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Kevin De Bruyne would prefer to face Paul Pogba in Manchester derby Featured

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Published in England Premier League
Tuesday, 05 December 2017 10:37

Manchester City player Kevin De Bruyne has responded to Paul Pogba's wish that he hopes for City players to be injured by saying Karma is, "s***."

Pogba had said in a recent interview of City: "Some day I hope they are going to slip and I hope, and I know that it’s bad to say things like that, but I hope for us that some very important players get injured.”
This led to some citing the effect of karma on Pogba when he was sent off on Saturday evening against Arsenal for an ugly foul on defender Hector Bellerin.

De Bruyne, however, rejected the notion of karma, which is a spiritual principle of cause and effect, part of religions including Hindusim, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and Taoism.

“I don’t believe in that s**t, I’m a very straight forward guy.

“If someone believes it is karma then OK - everyone has their right to their opinion.

“I don’t want anyone to get injured. It’s a competition, you want to play against the best teams and the best players.”
De Bruyne shrugged off Pogba's comments, and while acknowledging his talent, did not speculate on what affect his absence would have on United's approach:

“I don’t care. He can say whatever he wants. We just have to be focused on whatever we’re doing.

“It depends what they want to do.

“He’s a massive player - I know him a little bit, and he’s unbelievable.

“He took a red card and that’s the way it goes. You have injuries and suspensions.”

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  • David Silva will play Manchester Derby says Pep Guardiola

    Manchester City's Spanish playmaker David Silva is fit and will play in Sunday's derby against Manchester United at Old Trafford, City manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday.

    Guardiola had suggested that Silva was doubtful for the game after he had reported feeling "uncomfortable" following his match-winning 83rd-minute goal against West Ham at the Etihad last weekend.
    "He's going to play. He's going to play - after the game he had a bit of doubt that's why I said it but today he arrived and said he's really good so he's going to play," Guardiola told reporters.

    Silva did not travel with the City squad to Ukraine for their final Champions League group match against Shakhtar Donetsk.
    However, the City manager will have to wait until training on Saturday before deciding on whether centre-half Vincent Kompany and left back Fabian Delph are ready to face Jose Mourinho's side.

    "Kompany, before the game against Shakhtar, felt something, was not comfortable and couldn't play. Delph was sick, vomited and had fever the day before. Today they are off so I don't know but tomorrow we will check how the conditions are," Guardiola said.

  • Paul Pogba trusts Manchester United to perform against Manchester City without him

    Paul Pogba is optimistic that Manchester United can beat rivals Manchester City this weekend despite his suspension.

    Pogba believes that United can take three points at Old Trafford, and highlighted the importance of three points:
    “I have complete trust in the team. Even if I'm not there, I'll be there watching the game, giving positive energy, and hopefully we're going to win.

    “It's a big derby and the atmosphere is going to be big. We want to win, we need to win as well.

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    “We are still eight points behind, so with an eight-point gap we cannot win the league. We are still behind.

    “But if I didn't believe that, I'd stop playing football now."
    While Pogba remains hopeful, he has acknowledged that he is upset to be missing out on such a big game, however he is not dwelling on his red card:

    “I'm very disappointed because I really want to help the team and wanted to be there for this derby.

    “We're all playing football to play those kind of games and, unfortunately for me, I won't play. That's destiny.

    “I say 'destiny' because I cannot go back in the past. You have to think about the future, the present, obviously, and then after it's the future."
    Pogba denied there was any malice in the challenge that saw him sent off, saying that the tackle looked worse than was intended:

    “I didn't really speak after the game - I didn't have time - but I think Hector, I know him as well, and I would never give him a tackle like this.

    “Unfortunately for me, I thought he would put his feet in and he was in a position that was a disadvantage for me, so I did it.

    “It looks very bad, but the intention wasn't like that. They had the decision, the referee, got the red card and that's football.”
    The French international knows that the game with be a heated affair with the city rivalry:

    “United against City has always been a big, big derby.

    “One city, two clubs. You know how it is, so I won't tell you what's going to happen.

    “It's going to be a big atmosphere in the stadium and a big game with a big team and big players, so that's the game you want to play.

    “Unfortunately I won't play, but I'll be there to help the team mentally.”
    He also believes that United will have to be fully committed for the game, and show the same attacking ruthlessness that they demonstrated in the opening minutes against Arsenal:

    “We need to. To win those games you need to give everything. You need to be there offensively, defensively.

    “You need to kill the game when you have one chance, because they are City and they have quality as well in front and they can kill the game at any time.

    “They're first for good reason, because they've been doing great at the start of the season.

    “They keep winning, they didn't lose one game and obviously mentally they're very strong. We need to be as good as they are, mentally.

    “Mentally I need to be there to boost the team and hopefully it will help.”

