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Players ratings as City sweep 10-man Wanderers aside

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Manchester City made light work of Wolves as Jack Grealish, Erling Haaland and Phil Foden all scored in a comprehensive victory at Molineux in Saturday’s early kick off.

Grealish turned in Kevin De Bruyne’s cross for the opener in the first minute before Haaland made it 2-0 by firing in after Wolves gave away possession.

Nathan Collins was sent off for a ludicrously high boot on Grealish and while Bruno Lage’s side remained competitive for large parts of the second half, City extinguished any hope of a comeback when Foden cleverly flicked in another De Bruyne cross to seal the result.

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The Citizens were straight into their work in the first minute as a wicked De Bruyne cross was tapped in by Grealish, responding perfectly after he was criticised for his showing in the victory over Borussia Dortmund in midweek.

Wolves did sustain some pressure in the opening 15 minutes as Goncalo Guedes tested Ederson at the near post, but it amounted to nothing before City extended their lead.

Bernardo Silva played in Haaland who made mincemeat of Max Kilman, weaving in and out of the defender before firing in low beyond the outstretched Jose Sa.

That goal made the Norwegian the first player in Premier League history to score in each of his first four away games in the competition.

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The champions’ job got a whole lot easier when Collins saw red for an ugly challenge on Grealish. The defender jumped in with his studs showing and caught the City winger in the midriff, being dismissed immediately by referee Anthony Taylor.

Wolves started the second half in promising spirit, unsettling City and venturing forward without creating any clear-cut opportunities. City butchered a counter in response, with De Bruyne’s pass lagging behind Foden and allowing Wolves to regain their shape.

The home side kept punching above their weight and created a decent chance when a driving run from Rayan Ait-Nouri fell to Guedes, but the forward could only slice his effort horribly when well placed in the box.

However, City soon made sure of the result with a third goal as De Bruyne whipped in a ball for Foden to divert neatly past Sa into the far corner.

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The win takes Pep Guardiola’s side to the top of the Premier League standings, while Wolves are down in 16th.

Nathan Collins, Anthony Taylor

Collins saw red for a nasty challenge / Naomi Baker/GettyImages

GK: Jose Sa – 5/10 – Given no chance for either goal in the first half. Few hairy moments in possession which he got away with.

RB: Jonny Otto – 5/10 – Troubled by Grealish’s quick feet all afternoon.

CB: Nathan Collins – N/A – Grealish was nowhere near goal when Collins caught him high with an outstretched leg. An absolutely ludicrous challenge and deservedly sent off with Wolves 2-0 down.

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CB: Max Kilman – 6/10 – Given a torrid time by Haaland before the Norwegian scored City’s second. Shook that off and was more composed in the second half.

LB: Rayan Ait-Nouri – 6/10 – Needed an extra touch on occasion which drew groans from the home crowd. Direct running in the second half was a lot more purposeful.

CM: Matheus Nunes – 6/10 – Managed to steal a few interceptions and got Wolves moving forward in the second half.

CM: Ruben Neves – 7/10 – Made a couple of important tackles before dropping into defence following Collins’ dismissal. Distributed well at the back and was a leading figure.

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CM: Joao Moutinho – 6/10 – Spirited performance from the veteran in the second half but little more.

RW: Pedro Neto – 6/10 – Dragged one decent opportunity wide and was well shackled by Cancelo throughout. Looked threatening but final ball waslacking.

ST: Daniel Podence – 5/10 – A few moments of promise that usually ended in disappointment.

LW: Goncalo Guedes – /10 – Lazy in failing to track De Bruyne before Grealish made it 1-0. Fluffed Wolves’ best chance

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SUB: Hwang Hee-chan (70′ for Guedes) – 5/10

SUB: Boubacar Traore (70′ for Podence) – 5/10

SUB: Nelson Semedo (81′ for Ait-Nouri) – N/A

SUB: Chem Campbell (86′ for Neto) – N/A

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Jack Grealish, Pep Guardiola

Grealish had a big showing / Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

GK: Ederson – 6/10 – Just the one save for Ederson to make all afternoon. Good distribution.

