PEP’S MEN MAKE IT SWEET SIXTEEN IN WIN OVER SPURS

Manchester_City_FC_badge.svg   Manchester City        4     Gundogan 14′, De Bruyne 70′, Sterling 80′, 90′
580b57fcd9996e24bc43c4ee   Tottenham Hotspur   1     Eriksen 93′

Another stunning performance by Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side saw his side move 14 points clear at the top of the Premier League standings with a 4-1 victory over Spurs at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening, but that lead could be back down to 11 points should their cross-city rivals United beat West Brom in their Sunday lunchtime game.

City, was without their star man from midweek in David Silva, as the Spanish wizard was absent for personal reasons and saw Ilkay Gundogan coming into the side. For the visitors, they welcomed back England International Dele Alli to their line-up, as the North London side aimed to become the first side in the league this season to beat the runaway leaders at current.

The home side went ahead thanks to a stooping header by Ilkay Gundogan on 14 minutes, as the midfielder was left all alone to head home from a Leroy Sane corner and have an inquest between the Tottenham players on just how he was left open and who was marking the City man.

Kevin De Bruyne then picked out Sergio Aguero out on the left side and had the Argentine running into the visitor’s penalty area and firing a shot on goal, but his effort was palmed away by Hugo Lloris in the Tottenham goal and saw Raheem Sterling picking up the rebound and then blazing over the bar.

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City celebrate fourth goal – PIC: BBC Sports

Tottenham struggled to create much that resembled a meaningful attack for much of the first half, but when they did it came from an effort by Harry Kane as the England man tried to curl his shot in at the far corner and saw Ederson beaten all ends up, but thankfully for him and the home side it went past the post.

Minutes later it saw the visitors threatening again, as this time the home side needed to be alert at the back after Danny Rose put a little ball in behind the City back line and saw Ederson reading the danger immediately and had the keeper running off his the line to gather it up. In the dying moment of the half, it saw Ilkay Gundogan then trying his luck from long-range and had Lloris able to make a comfortable save.

The second half saw the visitors lucky to have eleven men still on the pitch after Harry Kane made a poor challenge on Raheem Sterling that was late and forceful and potential to be a leg breaker on his England teammate. The Tottenham man was shown a yellow card for the ‘challenge’ and then soon after saw his fiercely struck shot being saved Ederson, as the Portuguese keeper got a strong hand to push it out of play for a corner.

City’s Belgian wizard in Kevin De Bruyne saw weaving more magic, as his attempted ball for Gabriel Jesus was just slightly taken off course by Eric Dier in the Tottenham defence, as the touch just did enough to put off the Brazilian striker at the last minute.

The home side, could and should have made it 2-0 on 66 minutes, when Leroy Sane picked the ball up on the wing and then made a trademark cut-in from the left and saw the German shooting on goal inside the Spurs penalty box and was denied by the outstretched left hand of Lloris and saw Sterling yet again failing to put in the rebound.

Dele Alli then escaped a clear red card after an awful over the ball tackle on Kevin De Bruyne, and on another day the Spurs and England man would have been heading for an early shower. As it was, he stayed on the pitch but it would be De Bruyne who would have the last laugh, as the Belgian ran took a pass and then a fired into the net through the keeper and past the attempts of Lloris who got a hand to it, but couldn’t keep it out.

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Kevin De Bruyne makes it 2-0 – PIC: DailyMail

In the 75th minute, it saw City awarded a penalty after De Bruyne was brought down inside the area by Jan Vertongen and saw Gabriel Jesus being given the responsibility for the spot kick, but the Brazilian saw his penalty coming back off the woodwork into the five yard area and see Sterling putting over with the rebound.

The hosts had Spurs on the back foot with a quick break up field, as Ilkay Gundogan played another nice ball, this time for Leroy Sane, and the German set up Raheem Sterling at the far post after Hugo Lloris had come off his line and made it a simple tap in for 3-0 and gave the home side an extra cushion.

Substitute Bernardo Silva then nearly put City four-nil up on 85 minutes, when another inch-perfect pass by Kevin De Bruyne picked out the Portuguese midfielder on the far side and saw Silva having his effort tipped onto the post by the Spurs keeper. Sterling then had a chance to score his second of the game with a rising shot that needed Hugo Lloris to just tip over the bar, but also saw the other side of the Tottenham keeper minutes later.

Following his fingertip save moments before, the French keeper for Tottenham then made a poor error that was capitalised on by Raheem Sterling as he made it 4-0 when a ball forward by Bernardo Silva got the smallest of touches by Eric Dier as last man and saw Sterling allow it go through the leg of the oncoming Lloris, and have the City man rolling the ball into an open net to just salt into the wounds.

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Raheem Sterling lets the ball run on before making it 4-0 – PIC: Reuters

There wasn’t too much that the Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino could do and just saw the Argentine boss stood arms folded and watch on as his side was picked apart in the second half of play.

The visitors had the final say in the match, as a Fernandinho clearance seemed to strike the hand of Christian Eriksen but the Danish midfielder ran at the City defenders and then shot across the are with a low drive that was out of reach for Ederson and gave the visitors a late consolation goal.

When the full-time whistle came, it had Pep Guardiola’s men making it 16 league games unbeaten this season and also 21 home games without defeat since Chelsea last beat them at the Etihad Stadium coming back in early December of 2016.

