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Gunners tame Wolves 2-0 to go atop

Arsenal shrugged off the disappointment of their Champions League exit to move back to the top of the Premier League with a 2-0 win at Wolves on Saturday. Leandro Trossard and Martin Odegaard struck at the end of each half to take the Gunners one point clear of Manchester City, who have a game in hand.  Also Read: India’s Gukesh takes sole lead after outwitting Alireza Arsenal’s season was in danger of coming completely off the rails after a three-game winless run.  Mikel Arteta’s men lost in the Premier League for the first time in 2024 last weekend, 2-0 at home to Aston Villa, in between a Champions League quarter-final elimination by Bayern Munich.  Other key results>> Everton 2-0 Nottingham >> Aston Villa 3-1 Bournemouth >> Crystal Palace 5-2 West Ham This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

22 April,2024 07:40 AM IST | London | AFP
Man City manager Pep Guardiola (centre) and Bernardo Silva celebrate their FA Cup semi-final victory over Chelsea at the Wembley Stadium in London on Saturday. Pics/Getty Images

‘It’s unacceptable’

Pep Guardiola slammed the “unacceptable” schedule that put fatigued Manchester City’s health at risk in their 1-0 win against Chelsea in an FA Cup semi-final scheduled just three days after their gruelling Champions League exit. Guardiola was furious that the Football Association and television broadcasters set City’s semi-final for Saturday instead of giving them an extra day to recover after Wednesday’s penalty shoot-out loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals. Silva nets winner Exhausted City were fortunate to survive a series of Chelsea misses at Wembley before Bernardo Silva’s 84th minute winner atoned for his penalty blunder in the shoot-out against Real. Guardiola took aim at the authorities for putting his players’ futures in danger when they could have played Manchester United’s semi-final against Coventry on Saturday instead of Sunday because neither club was in European action this week. Also Read: Kishore’s 4-33 helps GT restrict Punjab to 142 “I’m incredibly happy to play the semi-finals of the FA Cup. But it’s unacceptable to let us play today,” Guardiola said. “It is impossible for the health of the players. People don’t understand the punch in the face after losing in the Champions League and playing here so soon. Why they don’t give us one more day? Chelsea, Manchester United and Coventry don’t play in the Champions League. ‘Not asking special privilege’ “It is for broadcasters? Ok don’t ask me to do extra things [for them]. I’m not asking for some special privilege. It is a risk for their health, it is a risk for many things. I know they [the authorities] don’t care, but I care,” he said. United struggle Man Utd’s Harry Maguire celebrates a goal v Coventry in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. At the time of going to press, the scores were locked 3-3 at full time. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

22 April,2024 07:30 AM IST | London | AFP
Representational image. Pic/iStock

ISL: FC Goa seal semis spot with 2-1 win over Chennaiyin FC

FC Goa qualified for the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 semi-finals by defeating Chennaiyin FC by 2-1 in their playoffs fixture at the Fatorda Stadium, here on Saturday. The Gaurs will square off against Mumbai City FC across two legs in their last-four clash, whereas Chennaiyin FC have been eliminated from the competition as a consequence of this result. FC Goa scored 39 goals in the 22 league matches they played. With the help of a promising frontline, they often unlocked the oppositions using different ways and tonight were no different. Whilst their first goal by Noah Sadaoui was a product of a proper team effort, the other one by Brandon Fernandes was one of the most sensational solo strikes of the season. Also Read: IN PHOTOS | IPL 2024, GT vs PBKS: Here's all you need to know Noah had primarily played through the left flank for most of this season, but it seemed that Manolo Marquez had handed him a more free-flowing responsibility in this match. When the Gaurs broke the deadlock in the 36th minute, Noah was functioning through the right flank. He collected the ball, passed it on to Boris Singh beside him. Boris played the ball to Brandon inside the box, before it went to Carl McHugh. There was a tough tussle to win the challenge between both the sides at that point but Noah picked it up and hammered it into the back of the net to notch the opener and open the floodgates for an immersive next 10 minutes. Brandon, who was a critical component of the first strike, scored the second one by coming deep near the half-way mark and collecting a pass by Jay Gupta from the left flank. Brandon dropped a shoulder as his piercing pace helped him beat Chennaiyin FC midfielder Jiteshwor Singh who chased him right till the edge of the box. Brandon sensed that it was his moment of reckoning though, and hence opted against engaging in any sort of build-up and decided to deposit the ball right into the top of the net in the 45th minute. Chennaiyin FC clawed back slightly into the game, all thanks to their centre-back duo of Ryan Edwards and Lazar Cirkovic. Aakash Sangawan delivered a corner to Edwards on the far post in the added time of the first half, who headed it straight to FC Goa goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh. The custodian got a palm to the shot but couldn’t stop it completely, leading to Cirkovic scoring from the rebound from a very close range. Whilst the Marina Machans banked on their aerial prowess to try and make a contest out of this playoff, it was Marquez & Co. that eventually prevailed in setting up a semi-final date with Mumbai City FC. Brandon Fernandes was at the top of his game in this match, completing 14 out of his 20 attempted passes. He drew two fouls, created a couple of goal-scoring opportunities, made five crosses, and scored the all-important goal at the brink of the half-time whistle. FC Goa will play Mumbai City FC in the ISL 2023-24 semi-finals, whereas Chennaiyin FC have crashed out of the competition with this loss. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