RB: John Stones – 7/10 – Charged forward but his channel was exploited a few times when Wolves countered.

CB: Manuel Akanji – 7/10 – Rarely misplaced a pass and his job got easier when Wolves went down to ten players.

CB: Ruben Dias – 7/10 – Never troubled by any running in behind and recovered possession well.

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LB: Joao Cancelo – 7/10 – Defensively stubborn against Neto. Not at his inventive best but didn’t need to be.

CM: Kevin De Bruyne – 8/10 – Awesome cross set up Grealish for the early opener. Got another when Foden flicked his ball in. Two assists but could have torn Wolves apart on another day.

CM: Rodri – 7/10 – Booked early on for a cynical pull. Set the platform for City by breaking things up.

CM: Bernardo Silva – 7/10 – Picked up the assist for Haaland’s strike. Work rate across midfield was insatiable.

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RW: Phil Foden – 7/10 – Held up play nicely before feeding De Bruyne early on. Got his goal by excellently flicking in De Bruyne’s flick.

ST: Erling Haaland – 7/10 – Turned Kilman inside and out before smashing in City’s second from the edge of the box. Saw a couple of shots saved by Sa.

LW: Jack Grealish – 8/10 – Got into the box early on to score his first goal of the season on his 100th Premier League appearance. Dribbled well throughout the contest.

SUB: Julian Alvarez (72′ for Silva) – 5/10

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SUB: Ilkay Gundogan (72′ for De Bruyne) – 6/10

SUB: Riyad Mahrez (72′ for Foden) – 5/10

SUB: Cole Palmer (77′ for ) – N/A

SUB: Sergio Gomez (81′ for Rodri) – N/A

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Player of the Match: Jack Grealish



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EPL

RUMOUR: Man Utd could launch shock Pickford swoop as they consider letting De Gea go

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RUMOUR: Man Utd could launch shock Pickford swoop as they consider letting De Gea go

Manchester United may consider a shock bid for Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in the midst of uncertainty encompassing David De Gea’s future, reports propose.

As per the Telegraph, United are not persuaded they need to broaden De Gea’s agreement, which runs out in June and procures him an astounding £350,000, and could allow him to go free of charge in June.

The Spanish shot-stopper, who was omitted from Luis Enrique’s Spain squad for the international break, suffered a poor start to the season with a raft of errors most notably at Brentford.

And United are also dealing with a high wage bill that reached a Premier League record of £384million last season.

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The Red Devils announced earlier this week that their salaries have increased by a whopping £61.6m from the previous year.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s return as well as Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane’s arrivals led to a 19.1 per cent increase in their salary bill as well as a net loss amounting to £115.5m.

United are assessing their long-term plans and a change between the sticks can’t be ruled out, even though De Gea, 31, has improved recently and has been integral in the last 11 years at Old Trafford.

That could bring England’s No1 Pickford, 28, into the frame come January.

The Everton shot stopper has various clubs carefully monitoring his situation as he will have just one year left on his Everton contract at the end of the season.

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The England international is also a homegrown player, which is very appealing to his suitors.

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Football

Rob Page says Wales ‘will be in contact’ with LAFC regarding Gareth Bale’s World Cup fitness

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Wales boss Rob Page has revealed he’ll remain in close contact with LAFC regarding Gareth Bale’s fitness as the World Cup approaches.

Bale played the full 90 minutes as Wales lost 1-0 against Poland on Sunday in a result that confirmed their relegation from their UEFA Nations League group.

However, that’s the first time the 33-year-old has managed a full game at any level since March of this year, while he hasn’t gone 90 at club level since a La Liga match against Getafe for Real Madrid in April 2020.

Wales’ next game is their World Cup Group B opener against the United States on November 21. Before then, it’s vital Bale plays as many minutes as possible in the MLS regular season and Playoffs for LAFC.

