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Julian Alvarez And Jeremy Doku Strike Late To Push Manchester City Past Leipzig



Julian Alvarez and Jeremy Doku came off the bench to grab late goals and push Manchester City to a 3-1 victory at RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday. Facing Leipzig in the competition for the third straight year, City dominated from the start, Phil Foden slamming in the opener after some impressive lead-up play from teenage wing-back Rico Lewis. Clearly outclassed in the first half, Leipzig struck back immediately after half-time, Lois Openda scoring after a sweeping counter attack to equalise.

But with Leipzig focused on talisman Erling Haaland, who scored five in 60 minutes the last time these sides met, it was the Norwegian’s understudy who scored the crucial goal, curling in City’s second just five minutes after being introduced.

Doku sealed the win with a goal in injury time.

City forward Foden praised Alvarez’s “magical” goal, telling TNT sports “he’s someone we look to for the big goals.”

“He came on and changed the game. He’s a really important player for us.”

City boss Pep Guardiola praised his “perfect” side, saying “we took the game with a lot of passes and when a team is able to do this, very nice things are going to happen to you.”

“We played a fantastic game in all departments.”

City came into the game after two losses in a row for the first time since January.

Guardiola told the post-match press conference the victory put his team’s recent struggles “in perspective”.

“People say ‘oh, you lost a game, what happened?’ but you need to put it in perspective, after what we’ve won in the last years, we’re still here and we have got this passion.”

Leipzig manager Marco Rose called the result “a deserved win for City, even if we would have wished to defend that 1-1 until the end.”

“We’ll continue to learn from the best.”

Foden and Lewis impress

Bullish in the first half of Saturday’s 2-2 draw with German champions Bayern Munich, Leipzig were timid in the opening half, repeatedly losing the ball on the rare occasions City gifted it to them.

Foden and Lewis terrorised Leipzig down the right flank, the two linking for the opener 25 minutes in.

Lewis found an onrushing Bernardo Silva, who played it back for the 18-year-old to find Foden, who hammered the his shot into the grass, the ball looping past ‘keeper Janis Blaswich and into the net.

City showed their quality, cutting through the stagnant Leipzig defence, Haaland going close twice while advancing from the left to close the half.

Rose made no changes to his stuttering side at half-time but Leipzig emerged a different team, drawing level just three minutes after the break.

Yussuf Poulsen threaded a pass to a sprinting Openda, who kept City’s Manuel Akanji at bay with one arm while squeezing his shot in off the post as a frustrated Guardiola kicked the turf, cupping his face in his hands.

With Leipzig happy to sit and counter and City equally happy to control possession, Foden looked the most likely, and he nearly caught out Blaswich with a free-kick that bounced back off the crossbar.

Foden was replaced with 11 minutes remaining by Alvarez and the Argentinian World Cup winner would prove crucial, collecting a pass from fellow substitute Doku and unleashing an inch-perfect shot into the top corner.

Doku got a goal of his own as the clock wound down, finishing off a City counter to seal the win for the visitors.

The victory was City’s first in three attempts in Saxony, having drawn and lost in previous visits to Leipzig in the past two Champions League campaigns.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Babar Azam A “Fake King”: Pakistan Star Rips Into Skipper, Claims He Has Better Stats Amid T20 WC Poor Show




File image of Babar Azam.© X (Twitter)

Former Pakistan international batsman Ahmed Shehzad is making a habit of criticising Pakistan captain Babar Azam. With Pakistan on the verge of elimination from the 2024 T20 World Cup, Shehzad has again launched a scathing attack on Babar on the Pakistan talkshow “Haarna Mana Hai” (Losing Is Not An Option!). This time, the show displayed a humiliating comparison between Shehzad and Babar’s T20 World Cup stats. Mocking Babar’s tag of “King” by calling him a “Fake King”, Shehzad stated that Babar’s stats are worse than his. Not only that, Shehzad also accused Babar of not letting young players grow in order to protect the Pakistan careers of his friends.

Babar has scored 517 runs in 16 T20 World Cup games to date, but at a poor strike rate of 112. In comparison, Shehzad has slammed 250 runs in 9 games at a strike rate of 126, and even has a century to his name.

“I feel I could’ve done better than those stats. But your (Babar’s) stats are worse than mine,” said a fuming Shehzad.

“You’ve faced 205 balls in powerplays in T20 World Cups, but you haven’t managed to hit one six!” slammed Shehzad.

“You destroyed the entire domestic structure. You sacrificed good performers in domestic cricket to adjust your friends in the team,” further criticised Shehzad.

Shehzad, in particular, blamed Babar for mishandling 22-year-old batsman Saim Ayub‘s development.

“It was your responsibility to take care of Saim Ayub’s development, but now his career is over at such a young age. People are criticising Ayub after just 25 games,” said Shehzad.

Shehzad has now asked Babar Azam to take accountability for his and the team’s poor performances. Pakistan are heading towards a group stage exit at the 2024 T20 World Cup.

“The least you can do now is raise your hand, accept that you had the support and apologize for not being able to deliver a trophy for Pakistan,” said Shehzad.

