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12-11-2016, 10:13 AM

Bravo: Critics focus more on my faults than strengths



Claudio Bravo believes his occasional mistakes at Manchester City are being scrutinised over what he brings to the team, but is not deterred by any criticism that comes his way.The Chile international was brought to the Etihad Stadium from Barcelona by Pep Guardiola in August, after the manager had made it clear previous first choice Joe Hart was not to be his preferred option.

Hart was subsequently sent on loan to Torino in Serie A, with Bravo's ability with the ball at his feet a primary factor in Guardiola's thinking as he looks to impose his passing philosophy on the team.

Bravo's debut season has not been without its blips, however, with the 33-year-old sent off on his return to Camp Nou in the Champions League, while other shaky moments have led some to question the wisdom of Guardiola's decisions.However, he has stated he will use the criticism to fuel his own improvement as City's No.1.

"The problem is that, from 300 passes, you make one mistake … I had that bad luck in one game, the Champions League tie in Barcelona, when I was sent off. But it's a risk you must take," Bravo told the Guardian.

"The criticism is going to exist but I have no problem with that."In fact, I often accept criticism because I feel it helps me to get better and get stronger. And I hardly ever remember the compliments."

After starting life under Guardiola with 10 straight wins in all competitions, City went six without a victory, before a current sequence of one loss in eight and Bravo says it will take time for the manager's ideas to take full effect.

"We are changing the idea of how the team plays. I think it's been positive in that sense. Maybe the results at home haven't been positive but overall we have made some great performances," Bravo said."We need to keep following the same idea. We cannot play 10 games this way and then switch the method to play another way. We just need time.

"In Barcelona they have been playing this style for years, from the kids to the first team. Here we have had only a few months trying to learn a different way of playing from the rest of the teams in the Premier League."
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12-11-2016, 10:15 AM

'Payet? He's a Manchester United-type player' - Schmeichel



Dimitri Payet is reported to be a January transfer target for Manchester United, and Old Trafford legend Peter Schmeichel believes a move for the West Ham forward would make sense.The Red Devils have plenty of attacking talent within their ranks, but they have struggled to turn possession and chances into goals this season.

Those failings have been reflected in results, with three successive draws in top-flight competition leaving Jose Mourinho’s side sixth in the Premier League standings.They have already slipped nine points adrift of the top four and 13 behind table-topping Chelsea.

Money is expected to be spent during the winter window in an effort to keep United in the hunt for Champions League football and Payet is said to be among those in Mourinho’s thoughts, with the France international having impressed with his creativity for the Hammers.“He’s a Manchester United-type player, for sure,” United icon Schmeichel told Soccer AM.

“I think Mourinho has to change his way a little bit to please the fans, the club and the traditions of the club. I think he is showing signs of that, the players that he is signing, they are of a different calibre.

“Zlatan Ibrahimovic is someone he probably wouldn’t have signed had he been at Chelsea, but he’s United’s kind of player, the kind the supporters like to see. He’s rewarding us with great skills and great goals – I think he has scored seven goals so far. “But Payet? Definitely if he can find the form he showed during the Euros.”

Payet has netted only one Premier League goal this season, and four in total across all competitions for club and country.He has, however, continued to be a key playmaking cog for West Ham, creating more chances in 2016 for his team-mates than any of his top-flight rivals.It is that game-changing ability which continues to generate transfer talk ahead of the January window.
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12-11-2016, 10:15 AM

Payet nam hodaiAth West Ham walin January wala tranfer weida kiyana 1kanam sure naha
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12-11-2016, 10:16 AM

Schmeichel: Man Utd can't keep changing, Mourinho is the right choice



Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel has warned that the club “cannot keep changing managers” as Jose Mourinho finds himself under the microscope once again.

The Portuguese was only handed the Old Trafford reins over the summer, as the Red Devils turned to a proven winner as the successor to Louis van Gaal.

Mourinho is yet to have the desired impact on a faltering squad, th|ough, with United already nine points adrift of a top-four standing in the Premier League table.

Results and performances have been inconsistent throughout a testing opening to the 2016-17 campaign, with top-flight struggles countered by positive progress in EFL Cup and Europa League competition.

Schmeichel believes Mourinho needs to be given time in which to get the club firing on all fronts, with there little point in parting with his services and starting afresh for a fourth time in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.

He told Soccer AM when asked if the ex-Chelsea and Real Madrid coach is the right man for United: “I think he is. Right or wrong, it doesn’t matter and we need to stick with him and let him do his job for the next couple of years and see where he can take Man United.