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“They want Gareth available for them and we want him in the physical position for the first [World Cup] game against the USA. We will be in contact with them and make sure he is in the right place,” Page said of Bale’s situation at LAFC, where only two of the forward’s 11 appearances have been from the start.

“What he does from now until the first game, we will be in contact with the club and help manage those minutes. They are a good outfit, LA, so they will know exactly how to get him from where he is now to full fitness, which is 90 minutes week in, week out.”

LAFC are level on 64 points with the Philadelphia Union at the top of the overall MLS standings. The Black and Gold have just two more regular season games remaining – away to the Portland Timbers and at home against Nashville SC – before they begin their Playoffs run.

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Watch the story of Charlotte FC’s journey to MLS in 90min’s The Making of Charlotte FC, presented by DoorDash, on 90min channels now. Subscribe to our new US YouTube channel.



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WSL team of the week: gameweek 2

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Attendance records were sent tumbling during gameweek two of the WSL, with the north London and Merseyside derby both attracting five-figure crowds at the Emirates and Anfield.

On the pitch, Arsenal and Everton both got the better of their local rivals, while there was a first win of the season for Chelsea.

But which players stood out in particular? Here’s 90min’s WSL team of the week for gameweek two.

Hannah Blundell

Blundell was on the score sheet for United / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

GK: Megan Walsh (Brighton) – Helped Brighton to their first three points of the season by keeping Reading at bay with a number of fine saves. Her reaction stop to tip away a Lauren Wade header in the second half was arguably the pick of the bunch.

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RB: Ona Batlle (Manchester United) – Carried on from where she left off last week with another terrific display. A constant threat going forward, grazed the bar in the first half and set up United’s second with a clever cut back from the byline.

CB: Katrina Veje (Everton) – An energetic, all action display. Set up Everton’s first with a teasing corner delivery, acted as a real creative outlet for her side despite operating as a left centre back in a back three, and helped preserve a clean sheet as Everton recorded a famous Merseyside derby victory.

CB: Rafaelle (Arsenal) – Effortlessly cool with the ball at her feet when under pressure deep in her own half, helping Arsenal bypass the Tottenham press. On the score sheet with a towering header, rising above two Tottenham defenders to power home.

LB: Hannah Blundell (Manchester United) – On the score sheet with her first goal for Manchester United – and first WSL goal since the 2018/19 season, calmly slotting home from the edge of the area.

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Vivianne Miedema

Miedema was on target for Arsenal / Clive Rose/GettyImages

CM: Nathalie Bjorn (Everton) – Grabbed the assist for Everton’s second, winning a loose ball back herself in the middle of the park before sending Park scampering away with a terrific pass over the top. Worked hard and broke up play impressively throughout.

CM: Kim Little (Arsenal) – Another massive performance from the Arsenal captain. As ever efficient in possession and so good in tight spaces, but did so much important defensive work for the Gunners, breaking up play and wrestling back possession on numerous occasions.

CAM: Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal) – Opened her account for the season with a north London derby brace – the first a typically cool finish, the second a deft header. Combined well with the Arsenal front three and continues to make the number 10 role her own.

Jess Park

Park opened her Everton account at Anfield / Charlotte Tattersall/GettyImages

FW: Jess Park (Everton) – An electric first WSL start for Everton from Park. Demonstrated her pace and skill to burst beyond the Liverpool backline and cooly round Rachel Laws for her side’s second, before intelligently picking out Hanna Bennison for Everton’s third. The makings of a perfect loan move for both parties.

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FW: Caitlin Foord (Arsenal) – Voted player of the match on a historic day at the Emirates. Ran the channels, linked play and didn’t give the Spurs backline a moment’s respite. Set up Arsenal’s second by winning the ball off Evelina Summanen deep in the Spurs half and playing in Miedema.

FW: Lauren James (Chelsea) – Oozed class from start to finish. Frequent flashes of genius with her flicks and quick feet, and caused the Manchester City backline all sorts of problems with her directness and driving runs.



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