Even without their leading scorer in the Premier League, Pep Guardiola’s team defeated Liverpool 4-1 on Saturday and remain in pursuit of first place Arsenal.
Haaland, who has scored 42 goals in all competitions this season, was ruled out at the Etihad Stadium after failing to recover from a groin injury.
But even after losing Mohamed Salah in the 20th minute, City bounced back thanks to goals from Julian Alvarez, Kevin de Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and Jack Grealish to keep the pressure on Arsenal and deal another blow to Liverpool’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.
The game represented one of the biggest tests in City’s league campaign. A loss would have given Arsenal a chance to increase their lead to 11 points.
And it looked like a real possibility when Liverpool scored against the run of play early on, with Diogo Jota breaking past City’s high defensive line and passing to Salah for a shot into the corner.
But City equalized when Alvarez, the Argentine World Cup-winning striker, converted a Grealish pass in the 27th minute.
In the second half, Liverpool could not respond to City’s attacking qualities, and De Bruyne poked the ball into Riyad Mahrez’s goal less than a minute into the match.
Gundogan added a third goal from close range in the 54th minute, and Grealish scored a deserved goal in the 74th minute.
The win allowed City to move five points closer to Arsenal before the Londoners’ match against Leeds a day later.
Liverpool are still seven points behind fourth-place Tottenham and have not won at Etihad Stadium since 2015.
Jurgen Klopp’s team has now lost three matches in a row after beating Manchester United 7-0 last month.
Arsenal are eight points ahead of second-place City, and the champions need to take three points from Jurgen Klopp’s team in an early match to prevent the Gunners from increasing their lead to double digits.
On Saturday, Arsenal, who have 10 games remaining and are aiming for their first championship since 2003-04, host 14th-ranked Leeds United.
Norwegian striker Haaland, who has scored an astonishing 42 goals in 37 games for City since moving from Borussia Dortmund, is nursing a groin injury and missed training Thursday when players returned from the internationalnative break.
Haaland’s father Alfie told Norwegian television last week that the striker’s return for the Liverpool match looks highly questionable.
You can’t just go two weeks without training and then go straight into action, he said.
His absence, and that of England midfielder Phil Foden after surgery to remove his appendix, will be welcomed by both Arsenal and Liverpool fans, who are sixth in the standings and still in contention for a Champions League spot.
It’s a Cup final for Manchester City, former Arsenal playmaker Paul Merson wrote in a column on skysports.com. They should win this game.
A win would put the gap back to five points, and the pressure would be back on Arsenal, who still have some tough games to play.
A draw by City and a win by Arsenal over Leeds on Saturday would bring the gap to 10 points, which is too far. That’s the gap when you start to think it might be over.
Arsenal will play Liverpool at Anfield on April 9 and City at the Etihad Stadium on April 26 in a rematch after losing to rivals Emirates in February.
We can’t control other clubs’ results, all we can control is what we do every day, manager Mikel Arteta said.
Now we have to enjoy the last part of the season, with enthusiasm, energy and a real desire to keep doing what we’ve already done, and if possible do better.
City have a match to spare from the leaders, but have played one more than third-place Manchester United, who play Newcastle United on Sunday and are 11 points behind them.
Fourth-place Tottenham Hotspur will have former assistant head coach Christian Stellini in charge on Monday when they travel to troubled Everton after parting ways with Antonio Conte last Sunday.
The battle is as tight as ever, with nine clubs separated by just four points, and the weekend promises even more upheaval.
On Sunday, last-place Southampton travels to visit 18th-ranked West Ham United in a match at the London Stadium that neither can afford to lose, while 19th-ranked Bournemouth, hosts Fulham.
17th-ranked Leicester City plays 12th-ranked Crystal Palace – 75-year-old Roy Hodgson returns for his second term as manager – just two points between them.
Palace is the only team in the league without a win in 2023, having drawn five games and lost seven.
