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Chelsea beat Man City to delay EPL title party

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Chelsea forced Manchester City to put their Premier League title party on hold on Saturday, winning 2-1 to boost their own chances of a top-four finish in a dress rehearsal for the Champions League final.

Raheem Sterling gave the home side the lead just before half-time at an empty Etihad Stadium but Hakim Ziyech levelled and Marcos Alonso bundled in the winner in the dying seconds.

City could be crowned champions before they play again. Second-placed Manchester United face three matches before Guardiola’s men are next in action, against Newcastle on Friday.

The point lifts Chelsea into third spot, six clear of fifth-placed West Ham with just three games to go.

Thomas Tuchel’s in-form team ended City’s dreams of a historic quadruple by beating them in the FA Cup semi-final last month and they once more proved tricky opponents.

City, who have a huge 13-point advantage over second-placed Manchester United, are certain to win their third Premier League title in four years but must now wait for it to be confirmed.

Pep Guardiola made nine changes from the side that saw off Paris Saint-Germain in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final in midweek, with Ederson and Ruben Dias the only players to keep their places.

Chelsea made five changes following their triumph over Real Madrid.

The home side dominated possession in the early stages, with Ferran Torres firing over after a thrust down the right and Benjamin Mendy shooting wide.

Raheem Sterling was booked in the 12th minute after catching Timo Werner with his studs but the punishment could have been worse.

Werner had the ball in the net just after the half-hour but he was well offside and Sterling had a shot at the other end but clear-cut chances were at a premium.

Ziyech tested Ederson in the City goal as the half-time break neared but moments later the home side were ahead.

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Gabriel Jesus shrugged off Andreas Christensen to break into the area. He squared, looking for Sergio Aguero. The Argentine’s touch was poor but Sterling was on hand to tuck home.

City should have been 2-0 in first-half stoppage time but Aguero paid the price for attempting a Panenka penalty that was easily saved by Edouard Mendy, drawing the ire of Guardiola.

Jesus won the spot-kick when he was bundled over by Billy Gilmour.

– Chelsea fightback -As the second half wore on the visitors started to establish a foothold and they equalised just after the hour when Rodri lost possession on the halfway line.

Chelsea broke down the right and Cesar Azpilicueta picked out Ziyech just outside the area. The Moroccan drilled a low shot into the bottom corner.

Guardiola threw on Ilkay Gundogan and Phil Foden for Torres and Aguero as his side went in search of the win.

Chelsea substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi had the ball in the net with about 10 minutes to go but the goal was ruled out for a marginal offside.

The finish was frantic. Sterling had a penalty appeal turned down and Alonso then grabbed a last-gasp winner after an assist from Werner.

Tuchel has transformed Chelsea’s fortunes since replacing Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge in January, losing just two matches on his way to the FA Cup final and Champions League final.

Their remaining three league matches are against Arsenal, Leicester — their FA Cup final opponents — and Aston Villa but they will now be strongly fancied to qualify for the Champions League for the third season in a row.

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I was written off but never gave up – Iheanacho

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Leicester City’s in-form striker, Kelechi Iheanacho, says he never lost faith in himself while going through a rough patch in his career, adding that he was confident that he would return to form.

Iheanacho had his worst ever scoring run of his professional career in 2019, failing to score in over 365 days, with trio Jamie Vardy, Ayoze Perez and James Maddison all ahead of him in the pecking order.

The 24-year-old’s lack of goals at Leicester during this period also saw him lose his place in the Super Eagles, and was left out of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

However, the former Manchester City striker has returned to form for The Foxes and was named March’s Premier League Player of The Month and is on course for a double award for April.

Speaking with BBC Sport on his resurgence, Iheanacho said, “I think a lot of people wrote me off, but I never lost faith in myself.

“I was going through a crazy and difficult time when things just didn’t work out for me.

“But I’ve worked extremely hard, and also have the manager and other staff at Leicester, and most importantly my brother and friend Wilfred (Ndidi) who stood by me.

“It’s been a really tough ride but I’m just delighted it’s all come together for me.

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He continued, “It was truly a bad patch and we all know that some people are always too quick to judge. To hear some people come out now and start saying positive things again is only normal but I don’t even bother.

“I only have to prove to myself that I can do this consistently, continue to grow, help my club and country when I get the chance to play.

“We have a lot ahead of us. It’s that time of the season where you want to fight for everything in front of you and not get carried away.”

Iheanacho is the Foxes’ top scorer this season with 18 goals from 35 matches across all competitions.

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BREAKING: Man City crowned Premier League champions after United loss

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Manchester City were crowned Premier League champions for the third time in four seasons after Manchester United crashed to a 2-1 defeat against Leicester on Tuesday.

Pep Guardiola’s side are 10 points clear of second-placed United and have wrapped up the title with three games to spare.

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City, top-flight champions for the seventh time, have aready won the League Cup this season and can secure a treble if they beat Chelsea in the Champions League final on May 29.

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Flick agrees German national team deal

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Hansi Flick, who is stepping down as Bayern Munich coach at the end of this season, will take over the German national team after this summer’s Euro, a German newspaper reported on Monday. 

Flick is expected to sign for three years, according to the Abendzeitung, a Munich newspaper, allowing him to lead the national team at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and Euro 2024, which is scheduled to take place in Germany. 

Flick, 56, has long been considered the preferred candidate for the post of national coach by the German Football Association (DFB). 

He was assistant to Joachim Low, who is standing down after 15 years, between 2006 and 2014, when Germany won the world title. 

Flick took over at Bayern in 2019 and has won seven trophies, including two Bundesliga titles and a Champions League. 

Flick feuded with sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic over recruitment and asked for his contract, which was due to run until 2023, to be terminated at the end of the season.  

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The club agreed to the request and has already announced that 33-year-old Julian Nagelsmann, who is at rivals RB Leipzig, will take over.  

Bayern board member Oliver Kahn told Sky television on Saturday, after the Bavarians won their ninth Bundesliga title in a row, that “yes, everything is settled” with the DFB. 

But he added that “no financial compensation” had been agreed with the DFB for the last two years of Flick’s contract. 

As compensation, the two institutions are considering organising an exhibition game between the German national team and Bayern Munich, with the profits from the ticket sales going to the German champions.

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