21 April,2024 06:50 PM IST | Goa | IANS
Manchester City's Portuguese midfielder #20 Bernardo Silva (3L) celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal of the English FA Cup semi-final football match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium in north west London. Pic/AFP

Bernardo's late strike powers Man City to FA Cup final

Bernardo Silva’s late winner sent Manchester City into the final as the holders beat Chelsea 1-0 at Wembley. The Portuguese midfielder struck home with six minutes to play to settle an otherwise even contest which saw Nicolas Jackson pass up a string of presentable chances for the Blues. Also Read: IPL 2024: Dinesh Karthik won't be surprised to see 300 runs on board The pick of them came in the space of the same attack early in the second half, with two efforts saved by Stefan Ortega as City survived a spell of pressure before finding their cutting edge. City will now face the winners of Sunday’s semifinal between Coventry City and Manchester United in the final on May 25, with a second successive Manchester derby in the showpiece a possibility. It's the third time that City have reached the FA Cup final in consecutive years while Chelsea suffered their 11th elimination from the FA Cup at the semifinal stage, the third-most in the competition’s history after Everton and Spurs, with 13 and 12 respectively, according to Premier League. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

21 April,2024 02:50 PM IST | London | IANS
Xavi Hernandez

Barca’s Xavi hails rivals Madrid ahead of Clasico

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez praised rivals Real Madrid ahead of their Clasico showdown in La Liga on Sunday. Los Blancos lead the Spanish top flight by eight points with champions Barcelona needing a victory at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday to stand any chance of retaining the trophy.  After Barcelona crashed out of the Champions League against Paris Saint-Germain and Madrid beat holders Manchester City in midweek, Xavi acknowledged the record 14-time winners’ quality.  “When you have won so many times you play with more calm, less desperation, more confidence, they are a very good team,” Xavi said on Saturday.  Also Read: Luton’s survival hopes battered by Brentford; Burnley still alive “In the end people say it’s luck, I don’t believe much in luck—I think it’s effort, defensive work, the solidarity they showed, everyone working so hard. The three up front worked harder than ever, Man City missed some clear chances but that’s football, it’s not luck that Madrid have knocked out the best team in the world twice in three years.”  Xavi said he was not throwing in the towel in La Liga despite Madrid’s significant advantage. “For us it’s the most important game of the season, we have to win to put pressure on the leader. We have enormous respect for Real Madrid, they’ve lost just one game out of 31, their numbers are extraordinary,” he added. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

21 April,2024 07:35 AM IST | Madrid | AFP
Representational image. Pic/iStock

Luton’s survival hopes battered by Brentford; Burnley still alive

Luton’s hopes of Premier League survival were hammered by Brentford’s 5-1 rout at Kenilworth Road, while Burnley thrashed Sheffield United 4-1 to remain in the fight to stay up on Saturday.  Also Read: ‘Casemiro is a fighter’ Brentford realistically secured their top-flight status with a dominant display despite missing England striker Ivan Toney through injury. Yoane Wissa and Bryan Mbeumo had to carry the offensive burden for the Bees during Toney’s ban for breaking gambling rules in the first half of the season. Luton’s heaviest home league defeat of the season leaves the Hatters still one point adrift of Nottingham Forest. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