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MASTERFUL CITY OUTCLASS THE SWANS

fbad6-logo_swansea_city  Swansea City  0 – 4  Manchester City  Manchester_City_FC_badge.svg

Manchester City became record breakers for the second time inside a week, as after Pep Guardiola side beat neighbours Manchester United on Sunday to record the best start to any Premier League season, it then saw City smashing record for the most consecutive wins – as they beat Swansea City 4-0 at the Liberty Stadium to record their 15th straight Premier League victory and surpass the previous record set by the ‘Invincibles’ side of Arsenal back 2002.

Following the Derby Day win, it saw all the post-match talk about what happened in the tunnel afterwards; as reports of players brawling, Managers getting soaked with milk and music being too loud for Jose Mourinho’s taste. Wednesday night though saw Manchester City playing all the right notes and were led by their conductor on the pitch, in David Silva.

The Spanish maestro played the home side like a fiddle in the contest, with Silva scoring a brace and had further strikes by Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero in the dominating win. It saw the home side left to chase shadows for the majority of the time as Pep Guardiola’s men put in a classy performance down on a chilly South Wales evening.

City started the contest and they meant to go on and had Sergio Aguero showings signs of his old self again, with the Argentine striker running at the Swansea defence early on and hitting his effort into the side-netting, but that sent the warning signs to the home side almost immediately.

Fernandinho then struck a perfect volley from the edge of the box that brought out a great save from Lukasz Fabianski in the Swansea goal, as the Polish keeper got down really well to make the save. Jordan Ayew then had the home sides’ first shot on target after ten minutes of play gone in the game, as Ayew fended off a challenge from Nicolas Otemendi to then fire a low driven shot that saw Ederson more than equal to it.

The leaders had found themselves behind the Swansea defence on numerous occasions in the half and just couldn’t turn their shots into goals and despite the efforts of Argentine duo Sergio Aguero and Nicolas Otemendi, both failed to get on the board. Eventually, Pep Guardiola’s men opened the scoring through David Silva with the Spaniard flicking the ball on at the front of the net, as his namesake Bernando Silva put in the cross to help put the visitors one up on 27 minutes.

In the 34th minute, it was 2-0, as Kevin De Bruyne saw his fizzed in free-kick bouncing past the keeper and into the far post to put City in firm control and have the home side looking a beaten side already. Danilo then had a rare effort on goal for the visitors, as the Brazilan defender saw his long-range pop held onto by Lukasz Fabianski and saw only one side in the game.

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David Silva and his City teammates celebrate a goal  PIC- Skysports.

A minute into the second half, it saw another chance go begging for City as some good build-up play saw the Silva’s linking up once again and should have been 3-0, as Bernando played in David, and the midfielder somehow managed to miss the target with his curled shot.

 

Swansea was struggling to repel the Manchester City attacks on their goal and saw another chance heading their way, as Bernando Silva played a little ball to Sergio Aguero whose low shot across goal was saved by Fabianski and almost had the ball coming straight out to the sliding David Silva for a rebound, but the home side was let off the hook.

The visitor’s sublime football has saw them getting praise heaped upon them and saw City netting their third goal on 51 minutes, when Raheem Sterling played a ball into the path of David Silva and the City midfielder just delicately lifted his shot over the keeper and into the back of the net for 3-0 and leave the home side in disarray.

Sterling, then saw his volley on goal being stopped by the Swansea keeper but the flag was already up for offside and wouldn’t have counted anyhow. Aguero then showed his attacking threat again for the away side, as this time he shot just inches past the far post and have the striker looking like his old self again.

Ederson then made a brilliant save to keep the home side out in the 63rd minute of play when a Roque Masa shot had taken a deflection off Fabian Delph and that saw the keeper having to quickly adjust his feet to make a diving save and push the ball away. Sergio Aguero then made it 4-0 for the rampant leaders, and have the club’s record goalscorer taking his tally for the season to ten after a powerful run into the penalty area and fire his shot into the far bottom corner for a tidy finish.

Victory for the Blues meant that they retained their 11-point lead at the top of the table and sees them now facing Spurs on Saturday night in what will be another tough game for City, as the Blues face 3 games inside a week before Christmas arrives.

CITY EXTENDS GAP & BREAK LEAGUE RECORD IN DERBY WIN

94b93-manchester_united_fc_crest-svg  Manchester Utd  1 – 2  Manchester City  Manchester_City_FC_badge.svg.png

 

The Blue side of Manchester took the honours in the 175th Manchester Derby as Pep Guardiolas’ Manchester City side opened up an 11-point gap from nearest rivals United at the top of the Premier League table – as City beat their neighbours 2-1 and set a new English top-flight record in the process with 14 straight league wins to break the record.

It saw the league leaders looking strong from the outset and had Raheem Sterling having the first shot on goal in the match after a neat one-two between himself and Gabriel Jesus, saw the England man firing a scuffed shot at David De Gea in the United goal.

A couple of minutes later it saw the visitors going close once more, when the Brazilian connection of Fernandinho and Gabriel Jesus saw the central midfielder playing a quick ball upfield to Jesus and the striker twisted and turned his way into the United penalty area and had the defenders turned inside out, but his finishing lack quality.

City, then had another chance go begging on 41 minutes gone on the clock, when a Fabian Delph ball was put back into the area and saw Ashley Young missing with a header and had Leroy Sane controlling the ball and then firing his shot toward goal, and needed an important save by the United keeper to stop the away side from going in front.

