Month: August 2016

Sergio Aguero could miss Manchester derby through ban

aguero ban

Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero could face a three-match ban that will rule him out of the Manchester derby in September.

Winston Reid and Sergio Aguero’s clash in the 76th minute of City’s match against West Ham United saw Reid left speechless after being elbowed by the Argentinian.

Although referee Andre Marriner did not take any action at the time, the Football Association could take retrospective action unless Marriner himself states that he did witness the incident and is comfortable with his original decision not to act on it.

City had gone on to win the match by 3-1 thanks to goals by Fernandinho and Raheem Sterling. However, if Aguero is found guilty and charged, he will miss the visit to Old Trafford, a home game against Bournemouth and a trip to Swansea City in the EFL Cup.

“I am new here so I don’t know how it works,” City manager Pep Guardiola said in regards to Aguero’s potential ban. “I didn’t see so I cannot comment. Hopefully nothing happens. If it happens, we accept and adapt. If we lose him, we lose him. We are going to play with 11.”

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic agreed, saying: “I did not see the Sergio Aguero incident. We were going to change the centre-half anyway to go four at the back. Winston Reid got a little injured so we took him off.”

Mark Noble, the West Ham captain, claimed Reid was left speechless by the challenge.

“I didn’t see it, to be honest. I didn’t know what it was about,” he said. “I know he [Reid] couldn’t talk. He said it was because he had got something in the throat.”

Asked if Aguero had hit Reid’s Adam’s apple, Noble said: “I know that he can’t talk in there so that must be the case.”

Manchester City signs Claudio Bravo for £15.4m

claudio_bravo_joins_city

Manchester City has completed the signing of Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo in a four-year contract worth 18m Euros.

Bravo, 33, is set to start ahead of Joe Hart and Willy Caballero.

Meanwhile, Barca replaces Bravo with Netherlands international Jasper Cillessen, who joins from Ajax.

“I’m very proud to be joining Manchester City,” Bravo said. “I know the club is building something very special and I hope I can be part of many successes in the coming years.”

“It is not easy to leave a club like Barcelona where I had two fantastic years, but the opportunity to work with Pep Guardiola was too good to refuse,” he added. “I know the club is building something very special and I hope I can be part of many successes in the coming years.

City manager Guardiola said: “Claudio is a fantastic goalkeeper and an excellent addition to our squad.”

“He has experience and great leadership qualities and is in the prime of his life. He is a goalkeeper I have admired for a number of years and I’m really happy he is now a City player.”

Claudio Bravo won two La Liga titles and the FIFA Club World Cup alongside Barca since joining the Spanish giants in 2014.

He was also part of the Catalan team’s Champions League-winning squad in 2015, but never played in the competition. Instead, it was German goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stergen who had featured for Barca in those fixtures.

Celtic survives scare to advance into Champions League

celtic-hapoel

Celtic was on the edge as they survived a spirited Hapoel Beer Sheva offense to advance into the Champions League group stages.

On the grace of a 5-2 score in the first leg, the Scottish Champions were able to withstand their 2-0 defeat in Israel and advance from the playoffs by 5-4 on aggregate.

There had been plenty of early signs of danger early on as Celtic keeper Craig Gordon was forced to save a penalty in the 15 minute.

Celtic’s relief was short lived as substitute Ben Sahar headed in Hapoel’s first.

A misunderstanding between Gordon Saidy Janko then allowed Romanian international Ovidiu Hoban a free chance to double the lead for his club.

Later in the second half, Celtic substitute Moussa Dembele and Scott Sinclair both went close but was unable to convert.

While his team failed to get a goal that would have eased the piling pressure, Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers breathed a sigh of relief as the final whistle sounded.

Furthermore, for the first time in three years, Celtic makes a return to the Champions League and will bank almost £30m as a result.

“It was probably the longest 90 minutes I have faced as a coach, and I think with past experiences that players have had, sometimes they know how it can map out,” Rodgers said after the game.

“I thought Hapoel Beer-Sheva were outstanding. They had to force the game, of course. They had nothing to lose but they played very well. But I have to congratulate my players, because all the work we have been doing has been based around that mentality and quality of game.”