21 April,2024 07:30 AM IST | London | AFP
Man Utd’s Casemiro. Pic/Getty Images

‘Casemiro is a fighter’

Erik ten Hag claimed Manchester United’s squad is not fractured after revealing Alejandro Garnacho apologised for liking social media posts criticising the manager’s handling of the Argentine forward. Garnacho gave ‘likes’ to a pair of messages on X that slammed Ten Hag’s decision to substitute him at half-time of last weekend’s 2-2 draw against Bournemouth.The 19-year-old quickly unliked both posts and has now said sorry to Ten Hag, who said Garnacho would remain involved for troubled United’s FA Cup semi-final against Coventry on Sunday. ‘Alejandro has to learn a lot’ Quizzed on whether the Garnacho incident was evidence of player unrest with Ten Hag, the under-fire Dutchman said: “I wouldn’t point to that. “Alejandro is a young player, has to learn a lot. He apologised for it and after that we move on.” Also Read: MI’s Pollard, David fined Erik ten Hag Battling to save his job in the midst of a turbulent season, Ten Hag cannot afford a shock loss to second tier Coventry at Wembley. He will need an improved performance from United midfielder Casemiro, who has received criticism for his recent display.  Former Liverpool star Jamie Redknapp said Casemiro’s lethargic effort against Bournemouth last week was like he was playing in a charity match.  But Ten Hag backed the Brazilian’s value to United, saying: “I think we needed the six [position] when I arrived here and last season Casemiro was fantastic. This season he struggled with a bad injury he never had in his career, but he is such a winner. Always in his career he has won, everywhere he was there will be success. “He is a fighter, why he also won big trophies, he’s a personality and he’s a very important player and he will give us success.”  Meanwhile, United started planning for next season when it was announced later Friday that Jason Wilcox has left second-division Southampton to become the new technical director at Old Trafford with immediate effect. Hoping for high standards Wilcox, 53, joined Southampton last summer as their director of football, making the switch from Manchester City where he developed a reputation for nurturing young talent as well as recruiting some of the best prospects.  “Jason Wilcox has joined Manchester United as technical director with immediate effect,” said a United statement.  “He will work with all technical areas of the football department to achieve the highest standards of performance.” This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

21 April,2024 07:25 AM IST | London | AFP
Liverpool scorer Mohamed Salah wears a dejected look after being knocked out of the Europa League on Thursday. Pics/Getty Images

‘Disappointed, not angry or frustrated’

Liverpool were knocked out of the Europa League by Atalanta on Thursday as Jurgen Klopp’s final season with the Reds took another downward turn, their Italian opponents reaching the semi-finals 3-1 on aggregate.  Sala converts early penalty Atalanta are in the last four of a European competition for the first time since 1988, despite Mohamed Salah’s early penalty giving Liverpool a 1-0 second leg win, thanks to their three-goal lead established in the quarter-final first leg at Anfield last week.  Also Read: Chelsea’s Palmer ‘buzzing’ ahead of Man City reunion Jurgen Klopp In what is becoming a sobering climax to the season, Liverpool have won just four of their last nine games in all competitions and again looked tired after having played 52 games this campaign. Jurgen Klopp may well only have the League Cup to show for his final season on Merseyside as the German’s team have been eliminated from the FA Cup and Europa League and trail Manchester City in the Premier League title race by two points.  “We didn’t lose the game or tie tonight, we lost it at home. They deserved to go through. When you win a tie against us 3-1 in this way then you deserve to go through,” Klopp told reporters.  “Disappointed that we didn’t go through but I’m not angry or frustrated or anything like that. Now we need to focus on the league.”  Atalanta, the heroes Gian Piero Gasperini called Thursday’s match probably the most important Atalanta had ever played and his players were hailed as heroes at the final whistle by a pulsating crowd at the Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo.  Atalanta last reached the semi-finals of a European competition in 1988 when they were knocked out of the old Cup Winners’ Cup by Mechelen. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

