Roberto Mancini also presented on the stand for the showdown.

Hosts Inter pressed high from the start, trying to use their aggression and tempo to good effect as a couple of attempts from Lautaro threatened goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu.

The efforts paid off in the 34th minute as Hakan Calhanoglu’s corner found Lautaro, whose twisting header went beyond Tatarusanu.

Inter Milan kept creating havoc after the break, but AC Milan were poor in their attacking quality, they had the chance to level the scoring, but Olivier Giroud’s awful first touch fumbled a golden opportunity.

Romelu Lukaku came off the bench and found the net in the 83rd minute, but the goal was wiped out while Lautaro’s second was also canceled for offside.

With the win, Inter still rank second with 43 points, 13 points behind Napoli who staged a second-half show to crush Spezia 3-0, while the third consecutive defeat in the league dropped AC Milan to sixth place.

Also on Sunday, Torino edged Udinese 1-0, Fiorentina lost to Bologna 2-1 on home turf.

Source(s): Xinhua

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