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Match of the Day: West Brom shouldn't fire Tony Pulis - Alan Shearer

6 hours 47 min ago
[unable to retrieve full-text content]<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" standalone="yes"?> Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer explains why he would hold back on sacking West Brom manager Tony Pulis after their 4-0 defeat at home to Chelsea.
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'Best football in Premier League history' - pundits praise Man City

8 hours 39 min ago
De Bruyne's majestic goal - similar to his strike at Chelsea in September - was the Belgian's third of the league season.

"They are playing some of the best football ever played in the history of the Premier League. I think we're looking at another invincible team this season."

BBC pundit Garth Crooks was just one of those who lavished praise on Manchester City this weekend after they brushed aside Leicester 2-0 to give them a 16th consecutive win and the joint-best start to a Premier League season.

Afterwards, Leicester boss Claude Puel called City "the best team in Europe".

Pep Guardiola's team have 34 points from their 12 games, matching their achievement at the start of the 2011-12 title-winning season under Roberto Mancini.

Martin Keown, a member of the Arsenal 'Invincibles' squad who went through the entire 2003-04 league season unbeaten, believes this City side could match the Gunners' feat.

"I am happy to be part of that exclusive club that has gone a full season unbeaten. I hope they [City] don't do it, but it is looking like they will," the retired defender told Football Focus.

"I don't see who is going to stop them. If they get complacent, maybe. But I think Guardiola is all over that one. He is picking up on mistakes in training. He will stop at nothing. He is a serial winner."

'A series of players who are artists' Manchester City will go all season unbeaten - Martin Keown

Keown is not only impressed by City's ability to win games but the manner in which they are going about their victories.

"City are a series of players who are artists," he said on Final Score. "They paint beautiful football for us each and every week, and in every game [Gabriel] Jesus or [Sergio] Aguero are on the end of it.

"You know the genius of Ronnie O'Sullivan in snooker, where he can choose which hand to play with? Kevin de Bruyne is like that with his feet."

Crooks, Keown's fellow Final Score pundit, was even more effusive about City's style of play, adding his own belief that Guardiola's side are set for an historic season.

"It is some of the best football ever played in the history of the Premier League," he said.

"Think about it as the sort of thing you'll play in five-a-side, except this is being executed at the top level. I've never quite seen anything like it.

"I think we're looking at another invincible team this season. They have the ability to go all the way unbeaten.

"They have so much depth in the squad, they can cover in any position and I've not seen a team like this in a very long time."

'Man City are getting more and more dangerous' Leicester 0-2 Man City: Foxes beaten by best team in Europe - Claude Puel

On Saturday, Jesus gave them the lead from close range just before half-time from David Silva's pass, after the Spaniard was sent through by Raheem Sterling's disguised through ball.

After the break, Harry Maguire struck the post for Leicester via Fabian Delph's deflection but De Bruyne's thumping finish from Leroy Sane's cut-back 22 seconds later put the game beyond the home side.

"City are getting more and more dangerous as they go forward. They are a joy to watch this season," said former Tottenham boss David Pleat on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

"They have more talented, technical players and there's no disputing that. To go unbeaten this far in the season is quite remarkable from this group."

What will happen if they continue at their current rate?

City's current points-per-game average of 2.83 is 0.33 better than Chelsea's (2.50) in 2004-05 when they won the League with 95 points.

In 2015, Chelsea had 32 points after 12 games, a tally beaten by the current league leaders.

If Man City continue to win points at an average of 2.83 per game, they are on track for 108 points.

Most points in a Premier League seasonTeamSeasonPointsGoalsManchester City (projected)2017-18108126Chelsea2004-059572Chelsea2016-179385Manchester United1993-949280Manchester United1999-009197Chelsea2005-069172Arsenal2003-049073

The 100-point barrier has never been crossed before in the English top division.

If they continue to score goals at their current rate of 3.33 per game they will net 126 goals this campaign, 53 more than Arsenal's 'Invincibles' side of 2003-04.

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Paul Pogba: Man Utd midfielder is different class, says manager Jose Mourinho

9 hours 7 min ago
Mourinho pleased with dominant United reaction

Paul Pogba was labelled "different class" by Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho after returning from injury with a goal and an assist.

Pogba set up Anthony Martial for the equaliser and scored the third goal as United came from behind to beat Newcastle 4-1 at Old Trafford.

The France midfielder had missed the past 12 league and cup games with a hamstring injury.

"It was a great performance from him," said Mourinho.

United had failed to win three of their previous seven league games without Pogba as he recovered from injury.

However, the 24-year-old produced a man-of-the-match performance as United set a club record of 38 games unbeaten at Old Trafford to beat Newcastle and stay in touch with leaders Manchester City.