“We cannot keep changing our managers. For 27 years we had the same guy, and if you go back to the 50s it was the same with Matt Busby.“History tells you that if you keep changing, it’s not going to happen. We need someone to stay there for a long time.”

Schmeichel says there are positives to be taken from Mourinho’s early work, with his summer additions starting to show their true colours and offer hope for the future.He added: “There are still a lot of players that don’t fit into how he wants to play, but the ones that he brought in are starting to show how good they are.

“[Henrikh] Mkhitaryan, he was player of the year in the Bundesliga last year and has now got an opportunity and has shown us how good he is. [Eric] Bailly, until he got injured was flying."He’s back in the team now and is a great signing. I think Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] has been a great signing as well.

“Those are all the positives you need to take from game to game. I’d like to see them further up the table, but if it’s progress or progression, I’m patient.”
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12-11-2016, 10:17 AM

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Schmeichel: Man Utd can't keep changing, Mourinho is the right choice


Welawe hatiyata wena karanna deyakuth naha.
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12-11-2016, 10:18 AM

Manchester United have a duty to entertain - Valencia



Antonio Valencia says Manchester United not only have a duty to win games, but to do it in an entertaining way.

United have been struggling to find their best form this campaign and sit sixth in the Premier League.They have shown signs of improvement in recent weeks, though, and Valencia believes their fans have every reason to be pleased with the way they have been playing.

"I think we have always had a duty to entertain as Manchester United players in whatever game we are playing in," he told MUTV ahead of Sunday's clash with Tottenham at Old Trafford.

"It is not only a duty to win trophies and titles but also to play well with entertaining football. That is what we fight hard to do.

"We play hard and we try to play our absolute best in an entertaining manner so the fans leave the stadium and go home happy with a good result after seeing some good football.

"Any game in the Premier League is entertaining and that is always our aim. What we have in our mindset and in our thoughts when we are going into a game is that we try to win, get the three points, and play well at the same time.

"I will repeat: I think that is what we’ve been doing in these last few games. I think we have been entertaining the fans and producing some good football."And again it is all about continuing with that and trying to get the three points on Sunday."
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12-11-2016, 10:19 AM

Mustafi ruled out for three weeks with hamstring injury



Shkodran Mustafi has been ruled out for the remainder of the year with a hamstring injury, Arsene Wenger has confirmed.

The Germany defender was substituted during Arsenal's 3-1 victory over Stoke City on Saturday.And Wenger has revealed that Mustafi was withdrawn from the encounter due to a serious injury that will rule the German out until after Christmas.

“He has a bad hamstring strain and will be out for a minimum of 21 days. He will have a good Christmas [not playing]," Wenger told reporters after the game.

Mustafi has enjoyed a smooth transition into English football following his summer move to the club from Valencia, playing 17 games for Arsenal and collecting a mere three yellow cards.

Arsenal are currently top of the Premier League on goals scored after their defeat of the Potters, but Chelsea could overtake them if they beat West Brom on Sunday.
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12-11-2016, 10:20 AM

Alba: Messi hasn't spoken about new contract



Lionel Messi has not spoken to his Barcelona team-mates about the prospect of signing a new contract, according to Jordi Alba.

The Spanish champions are reported to have begun discussions with the Argentina star's father Jorge this week over a new deal that would keep him at the club until 2022.

Messi was in fine form against Osasuna on Saturday, scoring twice and playing a sublime pass for Alba to set up Luis Suarez's goal as Barca ran out 3-0 winners at El Sadar.

Alba, who also assisted Messi's opener, is desperate for the Argentina star to extend his contract but says he has not discussed his future with the rest of the squad.

"Since I've been here, Leo sees passes like no-one else and he always looks for me," Alba told reporters after the match. "The two assists I gave were important but the first was thanks to Leo.

"I hope he renews. It will be good for us and also for him. We're superior with him. We haven't spoken with Leo about it, but I hope he stays." Alba hopes his performance against Osasuna will earn him more favourable treatment by the media for the next week.

The Spain international believes he was unfairly singled out in the wake of the Clasico last Saturday, in which he was filmed calling Real Madrid's Mateo Kovacic "stupid" and telling him to "learn Spanish".

"They're things that are said during a game," he said. "They're always reported in the same way."People say things to me, too. It's been a while now with just reports about what I say.

