Press Association Manchester City put themselves firmly in the title picture with a convincing 6-3 win over leaders Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium. The prolific strikeforce of Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo were again on target while Fernandinho struck twice and David Silva and Yaya Toure also got on the scoresheet. Theo Walcott marked his first start since September with two fine goals to keep Arsenal in contention but Per Mertesacker’s late header was mere consolation for a side ultimately well beaten. It was the Argentinian’s 18th goal in his last 16 games and 19th overall in a so far prolific season. City will hope the injury that later ended his involvement is not serious. City should have doubled their lead as Vincent Kompany showed great footwork to skip around an Aaron Ramsey challenge to feed Negredo, but the Spaniard missed the target. Arsenal finally responded but Mesut Ozil failed to take advantage after Costel Pantilimon, again preferred to Joe Hart, palmed away weakly. The visitors did pull level on 32 minutes after Ramsey robbed Toure and sent Ozil clear. The German pulled the ball back and Walcott coolly slotted in from the edge of the area. City’s lead should have been instantly restored by Negredo but he curled wide from a fine Silva through ball. Negredo did get it right on 39 minutes as he tucked home a Pablo Zabaleta cross from close range after the right-back had been picked out by a Toure crossfield pass. Problems appeared to worsen for Arsenal as Laurent Koscielny suffered a deep cut to the knee in attempting to tackle Negredo and was forced off. Demichelis then glanced a header over from a Nasri corner as City ended the first half strongly. They continued in much the same fashion after the break but suffered a blow when Aguero slumped to the turf with what appeared a calf injury. He was replaced by Jesus Navas but there appeared no discernible difference to City’s performance as they added a third after 50 minutes. Ozil lost possession and Fernandinho took full advantage curling in from the edge of the area for his first goal since his £30million summer move from Shakhtar Donetsk. Arsenal were far from beaten but Olivier Giroud fluffed a shot from in front of goal and then headed wide from a Bacary Sagna cross. The visitors appealed for a penalty for handball against Zabaleta but contact, after the ball had ricocheted off his thigh, was deemed accidental. Walcott did pull Arsenal back into the game with a sublime goal just after the hour. Ramsey found Walcott in space and, spotting Pantilimon off his line, he brilliantly lobbed into the far top corner. City hit back in the way they know best as Navas weaved his way through the defence on the right and pulled the ball back for Silva to side-foot home from eight yards. Navas rounded Wojciech Szczesny as City went in search of more but could only find the side-netting before Toure flashed a long-range effort wide. Fernandinho also stung the palms of Szczesny and Nasri was denied a shooting chance by a good tackle. Nasri put another opportunity over before laying off for Fernandinho to cleverly dink in a fifth goal in the closing moments. Nicklas Bendtner thought he had headed in a late consolation only to be flagged offside but Pantilimon, who earlier saved well from Wilshere, was beaten in injury time by a Per Mertesacker header. Toure had the final word from the penalty spot after substitute James Milner was tripped by Szczesny. City, who have now scored 35 goals in their eight home games this season, fully deserved the three points to move within three of the Gunners. The only major downside for Manuel Pellegrini’s men was the loss of Aguero early in the second half with what appeared a calf injury. Yet for now the statement from City in title terms, particularly at home as they maintain their 100 per cent record, is resounding. As has become the norm at Eastlands, they began at a lively pace. Not in the least bit intimidated by Arsenal’s superb form this season, they attacked at their fluid best. Twice good balls were delivered into the Arsenal box early on but first former Gunners star Samir Nasri could not turn and then Aguero saw the ball nicked away. Remarkably, despite seeing little of the ball, Arsenal actually had the first clear-cut chance but Jack Wilshere screwed a shot horribly wide. City deservedly opened the scoring after 14 minutes when Martin Demichelis flicked on a corner and Aguero once again showed perfect balance to hook in a volley at the back post.
