EPL

I wanted to win the league before I was 21 - Sterling on move to City

By Sports Desk May 16, 2019

Raheem Sterling explained why he moved from Liverpool to Man City after he picked up the Football Writers' Association Football of the Year award.

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  • We're not playing basketball! – Solskjaer insists there was no foul before Rashford goal We're not playing basketball! – Solskjaer insists there was no foul before Rashford goal

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scoffed at Jurgen Klopp's claim Manchester United's goal in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool should not have stood due to a foul, the Norwegian reminding his counterpart they are not playing basketball.

    United controversially took the lead late in the first half at Old Trafford when Marcus Rashford converted from Daniel James' cross.

    But Liverpool were angered by the failure to award them a free-kick in the build-up after Victor Lindelof appeared to catch Divock Origi.

    After a VAR review, it was decided referee Martin Atkinson did not need to consult a replay, allowing the goal to stand despite Liverpool's protests.

    Klopp said he was "100 per cent sure VAR would overrule it", convinced Lindelof had fouled Origi, but Solskjaer would not entertain such opinions.

    "No chance," Solskjaer said when asked if he felt it was a foul.

    "We’re not playing basketball. He touched him, but it's not a clear and obvious error. I don't think it's a foul."

    While the contest may not have been a classic that contained remarkable individual displays, Solskjaer was impressed with the pair who combined for United's goal.

    James' pace troubled Liverpool's defence, while Rashford's direct running and off-the-ball movement kept the visiting backline guessing.

    "[His] best game for ages, maybe in the 10 months with me," Solskjaer said of Rashford.

    "His runs off the shoulder, he chases, defends well, holds the ball. There was a nice little race with [Virgil] Van Dijk in the corner, where you could see the boy is growing and getting stronger.

    "[James] has a great attitude, no fear. He's brave, he gets kicked and gets up again. He's a nightmare to play against when he gets space. The boy has been a delight to work with, and him and Marcus played well."

  • Rashford's 'big six' haul, Reds fall short of Man City's record - the key Opta facts from Man United v Liverpool Rashford's 'big six' haul, Reds fall short of Man City's record - the key Opta facts from Man United v Liverpool

    Manchester United stopped the rot at Old Trafford and slowed Liverpool's Premier League title charge with a battling performance in a tightly contested 1-1 draw.

    Marcus Rashford opened the scoring in contentious fashion with his first goal for United in over a month to give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's much-improved side hope of a memorable victory.

    United's hope faded with five minutes remaining, however, when Adam Lallana struck for the first time in the Premier League in over two years to claim a share of the spoils Liverpool's second-half display deserved.

    Jurgen Klopp's men went into the game as favourites but had to settle for a draw, and the key Opta facts marked significant milestones on both sides of a fierce rivalry which rarely delivers a dull game.

    Reds' run falls short of City's record

    Victory at Old Trafford would have seen Liverpool equal Manchester City's record of 18 consecutive Premier League wins, set in 2017, but they were denied at the last hurdle.

    It was the first time Klopp's side failed to win a Premier League match since their goalless draw with Merseyside rivals Everton in March.

    Rashford relishes big-game pressure

    Though he made an inauspicious start to the game, wasting early opportunities to attack, Rashford – who scored a wonderful goal in England’s thumping win over Bulgaria in Euro 2020 qualifying – made amends when he converted Daniel James' cross after 36 minutes.

    It was the England forward's 31st Premier League goal for United, of which 11 have come against 'big six' opponents, and his third against Liverpool.

    Lallana ends two-year drought

    Few Liverpool fans would have held out hope of Lallana grabbing an equaliser after his 71st-minute introduction given that his previous Premier League goal came against Middlesbrough in May 2017.

    The 31-year-old was in the right place at the right time to turn Andy Robertson's cross home for his first goal in 29 top-flight appearances.

    Solskjaer left to rue more dropped points

    While United's performance was warmly received by the Old Trafford crowd, it was not the first time Solskjaer's side have faltered when in a winning position this season.

    Indeed, no side has dropped more points from winning positions than United, who have squandered eight, though Solskjaer is the only manager Klopp has faced more than once in the Premier League and failed to beat

    Klopp's fighting spirit lifts Liverpool

    After a frustrating first half in which they had 56.9 per cent of the possession, Liverpool dominated the second and enjoyed a 77.5 per cent share.

    Lallana's late equaliser was the 28th goal Liverpool have scored in the final 15 minutes of Premier League matches since the start of the 2018-19 season.