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David Silva opening the scoring – GettyImage

From the resulting corner, it saw the visitors breaking the deadlock through a David Silva goal as Kevin De Bruyne’s out-swinging corner was knocked goalwards by Nicolas Otamendi and saw the ball coming towards the Spanish International and the player nicknamed ‘Merlin’ by City fans put the away side a goal up.

United, who had failed to get into the contest during the opening forty-five minutes of the play, then saw them getting their foot in the door from a mistake by Fabian Delph in which the defender had a lapse of concentration – which in course gave the home side a chance and have Marcus Rashford punishing the visitors to make it 1-1 deep inside first-half stoppage time.

At halftime, it saw Pep Guardiola being forced into a defensive shuffle after losing his captain Vincent Kompany to an injury and saw Ilkay Gundogan coming on to replace the City skipper for the second half. It saw the game a bit more even with the home side looking to come forward a bit more than they had been doing, but City was still on top in the game.

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Marcus Rashford netting equaliser – Pic: Sky Sports

The visitors restored their lead from a fortuitous goal by defender Nicolas Otamendi, as once again it came from a set-piece by Kevin De Bruyne and in truth the delivery from the Belgian maestro wasn’t the best, but a woeful clearance by Romelu Lukaku at the back post saw the ball hitting his teammate and coming straight to Otadmendi and the Argentine put City 2-1 in front and had the away fans in the corner going delirious.

Marcus Rashford saw his free kick for the home side just going over the bar from the England youngster, as United looked to find a way back on level terms but the leaders gave nothing away. City then created another good chance that came their way, after Fernandinho and Leroy Sane both combined to see Kevin De Bruyne running at the United back line and saw them standing off before forcing David De Gea into a save, as the Spanish keeper just managed to get a hand on it.

Fabian Delph was almost caught out for a second time in the game, after a Nemanja Matic ball went towards the City man and saw the England International failing to deal with it and that in turn let in Rashford again, but his strike on goal brought a good save down low from Ederson to deny the striker his second of the match.

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City celebrating victory at Old Trafford – Pic: BBC Sports

In a week where the pre-match build up was full of soundbites from Manchester United Manager Jose Mourinho, in which he labelled his rivals ‘divers’ – so it was somehow ironic that the home side should have a player booked for diving themselves. City’s Nicolas Otamendi had lost control of the ball in his own area saw and then saw Ander Herrera going over theatrically in the penalty box and claiming a penalty, but instead, he was shown a yellow card and the replays showed it was the right decision.

On 82 minutes, it saw without a doubt the best chance falling the way or United late on as a double-save from Ederson foiled the home side from levelling, after a low driven ball across the face of goal saw Lukaku hitting his shot into the face of the City keeper and then had the Portuguese goalie quickly up to make a brilliant save from Juan Mata and deny them a second.

Deep into injury time, it saw Bernando Silva with a great chance of making it 3-1, but the midfielder managed to overrun the ball too much and see his shot being easily stopped by De Gea. The derby victory for the Blues now sees City moving into a very strong position in the league standings already – but no one that follows the Blue Moon will be counting their chickens just yet.

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DEVILS GAIN REVENGE IN OVERTIME

PrimaryStorm2015Logo-1Manchester Storm  3 – 4 OT Cardiff Devils  130px-Cardiff_Devils_logo.svg

An overtime goal by Sean Bentivoglio helped the Cardiff Devils to gain a small measure of revenge against their opponents the Manchester Storm on Saturday night, as the Devils who had lost 6-1 to the Storm in their previous encounter, saw the visitors taking a 4-3 win in Altrincham to condemn the home side to defeat.

Manchester dominated play for the first half of the opening period, as the Storm put Cardiff under a lot of pressure and saw Ben Bowns in the Devils goal needing to be alert from the off to keep the home side out. Tyson Strachan of the Devils earned himself a spell in the penalty box after he received a two-plus-ten minute call after checking Linden Springer from behind and that saw the home side none too happy with the hit. 

The home side opened the scoring through Dane Byers, as a break down the right wing saw Luke Moffatt playing a beautiful spinning no-look pass back across the face of goal for Byers to get on the end off and slot home for 1-0. Manchester then allowed their emotions to get the better of them, as Dallas Ehrhardt picked up his second roughing call in as many minutes to give the visitors a power play and they cashed in

Gleason Fournier netted his first of two goals in the period, with his first timed at 16:39, as his shot ripped through traffic and into the back of the net for 1-1 and then with Linden Springer sitting for a slashing penalty, it saw Fournier on target again at 19:17 to put the Devils 2-1 ahead and was mostly all the visitors for the second half of the period.

Play in the second period saw the game becoming a bit scrappy at times, as well as slightly bad-tempered, but it wasn’t helped with some poor officiating for both sides by referee Tom Pering who had a poor game. Penalties were given equally, as both teams seemed to automatically have a man in the box if an opposing player was called and seemed for parts of the second period that it was more like a game of 4 on 4. 

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Paul Swindlehurst and Dane Byers celebrate a goal Pic: All Sport Photography

After a scoreless second period, it saw Paul Swindhurst tying the game up in the third for 2-2 at 44.48 after play between Matt Beca and Scott Pitt saw the movement of the Great Britain defenseman at the back gate and he was on hand to slam home. Storm nearly got caught out on an expired power play for them, when Cardiff’s Matt Pope stepped back onto the ice and was fed a pass up the middle to which Linden Springer brought the Devils man down and saw a penalty shot awarded.

