Man City crush Arsenal, Spurs grab late win at Wolves

Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne scores their third goal against a hapless Arsenal. (Reuters)
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Updated 15 December 2019

Man City crush Arsenal, Spurs grab late win at Wolves

  • Kevin De Bruyne scored twice and teed up Raheem Sterling for City’s other goal as Arsenal crumbled to another humiliating home defeat
  • Victory saw City close the gap on runaway leaders Liverpool back to 14 points

LONDON: Manchester City got back on track as the Premier League champions swept to a 3-0 win against woeful Arsenal, while Tottenham maintained their revival under Jose Mourinho with a dramatic 2-1 victory at Wolves on Sunday.
City’s masterclass in north London and Jan Vertonghen’s last-gasp winner for Tottenham shared the spotlight on a day when Manchester United’s teenage striker Mason Greenwood rescued a 1-1 draw against Everton.
Kevin De Bruyne scored twice and teed up Raheem Sterling for City’s other goal as Arsenal crumbled to another humiliating home defeat.
Victory sees City close the gap on runaway leaders Liverpool back to 14 points and edge to within four of second-placed Leicester, who they host next weekend.
Arsenal, on the other hand, remain ninth on the back of just one win in their last 12 games in all competitions.
City struck in the second minute when Gabriel Jesus’s low cross picked out De Bruyne to fire into the roof of the net.
Pep Guardiola’s men had been ruthlessly cut apart on the counter-attack in losing to Manchester United last weekend.
But the visitors doubled their lead just 15 minutes in with De Bruyne the creator as he carried the ball forward before squaring for Sterling to slot home his 16th goal of the season.
De Bruyne showed his superior quality to any other player on the pitch again five minutes before half-time as this time he curled into the bottom corner from outside the box.
At Molineux, Mourinho’s men had to dig deep against in-form Wolves to inflict the hosts’ first league defeat in 12 games.
Adama Traore’s spectacular strike had canceled out Tottenham winger Lucas Moura’s early opener before Vertonghen stooped to guide home Christan Eriksen’s corner in stoppage-time.
Spurs can now move into the top four before Christmas if they beat Chelsea at home next weekend and Mourinho has his sights of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
“We went about a year without winning a Premier League game away and we’ve managed two in a short amount of time,” Mourinho added.
“Now we are not looking to the bottom of table, we’re looking higher up. This game is a special game because the opponent is a special opponent.”
United are one point behind Tottenham in sixth place after the momentum from their impressive recent run stalled in the Everton draw.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side fell behind to Victor Lindelof’s controversial first half own-goal after United’s appeals for a foul on David de Gea were ignored by VAR.
“It was a clear foul but there’s no point me complaining. It (VAR) will be better next year. They’ll have to look at it,” Solskjaer said.
But Greenwood, introduced in the second half, underlined his vast potential with a clinical strike 13 minutes from full-time.
The 18-year-old is the third youngest player to score a Premier League goal at Old Trafford after former United forward Federico Macheda and Danny Welbeck.
Bradford-born Greenwood, a product of United’s youth academy, now has seven goals in his breakthrough season after netting twice in his previous appearance against Alkmaar in the Europa League on Thursday.
It was fitting that Greenwood scored in the 4,000th senior match in succession in which at least one youth graduate was represented in United’s first-team or matchday squad, an extraordinary record stretching back over nine decades.
For Duncan Ferguson, Everton’s caretaker manager, this spirited performance built on the momentum from last weekend’s win over Chelsea.
But Ferguson, a popular club legend, insisted he isn’t the right man to lead the Toffees in the long-term.
“I think it’s buying them a bit of time until they can get the right man in. That’s what a couple of results does, so we can make that process more diligent,” he said.


NBA playoff picture comes into a bit more focus

Updated 08 August 2020

NBA playoff picture comes into a bit more focus

  • Orlando and Washington are last two teams contending for one spot in the East
  • The race for the last unclaimed playoff spot in the Western Conference remains close

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida: The NBA playoff picture is getting a little clearer.
Brooklyn secured one of the last two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference on Friday, defeating Sacramento 119-106. That leaves Orlando and Washington as the last two teams contending for one spot in the East, with the Magic needing only one more win or one Wizards loss to clinch.
Orlando and Washington were both playing later Friday.
For the Nets, the clinching comes as something to savor in a topsy-turvy season.
Kevin Durant couldn’t play at all because of his recovery from Achilles surgery — yet still got a $1 million contract bonus because Brooklyn made the postseason. Kyrie Irving missed much of the year because of injury, the Nets had several regulars opt out of participating in the restart, changed coaches in March and have used 24 players so far this season.
“It’s great to punch our own ticket into the playoffs,” Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said. “I joked with the guys: I like my laundry being done, but nothing like doing your own laundry.”
The race for the last unclaimed playoff spot in the Western Conference remains close, with teams vying to grab the No. 8 spot and play the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. If the eighth- and ninth-place teams are within four games of one another when the seeding game schedule ends next week, there will be a two-game series to determine who gets the last playoff spot.
Should that series take place, the ninth-place team would have to go 2-0 in a best-of-two series to advance.
Memphis remained alone in eighth, after the Grizzlies snapped a four-game bubble losing streak by beating Oklahoma City on Friday 121-92. The Grizzlies are one game ahead of Portland in the West standings.
“We channeled what we’ve done all season long,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said. “We played Grizzlies basketball. Grizzlies basketball equals Grizzlies wins, more often than not. We hadn’t done that in the first four games.”
San Antonio leaped idle Phoenix into 10th in the West by beating Utah 119-111, with the Spurs improving to 3-2 in the bubble. The Spurs (30-38) are one game behind Portland in the standings.
“At the end of the day, we can’t control what they’re doing,” Spurs center Jakob Poeltl said. “We can only control what we’re doing. We’re going to take every game as it comes. We’re going to try to win every game.”
Phoenix, Sacramento and New Orleans remain in the mix for a play-in series spot. The Suns, who are 4-0 at Disney, play Miami on Saturday.