  • Jesse Lingard strikes twice as Manchester United beat Arsenal, Pogba sent off for horror tackle

    Premier League, Emirates Stadium - Arsenal 1 (Lacazette 49') Manchester United 3 (Valencia 4', Lingard 11', 63')

    Manchester United produced a counter-attacking masterclass to beat Arsenal in a match full of chances and controversies.
    The Gunners started strong and dominated possession in the opening movements, but were caught out after just four minutes when Laurent Koscielny’s poor cross-field pass was pounced upon by Antonio Valencia. The Ecuadorian drilled the ball through Petr Cech's legs after a smart one-two with Paul Pogba.
    United doubled their lead when another defensive error saw Shkodran Mustafi needlessly give possession to Jesse Lingard. The England forward slotted home after a superb flicked assist from Anthony Martial.

    Mourinho’s men sat back on their lead and invited wave after wave of Arsenal pressure. Aaron Ramsey and Alexandre Lacazette came close to reducing the deficit, while a Romelu Lukaku clearance from an Alexis free-kick was only kept out by a wonderful David De Sea save.

    Lacazette brought the home side back into the game shortly after half-time, blasting in a close-range shot after Aaron Ramsey cleverly beat the United offside trap.
    Ten minutes later, Arsenal had a golden chance to draw level, but Lacazette and Alexis were denied by a stunning double save from De Gea. The Spaniard put in a world-class performance, producing 14 saves in total.

    Just past the hour mark, Lingard put the game beyond reach with his third goal in two games, capitalising on some fantastic build-up work from Pogba.

    The Frenchman put in an exquisite shift, but blotted his copybook with around 15 minutes to go when his cynical studs-up challenge on Hector Bellerin earned a straight red card.
    Pogba will now miss the Manchester derby next weekend.

    TALKING POINT: Can Manchester United offer a title challenge to their noisy neighbours?

    Mourinho’s men are now just five points behind their local rivals, who face West Ham tomorrow, and play them next weekend. Will this title race run closer than is currently expected? That match will reveal so much – will City buckle under the pressure or potentially go 11 points clear? Can United perform without Pogba?

    MAN OF THE MATCH: David De Gea

    The Spaniard made 14 saves in this game – a joint record for a Premier League match. Without him between the sticks, it is likely Arsenal would have gained a meaningful result.
    PLAYER RATINGS

    Arsenal: Cech 6, Koscielny 6, Mustafi 4, Monreal 6, Bellerin 6, Ramsey 7, Xhaka 7, Kolasinac 5, Ozil 7, Sanchez 6, Lacazette 6. Subs: Iwobi 7, Welbeck 6, Giroud 6.

    Manchester United: De Gea 9, Valencia 8, Lindelof 6, Smalling 8, Rojo 7, Young 8, Matic 8, Pogba 8, Lingard 8, Martial 8, Lukaku 5. Subs: Darmian 6, Herrera 6, Rashford 6.

    KEY MOMENTS

    4 - GOAL! That came from nowhere! Antonio Valencia dispossesses Kolasinac after a poor pass from Koscielny. He plays a one-two with Pogba on the edge of the area and drills a low shot past Petr Cech.

    11 - GOAL! Another goal from another defensive mistake. Mustafi gives up possession to Lingard, who picks out Lukaku. The striker passes to Martial on the edge of the area, and he beautifully puts the ball in Lingard's path. Lingard sidefoots it past Cech.

    42 - CHANCE: Ramsey has a golden chance to pull one back with a shot from eight yards but it deflects for yet another corner!
    45+2’ - Alexis floats in a free kick and Lukaku's clearance has to be saved by De Gea! Lacazette has a few chances to get a shot off in the scramble in the area, but United escape the danger!

    49 - GOAL! Alexis picks out Ramsey with a superb cross into the area. The Welshman beats the offside trap and chests down to Lacazette. The Frenchman expects to see a flag up but he rifles it into the roof of the net!

    63 - GOAL! Arsenal fall foul to another United break! Lingard breaks and finds Pogba on the right. Pogba does brilliantly to beat two men on the right side of the area, then picks out Lingard for a tap-in to an open goal.

    74 - RED CARD! Pogba is in trouble for fouling Bellerin on his way into the area. And it's a straight red!
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    Manchester United secured back-to-back away wins for the first time since April.

    Jose Mourinho has only lost two of eighteen encounters with Arsene Wenger (W9, D7).

    Arsenal have won four of their last six Saturday evening kick-offs. Both losses were to Manchester United.

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    The 1-0 midweek loss does not seriously hamper their chances of Champions League progress, but underlines why his exciting attacking options cannot be considered the best he has had.

    "No, because a team that plays the way we play so many times, I think we should score more goals than we do," he said.