"And I know where [the reports] come from. It does damage for no reason."They always go after me. I hope that everyone who has spoken ill of me speaks well of me after today."
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12-11-2016, 10:21 AM

Wenger lauds Arsenal composure in comeback triumph



Arsene Wenger hailed Arsenal's composure responding to falling behind as his side moved top of the Premier League with a 3-1 victory over Stoke City.

The hosts trailed to Charlie Adam's first-half penalty, but fought back as goals from Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil and Alex Iwobi secured a 15th consecutive home win against the Potters in all competitions.

It took the Gunners – who finished top of their Champions League group courtesy of a 4-1 midweek win at Basel – to the summit on goals scored ahead of Chelsea's clash with West Brom on Sunday.

"The key was not to let frustration into the game and keep our nerves and our composure," said the Frenchman. "We didn't panic and that's maybe linked with the positive results we've had recently.

"We've given a lot over these days at Basel. We found the resources at Basel to win the game."Arsenal finished runners-up in the league last season in what many billed as a missed opportunity, with Leicester City claiming a shock title triumph.

Wenger's side have not been crowned champions since 2004, but the 67-year-old hopes they will underline their progress this season."We were not too bad last year," he added. "We finished second in the league and we have to show that we've improved in the long term.

"We've created confidence and are ambitious. We need to keep the urgency level high and show that in every single game now."We are in there no matter what the results will be. We want to build the momentum and everyone expects you win the game.

"Last season we did very well against the top five and dropped points against the mid-table teams. It's our challenge this year to do well against the mid-table teams."
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12-11-2016, 10:22 AM

Leicester City 4-2 Manchester City: Vardy hits hat-trick as Foxes run riot



Jamie Vardy ended his club goalscoring drought in style with a hat-trick on Saturday, as Leicester City rediscovered their Premier League title-winning form to defeat Manchester City 4-2.

Claudio Ranieri's champions were two goals up after just five minutes and made it 3-0 with 20 minutes gone, Andy King's stunner coming either side of Vardy's relief-laden opener and well-taken second.

Vardy pounced on a short John Stones back pass to squeeze home his third with 12 minutes to go, before Aleksandar Kolarov and substitute Nolito restored a measure of respectability with two late consolation goals.

A City line-up containing seven changes from the 1-1 Champions League draw with Celtic on Tuesday and employing Guardiola's typical high defensive line were badly exposed by the pace of Riyad Mahrez and Vardy.

Despite it having been Leicester's trademark in 2015-16, such punishment on the break may still have come as something of a surprise to the visitors at King Power Stadium, the Foxes having offered little indication so far this term that they retain the same devastating counterattacking threat that carried them to unexpected glory last season.

The hosts were seeking to respond to a humiliating 5-0 loss away to Porto on Wednesday, but nevertheless started brilliantly.

Three minutes in, Mahrez gathered Robert Huth's clearance and found Islam Slimani, who in turn fed Vardy. The England international's pace was too much for Kolarov, the defender only able to watch as the forward raced into the area and finished across Claudio Bravo, ending his 741-minute goal drought at club level by finding the far side of the net.

It was 2-0 after five minutes, the unlikely figure of King curling home a brilliant finish from outside the area after being teed up by Slimani, who had benefitted from Huth winning a header off a corner and nodding down into a dangerous area.

Leicester's unexpected revival continued in the 20th minute, when Mahrez collected another pinpoint long ball down the right and slid Vardy into acres of space to score easily past a stranded Bravo.

Having struggled in the absence of the suspended Sergio Aguero, Guardiola's men did begin to dominate possession late in the first half and early in the second, with Kevin De Bruyne heavily involved. The Belgian playmaker shot narrowly wide of the post in the 50th minute, having had a claim for a penalty waved away when his initial shot struck the arm of Mark Albrighton. Pablo Zabaleta was also dangerous, seeing one shot blocked from close range at the back post before curling another narrowly wide of the far upright after cutting in off the right and bursting into the area.

City's fate was confirmed beyond doubt when Vardy took advantage of Stones' mistake, goal-line technology confirming a finish from the tightest of angles had crossed the line before being cleared.

Kolarov's late set-piece strike and Nolito's opportunistic effort at the near post served only to prevent the result from becoming one of Guardiola's heaviest ever league defeats, the Catalan having only lost by three goals twice before in the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich and never in LaLiga at Barcelona.

Leicester will now go into Tuesday's match away to Bournemouth, who lost 3-2 at Burnley earlier in the day, with renewed confidence, while City, having suffered a second damaging domestic result in succession after last weekend's 3-1 reverse at home to title rivals Chelsea, will host a Watford side buoyed by their home victory over Everton on Wednesday.
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