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Guardiola: Yaya knows why

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Yaya Toure is yet to feature for Manchester City this season and Pep Guardiola refused to fully explain his Champions League absence.

Pep Guardiola’s tempestuous relationship with Yaya Toure appears to have taken another twist ahead of Manchester City’s Champions League opener at Feyenoord.

Toure was left out of City’s squad for the trip to Rotterdam and, although he refused to be draw on specifics, Guardiola told a pre-match news conference the experienced midfielder « knows the reason why ».

Guardiola coached Toure at Barcelona, where the former Ivory Coast international lost his place in the first XI and was transferred to City in 2010.

Their reunion in Manchester got off to a rocky start as Toure returned to pre-season training overweight and was then banished from the first-team picture after his agent Dimitri Seluk criticised Guardiola.

That feud was patched up in time for the 34-year-old to score both goals in a 2-1 win at Crystal Palace last November and he proceeded to play an integral part in City’s season.

But Toure is yet to feature this time around and Fabian Delph and academy prospect Phil Foden were selected ahead of him as midfield substitutes for Saturday’s 5-0 victory over Liverpool

« I spoke with him and he knows the reason why but it is between him and me, » Guardiola said when asked about Toure’s absence at De Kuip, although he clarified application in training was not the issue.

« Yaya was so important last season. Six players finished their contracts last season and Yaya is the only player who we decided could stay because he is a special player.

« Hopefully [he will play again soon], it depends on him. »

One player who could make an unexpected return to action is Ederson.

The City goalkeeper left the field on a stretcher at the weekend after being caught in the face by a high boot from Sadio Mane, a challenge that saw the Liverpool forward sent off.

Ederson resumed training with his team-mates wearing protective headwear due to facial scarring from the incident and was part of City’s travelling party on Tuesday.

« He’s got on with it straight away, » said City defender John Stones, speaking alongside Guardiola.

« After the game he was speaking to the boys as if nothing happened. Shows his character.

« He just wants to be around the team and be in that environment. His face – everyone has seen the stitches and swelling.

« He’s got on with it and put a scrum cap on and been in training. »

Captain Vincent Kompany will miss out for City once more due to his latest calf injury setback.

« Vincent is in Manchester. He is much better. He is coming back soon, » Guardiola added. « We will see in the next weeks but I think it will be soon when he comes back and fights to play. »

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Premier League

Premier League: Mu and Pogba return for a festival

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For the last match of this Saturday in the Premier League, Manchester United hosted Newcastle at Old Trafford. Jose Mourinho’s men squashed the Magpies (4-1) thanks to goals scored by Martial, Smalling, Pogba and Lukaku.

This Manchester United-Newcastle had a special flavor for the Mancunian fans. Indeed, this meeting marked the combined returns of Paul Pogba, Marcos Rojo and especially Zlatan Ibrahimovic. If the first city was started by José Mourinho, the Argentine international and the Swedish giant started the match on the bench. It was necessary to wait for the seventh minute to glimpse a Mancunian opportunity. Marcus Rashford quickly played a free-kick and threw Valencia right side whose center found Lukaku. The recovery of the Belgian striker went well above (7th). To everyone’s surprise, the Magpies opened the scoring. On an excellent center Yedlin right side, Dwight Gayle crossed his shot and deceived De Gea (0-1, 14th). Galvanized by this opening of the score, the men of Rafael Benitez procured a new opportunity.
Murphy took advantage of Mancunian defensive mistakes to shoot a vicious shot that went right next (20th). Surprised by Newcastle’s intentions tonight, José Mourinho’s men were sorely lacking in inspiration. After purring for the first half hour, Manchester finally found the net. Paul Pogba had a right-side festival before centering for Martial’s header, which deceived Elliot (1-1, 37). Invigorated by their equalizer, the Red Devils went on to attack the Newcastle goals. On a Young center, Romelu Lukaku was unable to win the ball (42nd). MU took the advantage just before the break on an excellent center Ashley Young victoriously headed by Chris Smalling (2-1, 45 + 2).

Lukaku finds his way back to the net

Back in the locker room, Manchester was again enterprising. Shifted to the right, Lukaku center for Anthony Martial in the area that was procrastinating at the time of chaining (49th). The Red Devils took off on an illuminated counterattack led by Mata who served Lukaku right side. The Belgian international center for the head of Rashford who put for Paul Pogba who pushed the leather at the bottom of the nets (3-1, 54th). The French international scored his third goal of the season in the Premier League.
Conquerors in the first act, the Magpies seemed to have surrendered now. It was necessary to wait until the 67th minute to see Murphy solicit De Gea by a well-rolled strike. Manchester sealed his success on a nice move between Mata and Lukaku. The Belgian striker alone at the penalty box shot close Elliot (4-1, 70th). The latter broke the Indian sign and scored his eighth goal of the season. For the last quarter of an hour, Mourinho gave his first minutes of the season to Zlatan Ibrahimovic who replaced Martial. Thanks to this success, MU regained his second place with 26 points.

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Martial: « Mourinho is hard with me »

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Author of a good start to the season as a replacement with Manchester United, Anthony Martial looks back on his relationship with José Mourinho.

It’s much better for Anthony Martial. A one-year absence from the French team, the Manchester United striker found Didier Deschamps’ starting lineup against Germany (2-2) on Tuesday and signed a superb assist on the opening of the score of Alexandre Lacazette. A return to the international scene that results from his start to the season with the Red Devils. Lining Marcus Rashford on the left wing, the 21-year-old has turned into a super sub, with 6 goals and as many assists on his meter.

« Toto » Martial especially took the fold of the discipline that José Mourinho imposed on him for a year and a half. « He’s tough with all of us and he’s tough with me, that’s not the question, » said the native of Esssone on the Premier League channel. He recalls his long complicated relationship with the Portuguese coach: « At first we did not know each other very well, but things are better now. He knows my strengths and weaknesses and the result is that we learn to give the best every time.  »

I also know that he really loves me

If the former Monegasque, recruited for 50 million euros in 2015, manages to become a top player one day, he will probably thank the « Special One ». « I know it’s for my benefit and I also know he really loves me, so there’s no problem with this discipline », concludes Anthony Martial. Especially since the young striker now knows that the efficiency, which he knows to show today with his limited playing time, can allow him to be in the France group for the 2018 World Cup.

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Premier League

Chelsea without Michy, Musonda ni Moses but with David Luiz

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Against WBA, Chelsea will not be able to play Michy Batshuayi, Moses or Musonda.

Batshuayi is injured. (Marc Atkins / OFFSIDE / PRESS SPO / PRESS SPORTS)
Traveling to West Bromwich Albion, Chelsea will have to do without Michy Batshuayi (ankle), Danny Drinkwater (calf), Charly Musonda (knee) and Victor Moses (ischios). On the other hand, David Luiz returned to the group after being sidelined by Antonio Conte.

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