    "The team that excites more is the team that after five chances is winning 4-0. That's a team that excites more. I think they give what they can. I cannot complain about the dedication or the motivation. They all try to give their best.

    "I think we had an improvement with (Anthony) Martial. He's scoring more goals than last season. That's why he is playing more. He has more minutes on the pitch.

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  • Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne fire Manchester City nine points clear at top of table

    Premier League - Leicester 0 Manchester City 2 (Jesus 45, De Bruyne 49)

    Manchester City have moved nine points clear at the top of the table courtesy of a dominant 2-0 win over Leicester at the King Power Stadium.

    Goals in either side of half-time from Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne kept the Citizens on course for a first Premier League title since 2014 with a 10th straight win.

    The visitors were limited to half chances throughout a tight first period by an industrious Leicester, but on the stroke of half-time they conjured up a fine free-flowing move completed by Jesus who was teed up by an unselfish David Silva as the Brazilian slotted in to an empty net.
    Leicester were presented with a glorious opportunity to level the scores when Harry Maguire poked the ball at the post just after the restart. And from that passage of play City launched an immediate counter-attack as De Bruyne released Leroy Sane who held the ball up long enough for the Belgian to arrive and he unleashed a venomous shot from 25 yards to double his side’s lead in devastating style.

    The game may have been played in a different manner had Vincent Kompany been sent off after only three minutes, though. The Belgian was a surprise inclusion in Man City’s defence with the skipper making his first start since August, but he was fortunate not to be shown a straight red for taking down Jamie Vardy who was racing clear on goal. The win did come at a cost as John Stones – who has played a pivotal part in City’s success this season – limped off after half an hour with a hamstring problem.

    Pep Guardiola's side are now nine points clear of Chelsea, who won 4-0 at West Bromwich Albion. Manchester United can cut the gap to eight points if they overcome Newcastle at Old Trafford in the Saturday evening match.
    TALKING POINT

    City coast past Foxes, but injury to Stones is sting in tail - John Stones has been an ever-present in Man City's defence, filling the void left by the injury prone Vincent Kompany. City have conceded only a handful of goals with the England international at the heart of defence - but how will Pep Guardiola's side cope without the influential 26-year-old? He could be out for sometime.

    MAN OF THE MATCH

    Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) - The Belgian has been keen to dismiss comparisons to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo recently, but it could be argued that he is better than both players at the moment. He produced yet another thrilling performance and capped it with a wonderful goal.
    PLAYER RATINGS

    Leicester: Schmeichel 7, Simpson 7, Morgan 6, Maguire 6, Fuchs 6, Ndidi 6, Iborra 6, Gray 6, Albrighton 6, Mahrez 6, Vardy 6. Subs: Iheanacho 5, Slimani 5, Okazaki 5.

    Man City: Ederson 7, Walker 6, Stones 5, Kompany 6, Delph 7, De Bruyne 8, Fernandinho 7, Silva 7, Sterling 7, Jesus 7, Sane 7. Subs: Gundogan 5, Mangala 6, Bernardo Silva 5.

    KEY MOMENTS

    3’ - CONTROVERSY! Vardy is released behind the City defence, but is clipped by Kompany who is extremely fortunate to be shown only a yellow card. Puel isn't happy - he wanted a red. Was he the last man?
    22’ - CLOSE! Sane has two players to pick out in the middle, but he gets too much pace on his cross and the ball just evades Sterling at the back post. All it needed was a touch!

    45’ - GOAL! MAN CITY TAKE THE LEAD! This is more like it from Pep's free-scoring charges. Sterling plays a one-two with De Bruyne before releasing Silva inside the box. The Spaniard unselfishly squares the ball to Jesus who is left with a simple tap-in. Vintage City.

    48' - CLOSE! Ederson palms the free-kick into the path of Maguire who pokes the ball straight at the post. So close to an equaliser!

    49’ - GOAL! DE BRUYNE SCORES FOR MAN CITY! Oh my, Man City score a wonderful goal on the counter! De Bruyne releases Sane on the left flank and the Belgian then busts a gut to latch onto the return pass. He takes a touch and unleashes a venomous shot into the top corner from the edge of the box.

    KEY STATS

    Kevin De Bruyne has now had a hand in 50 Premier League goals (16 goals, 34 assists). He has done this in 76 Premier League appearances, which is the quickest by any out-and-out midfielder in the history of the competition.
    Gabriel Jesus has been directly involved in 20 goals in his 21 Premier League appearances (15 goals, five assists).
    Manchester City won 10 successive league matches in the same season for the first time.
    Manchester City's total of 34 points combined with their +34 goal difference is the best start by a Premier League side after 12 games.
    Pep Guardiola's side are unbeaten in 24 matches in all competitions since a 2-1 defeat against Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final last April.

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