Thankfully though for the Storm, they failed to score with Mike Clemente denying the Cardiff shooter from retaking the lead. From there on, it saw the home side playing a lot better and getting into some decent positions and pressuring the visiting side.

Cardiff looked to have sealed the game with 2:23 left to play in the period, after the Storm had plenty of chances to clear out of their zone, but the Devils kept the pressure on and had Andrew Hotham firing a low shot that came off the skate of Manchester defenceman Ryan Trenz and ending up in the back of the net.

With the Devils leading 3-2 inside the final thirty-second of the contest, it saw the home side pulling their goalie for the extra attacker and saw Luke Moffatt looking to find a way through and have his shot saved but have the rebound falling near the line and see Dane Byers quick off the mark to tap in and set off a wall of noise for a tied game with 19: seconds left to play.

Overtime saw neither side really getting any clear-cut chances falling their way with more ice at each sides disposal, and was a pretty cautious approach by both teams. The game reached its conclusion at 62:19 when an ill-advised line-change by the Storm, saw Luke Moffatt always struggling to close down Sean Bentivoglio in time and, the Cardiff man scored the game-winning goal which came from another no-look spin pass that was very much like Moffatt’s on the first hosts’ goal.

It saw a second straight league defeat for the Storm now, and that has begun to see a decline in fortunes for the Altrincham based side over recent games and has led to the side slipping down the table from the top spot, to now fifth in the Elite League standings. Next up for Ryan Finnerty’s side is a road game at conference rivals Coventry Blaze on Sunday night, as Manchester could do with starting to pick up points on the road at their rivals.

CITY WOMEN QUALIFY FOR QUARTERS FINALS

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Manchester City Women  2 – 0 Birmingham City Ladies

Manchester City Women booked their place in the quarter-finals of the WSL Cup with a comfortable 2-0 home win over Women’s Super League side Birmingham City Ladies at the Academy Stadium on Sunday afternoon, thanks to first-half goals by Nikita Parris and Claire Emslie as the holders topped the group with a game to play.

The home side was given a boost ahead of the clash with Birmingham, as Manchester City boss Nick Cushing put pen to paper on a new three-year deal that sees him staying at the club till at least 2020. It also saw him forced into a defensive change with Demi Stokes ruled out of the game with a knock that she picked up during England duty, and so youngster Esme Morgan came into the lineup for her debut in the Continental Cup.

After a quiet opening quarter of an hour to the game, in which the game was played mostly in the middle of the park and saw both goalkeepers being spectators. In the 18th minute, it finally saw the deadlock being broken thanks to a goal by Nikita Parri as a through-ball by Jane Ross saw the striker taking a slightly heavier touch than she wanted, but it caused hesitation from Birmingham’s Hannah Hampton in goal and that hesitation allowed the England International to lift her shot over the keeper to put the hosts in front.

Jess Carter had the first opportunity for the away side in the 23rd minute of play, as the defender tried a 25-yard shot from distance and had Karen Bardsley in the City goal more than able to deal with it. City’s Jill Scott then worked herself into space, before she unleashed a low drive that had Hampton beaten all ends up, but saw the ball bouncing inches past the far post and almost making it two.

City was looking comfortable at 1-0 without really getting out of first gear and that saw the home side doubling their lead in the 36th minute of play, when a fantastic ball was put into the area by Esme Morgan – and the ball evaded everyone but the incoming Claire Emslie on the back post, and the Scottish International made it 2-0 with a neat finish.

Emslie could have doubled her tally minutes later when a ball came out towards the midfield dynamo, and the Scot’s fiercely struck shot half-volley ended up hitting the side-netting. Birmingham had the last attack of the half with a Charlie Wellings shot on goal, but the forward shot straight at the keeper and have the home side going into the half-time break 2-0 up to the good.

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Claire Emslie makes it two for City – PIC: ManCity.com

In the second half, it saw a pretty quiet forty-five minutes and didn’t see much in the way of goalmouth action compared to the first half. Birmingham has over the last couple of years been a tough nut to crack for the treble-winners, as the hosts were forced to battle hard in which to beat the Blues in the league earlier in the season.

The Solihull-based side created a couple of half-chances from long range, as firstly Rachel Williams saw her shot going wide before Paige Williams had her effort well saved by Karen Bardsley.

Birmingham’s Emily Westwood then suffered an injury for the visitors, when a strong tackle against her by Claire Emslie forced the defender to be helped off down the tunnel and replaced by Kerys Harrop. Izzy Christiansen went close with a header from a corner, as the former Blues player saw her effort scrambled off the goal line and have the visitors clearing their lines.

Yet again for the away side, it saw both Williams testing the City keeper from distance and saw Birmingham the better side in the final quarter of the game. Jane Ross in what turned out to be her last action of the game, saw the Scottish striker putting her header just wide of the target and was subbed for youngster Ella Toone.

Meanwhile, the visitors went close with a Lucy Quinn shot that brought a good save out of Karen Bardsley and soon after it saw an Emma Follis cross into the box almost being turned in by Hayley Ladd, but her shot was turned around for a corner.

From the resulting corner, it saw Kerys Harrop bundling the ball home for the Blues, but much to their dismay, the referee ruled it out for a foul on the keeper and saw the home side preserving their clean sheet. As the full-time whistle blew, it saw City claiming all three points and see them topping their Continental Cup group with just one game left to play, as they travel to South Yorkshire to face Doncaster Rovers on Wednesday night.