20 April,2024 08:22 AM IST | Bergamo (Italy) | AFP
Cole Palmer

Chelsea’s Palmer ‘buzzing’ ahead of Man City reunion

Chelsea forward Cole Palmer has emerged as a Player of the Year contender thanks to a dazzling campaign that left Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola to rue what might have been ahead of their reunion in Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final. Palmer is enjoying a breakthrough season following his surprise move from City on transfer deadline day in September.  Palmer has remained polite about the end of his 13-year association with City, but there can be little doubt knocking out the FA Cup holders would carry extra significance for the forward. Also Read: Arteta wants Arsenal to prove their worth after double blow “To make the decision to come to Chelsea was a big one for me and my family, but I just wanted to play football. I’m thankful to Chelsea for the opportunity. I’m buzzing,” Palmer said. The 21-year-old scored four times in Chelsea’s 6-0 rout of Everton on Monday, showing why he is nicknamed ‘Cold Palmer’ with an ice-cool penalty after refusing to let teammate Nicolas Jackson take the kick.  Palmer’s ruthless penalty prowess would have come in handy for City, who were beaten by Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday after a shoot-out that featured misses from Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic. Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola has revealed Erling Haaland could miss Manchester City’s FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday.  Haaland was substituted before the start of extra time in City’s Champions League quarter-final second leg defeat against Real Madrid on Wednesday. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

20 April,2024 08:20 AM IST | London | AFP
Mikel Arteta

Arteta wants Arsenal to prove their worth after double blow

Mikel Arteta has urged Arsenal to prove they have the mental strength to bounce back from a painful spell that wrecked their Champions League challenge and dented their Premier League title bid. Arteta’s side lost 0-1 to Bayern Munich on Wednesday as the German side earned a 3-2 aggregate quarter-final victory.  The end of Arsenal’s attempt to win the Champions League for the first time followed a damaging 2-0 home defeat against Aston Villa in the Premier League.  Also Read: Gukesh crushes Abasov to be back in joint lead Critics said the Gunners’ stumble over the last week reflected a lack of character and toughness in Arteta’s squad. But Arsenal can return to the top of the table by winning at Wolves on Saturday, while leaders Manchester City are in FA Cup semi-final action against Chelsea. “It’s been an experience, not the best one,” Arteta told reporters on Friday. “We’re fully focused on the times we have ahead of us with six games to go. The context is clear, if we win we go top of the league, you don’t need anything else to be motivated.” This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

20 April,2024 08:15 AM IST | London | AFP
Erling Haaland (Pic: AFP)

Manchester City suffer Haaland injury scare before FA Cup semi-final

Pep Guardiola has revealed Erling Haaland could miss Manchester City's FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday. Haaland was substituted before the start of extra time in City's Champions League quarter-final second leg defeat against Real Madrid on Wednesday. Guardiola said after the penalty shoot-out loss that the Norway striker asked to be withdrawn but did not give a reason why. The City boss has now confirmed Haaland suffered an injury against Real and suggested it was not certain his leading scorer would recover in time for the FA Cup holders' clash with Chelsea. "We will see. It was a tough game, a lot of action, high intensity for both sides," Guardiola told reporters on Friday. "Erling felt something, a muscular issue. That's why he told me he could not continue. "The doctor said he had a little bit of niggles, a little problem, we will see how his evolution is in the next hours." Also Read: Big investments, disappointing returns While Guardiola sweats on Haaland's fitness, City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne should be involved against Chelsea after being taken off during extra time against Real due to fatigue. Given City's hectic schedule, Guardiola conceded it is understandable that players are tired at this stage of the season. "It's normal with the amount of games we are playing this season and the previous seasons and not much recovery, and extra time and high intensity," he said. "We put a lot of pressure in our game and that's why the fatigue is there. They are human beings. They are not a machine. We are used to it." The agonising shoot-out defeat by Real ended City's hopes of winning a Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup treble for a second consecutive season. But they remain on course to repeat the domestic double and Guardiola is determined to ensure the Premier League leaders bounce back from their European frustration. "We don't have another option. I don't want us to feel sorry for ourselves," he said. "In football, you lose games. We performed at our best and we were not able to win. You have to accept it. "We did everything. We know it, they know it, all the world know it, but it was not enough. When it's not enough, it's a bad night. So congratulations (to Real) and, tomorrow, FA Cup." (With agency inputs)

19 April,2024 08:54 PM IST | London | mid-day online correspondent
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