Fueled by a sparkling attacking display, Manchester City’s players powered to the top of the Premier League for the first time this season — and even the opposition are stopping to admire their work.
In a comical exhibit for the ever-lengthening highlights reel featuring the video assistant referee (VAR), West Bromwich Albion’s defenders virtually stopped in their tracks and looked on as Joao Cancelo curled a shot into the top corner for the second of City’s goals in a 5-0 rout on Tuesday.
After all, the assistant referee had raised the flag for offside moments earlier, but City, unlike West Brom, played on as Bernardo Silva collected the ball and fed Cancelo, who — unchallenged — picked his spot from the edge of the area.
A video review showed that Silva was actually onside and the goal was allowed to stand.
City were on course to match their biggest league win of the season and, on the evidence of this game and the past couple of months, Pep Guardiola’s team are going to be hard to stop.
“Now, with VAR in these situations, we have to follow the actions until the end because you never know what is going to happen,” Guardiola said. “Is the goal allowed or disallowed? Nobody knows. So you have to continue until the end of the action.”
West Ham United midfielder Tomas Soucek netted twice in their 3-2 win against Crystal Palace, which lifted the team to fourth place.
The Czech Republic international is proving a solid source of goals for West Ham, having scored seven times in his past 13 league matches.
He dedicated his double to his wife in a post on Twitter.
“The most beautiful feeling in football is when you realize you have helped your team, but this time I want to dedicate the win and my two goals to my wife,” Soucek wrote. “It’s really tough time for her as she can’t see anyone from the family. Thank you for taking care of me and our daughter!”
Arsenal avenged a defeat to Southampton in the FA Cup at the weekend by beating the Saints 3-1 in the league, while Newcastle United’s winless run extended to 11 games in all competitions with a 2-1 home defeat against Leeds United.
AFC Bournemouth on Tuesday ended Crawley Town’s run in the FA Cup with a 2-1 victory in the fourth round, with Jack Wilshere opening his account in his second spell at the Championship club.
Crawley, who play in the fourth tier, were the lowest-ranked side left in the competition and five of their players tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend and were ruled out of the game.
AP, MILAN, Italy
The best and worst of Zlatan Ibrahimovic was on show on Tuesday as he scored and later was sent off in AC Milan’s 2-1 loss against Inter in the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia.
Ibrahimovic clashed with former teammate Romelu Lukaku at the end of the first half, and he was ejected for a second booking in the 58th minute.
“It [the confrontation] certainly influenced the match, the first booking caused the sending off,” Milan manager Stefano Pioli said after the game.
“They’re big enough and ugly enough, I don’t know what they said to each other, it can happen, we need to move past it and think of the next match,” he said.
Lukaku converted a penalty for the equalizer and Christian Eriksen scored the winner from a free-kick just outside the penalty area deep in stoppage-time.
COPA DEL REY
Borja Iglesias on Tuesday scored twice in extra-time to send Real Betis Balompie through to the last eight of the Copa del Rey following a 3-1 win over Real Sociedad, joining Villarreal and Levante UD in the quarter-finals.
Villarreal edged past second-tier Girona 1-0 to book their place in the quarters, while Levante won 4-2 against Real Valladolid earlier on Tuesday.
The all-English Champions League final might be played in England after Turkey was added to its “red list” of countries where all but essential travel is banned due to COVID-19 outbreaks. Chelsea and Manchester City are due to meet on May 29 in Istanbul and UEFA was hoping to allow about 10,000 fans into the biggest club game of the European soccer season. However, the British government on Friday warned supporters not to travel to Turkey after imposing the new travel restrictions and said that the English Football Association was in talks with Champions League organizer UEFA about staging the game in
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga yesterday said that he has never “put the Olympics first,” the same day an opinion poll showed that nearly 60 percent of people in Japan want the Olympics canceled less than three months before they begin. Japan has extended a state of emergency in Tokyo until the end of the month and is struggling to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases, raising further questions about whether the Games should go on. Its vaccination rate is the lowest among wealthy nations. International Olympic officials, Tokyo planners and Suga have insisted that the Games would go on in “a
Chinese Taipei Football Association (CTFA) secretary-general Fang Ching-jen yesterday touted the success of the Taiwan Business Bank Taiwan Futsal League after Chiayi Tienching on Sunday displayed their all-conquering form and collected the championship trophy with a 5-2 win over YTFC at the Pingtung County Stadium. Since January, when the season began, Chiayi Tienching scored a perfect 10 wins off 10 games to collect 30 points. Taichung Traveler were second, finishing on 22 points with seven wins, two losses and one draw, while CTFA U20 were third on 17 points with five wins, three losses and two draws. In the season’s final round on
A traveling call against the Knicks’ Julius Randle with seconds to go gave possession to the Lakers, letting Talen Horton-Tucker put up his game-winner Talen Horton-Tucker on Tuesday drained a clutch three-pointer in the closing seconds of overtime as the Los Angeles Lakers snatched a thrilling 101-99 victory over the New York Knicks. Horton-Tucker’s effort with 21.1 seconds remaining sealed the win for the Lakers and prevented the Knicks from clinching their first playoff appearance since 2013. It was the dramatic final act of a pulsating clash at the Staples Center, which saw the Knicks’ Julius Randle, a former Lakers player, dominate for long periods with a 31-point performance. Randle looked to have given the Knicks the edge with a superb three-pointer of his own, which put