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England Thrash Oman To Reignite T20 World Cup Campaign




England hammered Oman by eight wickets as the reigning champions revived their T20 World Cup campaign with a record-breaking win in Antigua on Thursday. Needing a heavy victory to bolster their net run-rate as they attempt to overhaul Scotland in the race to qualify for the second round, England routed Oman for just 47. England then made 50-2 in a mere 3.1 overs, captain Jos Buttler 24 not out and Jonny Bairstow, who hit the winning boundary, unbeaten on eight.

This overwhelming Group B victory meant England recorded the largest win in T20 World Cup history in terms of balls remaining.

Oman had no answer to England’s attack, leg-spinner Adil Rashid taking 4-11, while express quicks Jofra Archer and Mark Wood both had figures of 3-12 in an innings that ended with nearly seven overs to spare.

Number seven Shoaib Khan (11) was the only Oman batsman to reach double figures after Buttler won the toss.

England’s net run-rate climbed to 3.081, better than Scotland’s 2.16, although they stayed third on three points, behind the Scots’ five.

But amid speculation arch-rivals Australia, undefeated so far in Group B might ease up in their closing pool game against Scotland to engineer England’s exit, Buttler’s men now know they will go second if they beat Namibia in their pool finale on Saturday.

Even a win, however, would leave England awaiting the outcome of Sunday’s match between Australia and Scotland to discover if they have reached the Super Eights. 

‘Job done’

“I thought the tone was set really well by the bowlers, picking up the early wickets,” said Buttler as England returned to winning ways after a comprehensive 36-run loss to Australia last time out that followed a washout with Scotland.  

“Job done today, another big game in two days’ time.”

Defeat by Australia added to the pressure on Buttler and coach Matthew Mott, himself a native Australian, that had been growing since late last year when England lost six of their nine games during a woeful defence of their 50-over World Cup title in India.

“I’ve been around long enough to know how things work,” said Buttler. “We have confidence. We can only focus on ourselves, we’ve got a huge game against Namibia.”

Already-eliminated Oman, who ended the tournament having lost all four of the games, just scraped past the record lowest completed total of 39 at any T20 World Cup, posted by fellow-non Test nation Uganda against co-hosts West Indies in Guyana last week.

“We couldn’t do well in the batting, it was a big collapse,” said Oman captain Aqib Ilyas.

“Overall we couldn’t do much. There are still many positives and you just have to get better and better. Once in a year you play against bowlers doing 150 kph (93 mph) plus.”

Archer did the early damage with 2-12 in nine balls.

Oman then lost two wickets in Wood’s first over as they slumped to 25-4 in six overs.

The very next delivery wicketkeeper Buttler luckily removed the bails at the second attempt to stump Khalid Kail off Rashid’s first ball as wickets continued to tumble.

Phil Salt struck the first two balls of England’s chase for six, only to be bowled off the third by Bilal Khan, but his side were on their way.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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England Break Silence After Australia Get ‘Manipulation’ Suggestion To Knock Out Jos Buttler And Co. From T20 WC




Ahead of his side’s T20 World Cup game against Oman, England head coach Matthew Mott expressed hope that Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood’s comments about playing to knock out England from the tournament were made out of humour. England thrashed Oman in their Group B clash at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Friday. England face the danger of being eliminated from the tournament. Sitting fourth in the Group B after a no result against Scotland and a loss to Australia, defeat against Namibia in their final match will eliminate the defending champions.

Australia have already qualified for the Super Eight and if Scotland beats them on Sunday, the Scots could also proceed to the Super Eights along with the 2021 champions.

Speaking about playing to eliminate England, Hazlewood in the pre-match press conference had said that eliminating England would be in the best interest of everyone.

“In this tournament, you potentially come up against England at some stage again and they are probably one of the top few teams on their day and we have had some real struggles against them in T20 cricket, so if we can get them out of the tournament that’s in our best interest as well as probably (that of) everyone else,” Hazlewood had said, according to ESPNcricinfo.

Mott downplayed Hazlewood’s remarks.

“To be honest, I was informed of that this morning. Look to me, that is things out of our control and I think I know Josh pretty well and I know his integrity. I do not think that is a thing. He has got a very good sense of humour and hopefully, that is what he was doing,” Mott said at the pre-match press conference.

Mott said irrespective of Josh’s remarks or any other outside noise about qualification, run rates etc, the team is focused on winning their next game.

“I know Jos (Buttler) spoke really well yesterday about how we need to push hard in this game as well and I think that is what teams do. Nice, cool, calculated response. It is going to be a good wicket out here by the looks of it. We are going with a lot of confidence, I think. We have played good T20 cricket for a while now. It did not quite come off against Australia in the last game but I think we have got our structure in place, we are really confident. Those who saw us train yesterday, you can see a buoyant group up and about that is ready for the challenge ahead,” he added.

Mott also admitted that while England has shown glimpses of its fearless cricket, the tournament has been disjointed for them.

The coach also said that the team is aiming to take some quick wickets during the powerplay.

“I do think it is a different ball game when you do take wickets in the power play, it is something we aim to do and hopefully comes off in this game. It does make your life a lot easier when you can come out of the power play and batters are not set but I think over time we will sort that out and certainly that is a big aim for our guys in this contest out here,” he said.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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