Indonesia was stripped of the right to host the tournament just eight weeks before it began amid the political turmoil surrounding Israel’s involvement.
A new tournament host will be announced within days, Infantino said at a news conference at the headquarters of the South American soccer organization CONMEBOL.
We all know soccer in Argentina, and it’s a country that can certainly host this level of competition, Infantino said. With the tradition of soccer in Argentina, there are very good opportunities.
Earlier, he received an offer from the Argentine soccer association to host. Argentina’s U-20 national team failed to qualify for the tournament.
Infantino said a decision will be made within two to three days and will be evaluated by all the presidents of the soccer confederations.
FIFA reported that Indonesia has been suspended from hosting the 24-team tournament, scheduled to begin on May 20, due to circumstances, without giving details. Indonesia is the most populous Muslim-majority country in the world and has no formal diplomatic relations with Israel.
This was a time when Bavaria’s dominance of Germany was called into question. They won zero Bundesliga titles from 2010 to 2012. Their nemesis: Borussia Dortmund. On Saturday, as Bayern prepares to host them in Der Klassiker Bundesliga, Dortmund have 53 points from 25 games. Bayern has one less point, but that was enough to replace Julian Nagelsmann with Thomas Tuchel.
Betting on Nagelsmann was very ambitious, Lahm says of the manager, who was 33 when Bayern appointed him in 2021. Age was part of the problem in managing a locker room where Manuel Neuer was older and many big names are almost the same age as Nagelsmann. Experience is a value that is part of being a good manager. It will help him in the future. He is certainly a good coach.
But the situation could have been handled better. Reacting to reports that Nagelsmann found out about hishe dismissal of social media, Lam says: If you hear about it from the newspapers… social media, that’s not good. For a big club.
Nagelsmann left because at Bayern you have to win every game, says Lahm. This year, the team hasn’t been able to do that too often. The challenge for the rest of the season is to change that in the right way. So Tuchel, a Champions League winner and runner-up, is a worthy successor to Jürgen Klopp at Dortmund.
Bayern won all eight games in the Champions League, but only 15 of 25 in the Bundesliga. They drew seven times, two more than last season, when they won their 11th consecutive league title, and before the international break they lost 1-2 to Bayer Leverkusen, which sealed Nagelsmann’s fate.
Lahm, 39, believes the next few weeks will define Bayern’s season. Next week is the German Cup quarterfinals, and they will play Manchester City in the eighth round of the Champions League. The situation is very good because they are in every competition. But now it’s about the titles. It’s important for Bayern, says the former German and Bayern national team captain and 2014 World Cup winner in an interview with Zoom, organized by Sony Sports.
But what if things go wrong? I don’t think they will lose those four big matches. But if they lose, I don’t know… Drop out in the cup, drop out in the championship…. Through the five o’clock shadow, Lam’s smile shows great teeth and conveys that he can’t believe what he’s saying.
In 13 matches this year, Dortmund’s only defeat ended their Champions League performance. They beat FC Cologne 6-1 in Munich. I think Dortmund are in a good phase, they have confidence, but at home, with the (great) experience of the Bayern players…, said Lahm, waving his right hand to stress the importance of the match at the Allianz Arena. But if Dortmund open up a four-point lead, it will be good for the Bundesliga, he says.
But it won’t be good for the league if Jude Bellingham leaves, as he probably will in the summer, Lahm asks. I don’t know what will happen, but he’s a very talented player. It’s important for a young player to play on a top team every week. And I think Dortmund is a top team, he says.
In the 77th minute, Rekena struck a routine shot on goal when his team was already beating Colo Colo 2-0. Leaving the entire soccer fraternity puzzled, the Argentine sthe stopper with his shot on goal made the score in the match. Rekena’s incredible shot outshot Colo-Colo goalkeeper Brian Cortez, who was outside his own penalty area. Leaving the goalkeeper confused, the ball bounced abruptly off his head, and the Colo-Colo goalkeeper was not spared his guilt.
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