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Player ratings as Cityzens romp to top of the table

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Manchester City strolled to a 4-0 Premier League victory at home to Southampton, climbing to the table of the table on Saturday afternoon.

Pep Guardiola’s side showed no signs of sluggishness after their Champions League exertions in midweek. Within the opening minute, Joao Cancelo had skipped down the left flank, putting a ball into the box which Riyad Mahrez thumped towards on target.

City peppered Southampton’s goal – with Erling Haaland hitting the post – during an opening quarter of an hour which was painfully (and prophetically) one-sided.

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Southampton held City to a pair of league draws last term by employing a carefully choreographed high press high-wire act. However, their eagerness to close City down on Saturday left the visitors exposed.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side got sucked over to the left flank trying to pen City in, leaving oceans of space for Cancelo to speed into on the other side. Jinking away from Stuart Armstrong with a breezy drop of the shoulder, Cancelo fizzed a vicious low effort between Armel Bella-Kotchap’s legs and into the bottom corner.

Shortly after the half-hour mark, City doubled their lead, inching towards an advantage that more accurately reflected their dominance. A turnover for City in the centre circle sparked a devastating surge spearheaded by Kevin De Bruyne.

The brilliant Belgian delayed and delayed before rolling the ball into Phil Foden’s stride. With Gavin Bazunu charging off his line, Foden delicately dinked City’s second of the afternoon into the net.

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The beleaguered visitors had to wait until the final minute of the first half to attempt their first shot in anger of the contest. They didn’t muster another one until the 86th minute.

Southampton’s bright conclusion to the first half proved emphatically misleading. Within four minutes of the restart, Mahrez volleyed in City’s third. After a drive down the left from Cancelo, the Saints were effortlessly unbalanced by Rodri’s clipped pass to the opposite flank. Mahrez had ample time to watch the ball onto his laces, thumping his effort into the turf and past a helpless Bazunu.

City had sauntered into their suffocating ascendency without the direct intervention of Haaland. The inevitable, insatiable frontman ended his drought 65 minutes into proceedings. While Cancelo and De Bruyne exchanged a blur of passes down the left, Haaland sniffed out the space in the box, sweeping in his 20th goal of the season across all competitions.

Hasenhuttl’s precarious future in charge of Southampton was scarcely steadied by his side’s fourth consecutive defeat – though he can take a crumb of comfort by limiting City to just the four goals (they averaged five at home going into the game).

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Phil Foden

Phil Foden returned to the goal sheet against Southampton / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

GK: Ederson – 6/10 – Grateful for the dappled sunlight in his penalty area with little work to keep him warm.

RB: Manuel Akanji – 6/10 – As he has to every task laid before him since joining the club, Akanji adapted well to his new role at right-back.

CB: Ruben Dias – 6/10 – Solid if unspectacular at the back for the reigning champions.

CB: Nathan Ake – 6/10 – Untroubled and unfussy in a straightforward outing.

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LB: Joao Cancelo – 9/10 – Heavily involved in three goals, Cancelo fully exploited his freedom to sprint forward down the left touchline.

CM: Kevin De Bruyne – 8/10 – Carried the ball hovering above the turf with regal elegance.

CM: Rodri – 8/10 – Utterly integral to City’s game on and off the ball, snuffing out any flicker of a Southampton attack and igniting numerous for his own team.

CM: Bernardo Silva – 6/10 – Dropped alongside Rodri to help City build their way past Southampton’s high block.

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RW: Riyad Mahrez – 7/10 – Fired off a flurry of shots in a bid to impress on a sporadic start, connecting sweetly with his volley.

ST: Erling Haaland – 7/10 – After three consecutive hat-tricks, Haaland was limited to just the one goal but his razor-sharp movement created Foden’s goal and eked out space for his own strike.

LW: Phil Foden – 8/10 – Dovetailed devilishly with Cancelo down City’s dominant left.

SUB: Jack Grealish (58′ for Foden) – 6/10

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SUB: Cole Palmer (70′ for De Bruyne) – N/A

SUB: Julian Alvarez (70′ for Mahrez) – N/A

SUB: Sergio Gomez (70′ for Cancelo) – N/A

SUB: Rico Lewis (78′ for Bernardo) – N/A

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Manager: Pep Guardiola – 8/10 – Clearly learned the lessons from last season’s frustrations against Southampton, setting his side up to weave through their attempts to press high and reaping the rewards of unleashing Cancelo from his inverted role.

Che Adams, Bernardo Silva, Rodri

Southampton’s Che Adams (centre) challenging Manchester City’s midfielders for an aerial ball / Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

GK: Gavin Bazunu – 5/10 – Prepared to sprint off his line and smother an opposing forward, Foden exploited this tendency with a brilliant first-half finish.