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BERLIN ENDS HOODOO AGAINST MANNHEIM

Eisbären_Berlin_Logo.svg  EISBAREN BERLIN  6 – 3 ADLER MANNHEIM Adler_Mannheim_Logo.svg.png

Eisbaren Berlin returned to winning ways as they recorded a huge two points against bitter rivals Adler Mannheim on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, as the Berlin side won 6-3 thanks to a brace from both Sean Backman and Nick Petersen to help bring an end to their dismal run of results against their opponent in recent games. 

Mannheim opened the score through in the game at 5.32, as Chad Kolarik snapped his shot past Petri Vehanen in the Eisbaren goals to up the visitors 1-0 up. Less than a minute later, it saw the home side given a chance of tying things up very quickly with a penalty shot being awarded to the Polar Bears, but sadly for second straight time, the home side failed to convert as Dennis Endras made the save to preserve the Eagles lead.

Berlin fans didn’t have to wait too much longer to see their side getting on the board, as James Sheppard tucked away a pass towards the back post from Sean Backman to make it 1-1 and have the home side celebrating at 8.50. 

Backman then went turned from provider to goalscorer minutes later, as the American netted for 2-1 on the power play at 11.49, as Nick Petersen played a pass back through his legs that set up the go-ahead goal for Berlin and saw them head into the break with a slender one-goal lead.

Midway through the second period, it saw Garrett Festerling somehow missing an empty net for Mannheim, as he put his shot between the goal post and the netminder. A bizarre scenario then took place during a Mannheim powerplay, as Luke Adam slipped the puck by the helpless netminder who was down on the ice and saw only the padding on the inside of the goal preventing the puck from going in. 

The incident required both match referees to watch the reply and determine an outcome. An outcome that took in total twelve minutes to reach a conclusion that the puck hadn’t fully crossed the line with no sufficient evidence to give the goal. 

To say Berlin breathed a sigh of relief, would be the biggest understatement of the game. Depending on your outlook on the game, it could be argued that both sides had luck going for and against them. For the visitors, in normal circumstances, the puck goes in and it is a 2-2 game, while for the home side they missed a glut of chances and could have been a high-scoring second period on another day. 

The game itself was evenly contested between the two rivals, and despite the home side having a slender one-goal lead, the visitors were knocking on the Berlin goal and was denied by bodies and good goaltending. Meanwhile, at the opposite end, it saw the Eisbaren forwards getting into decent positions and not taking their chances.  

With the game on a knife-edge entering the third period of play, it saw the hosts extending their lead to 3-1 through Sean Backman’s second of the game at 41.43. Once again it saw Nick Petersen at the heart of the play, as the Canadian forward sucked in three Eagles players to one side of the ice and left Backman unmarked on the far side, to see the former Ontario Reign forward firing high over Endras to give Berlin a two-goal cushion.

The visitors quickly responded with a goal by Phil Hungerecker at 42.41, as his redirection bounced in and out of the goal and was awarded after a quick goal review. Over a minute later, it saw Jonas Muller blocking a shot for the home side and then sent Nick Petersen clean through on goal before Thomas Larkin wiped him out and saw the Polar Bears hosts awarded a second penalty shot in the game.

This time though, the penalty shot counted on the scoreboard, as Petersen took upon himself to take it and fired it in stick side on Endras in the Mannheim goal to see the hosts 4-2 up early in third. That goal all but took the wind out of the Eagles sails in the game and five minutes later it was game over. 

Nick Petersen then showed his skilful hands to make it 5-2 for the Polar Bears, as he toe-dragged the puck around a defenceman and then finished it off with backhanded effort into the roof of the goal for a beautiful goal.

Mannheim was now in deep trouble and had the home side rampant in the game, as the Eagles were falling apart quickly and saw Berlin creating a hatful of chances. The only plus for the visitors was that the hosts weren’t clinical in front of goal, as the scoreline could easily have been approaching double figures.

Two players in the third period really stood out for their respective sides, but for very different reasons. Firstly, Berlin’s Nick Petersen scored twice and grabbed an assist with a brilliant performance that earned him the player of the game – meanwhile, Mannheim Thomas Larkin gave away a penalty shot that led to the home sides’ fourth and then got bamboozled by Petersen on the fifth goal. 

If that wasn’t bad enough, he was then guilty of a poor pass in his own zone that resulted in the sixth goal for the home side, after a tic-tac-toe play saw Mark Olver playing a pass to Martin Buchwieser and then finally feeding Jamie MacQueen at the front of the net for 6-2.

The away side had the final word on the scoreboard at least, as Matthias Plachta made the score a bit more respectable at 6-3, as the Eagles forward turned and shot to beat Petri Vehanen and saw Mannheim having their wings well and truly clipped by the Polar Bears when all was said and done.

POLAR BEARS SQUANDER LEAD TO LOSE IN SHOOTOUT TO DÜSSELDORF

Eisbären_Berlin_Logo.svg  Eisbaren Berlin 3 – 4 DEG Düsseldorf  Düsseldorfer_EG_logo.svg (1)

(DEG win 1-0 on shootout)

Friday night saw two of the in-form teams meeting up at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin, as DEG Düsseldorf travelled into the German capital to meet Eisbaren Berlin and saw the home side squander a 3-1 lead, before losing out in overtime to the visitors in a shootout, going down 4-3.

Düsseldorf had Maximillian Kammerer almost getting the away side on the board in the opening minute of play, as the forward found himself behind the home side’s defence and had Berlin’s netminder Marvin Cupper coming up big to deny the DEG forward from scoring early doors.

