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Manchester City run riot at Elland Road as Leeds United put to the sword in heavy 4-0 defeat | Player Ratings

Manchester City put themselves back in command of the Premier League table after Pep Guardiola’s outfit ended up running rampant at Elland Road to the tune of a 4-0 win against Leeds United this evening.

The pressure was on City to some extent after Liverpool laid the benchmark with a dominant win against Newcastle United on the road in the afternoon kick-off, but the holding league champions responded in a resounding fashion while earning officially going sixteen unbeaten away from home, setting a new club record.

Leeds fans can hold their heads high after the manner in which they supported the home side was brilliant throughout, speaking to the passion that the locals have for their beloved Whites, but the reality of the performance was far from acceptable and their remains a real threat that they could go back down to the Championship if Everton finds their voice in the final weeks of the season.

Leeds United Player Ratings

Meslier (5.5) – Normally you can excuse the keeper for surrendering three against City, but two set-piece goals from City is inexcusable and smacks of poor organization.

Stuart Dallas (6) – A competitive outing from Dallas even if he was not entirely effective. Sadly taken off before half-time with what looks to be a season-ending injury.

Luke Ayling (5.5) – Tasked with a tough role on the right side of the back three against City, Ayling failed to meet the challenge. Not his best day.

Robin Koch (6) – The former SC Freiburg standout defender was okay today, but still a long way off from the player that was courted by much bigger fish last summer.

Pascal Struijk (6) – Halfway decent on the day from Struijk, though should Leeds remain up, upgrading on him may become a viable decision to make.

Junior Firpo (5.5) – Firpo has struggled mightily to adapt to life at Leeds. Today was another example of that, which was rounded off by an early booking.

Raphinha (6.5) – A hard performance to gauge by the gifted Brazilian, Once unleashed from temporarily slotting into right-back, he was much more effective.

Kalvin Phillips (6) – Largely overrun in midfield, trying to lock down the center of the park against City’s trio is never easy. Not his best day but not awful.

Mateusz Klich (6) – Not expected to start today but pressed into service after Liam Cooper was injured in warm-ups, Klich was okay throughout but also off the boil.

Jack Harrison (6) – Lively from the winger and had one or two moments where he was influential but he remains in a down period this season like most of the Leeds team.

Rodrigo (5) – Not good enough from the Spanish striker who failed to manage any influential moments. Leeds truly misses Patrick Bamford.

Dan James (6) – A slightly better day for Dan James in the final third after coming on just before half time but not even his pace could break the goal plain.

Joe Gelhardt (6) – Nearly scored a consolation goal for Leeds in the second half but the youngster put in a pretty decent shift. His potential is clear.

Sam Greenwood (N/A) – Only given seven minutes before stoppage to influence matters and really did not have enough time to influence proceedings considerably.

Manchester City Player Ratings

Ederson (7) – Typical performance from Ederson who made a handful of big saves in the latter stages to keep Leeds from securing a consolation goal.

João Cancelo (8) – Struggled in phases in the first half when Leeds pressed incredibly well, but once he settled, he was his usual reliable self.

Rúben Dias (8) – Bagged an assist or Aké’s goal and was his usual monstrous self at the back in a very good display which included a key block against Raphinha.

Aymeric Laporte (7) – A good day at the office for Laporte who was reliable when his number was called in defense.

Nathan Aké (7.5) – Very solid from the Dutch international defender, who slotted home City’s second goal of the evening in the second half to round off a good display.

Rodri (8.5) – Another fantastic display in the middle of the park from the Spanish midfielder. Hard to argue against him being the best holding player in Europe.

Ilkay Gündogan (7) – Good overall. The German midfielder remains as consistent as ever under Pep Guardiola and the same can be said today.

Raheem Sterling (8) – Unlucky not to take something away from the match on a personal level but Raheem Sterling was City’s best player for much of the match.

Phil Foden (8) – A brace of assists tonight for England starlet Phil Foden operating behind Gabriel Jesus in the ten role. Struggled in small patches but overall he was good.

Jack Grealish (7) – It was a good performance from Grealish who may feel as though he should have won a penalty and probably deserved a goal or an assist on the day.

Gabriel Jesus (8) – Gabriel Jesus cannot stop scoring at the minute for City. He was good once again, and his desire to leave the club may come back to haunt them.

Oleksandr Zinchenko (6) – Nothing more than okay when coming off the bench to replace Nathan Aké, who potentially picked up a knock in the first half.

