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Man City return to top of EPL after 2-0 win at Man Utd

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Manchester City returned to the top of the English Premier League on Wednesday after going to Old Trafford to beat city rivals Manchester United 2-0.

Two second half goals by Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sane were what gave the Citizens maximum points to go past Liverpool one point clear.

There are three matches remaining to the end of the 2018/2019 season.

The two-horse race between City and Liverpool is expected to go down the wire.

City will travel to Burnley, host Leicester City and wrap up the season with a trip to Brighton & Hove Albion.

Liverpool, on the other hand, will host Huddersfield on Friday, before travelling to Newcastle United.

They will conclude the season at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday, May 12.

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2019 AFCON: South Africa confirms Ghana friendly

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South Africa coach Stuart Baxter has confirmed that his side’s AFCON 2019 preparation games will include the Black Stars of Ghana.

In addition to revealing a training camp in Dubai, Baxter confirmed that a friendly with Kwesi Appiah’s sixth-ranked team has been agreed on.

“We want to play an international friendly before we leave South Africa and we’ve been speaking to Zambia, so they’ve also said they’re willing to play, but we haven’t got official confirmation – Ghana we do have, that’s confirmed,” Baxter said via Soccer Laduma.

The British coach also answered on the reports that the South African Football Association (SAFA) are also trying to set up a game with either Algeria or Tunisia.

“We’ve had contact with both of them…Both of them are willing to play a game, but you’ve obviously got to go through the normal channels of sending emails to the associations and receiving confirmation back.

Baxter added that the yet-to-confirmed friendlies should not be too near June 24th’s AFCON 2019 opener against the Ivory Coast.

“We don’t want to play too close to the Ivory Coast game, but we want to play two teams that will bring everybody up to speed – it doesn’t have to be an official national match, it could just be in place of training,” concluded Baxter.

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Opinion: Why Manchester United must sell Paul Pogba

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Examining why United’s future success depends upon parting ways with their £89 million man

 

Paul Pogba has to go.

Manchester United’s 1-1 draw at Huddersfield ended the team’s chances of Champions League Football next season and Pogba, as he has been so often this season, was once more completely anonymous in the middle of the park.

Despite United’s indifferent form this year, they were expected to steamroll the already relegated Huddersfield who had only scored nine home goals all season.

They didn’t. The United team were all over the place yet again and Pogba appeared as if he would rather be anywhere else other than the John Smith’s Stadium.

The £89 million record signing was once more outshone by 22-year-old Academy prospect, Scott McTominay, who was energetic, clinical and everything Pogba wasn’t.

It is time to cut the Frenchman loose.

Former United boss, Jose Mourinho made public his problems with Pogba and highlighted a questionable attitude from the World Cup Winner. That was laid bare when the 26-year-old mocked Mourinho’s dismissal as United manager on Twitter.

What is significant as Solksjaer is the polar opposite personality to Mourinho. So, what is happening at the club?

Former United right back, Gary Neville hinted there was something rotten in the dressing room in his now infamous rant on SkySports when he stated the club was “rancid.”

The suggestion is that Pogba is a de-stabilising influence in the dressing room and has a negative effect on the likes of homegrown stars such as Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard, who are exactly the type of players the club hopes to build around for the next decade.

Pogba has been continuously linked with a move to Spanish giants, Real Madrid and may be a good fit for the LaLiga team as Zinedine Zidane seeks to overhaul Madrid’s misfiring squad. Pogba could be a central part of the rebuild.

The latest in a long line of poor results add up to the same thing. United with Pogba is a United that cannot be successful regardless of who is the manager.

If Madrid wish to spend £160 million on the under-performing and disruptive Frenchman, them United should accept the cash gladly and reinvest into the team to solve their leaky defence and withering midfield.

If Solksjaer does offload the World Cup winner in the summer transfer window, then his rebuild could may well be a successful one.

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Two Pogba penalties gives Man Utd laboured win over West Ham

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Manchester United needed two Paul Pogba penalties to return to winning ways with a laboured victory over West Ham at Old Trafford.

The Frenchman converted after Robert Snodgrass was deemed to have fouled Juan Mata in the first half and when Ryan Fredericks brought down Anthony Martial in the 80th minute.

But West Ham was the better side for large parts of the contest.

They should have taken the lead in the ninth minute when Felipe Anderson’s effort was incorrectly ruled out for offside before the Brazilian deservedly equalised shortly after half-time by converting Manuel Lanzini’s cross at the back post.

With the score at 1-1, Michail Antonio smashed a shot from the edge of the box off the crossbar and had a header excellently saved by David de Gea.

The win sees United, who had lost their last two games, climb to fifth, two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea who play Liverpool on Sunday.

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