The Polar Bears quickly got into the game and took a lead through a redirection by Florian Busch at the front of the Düsseldorf net, as the Eisbaren forward netted at 10.53 to see the home fans waving their scarfs in celebration. Berlin then doubled their advantage on the powerplay at 16.58, when Nick Petersen collected a loose puck from a faceoff circle in the visitors’ zone, before snapping a shot home for a 2-0 lead and was a deserved lead after twenty minutes of play.

Play in the second period, saw Eduard Lewandowski pulling on goal back for Düsseldorf, as Darryl Boyce was quick to react to a rebound at the side of the Eisbaren goal and saw his pass going back through the legs of the unaware netminder in Cupper and have Lewandowski on the doorstep to tap home at 21.35.

The hosts reply was almost immediate, as Florian Busch restored the Polar Bears two-goal cushion with his second of the game, after the forward blocked an attempted clearance around the boards by the netminder and saw Marcel Noebels trying a spin move that didn’t come off but did have Busch on hand to put it home for a 3-1 lead to the Berliners.

DEG Düsseldorf refused to go away and saw the visitors grow more into the game as it went on. Although the visiting team were two-goals down, they bossed pretty much of the second period and had Marvin Cupper in the Berlin goals making some huge saves to keep the Düsseldorfattackers out. Eventually, the home defences were breached, as John Henrion scored on the power play with a tip-in at the front of the net to see Düsseldorflooking the stronger side of the two in the game at 31.41.

Berlin was being forced to defend for the lion share of the second period, and with the score in their favour at 3-2 heading into the third period, it was a case of the hosts being thankful for getting to the second intermission with their lead intact. However though, early in the third period, it saw Düsseldorf tying the game 44.34 through a Darryl Boyce goal after Eduard Lewandowski saw his attempted a tip in front fall nicely for Boyce at the back post to put in make it 3-3.

In the third period, it saw an even-stevens type of game, as the hosts weren’t able to make the most of their chances when the opportunities came their way and saw Daniel Fischbuch striking the post with effort and also had Jamie MacQueen going closer too, but without any end product. For the visiting side, they played the entire game with a confidence about them and wasn’t too flustered at all by the late-rallying Berlin side late in the game.

With the scores tied after sixty-minutes of play, it saw the game heading into an overtime period and have the home side looking to end it early with some good attacking pressure. Berlin was then awarded a penalty shot and had Danny Richmond stepping up to take the penalty for the Polar Bears, but his effort was tamely shot and saved easily by Mathias Niederberger in the DEG goals.

The extra period of play couldn’t separate the sides and so a shootout was needed to determine who claimed the extra point in the game. Micky DuPont missed the opening penalty for the home side, as the visitors grabbed the advantage with John Henrion netting to put the Düsseldorf ahead.

Florian Busch was the next Berlin player to be stopped in his tracks by Niederberger, and when Jeremy Welsh for Düsseldorf missed his penalty, it all came down to Nick Petersen having to score or it was over – Petersen took the third penalty shot for the home side and was unable to find the twine and have Niederberger making the stop and help to extend the visiting sides winning streak to four in a row.

For Eisbaren however, it brought to an end to recent their four-game winning streak and sees them now looking to bounce back in their clash on Sunday night against bitter rivals Adler Mannheim, as the Eagles fly into the German Capital for will be a hugÜe game for both teams.


CAMPBELL INJURY MARS CITY WOMEN’S EURO WIN

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MANCHESTER CITY WOMEN  2 –  1  LSK KVINNER   (City win 7-1 on Aggregate)

Second half goals by Izzy Christiansen and Nikita Parris helped book Manchester City Women place into the Quarter Finals of the Women’s Champions League after the Blues beat Norwegian side LSK Kvinner 2-1 at the Academy Stadium, and 7-1 on aggregate and await their next opponents.

The victory came at a cost though for the WSL Champions, as the home side were dealt an enormous blow after losing Republic of Ireland defender Megan Campbell for a long spell on the sidelines after she sustained a bad looking leg injury in the victory. 

With City beating Kvinner over in Norway 5-0 last week in their first leg, it saw the tie is effectively over before the two sides renewed acquaintances once more at the Academy Stadium for the second leg, and saw the home side looking to hammer home their advantage in the home leg. 

The hosts had the first chance through Jill Scott in the opening minutes of the game, as some nice attacking play saw a ball putting the midfielder in on goal and having Scott seeing her shot well saved by Cecilie Fiskerstrand in the LSK Kvinner goals. From the following corner, it saw Jennifer Beattie heading over the bar and seeing a bright start by the home side. 

Captain Steph Houghton had a header saved on the line by the keeper minutes later, as City was looking very strong when in attack, and looked to be the only side in the contest in the open ten minutes of play.

Claire Emslie was the next player to go close for the home side after good work by Demi Stokes down the left-hand side then saw the England International nutmegging the defender and putting a good ball into the box for Emslie to get on the end of, but sadly could only hit it straight at the keeper.

Stokes then ran onto a long ball by Jennifer Beattie in defence and saw the England defender galloping in the penalty area for the hosts before trying to lift her shot over the keeper, but Fiskerstrand once again came to the rescue of the visitors and just got a touch to see go out for a corner.

Kvinner had literally been in stuck in their own half for the first quarter of the game and had hardly touched the ball inside the City half at all, but in the 17th minute, it saw the Norwegian side taking the lead very much against the run of play.

