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Guardiola Tries To Defend Bravo

bravo-mcfcPep Guardiola defended his tactics and team selection after his Barcelona homecoming ended in a nightmare 4-0 thrashing for Manchester City.

The City manager’s decision to leave out Sergio Aguero backfired while Claudio Bravo, the goalkeeper in whom he has invested much trust, was also sent off in a Champions League mauling at the Nou Camp.

Lionel Messi took full advantage to help himself to a hat-trick while Neymar, who also missed a penalty, added the fourth goal late on.

Asked if the defeat was his worst in football, Guardiola said:

Arsenal Show Class In Champions League Romp

ozil-goalArsene Wenger insists Arsenal’s confidence has helped his side overcome the psychological struggles from previous seasons after they thrashed Ludogorets 6-0 in the Champions League.

Mesut Ozil stole the show with a second-half hat-trick after Alexis Sanchez and in-form Theo Walcott put Arsenal 2-0 up.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also got on the scoresheet as the Gunners stretched their unbeaten run to 11 games in all competitions, now with seven straight wins.

As one-sided as the scoreline was, Arsenal were put under pressure during the first half and after edging past Swansea last weekend, Wenger believes his current crop of players are better equipped to deal with tricky spells in the Premier League and Champions League than previous years.

Klopp: We Lost Patience Too Early

sad-kloppJürgen Klopp felt Liverpool were guilty of ‘losing patience’ too early when in possession and trying to break down Manchester United at Anfield on as the teams played out a goalless draw on Monday night.

The Reds saw much more of the ball than their opponents, but were not able to recreate the kind of forward play that has seen them plunder 26 goals already so far this season.

Nevertheless, only two excellent David de Gea saves in the second half from firstly Emre Can and then Philippe Coutinho prevented the hosts from taking all three points in a hard-fought contest.

Mourinho: We Controlled Anfield Emotion

mourinho-mufc1Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho seemed pleased after his side’s goalless draw against Liverpool in the Premier League on Monday night. Below are the key points from his first post-match interview…


“I think it was a very difficult game for us and for them, but I think it was more difficult for them than for us. We kept control of the game for long periods. In the second half David had two great saves that were isolated from the context. But the game was completely under control, not just from a tactical point of view but also an emotional point of view. We influenced the atmosphere in the stadium.”

alex-oxlade-chamberlainAlex Oxlade-Chamberlain has admitted he might have to reconsider his Arsenal future in a bid to play first-team football.

The England international has failed to play more than 30 games in the Premier League in any of his five full seasons at the Emirates. While he has featured six times in the league this season, half of those appearances have come from the bench.

Oxlade-Chamberlain was linked with a move to other Premier League sides in the summer, but decided to stay with Arsenal. However, he revealed that he would have to evaluate his situation at the club next summer and consider a switch elsewhere.

liverpoolvmufcThe last time that Jose Mourinho faced Jurgen Klopp, in Liverpool’s 3-1 win at Chelsea last October, he grew increasingly agitated with the Liverpool manager’s movement around the technical area, to the point he mentioned it as an aside his press conference afterwards.

You could understand the Portuguese being a bit sick of the sight of Klopp, because it seems that he only sees him at the toughest times of his career. Trace the thread of their five hugely consequential meetings.

diego-costa-newestChelsea boss Antonio Conte ignored Diego Costa’s request to be substituted against Leicester before telling the striker he is needed for the team.

Costa scored his seventh Premier League goal of the season as Chelsea beat champions Leicester 3-0 at Stamford Bridge.

The Spain striker is one yellow card away from suspension and appeared to call for his own withdrawal midway through the second half. Had he been booked he would have missed next Sunday’s reunion with Jose Mourinho, when Manchester United visit.

Conte insisted it was his choice alone not to take off Costa and downplayed suggestions the striker was feeling his troublesome hamstrings.

Arsenal Will Not Appeal Xhaka Red Card

arsene-wenger-afcArsene Wenger says Arsenal will not be appealing against Granit Xhaka’s red card in their 3-2 victory over Swansea.

The 24-year-old was dismissed after 70 minutes for a challenge on Modou Barrow but despite classing the decision as “a little harsh”, Wenger will not be challenging the decision made by referee Jon Moss.

Wenger said: “No (we will not appeal the decision). It looked harsh to me but it was a deliberate foul.

“It looked a ‘dark yellow’ but the referee went for bright red.”

When asked if he had spoken to Xhaka about discipline, Wenger replied:

john-terry-league-cupAntonio Conte dropped a firm hint that he plans to continue with a back-three after finally securing a clean sheet with the system at Hull.

It casts doubt over John Terry’s chances of return to the team against Leicester at Stamford Bridge after an ankle injury.

Conte confirmed Terry was fit for selection after completing normal training this week and stressed his desire for ‘English spirit’ at the back.

But the Chelsea captain has not played for more than a month and appears to be fighting for one of three places with David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta.

Wenger-SignArsene Wenger has compared the negativity directed towards him from sections of Arsenal’s support to a virus.

The Frenchman felt that most keenly when Arsenal hosted Swansea at the Emirates in March. Playing against a severely weakened side, the atmosphere turned toxic when the Welsh club equalised and it only worsened when Ashley Williams struck a 74th-minute winner to leave Arsenal’s fans sick to the stomach and their title hopes virtually dead.

‘I must say that the negativity comes very quickly — it is a virus that travels very quickly and goes very slowly,’ Wenger said, looking back on that day.