Bernardo Silva (6) – More about getting some miles into his legs than expecting him to put in a good performance. Decent enough from the Portuguese.

Fernandino (7) – Came off the bench to replace Rodri and delivered a well-struck goal from just outside the box for City’s four. A good substitute offering.

What the experts said

What the fans said

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Key central defender Liam Cooper was injured in the warm-up before Leeds United took the pitch at Elland Road against Manchester City in what was a big blow for Jesse Marsch’s outfit who remain in the fight for Premier League safety.

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The Premier League table as it stands

# Team MP W D L F A D P
1 Liverpool FC 34 25 7 2 86 22 64 82
2 Manchester City 33 25 5 3 80 21 59 80
3 Chelsea FC 33 19 9 5 68 28 40 66
4 Arsenal FC 33 19 3 11 52 40 12 60
5 Tottenham Hotspur 33 18 4 11 56 38 18 58
6 Manchester United 35 15 10 10 54 52 2 55
7 West Ham United 34 15 7 12 52 44 8 52
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 33 15 4 14 33 29 4 49
9 Newcastle United 35 11 10 14 40 56 -16 43
10 Leicester City 32 11 9 12 47 51 -4 42
11 Brighton & Hove Albion 34 9 14 11 31 42 -11 41
12 Brentford FC 34 11 7 16 41 49 -8 40
13 Southampton FC 34 9 13 12 40 56 -16 40
14 Crystal Palace 33 8 14 11 43 41 2 38
15 Aston Villa 32 11 4 17 42 46 -4 37
16 Leeds United 33 8 10 15 38 68 -30 34
17 Burnley FC 33 6 13 14 29 45 -16 31
18 Everton FC 32 8 5 19 34 55 -21 29
19 Watford FC 33 6 4 23 31 67 -36 22
20 Norwich City 33 5 6 22 22 69 -47 21

Last updated: 1 min ago

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16:30, Saturday 30 April 2022

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Barcelona set sights on Bayern Munich’s Serge Gnabry




Barcelona turn attentions to 2nd Bayern Munich star ahead of summer


Word stemming from the Spanish media on Friday suggests that Barcelona are expressing a keen interest in a 2nd member of the attacking ranks of Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

The player in question? Serge Gnabry.

As per a report from the reliable Cat Radio, Xavi Hernandez and co. have identified Gnabry as a prime target to reinforce the club’s frontline with a view to the 2022/23 campaign.

This comes with the German international potentially set to be available at a cut price, having refused to put pen to paper on fresh terms ahead of the expiration of his contract in Bavaria in 12 months’ time.

Even more likely, though, is the possibility of Gnabry landing at the Camp Nou as a free agent in the summer of 2023.

Barcelona turn attentions to 2nd Bayern Munich star ahead of summer

MUNICH, GERMANY – MARCH 05: Serge Gnabry is challenged by Jeremie Frimpong during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern München and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Allianz Arena on March 05, 2022 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

The former Arsenal star’s future is understood to be linked with that of Ousmane Dembele, with moves for both Gnabry and Leeds United star Raphinha on the cards in the case that the Frenchman opts to move on next month.

Barca directors Mateu Alemany and Jordi Cruyff, in turn, are understood to have made contact with the representatives of the Bayern winger, to obtain a better understanding of the likelihood of a deal being struck.

Lewa eyed

Word of Barcelona’s potential swoop for Gnabry of course comes with the Catalan giants also widely reported to be lining up a deal for another key member of Julian Nagelsmann’s Bayern Munich squad, in the form of Robert Lewandowski.

With ‘Lewa’ himself having made clear his intention to seek pastures new this summer, the board at the Camp Nou have positioned themselves front and centre to take advantage of the situation.

And such endeavours could well be primed to bear imminent fruit, amid suggestions in Spain this week that Pini Zahavi, the Pole’s agent, paid a visit to Barca’s official store, to purchase no fewer than ten jerseys, all with Lewandowski’s name emblazoned across the back.


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Major concern for Fulham as Solomon deal ‘on verge of collapse’




Major concern for Fulham as Solomon deal ‘on verge of collapse’


Concern is no doubt spreading at Premier League-bound Fulham on Friday, amid claims that the club’s deal for Manor Solomon is primed to come up short at the last.

For those not aware, it had long been viewed as a formality that gifted attacker Solomon was primed for a summer switch to Craven Cottage.

This 22-year-old is understood to have been identified as the ideal replacement for the outbound Fabio Carvalho, set to take his talents to Anfield with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool ahead of the new season.