It saw Emilie Haavi spotting the run of a teammate and played a lovely through ball that cut the City defence open as Guro Reiten dashed on to the end of it, before then picking out Marte Berget as she drew both Houghton and Beattie over towards and left the Kvinner player completely unmarked in the City box have her shot partly stopped by Ellie Roebuck, but the ball trickled in a shock 1-0 lead to the side from Lilliestrom. 

The next few minutes saw a lull throughout the City side, as the goal seemed to disrupt and disjoint their play for the next few minutes as the visiting side seemed to have a bit of control temporarily in the game. Keira Walsh then saw her dipping volley going just over the bar for City as they looked to find a way back and reassert their position in the game.

Demi Stokes weaved her magic down the left once more, as this time she had the defender tied up in knots and put another good cross into the box for the wide open Nikita Parris to get her head on but the striker managed to put it wide of the goal and fail to test the keeper and was another chance that went begging.

The back line for the home side was caught out again, as the Norwegian side came close to doubling their lead through Guro Reiten, as she attempted to curl a ball into the top corner but thankfully for City, it went wide of the target.

Two quick chances then fell the way of the hosts in quick succession, as Izzy Christiansen and Keira Walsh both tested the Kvinner defence with shots and had the keepers having to get down to a Walsh shot from range that was tricky.

A minute into the second half saw the home side drawing level through Izzy Christiansen, as a through ball from Nikita Parris saw the midfielder unmarked and saw Christiansen curling her shot in the far side of the net past Fiskerstrand in the Kvinner goals for 1-1.

Things then took a back seat in the 54th minute of play, when defender Megan Campbell stretched for a ball in a tackle and saw the Republic of Ireland player instantly waving for help and screaming in agony while laying down on the ground and had the Eire player rupturing her ACL in her right knee and was down for a long time.

The injury brought a long delay to the game, as the medics treated Campbell on the field and needed her to be stretched off and received a standing ovation from the crowd in attendance and left City a defender light in what is a small squad anyhow. Emilie Haavi then saw her shot whistling past the right-hand post of Roebuck in the City goals as the visitors nearly retook the lead with the shot.

Houghton saw her free kick failing to trouble Fiskerstrand in the LSK goal and the keeper claimed the ball pretty easily. Soon after it saw Guro Reiten spotting the goalkeeper off her line and attempting to chip her from distance, but the shot was a bit under-hit and saw Roebuck making the grab and easily getting back.

Then moments later in the 72nd minute, it saw Mel Lawley getting the better of Ingrid Wold down the Kvinner right and playing a low ball across the five-yard area for the incoming Nikita Parris to turn goalward for 2-1 lead to the Blues and 7-1 on aggregate. 

Danish International defender Mie Jans made her belated debut for the home side with twelve minutes left to play, after Jans had been injured after joining City from Brondby in the summer and shown some good glimpses in defence and attack to for her new side.

Ellie Roebuck then made a brilliant full-stretch save to keep out Emilie Haavi’s free-kick late on in the game, but the game belonged to Manchester City Women and have their joy of making it through to their second successive Quarter-Finals being short-lived, as the match was marred by that injury to Megan Campbell in the second half.

The city now awaits their fate in the Quarter-finals of the Women’s Champions League with trips abroad to possibly the Czech Republic, Germany, France, Spain and maybe even a tie against Chelsea still on the cards. 

 

CITY MAKE IT FIVE STRAIGHT TO GO TOP OF THE TABLE

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MANCHESTER CITY LADIES 4 – 0 BRISTOL CITY WOMEN

Manchester City Ladies moved to the top of the Women’s Super League table thanks to a 4-0 win over new-girls to the top-flight in Bristol City Women. City netted two goals in each half on route to their fifth straight win of the season, as the Blues continue their unbeaten start to the WSL this term. 

After Nick Cushing’s side won 5-0 in their Women’s Champions League clash at LSK Kvinner of Norway in midweek, it saw the Blues returning home to the glorious sunshine of Manchester and facing a Bristol City side that was much changed from the side they met last time out at the Academy Stadium a couple of years ago.

The last time the Vixens came up North to face the Champions it was a couple of seasons ago and saw the home side handing out a 6-1 hammering of the visiting side. Meetings between the sides haven’t been kind to Bristol at all in the last four games, as the Vixens have scored once compared to the City who have netted sixteen.

City made inroads inside the opening ten minutes of play when Izzy Christiansen was brought down inside the area and saw the midfielder stepping up to take the spot kick herself and put the hosts a goal up after 8 minutes gone. Steph Houghton nearly doubled the lead minutes later with a free kick, but Bristol keeper Sophie Baggerley got down very well to push the England and City captain’s effort away for a corner.

Despite City dominating the game and having just a goal to show wasn’t a true reflection of how the first half was being played out. England duo Jill Scott and Izzy Christiansen both had chances to increase the Citizens lead, but neither were able to make it count and saw the visiting side doing a good job to contain the home side as best as they could.

Former Bristol player Claire Emslie capped her first appearance against her former employees with a goal. It saw the Scottish midfielder doubling the lead on 37 minutes for the home side as Emslie made a trademark cut in from the left and put a curling effort in at the far post to beat Baggerly in the Bristol nets for 2-0.

The home side was cruising at two-nil up and saw the back line getting needlessly caught out a couple of times late on and needed England’s Under-17 goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck to make a couple of stops to preserve the 2-0 lead.

