Manchester, United Kingdom | AFP | Pep Guardiola said Sergio Aguero had earned the right to determine his own Manchester City future after the Argentinian striker scored a brace in a 4-0 demolition of Bournemouth.The build-up to Saturday’s contest was dogged by talk of Aguero’s supposed discontent at the Etihad Stadium as Guardiola continues to rotate his starting XI.Aguero, City’s all-time leading scorer, is reported to have held talks with club owner Khaldoon Al Mubarak, but he showed no signs of unhappiness against Bournemouth as he scored twice and set up a goal for Raheem Sterling.“I respect Sergio a lot, about all he has done and what he will do in the future,” said City manager Guardiola after the Premier League leaders’ 17th successive league win.“He is a legend. He will decide absolutely everything about his life and his future. I’m delighted to have him here with Gabriel (Jesus) and all the squad.“Aguero is a special player, a legend, and I am so happy when he plays good and he is scoring goals. I know the players who normally don’t play are upset, but all the team deserve to play.”Guardiola : Aguero will decide own futureAguero’s first goal, a clinically taken diving header after 27 minutes following a fine Fernandinho cross, was his 100th City goal at the Etihad.Sterling doubled City’s lead in the 53rd minute, thrashing a low effort home to end a challenging week that saw him racially abused at the club’s training ground last weekend by a man who was jailed for 16 weeks on Wednesday.The England forward appears to have shrugged off that incident and Guardiola believes he is getting better all the time.– Sterling ‘is loved’ – “With and without the ball he’s so aggressive and so intense. I like how clear it’s becoming — he knows when to dribble and when to pass,” said the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach.“Before there was a mistake, now he’s enjoying scoring goals. In the past it was a bit scary for him.“He’s loved in the locker room, he’s a young player and important for the national team. He must maintain that level.”After Sterling’s goal, Bournemouth could no longer contain City and the home side began to maraud forward.Aguero nodded home his second header of the match before substitute Danilo ruthlessly finished from 12 yards out with five minutes remaining.Sterling is lovedAlthough they slipped into the relegation zone, Bournemouth showed enough intent and commitment to suggest they can avoid the drop.“City are an outstanding team, very difficult to play against and we came with a game plan to stay in the game then maybe have a go,” said beaten manager Eddie Howe.“For long periods we were good. The (first) goal came from our mistake, which was disappointing, but the rest of the half was OK. The second goal was the killer. We had another go, but it was difficult.”Howe added: “We try to approach every game looking to win, but these are a difficult team to play against.“If you get it wrong here they have the players to expose it. We’ve had an incredibly difficult run, but we are through it and have to focus on the games coming up.”Share on: WhatsApp
Ozil was equally profligate when he weaved through on goal, only to clip his shot too close to Karnezis.There was less assurance about Arsenal towards the end of the half and Cech had to plunge to his left to save Richarlison’s header.But Watford couldn’t take advantage and Granit Xhaka’s 20-yard blast after the interval almost deceived Karnezis before he grabbed the ball just before it crossed the line.With the momentum back in their favour, Aubameyang doubled Arsenal’s lead in the 59th minute.Mkhitaryan was the catalyst, slipping a pass to Aubameyang, who beat the Watford offside trap and rounded Karnezis before slotting in his third goal since his club-record move from Borussia Dortmund in January.There was more cause for Wenger to wear a rare smile a few minutes later.Ainsley Maitland-Niles conceded a penalty with a foul on Pereyra, but when Deeney stepped up to take the spot-kick, Cech made a fine save that preserved his 200th clean sheet in the Premier League.Mkhitaryan bagged his second goal in successive matches with a low strike that crept under Karnezis in the 77th minute.Share on: WhatsApp Shkodran Mustafi’s early opener and a cool finish from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put them in control.In a moment of sweet vindication, Watford captain Troy Deeney, who had questioned Arsenal’s spirit earlier this season, had a second-half penalty saved by Petr Cech.Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s strike wrapped up the points, but there was concern for Wenger as Mustafi limped off in the closing stages.Arsenal, who had lost eight of their previous 14 matches in all competitions, remain in sixth place and trail fourth-placed Tottenham by 10 points ahead of their rivals’ trip to Bournemouth later on Sunday.Winning the Europa League guarantees qualification for next season’s Champions League and, with Arsenal’s hopes of achieving that goal via a top-four finish looking bleak, it was no surprise Wenger prioritised the continental competition.With the second leg against Milan looming on Thursday, Wenger rested Aaron Ramsey and Laurent Koscielny and left Jack Wilshere on the bench.Aubameyang was one of the established stars who started for Arsenal and the Gabon striker should have opened the scoring when he raced onto Mesut Ozil’s pass and shot straight at