  • Man United halt Liverpool's winning streak as Man City close the gap - the Premier League Data Diary Man United halt Liverpool's winning streak as Man City close the gap - the Premier League Data Diary

    Premier League leaders Liverpool's winning start to the season was brought to a halt as they drew 1-1 against fierce rivals Manchester United on Sunday.

    Marcus Rashford's contentious goal looked set to claim all three points for United in the clash at Old Trafford, but substitute Adam Lallana hauled Liverpool level late on.

    The Reds are still unbeaten in the league this season and lead the way, although Manchester City's victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday means the gap is now six points.

    Meanwhile, Mauricio Pochettino will not have been pleased by another unconvincing Tottenham display despite Dele Alli rescuing a point for Spurs against Watford.

    Chelsea overcame Newcastle United, while Leicester City got back on the winning trail following their heartbreak at Anfield.

    Marco Silva's Everton claimed a much-needed win over West Ham, with Aston Villa beating Brighton and Hove Albion late on. Wolves drew with Southampton and Norwich City held Bournemouth in Saturday's other encounters.

    Our Premier League Data Diary sheds some light on the detail behind the big stories of this weekend's big games.

     

    SEVENTEEN AND OUT FOR LIVERPOOL

    Lallana may have scored his first league goal since May 2017, but it was only enough to earn Liverpool a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, as the Reds failed to win for the first time in 18 Premier League matches.

    It means, with 17 straight victories, the top-flight leaders fall just short of the Premier League record set by City in 2017.

    Jurgen Klopp was furious that Rashford's opener was allowed to stand, though the goal means the England forward has now scored 11 times against "big six" opposition.

    It was backs-against-the-wall stuff for United for much of the match, with the Red Devils registering their second-lowest possession figure (32.1 per cent) in a Premier League home match since 2003-04.

    Five of the last seven Premier League meetings between the north west rivals have ended level – just four of the previous 36 encounters had been drawn.

    JESUS RISES TO THE CHALLENGE AS CITY BOUNCE BACK

    City's slip-up before the international break allowed Liverpool to open up an eight-point gap, but Pep Guardiola's side responded in confident fashion on Saturday.

    Gabriel Jesus scored his 50th City goal to put the champions ahead at Selhurst Park, with the Brazil international becoming the seventh player to reach that milestone while being coached by Guardiola, joining Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, Thomas Muller and Pedro on an illustrious list. 

    David Silva added City's second, just 93 seconds after Jesus' opener as Palace succumbed to a 10th home league defeat since the start of last season.

    City have now won 12 of their 14 away Premier League games in 2019, three more than any other club this calendar year, while in all competitions they have won 16 of their previous 19 meetings with Palace, scoring 47 goals.

    Jesus has been directly involved in 58 goals in his 64 starts across all competitions for the club, including scoring 21 in his last 20 games when featuring in the starting XI.

    ALLI SAVES A POINT BUT SPURS' SLUGGISH RUN ROLLS ON

    A mix-up between Kiko Femenia and Ben Foster may have allowed Alli to salvage a point for Tottenham against Watford, but Spurs have now won just three of their last 12 Premier League games, keeping just one clean sheet across those games.

    Lowly Watford thought Abdoulaye Doucoure's early goal was going to be enough, but the Hornets remain winless in the Premier League this season, failing to win their opening nine league games for the first time since 2006-07, when they went on to finish bottom.

    Spurs made seven changes to their starting XI for this match, with Alli rewarding Pochettino for his faith as he scored his fifth league goal against Watford.

    Watford lost Danny Welbeck to injury in the fourth minute – the earliest substitution of a starting player in a Premier League match since Daniel Sturridge for West Brom against Chelsea in February 2018.

    IT'S...... JAMIE VARDY

    After their late defeat at Anfield, Leicester returned to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Burnley, albeit it was a triumph not without some controversy as Sean Dyche's side had a late goal harshly disallowed by VAR.

    Jamie Vardy cancelled out Chris Wood's opener, heading home a cross from Harvey Barnes, who later became the second youngest player to provide two assists in a Premier League game for the Foxes when he teed up Youri Tielemans' winner.

    Since Brendan Rodgers' first Premier League game in charge of Leicester on March 3rd, Vardy has scored 15 top-flight goals – two more than any other player.

    In-form Leicester have now won four consecutive home Premier League matches for the first time since winning five in a row in May 2017, while the Clarets have won just 16 times from Burnley's 100 away matches in the top tier.

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