"Paul Pogba is different class - Paul and Nemanja Matic grew up together at the start of the season and are the engine of the team," added Mourinho, who replaced Pogba after 70 minutes with Marouane Fellaini.

"It was in Paul's hands, how many minutes to play until he began to feel fatigued. It was a great performance from him."

Manchester United's Premier League record with Paul Pogba starting (left) and without the midfielder (right) since the start of the 2016-17 season

On a positive day for United, striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic also marked his return to action with a 14-minute appearance as a substitute.

Ibrahimovic, 36, was making his first appearance since suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury on 20 April.

"To see him back is a great emotion," added Mourinho. "His was such a dramatic injury.

"You recover some players and you lose others, some teams are luckier.

"We have had to go through difficult matches without important players. Let us see if we can go through the Christmas period with all the players available at our disposal.

"The more players we have, the better for me."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: The return of a lion - 5 reasons why Zlatan was missed!
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Manchester United 4-1 Newcastle United: Jose Mourinho pleased by 'dominant' response

Sat, 18/11/2017 - 23:39

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is pleased with his side's "dominant" reaction after they fought back from a goal behind to beat Newcastle 4-1.

MATCH REPORT: Manchester United 4-1 Newcastle United

Watch all of Saturday's Premier League goals on Match of the Day, 22:30 BST on BBC One and the BBC Sport website & app.

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A 70-yard screamer and Coleman's Christmas lights - stories from the EFL

Sat, 18/11/2017 - 22:54
Successor as Wales manager must be passionate Welshman, says Chris Coleman

The Championship returned from its last international break of 2017 and certainly added to the frivolity of Leagues One and Two.

There are stories of a manager-in-waiting engaging in festive joy, an English club record that nobody wanted and a horrible miss that will do the rounds on social media for weeks to come.

BBC Sport brings you five things you may have missed from Saturday's EFL action.

Stadium of (Christmas) Lights

It is that time of year when reality TV stars, talent show contestants and local celebrities are called upon to switch on Christmas lights in towns and cities across the UK.

Such bookings are in the diary months in advance and Chris Coleman was not going to let his impending appointment at Sunderland get in the way of a prior engagement.

Coleman quit as Wales boss on Friday but was not on Wearside for their draw with Millwall (more on that result to come...)

The former Fulham and Coventry manager was instead instead in the Welsh city of Newport for the switching on of the Christmas lights - which seemed appropriate, as his new office will be the Stadium of Light, after all...

When asked if he would be managing the Black Cats at Aston Villa on Tuesday, he replied: "That's the idea. I've got an early flight tomorrow [Sunday] and then I'm straight into it.

"It's a big game on Tuesday at Villa Park."

Wearsiders' woes plumb new depths

Coleman will inherit a record-breaking side, but for all the wrong reasons.

Sunderland became the first team in English football history to fail to win in 20 successive home games in all competitions, drawing 2-2 against Millwall.

They relied on Adam Matthews' wayward cross to salvage a draw, but they remain bottom of the Championship and without a win at the Stadium of Light since beating Watford in the Premier League in December 2016.

Speaking to BBC Radio Newcastle after the match, caretaker-boss Robbie Stockdale said: "The fans crave success and they deserve it, so whoever is lucky enough to get the job and gets this place rocking again will have a fantastic club on their hands."

Sunderland have three opportunities in December to avoid going through the whole of 2017 without a home victory - maybe black cats are unlucky after all.

Maupay's miss Try as you might, I'm afraid we can still see you Neal...

In this social media age, there is no hiding place for footballers - everything they do is hyper-analysed and can be shared by thousands across the world.

Brentford striker Neal Maupay is probably wishing we could rewind to a time before the internet existed after his "miss of the season" contender against Cardiff.

After Sean Morrison had given the ball away on the edge of his own box, Ollie Watkins squared the ball for the Frenchman, who had the whole goal to aim for and bags of time - but managed to skew wide from seven yards.

His boss Dean Smith was supportive of his striker, saying: "Neal knows he should have scored and 999 times out of 1,000, he does. He's had one of those moments you don't want to see on a football pitch."

The Bees were trailing 1-0 at the time and went on to lose by a further goal. scored by Danny Ward, who has played a part in nine goals against Brentford in nine games against the Bees.

Glee for the Lees as Luton net seven again

You have two sons playing for the same team and there is a derby game in the calendar - what do you do? If you are Rob Lee, you go to Twickenham to watch England play rugby instead.

As a former England, Charlton and Newcastle midfielder he might have known better, and he missed a stellar display from his two sons as their Luton side put seven past Cambridge.

That is not even half of the story, as Olly Lee scored from inside his own half - and, according to Luton,