RB: Kyle Walker-Peters – 3/10 – Endured a torrid afternoon trying – and largely failing – to contain Cancelo and/or Foden.

CB: Armel Bella-Kotchap – 4/10 – Unfortunate to see the ball zip between his long legs for the opening goal but was distracted by Haaland for the second, leaving Foden wide open.

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CB: Mohammed Salisu – 6/10 – Prepared to step out of defence and lunge into a tackle – which he got right more often than not.

LB: Romain Perraud – 4/10 – Repeatedly failed to close Mahrez down quickly enough despite avoiding the two-pronged attack Walker-Peters was subjected to.

CM: James Ward-Prowse – 5/10 – Failed to exert any significant impact on proceedings.

CM: Ibrahima Diallo – 4/10 – Watched on helpless as De Bruyne and co cruised through midfield at will.

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RW: Stuart Armstrong – 2/10 – Left in a heap by Cancelo for the opener, Armstrong lost the ball in the buildup for City’s second. Not an afternoon to cherish.

AM: Adam Armstrong – 4/10 – Ineffective to the extreme, he couldn’t even provide a nuisance value.

LW: Joe Aribo – 5/10 – Skirted around the fringes of the contest without consequence.

ST: Che Adams – 5/10 – Saw so little of the ball, he was understandably rusty on the rare occasions he had possession.

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SUB: Mohamed Elyounoussi (66′ S Armstrong) – 5/10

SUB: Moussa Djenepo (66′ for A Armstrong) – 5/10

SUB: Juan Larios (79′ for Walker-Peters) – N/A

SUB: Sekou Mara (79′ for Aribo) – N/A

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Manager: Ralph Hasenhuttl – 4/10 – It’s not easy playing City, but after watching his side so easily teased apart in the first half, Hasenhuttl failed to impart any advice at half-time which prevented City from finding a goal through a similar pattern of play.

Player of the Match – Joao Cancelo



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Player ratings as Selecao book place in knockout stages

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Brazil made incredibly hard work of their 1-0 victory over Switzerland on Monday evening at Stadium 974.

A thoroughly uninspiring affair came to life five minutes from time as Manchester United midfielder Casemiro popped up with a fizzing half-volley that flew beyond Yann Sommer and sealed Brazil’s place in the knockout stages.

Switzerland made an impressive start, enjoying plenty of possession and pushing numbers forward in an attempt to pin Brazil back.

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Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders and Toby Cudworth to look back on South Korea/Japan ’02 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

The first real sight of goal for either team came shortly before the hour mark. Raphinha’s cross found Vinicius Junior at the back post but he can’t connect properly and sends the ball towards goal with his knee, giving Yann Sommer enough time to get over to make the save.

And that was about as good as it got in the first half.

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A slow start to the second half saw ten minutes pass before the next real sight of goal. Vinicius played an excellent cross in towards Richarlison but, yet again, the ball was inches away from being on target.

The first real moment of quality in the match came in the 65th minute as Vinicius slotted home, but the automated offside system clocked Richarlison had strayed earlier in the move and ultimately ruled it out.

There was no ruling out Casemiro’s strike 20 minutes later. The midfielder waltzed into the box and fired home an excellent half-volley which led Brazil through to the next round.

It was nearly two as Rodrygo got a glimpse of goal but an excellent block from Manuel Akanji ensured Brazil had to settle for just the one goal.

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Vinicius Junior

Vinicius thought he had scored / Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

GK: Alisson – 5/10 – Shaky under little pressure but generally didn’t have a lot to do. Has shaved his moustache.

RB: Eder Militao – 7/10 – Did a nice job at right-back but was usually central when Brazil were on the ball. Really composed in possession.

CB: Thiago Silva – 7/10 – Some excellent passes as he looked in control of every situation.

CB: Marquinhos – 7/10 – Had to do a lot of the creating as Brazil’s midfielders struggled to get through.

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LB: Alex Sandro – 6/10 – Some fantastic moments that yielded slow-mo replays, but still needed to do more in attack.

DM: Casemiro – 8/10 – Shielded his defence well and did what he could to try and keep things ticking over in attack. A moment of magic to win the game.

CM: Fred – 5/10 – Not the right skill set for this game. Did a decent enough job defensively but his limited attacking output was a major issue.

CM: Lucas Paqueta – 5/10 – Not on it here. Made a few nice passes but generally couldn’t find the space needed to get through Switzerland’s defence.

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RW: Raphinha – 6/10 – At the centre of nearly everything positive from Brazil, which doesn’t say much.

ST: Richarlison – 5/10 – Starved of service but did manage a few nice passes when he did finaly get the ball.

LW: Vinicius Junior – 6/10 – A few nice runs but sloppy in front of goal. Should have put Brazil ahead in the first half. Came to life after the break.