Watford goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis. London, United Kingdom | AFP | Arsene Wenger received a welcome boost as Arsenal eased a little of the pressure on their beleaguered boss with a 3-0 win over Watford on Sunday.After a wretched run left Wenger fighting to save his job, a 2-0 win at AC Milan in the Europa League on Thursday offered the Frenchman temporary respite from the torrent of abuse he has endured this season.Maintaining the momentum from that last-16 victory in the San Siro, Wenger’s side ended a run of three successive Premier League defeats with a solid display at the Emirates Stadium. Deeney had infuriated Arsenal by accusing them of a lack of “cojones” after Watford beat Wenger’s men in October.Fuelled by that jibe, Arsenal took the lead in the eighth minute.When Ozil swung a deep free-kick towards the far post, Mustafi punished slack marking by Jose Holebas and Adrian Mariappa as the German defender powered a close-range header past Karnezis.– Rare smile –Watford weren’t fazed and Abdoulaye Doucoure’s low strike deflected off Mustafi to force a good save from Cech.Cech alertly kept out Richarlison’s dipping free-kick, but Roberto Pereyra should have done better than blaze the rebound over. For the second successive home game, a significant amount of seats were empty as fans stayed away in protest at Wenger’s woes.The subdued atmosphere lent an ‘end of an era’ feel to the match, but it didn’t bother Arsenal, who had a point to prove to Watford captain Deeney.
FILE PHOTO: Pep GuardiolaManchester, United Kingdom | AFP | Pep Guardiola has slammed suggestions from Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that Manchester City are guilty of “tactical” fouling in an attempt to stop rivals from counter-attacking.Solskjaer, talking before the crucial Manchester derby between the sides at Old Trafford on Wednesday, made reference to City’s supposed habit of fouling high up the field to stop opponents hitting them on the break if Guardiola’s players are out of position.But City boss Guardiola did not take kindly to that analysis and appeared to accuse Solskjaer of trying to influence referee Andre Marriner, who will take charge of the derby.“That’s the reason why, of course,” said Guardiola when asked if he was concerned Solskjaer’s comments might be intended to influence the referee.“I know exactly what I said to my players from day one to the last day.“So when a player wants to attack, we have to be honest and, of course, there is contact, there are fouls.“But when it happens and you arrive late, that is why there are referees — to make yellow cards or red cards or whatever they decide, but never have I prepared a game (to do it).“I prepare the game to do our own game, that is what I want, knowing of course the opponent, but I never said I’m going to do that to punish them or cancel them, making fouls. Never.”Solskjaer is not the first United manager to make a similar claim about City in the Guardiola era — his predecessor Jose Mourinho having made an identical observation before a derby meeting last season.But the bare statistics tend not to support Solskjaer’s claims as figures show United have collected 64 yellow cards this season, compared with City’s 38, with four reds for United, in contrast to their rivals’ solitary dismissal.– ‘Ask him again’ –In terms of fouls, United have committed 201, considerably more than City’s 172, and Guardiola’s outraged reaction appeared to support such a reading of the situation.“I never prepare a game in 10 seasons as a manager thinking about these kind of things. Never,” he said. “The players can talk about it better than me about that — the players I had at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and here — one of the targets is about the counter attacks for the opponents making fouls, never have I said to one player to make fouls to avoid something.“Football sometimes you do that, because football, the actions is quick, fast.“But I’m concerned about many other things to beat them than these kind of things so I don’t know.“Maybe tomorrow in the press conference after the game you can ask him again about that.”Guardiola, however, is wary of the threat posed by United to City’s Premier League title ambitions.City are two points behind leaders Liverpool and the Manchester derby represents their vital game in hand.The Spaniard knows United’s under-performing stars could suddenly hit form as Solskjaer’s team battle to finish in the top four after a disappointing recent run.But the fact that Guardiola likened such a potential upset to Burnley’s achievement in drawing at Chelsea on Monday spoke of the extent to which United have ceased to be a viable challenger to City’s superiority.“Well the tension is there, it’s necessary to complete these kind of games,” he said.“I think everyone knows what we are playing for, we have to focus on the target and what we have to do.“For me, United remains an incredible team, of course, the last 20 or 25 years always there. The past three or four, that can happen in terms of a long history.“For one specific game, they would be dangerous. I know in the beginning how strong they’ll be in terms of intensity and we’ll have to handle it.”Share on: WhatsApp
3 Jul 2014 England Golf Annual Report 2013 The England Golf Annual Report (Nov 2012 – Dec 2013) which reviews England Golf’s activities during this period. A copy of the Annual Report can be downloaded below.