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City rescue point as title race hit

first_img Samir Nasri did have a shot blocked as City looked to make inroads but Hull contained them all too easily, a point underlined when Fernandinho was pushed off the ball by Jake Livermore. Livermore was heavily involved as Hull pounced on some calamitous City defending to seize the lead after 35 minutes. Hart came out to clear when Martin Demichelis hesitated but only found Livermore and had to save his quickfire shot. Pablo Zabaleta then had a chance to clear but Gaston Ramirez nipped in and fired a shot against the post. This time there was no City player nearby and Meyler reacted quickest to tuck home the rebound. It might have got worse for City before the break as they failed to clear a Tom Huddlestone free-kick and the ball fell invitingly for Aluko, but he blazed over. Pellegrini made a change at the break by sending on pacy winger Jesus Navas for the ineffective Fernando. The hosts started the second half better with Dzeko finally extending McGregor as he met a cross from Zabaleta with a snap-shot. David Silva then had a strong appeal for a penalty turned down by referee Jonathan Moss following a challenge in the back by Alex Bruce. James Milner came on for Dzeko as City continued to look for openings but, despite improved possession, their efforts met with frustration. Milner did win a free-kick just outside the box but Nasri delivered it straight into the arms of McGregor. Stevan Jovetic, left out of City’s Champions League squad this week to make way for new signing Wilfried Bony, came on to try to rescue the situation with 16 minutes to go. Bruce responded by sending on his deadline-day signing Dame N’Doye. City enjoyed a stranglehold on possession in the closing stages but their luck did not look like turning. Aguero brilliantly controlled a Nasri cross with 89 minutes on the clock but his deft shot rebounded off the bar. It seemed time might be up but Milner, as the game headed into four minutes of injury time, bent a perfect free-kick around the wall after Aguero was felled by Huddlestone. City looked to be heading to a potentially damaging defeat in their Barclays Premier League title chase after David Meyler struck for relegation battlers Hull after 35 minutes at the Etihad Stadium. But after a dismal first-half display, City showed greater urgency after the break and had a justifiable penalty appeal turned down and hit the woodwork before Milner struck. Milner, who is out of contract in the summer, curled home from the edge of the area for a goal that underlines his enduring value to manager Manuel Pellegrini. City can argue it was the least their efforts deserved after dominating possession but Hull will feel unlucky having got so close to giving their survival push an unlikely but much-needed shot in the arm. Their wait for a first win since New Year’s Day goes on but manager Steve Bruce will at least be encouraged. But despite the positive finish, the result still saw City slip seven points behind leaders Chelsea. The return of Yaya Toure clearly cannot come quickly enough. City have now played six matches without their powerhouse midfielder this season and not won any of them. Hull had the first opportunity of the game when Robbie Brady slipped a ball through to Sone Aluko but Joe Hart dealt comfortably with his shot. City lacked inspiration throughout the first half with their ponderous build-up play lacking any penetration. Edin Dzeko did get his head to a cross but Allan McGregor was not troubled in the Hull goal. Hull sounded the alarm bells after 17 minutes when the impressive Brady whipped in a cross from the left and Ahmed Elmohamady charged in at the back post to thump a header against the post. Press Association Substitute James Milner struck a superb injury-time free-kick as lacklustre champions Manchester City rescued a point with a 1-1 draw against Hull.last_img read more

English Premier League: Manchester City hammer new champs Liverpool 4-0

first_imgLONDON: Manchester City generously applauded new champions Liverpool onto the field before their Premier League match on Thursday — and promptly showed no mercy by thrashing them 4-0 at the Etihad stadium.With the title secured a week ago, there was little at stake for Juergen Klopp’s Liverpool side who showed far from their usual levels of intensity but the loss, just their second of the league campaign, was an emphatic reminder that City will be desperate to regain their crown next season. Klopp was quick to defend his team’s attitude, rejecting any suggestion they had taken the game lightly. “I saw a brilliant attitude. I saw fight. We didn’t behave like somebody who became champions a week ago. We lacked fluidity. And in some 50-50 situations they were quicker than us,” he said. “Man City are incredible. I saw their season, they didn’t play a bad game even when they lost,” he said. After the guard of honour, which included City manager Pep Guardiola, the visitors started brightly and Ederson had to be alert to keep out a fourth-minute effort from Mohamed Salah. Salah then struck the post after a clever pass from Roberto Firmino, whose hair was coloured red, but if Liverpool thought they were in for another night of festivities, they were in for a rude awakening. Joe Gomez could not cope with Raheem Sterling’s twisting and turning in the box, pulling him to the ground before Kevin De Bruyne converted the penalty in the 25th minute. Sterling doubled the lead 10 minutes later when after a swift break, Phil Foden found him inside the box and the ex-Liverpool forward cut inside Gomez and slid the ball home. The 20-year-old Foden made it 3-0, firing past Alisson after a swift exchange with Kevin De Bruyne. City were showing an unusual willingness to play long balls and after Rodri launched a pass deep to De Bruyne, the Belgian found Sterling inside the box and he slipped the ball goalwards, with substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s outstretched touch only turning it into his own net. It could have been even worse for Liverpool with Riyad Mahrez’s fine solo effort in the final moments but VAR spotted a handball by Foden in the build-up. “We beat the champions, an extraordinary team,” Guardiola said. “We tried to play football, take risks against the best team I have ever faced in my life at high pressing,” he added. “They drank a lot of beers this week but they arrived here with no beers in their blood which is why I give us a lot of credit.” The loss was the joint-heaviest defeat by a side already crowned Premier League champions. Arsenal were beaten 4-0 at Liverpool in 1997-98 in the game after they clinched the title. Agencies Also Watch: It’s Better to Die Than Live Like This: Street Hawker in Guwahatilast_img read more