SUB: Rodrygo (46′ for Paqueta) – 6/10 – Focused on trying to beat Switzerland on the counter. Nice movement.

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SUB: Bruno Guimaraes (59′ for Fred) – 7/10 – Changed the tide of the midfield battle. An impressive showing.

SUB: Antony (73′ for Raphinha) – 6/10 – Had the odd dangerous moment.

SUB: Gabriel Jesus (73′ for Richarlison) – 6/10 – Didn’t have long to strut his stuff but did involve himself in a few nice moves.

SUB: Alex Telles (86′ for Sandro) – N/A

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Manager: Tite – 5/10 – Clearly exploring ways to cope without Neymar but didn’t really find one. A thoroughly uninspiring showing saved by a moment of magic.

Nico Elvedi

Solid from Elvedi / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

GK: Yann Sommer – 6/10 – Made a nice save to deny Vinicius.

RB: Silvan Widmer – 6/10 – Some early fouls on Vinicius set the tone. Made the winger uncomfortable and did a nice job. Saved by the offside flag for the disallowed opener.

CB: Manuel Akanji – 7/10 – Impressive positioning to keep Richarlison at bay.

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CB: Nico Elvedi – 7/10 – Did a very solid job of controlling Brazil’s attackers alongside his mathematician teammate.

LB: Ricardo Rodriguez – 6/10 – Didn’t have a whole lot of defending to do but looked a little too cautious in attack.

DM: Remo Freuler – 6/10 – Good energy and desire to keep closing Brazil’s midfield down. Faded as the game progressed.

DM: Granit Xhaka – 6/10 – Similarly, led by example in midfield as he pressed with real energy and enthusiasm. Unsettled Brazil.

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RM: Fabian Rieder – 6/10 – Handed his first international start in an unfamiliar position and did a solid job, but wasn’t always comfortable. A little too aggressive at times but nothing to really complain about.

AM: Djibril Sow – 5/10 – The odd nice run but couldn’t find any way through Brazil’s experienced defence.

LM: Ruben Vargas – 5/10 – Played a little narrower to try and being Rodriguez into the game but it didn’t always work.

ST: Breel Embolo – 5/10 – Put a shift in but had very little joy against high-level opposition. Can’t fault the effort.

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SUB: Edimilson Fernandes (59′ for Vargas) – 5/10 – Red hot in the minutes after he entered but soon faded away.

SUB: Renato Steffen (59′ for Rieder) – 5/10 – Didn’t offer mich down the right.

SUB: Michel Aebischer (75′ for Sow) – 5/10 – Barely got involved.

SUB: Haris Seferovic (75′ for Embolo) – 5/10 – Chased shadows during his short time on the pitch.

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SUB: Fabian Frei (86′ for Widmer) – N/A

Manager: Murat Yakin – 6/10 – It’s not easy to keep Brazil this quiet but Yakin’s decision to start Rieder over Xherdan Shaqiri helped add more steel. Just a shame about the non-existent attacking threat.

Player of the match – Casemiro



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Rangers appoint Michael Beale as new manager

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Rangers have confirmed the appointment of Michael Beale as the club’s new manager, following Gio van Bronckhorst’s sacking.

The former QPR manager has signed a contract which runs until 2026 at Ibrox, returning to the Gers having previously worked as an assistant manager at the club under Steven Gerrard.

90min revealed on Sunday that Beale’s appointment was imminent, and a club statement has confirmed his return to the club: “Michael Beale is the 18th manager of Rangers with the club delighted to confirm his appointment today.

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Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders and Toby Cudworth to look back on South Korea/Japan ’02 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

“Signing a contract to 2026, the 42 year-old joins from his role as manager of Queens’ Park Rangers in West London having previously worked as first-team coach at Ibrox from 2018 to last November. It is an exciting appointment for the club, with Beale undoubtedly one of the most sought-after young managers in British football.”

Speaking about his return to Rangers, Beale said: “It is fantastic to be back and to see everybody this morning, there are some new faces but some people that I know really well so it is great to see everyone. 

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“I am hugely proud, it is a wonderful, wonderful football club, it is an institution. For everyone that works here it is a huge privilege, but to be the manager of this football club, that is extremely special. Some wonderful people have sat in this chair prior to me, and I am hugely proud to be the person sat here now.”



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Portugal vs Uruguay: Confirmed lineups

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By defeating Uruguay in Lusail, Portugal will be hoping to advance to the World Cup’s last 16 in 2022.

During their first match, Cristiano Ronaldo and company defeated Ghana in a five-goal thriller, while Uruguay and South Korea drew 0-0.

Line-up

Portugal XI: Diogo Costa, João Cancelo, Pepe, Rúben Dias, R. Guerreiro, Rúben Neves, William, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, João Félix, Ronaldo.

Uruguay XI:

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