Roebuck then made the best save of the two moments before the halftime break, when Lauren Kemp got behind the defence and was clean through on goal but the City keeper used her legs to deny the Vixens forward and see teams heading to the locker room.

For the start of the second half, it saw both teams having chances, as firstly Baggerly made a good save from Jennifer Beattie to keep her side from going further behind and then had Hemp once again going one on one with the keeper and saw her putting her shot wide and was the best chance that Bristol created in the half.

City then made it 3-0 through an Abbie McManus strike, as some good build play between Mel Lawley and Jane Ross saw the ball being played back to the defender and have McManus firing into the top far corner and kill off Bristol’s faint hopes of getting back into the match.

Demi Stokes then got moved onto the wing and saw her having an immediate effect for the home side, as she bombed down the wing and put the visiting side in danger with a cross come shot and nearly caught out of the keeper. Jennifer Beattie then made it 4-0 on 87 minutes when a cross came in from her Scottish International teammate Claire Emslie and saw Beattie turning the defender inside out in the box, and then scored with a lovely finish.

Victory for the Blues and Chelsea being held 2-2 late on away at Reading meant that the champions moved two points clear at the top of the table, but there is a far long way to go yet and no one is thinking that far ahead quite yet. City Women now turn their attention to Thursday night when they play their second leg against LSK Kvinner in the Women’s Champions League tie.

PARRIS GOAL HELPS CITY TO AVOID A STICKY SITUATION AGAINST TOFFEES

manchester_city_2016 MANCHESTER CITY WOMEN   2 – 1  EVERTON LADIESeverton_fc_logo_introduced_2013

Manchester City’s Pocket-rocket Nikita Parris scored ten minutes from time to help maintain the defending champions 100% record in the WSL Continental Cup competition so far after the former Everton striker condemned her former employees to a 2-1 defeat at the City Academy Stadium on Bonfire night. 

The holders welcomed back goalkeeper Karen Bardsley to their starting line-up for the first time this season, after the England number one suffered a broken leg while playing for her country during the European Championships this past summer. For the blue half of Merseyside in Everton Ladies, it saw the return of ex-City starlet Georgia Brougham making her first trip back to the Academy Stadium since leaving to join the Toffees back in early 2016. 

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Nikita Parris goes close for City – PIC: ManCityWomen Twitter

With the game being played on Bonfire night, it saw City nearly starting off with a bang, as they came close to taking the lead in the 9th minute of the game when Nikita Parris ran onto a ball by Claire Emslie and saw her shot looking like it had been pushed away by Kirstie Levell in the Everton goal for a corner, but a goal kick was given. 

Parris then thought she had opened the scoring in the 13th minute, after the forward had put the ball in the back of the visitor’s net, but the flag had gone up prior to her netting for an offside against the home side and saw a long discussion between referee and linesman over the decision and resulted in a disallowed goal.

The visitors struggled to create much in the way of an attack in the first half and was limited to one shot in the first half from midfielder Claudia Walker as the Everton midfielder tried a hopeful long-range effort that saw easily dealt with by Karen Bardsley.

Steph Houghton had an effort that went wide of the target before the City captain then set up the opening goal of the game, as Houghton played a long floated ball into the Everton penalty area and Izzy Christansen guided the ball home to put the home side in front on 25 minutes. 

Everton’s backline stood firm for most of the game and saw the home side finding it hard to break down the Toffees defences with any clear-cut chances. Jennifer Beattie came close with a header from a Keira Walsh free kick that almost doubled City’s lead, but the Citizens went into the break 1-0 up. The second half saw the visiting side come out with a bit more of a spark to their play and weren’t afraid to have a go either. 

Jill Scott struck the bar for the hosts with a shot from outside the area early on and saw her 20-yard effort skimming the bar. City was starting to put Everton under a fair bit of trouble and despite heading controlling possession, they just weren’t able to make the most of it and was giving their opponents a hope of getting back into the game the longer it went on at 1-0.

Nikita Parris had another chance go begging for the home side when the striker blasted over the bar from inside the box and saw City becoming a bit wasteful with their goal scoring opportunities. Jennifer Beattie went close for the blues on 73 minutes as the Scottish defender put a header on goal and brought out a good save from Levell in the visitor’s goal to keep the home side out again.

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Izzy Christiansen and her teammates celebrate the opening goal – PIC: ManCityWomen Twitter

Everton then equalised through a header by Northern Ireland International Simone Magill on 77 minutes as the forward put home from a Chloe Kelly free-kick and saw the ball creeping in past Karen Bardsley to draw the visitors level. The home side very nearly replied instantly from a Jill Scott header, as a cross towards the far post was on the head of the Scott and her effort was superbly denied by a stunning point-blank save by Kirstie Levell. 

A couple minutes later, it saw a carbon copy of the Scott header from moments before but this time it saw Jill Scott put her header on goal and had teammate Nikita Parris making sure of the ball going in, as she nodded in from close range to restore the lead for the hosts and see the holders lead 2-1. 

Despite the away side being stubborn opposition for the Nick Cushing’s side, the home side always looked the likelier side to score again and when Parris tried to lob the keeper from 25-yards out, it saw Levell unsure where the ball was ending up and so was forced to tip the ball away for a corner.  

City closed the game out and made it two wins from two, but they didn’t have it their own way and the visitors took their one and only chance when it was presented to them and they made the home side forced to work for it.