As the Trojans gear up to hit the road to take on the Colorado Buffaloes on Friday night, they will be playing in a climate very different from that of their home base.The frigid temperatures in Boulder are a far cry from the sunny, warm days in Los Angeles, but interim head coach Clay Helton does not consider that an excuse for poor performance from his players.“We’ve always taken the approach of we don’t make excuses, whatever the factors are out there,” Helton said. “They pay us to find the answers, not make excuses.”The high in Boulder on Friday is projected to be 53 degrees, but temperatures are expected to fall below freezing by gametime. The plan, especially in the high altitude, is to substitute more frequently.“It should be a really nice night for football, especially with no precipitation,” Helton said. “With the altitude, you’ve always got to get used to it to go up there, but [Colorado’s] got to play in it, too. We’ve got plenty of depth right now that I think we can roll guys in. If it turns into a 100-play offensive game for them, we’re going to have to roll a lot of guys. Hopefully that doesn’t happen.”USC has played in near-freezing temperatures this season already when the team lost to Notre Dame, 41-31, in South Bend back on Oct. 17.Helton described redshirt senior quarterback Cody Kessler’s clever strategy to get acclimated to the weather, something that Matt Barkley also did during his time under center at USC.“They’ve got the bag of ice out there, freezing their hand up and throwing with their hand being cold all week,” Helton said. “That’s kind of a ritual around here.”USC is 4-0 all-time at Colorado and 9-0 overall. The last time the Trojans played in Boulder was in 2013, when Kessler completed 19-of-28 passes and threw for 184 yards and two touchdowns in 29-degree weather.“We really feel like we operated effectively the last time we were there,” Helton said. “We’re not going to use [the weather] as an excuse.”At practice on Wednesday, the Trojans focused on defending the red zone in what is expected to be a high-scoring affair.“We focused on our red zone, which is going to be critical against a very good offense,” Helton said. “The bend but don’t break defense and, offensively, scoring touchdowns instead of field goals.”On the injury front, redshirt senior running back Tre Madden will not play, sidelined with a bone bruise in his knee. Madden has been playing through an injury and saw limited action in USC’s win last week against Arizona. His absence will place a heavier load on USC’s other featured tailbacks, freshman Ronald Jones II and junior Justin Davis.“[Madden’s] knee right now is still hurting,” Helton said. “We decided we’re going to rest him this week and reevaluate next week. It may be a couple week thing. We’ll have to see. At this point in time, we want to get him 100 percent healthy.”Madden will travel with the team, however, with Helton hoping to utilize the senior as a leader and a mentor.“He’s too good of a leader,” Helton said. “He keeps me sane. There’s no way he won’t sit right beside me on the plane. He’ll be assistant head coach this week.”Redshirt senior defensive end Claude Pelon, who has a knee injury, and redshirt sophomore center Khaliel Rodgers, who has a shoulder injury, are expected to play. According to Helton, Pelon will be limited to 15-30 snaps on Friday.Helton also revealed that freshman linebacker John Houston Jr., an All-American last season for Junipero Serra High School, is undergoing rehab for a back injury that carried over from high school. Houston Jr., a four-star recruit, was the top-ranked inside linebacker by ESPN coming out of high school.
Uganda are trying to qualify for CHAN for a 5th consecutive time. (PHOTOS/File)CHAN 2020 QualifiersUganda vs Burundi-First Leg: September 21st (Bujumbura)-Second Leg: October 18th (Kampala)The Uganda Cranes team has on Thursday morning continued their preparations for the upcoming CHAN 2020 qualifiers.The team is preparing to take on Burundi in the second round of qualifiers having overcome Somalia earlier.They will face Burundi in the first leg slated for Septemeber 21st in Bujumbura before hosting the Swallows on October 2 in Kampala.Thursday’s training session which was held in the morning at StarTimes Stadium in Lugogo was the team’s second after an afternoon session on Wednesday.Uganda are favorites for the tie and will be expected to make light weight of Burundi, making it to a fifth successive finals’ tournament.After losing to Tanzania in the second round of qualification and in the process, failing to reach the first edition of the finals in 2009, the Cranes have not failed to seal a spot in any of the last four finals (2011, 2014, 2016 and 2018).To reach the last edition in Morocco, Uganda defeated South Sudan 5-1 on aggregate in the first round of qualifiers before hanging on to overcome Rwanda 3-2 in the second round.The 32 Players SummonedGoalkeepersLukwago Charles (KCCA FC), Mugabi Yasin (Wakiso Giants Fc), Keni Saidi ( Sc Villa), Mutakubya Joel ( Kyetume FC)DefendersWilla Paul (Vipers SC), Kapampa Eddy (Maroons FC), Mustafa Mujuzi (Proline FC), Kizza Mustafa (KCCA FC), Revita John (KCCA FC), Lwaliwa Halid (Vipers SC), Mbowa Paul (URA FC), Galiwango Arafat (Police FC), Benson Tahomera (Kyetume FC), Mandela Ashraf (URA FC).MidfieldersWahab Ghadafi (Onduparaka FC), Paul Mucureezi (Mbarara City FC), Kasozi Nicolas (KCCA FC), Mutyaba Muzamir (KCCA FC), Vianney Sekajugo (Wakiso Giants FC), Sulaiman Mutyaba (KCCA FC), Kagimu Shafiq (URA FC), Kayiwa Allan (Vipers SC), Okello Allan (KCCA FC), Bright Anukani (Proline FC), Sam Kintu (Proline FC), Kyeyune Saidi (URA FC), Owor David ( SC Villa ), Ssozi Yusuf ( Police FC), Kigozi Samson Andrew (Police FC)StrikersBayo Fahad (Vipers SC), Sserunkuma Daniel (Vipers SC), Lubega Edrisa (Proline FC)The technical team of the Uganda Cranes Head coach – Abdallah MubiruAssistant coach – Livingstone MbabaziGoalkeeping coach – Sadiq WassaTeam Coordinator – Geoffrey MassaComments Tags: BurundiCHAN 2020SomaliatopUganda Cranes