City will look to maintain high standard over festive period

first_imgManchester City will not relent in their attacking zeal despite the glut of fixtures to come over the festive period, manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday before the weekend’s Premier League clash against Bournemouth.City, who won the title last season by breaking records in terms of goals scored and points accrued, are once again flying high, leading the table on 35 points after 13 games without tasting defeat.It was in the midst of the busy December fixtures last year, however, that Guardiola’s side saw their record 18-game winning run come to a halt in a 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace.With a plethora of games to come starting with Saturday’s visit of Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth, Guardiola maintained that his side will not change their approach to mitigate the short recovery time.“When we are not able to win the games, people will say we cannot keep the standard but we have been at the same level for the last 15 months so I don’t have any reason to think we will not be who we are,” the Spanish coach told a news conference.“That doesn’t mean win or lose but the way we approach the games, I don’t see any signals to see we are not going to try and be who we are.”On Bournemouth, Guardiola commented: “They are so fast up front with (Calum) Wilson, (Ryan) Fraser, (Junior) Stanislas, (David) Brooks. Very well organised. It will be a tough, tough game.”City will at least be boosted by the news that forward Gabriel Jesus is close to recovery, with Guardiola adding that he wants the Brazilian to play a lot of minutes in the coming weeks.However, the manager was more downbeat about reports that 19-year-old Brahim Diaz could be the latest talented youngster to leave the Etihad – possibly following in the footsteps of Jadon Sancho, who is now impressing at Borussia Dortmund since moving there last year.Spanish media outlets said that Real Madrid could be a possible destination and Guardiola urged the youngster to make a decision.“We want him (Brahim), we want to extend his contract four or five years and do absolutely everything for him to stay,” he said. “But it’s in his hands. My advice is if he doesn’t want to stay, he has to leave. So it’s simple… he has to decide.”The Manchester outfit lead the standings by two points ahead of Liverpool, who are also unbeaten in the league so far.last_img read more

Everton 1-1 Tottenham: Mauricio Pochettino’s side are held on Merseyside

first_img Dele Alli 1 Tottenham failed to close the gap on third-placed Man City as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Everton at Goodison Park.It was Everton’s fifth draw in ten matches, but Roberto Martinez will be pleased with his side’s defensive performance after criticism in recent weeks. Spurs will see it as a big chance dropped as Mauricio Pochettino’s side have been tipped for the title this week, but they are now six points behind Premier League leaders and bitter rivals Arsenal. The home team took the lead with their first foray into the penalty area as Aaron Lennon, formerly of Spurs, netted his first goal of the season. Dele Alli chested and volleyed on the stroke of half-time to draw Mauricio Pochettino’s side level. It was a good game of football which highlighted the young English talents in Ross Barkley and Alli, but the two could not find the late magic to snatch their team all three points. Spurs had good early opportunities as right-back Kyle Walker – who has been impressive in Pochettino’s side this season – crossed for England youngster Dele Alli, who could not convert.Minutes later Harry Kane fired across goal from 18 yards, his effort rattling the post before former Spurs man Lennon netted after 22 minutes.It was his first goal since joining the Merseysiders permanently from Spurs in the summer – although he scored twice while on loan at Goodison Park last season. A cross came in from the left and Lukaku rose highest to head a brilliant knockdown into the winger’s path. Lennon controlled with his chest before sending a looping volley past Hugo Lloris and into the far corner.Ben Davies nearly drew Spurs level eight minutes later after Spurs took a well-worked corner. The set piece was pulled back to the Welsh left-back, who unleashed a powerful rising shot from 20 yards, which beat Everton’s Tim Howard and ricocheted off the upright.The north Londoners got their equaliser before the break as Alli scored his fifth goal since joining the club from MK Dons in the summer. Toby Alderweireld’s long ball into the box was controlled and volleyed home by the 19-year-old midfield prospect.The second half was a much tighter contest as both sides were cautious not to slip to defeat.Alli tried his luck from 25 yards but American shot-stopper Howard got behind the ball well.The best chance of the second period fell to the home side, as Spurs failed to clear and the ball fell to Muhamed Besic on the edge of the box.The Boznia and Herzegovina international controlled with his chest and his 20-yard volley beat Lloris before dipping and smashing against the crossbar.Ramiro Funes Mori headed wide for the Toffees, who will have settled for a draw at the start of the day.last_img read more