On the back of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Fulham, in turn, quickly swooped to strike what was understood to be a deal worth around £7 million with Shakhtar Donetsk.

Multiple outlets went as far as to state that the transfer was therefore as good as done, with the Cottagers set to add proven attacking quality to their ranks ahead of a season back in the top-flight of English football.

Major concern for Fulham as Solomon deal ‘on verge of collapse’

MADRID, SPAIN – NOVEMBER 03: Manor Solomon looks on during the UEFA Champions League group D match between Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on November 03, 2021 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

As alluded to above, though, if the latest word doing the rounds online on Friday evening is anything to go by, then Marco Silva and co, in fact, look set for something of a blow when it comes to their plans moving forward.

This comes amid mounting claims that the club’s deal for Solomon is on the verge of collapse.

As per transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, ‘serious issues’ have arisen at the last, with rival clubs, in turn, have reemerged in the race for the Israeli international’s signature.


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Five memorable final day moments in the history of the Premier League




The five most memorable final day moments in the Premier League

Sergio Agüero secures final day league win

Perhaps the one that almost everyone remembers where they were or what they were doing in this iconic moment in time, but Sergio Agüero’s dramatic winner in stoppage time against Queens Park Rangers to lift Manchester City to Premier League champion on the final day over city rivals Manchester United is one that will never be forgotten.

Little did many know that the diminutive Argentine international would go on his way to become one of the greatest forwards in the history of the Premier League, but that moment already cemented his place in club lore for all time irrespective of how his career would have panned out. One hundred and eighty-four goals later, no goal was as important as this one.

The final match at Highbury

Arsenal and Highbury was a love affair that lasted 93-years and witnessed countless iconic moments in the club’s illustrious history. The decision to leave the ground for new pastures with the development of the Emirates Stadium is one that is still contentious for many to this day, partly because the club has not garnered the success in their new home that they managed to grab with both hands at the old stomping ground, which is now an estate of luxury apartments.

But that final day at Highbury was special, and the Gunners could not have bid farewell in better fashion than a 4-2 win over Wigan Athletic that saw them leapfrog bitter rivals Spurs into fourth and secure Champions League football the following season. Three points, and a Thierry Henry hattrick all the while sticking it to Tottenham? No Arsenal fan could have hoped for a better send-off.

Sir Alex Ferguson says goodbye to football

Arguably the keystone embodiment of the Premier League era in England, legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is a titan of football both at home and abroad and is at the very heart of so many iconic moments in the top flight of English football. Saying goodbye to him was something that many Red Devils will lament now more than ever considering the doldrums the club currently finds itself in.

The five most memorable final day moments in the Premier League

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – MAY 12: Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson embraces Rio Ferdinand following the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford on May 12, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

After 1,500 matches in charge, and another league win under his belt in his final season, the 5-5 draw against West Brom after the Baggies scored three times in the closing minutes of the match at Old Trafford was not the send-off that the club – or its fans – would have hoped for, but the day SAF finally hung up his whistle will certainly forever be remembered.

Tottenham miss out on the Champions League

If you are a Tottenham supporter, so much of your football calendar year on year comes down to one simple discussion; will they finish ahead of bitter rivals Arsenal in the Premier League. For most of the current era – and eras before, if we are honest – Spurs have been well behind their north London rivals. Though recent history suggests Tottenham could be in the ascendancy more so than the Gunners, one painful reminder in years past of the gap between the two clubs came on the final day of the 2003 Premier League season when Spurs lost to West Ham on the final day amid a rampant food poisoning bug that ripped through the first-team.

In such bizarre fashion, Martin Jol’s men would drop all three points to the Hammers, and Arsenal’s win over Wigan would subject Tottenham fans to another season behind their rivals while missing out on Champions League football.

West Brom’s great escape

The final day of any league around the world would not be complete without a great escape and avoidance of relegation. The heartbreak of dropping down a football ladder is so often the greatest fear of many supporters, but in 2005, West Bromwich perpetrated arguably the greatest reversal of fortunes in the history of English football when the Baggies secured a 2-0 win against Portsmouth but were made to wait for other results around the league to know if they were safe for another season.

In the end, those results did transpire when Southampton was dropped by Manchester United, Norwich lost to Fulham, and Charlton Athletic secured a draw against Crystal Palace. Despite being bottom of the table at Christmas and all but guaranteed to not live to fight another day, West Brom had other ideas but had many to thank all the same.

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