MLS

MLS: Beckham's Inter Miami eliminated from play-off contention as NYC clinch, Cade Cowell wows

By Sports Desk October 30, 2021

Inter Miami have been eliminated from the MLS play-off race following a 3-1 defeat to New York City, while San Jose Earthquakes teenager Cade Cowell produced a stunning moment of individual brilliance.

David Beckham's Inter Miami were looking to keep their fading play-off hopes alive on Saturday, however, second-half goals from New York City pair Valentin Castellanos and Talles Magno dashed that dream.

Inter Miami had never taken a point against New York City in their three previous meetings, losing all three. New York City were one of two teams Inter Miami had faced more than once without claiming a point, along with DC United.

That drought continued despite Inter Miami defender Jorge Figal initially cancelling out Castellanos' 33rd-minute opener at DRV PNK Stadium, where co-owner Beckham was in attendance.

But New York City – third in the Eastern Conference – hit back via Castellanos and Magno to clinch a play-off spot thanks to results elsewhere as Inter Miami were left to pick up the pieces in Phil Neville's first season as head coach.

Cade Cowell, meanwhile, scored a memorable solo goal as the Earthquakes outlasted Real Salt Lake 4-3 in a wild showdown.

The 18-year-old collected the ball in his own half with 21 minutes remaining before barging down the right flank, cutting in between two RSL defenders and finishing past David Ochoa with the outside of his boot.

Elsewhere, Fabio netted a dramatic stoppage-time winner as New York Red Bulls edged Montreal 1-0 to move into the seventh and final play-off spot in the east.

Defending champions Columbus Crew kept their slim play-off hopes alive with a 3-1 win over DC United, Toronto and Atlanta United drew 1-1 and 10-man Dallas edged Austin 2-1.

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    Bailey, who provided the crucial assist for John McGinn's seventh-minute goal, raised eyebrows when he did not emerge from the tunnel for the second half.

    Emery addressed the situation in the post-match press conference, providing insight into Bailey's condition. Despite the initial worry among Villa fans, Emery hinted that fatigue rather than injury might be the reason for the substitution.

    "He was tired, completely tired! Hopefully, he's not injured, but I don't know exactly," Emery reassured, offering a glimmer of hope regarding Bailey's well-being.

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    However, the Jamaican international has battled injury concerns since joining Aston Villa from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer of 2021. Despite these challenges, Bailey has remarkably missed just one league match throughout the season, sitting out the 6-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion back in September.

    The timing of Bailey's potential setback raises questions about his availability for the upcoming Europa Conference League clash against Zrinjski on Thursday night.

    The hope is that Bailey's early substitution against Arsenal was a precautionary measure to manage fatigue rather than a recurrence of his injury struggles. As Villa pursues success on multiple fronts, including European competition, the fitness of key players like Leon Bailey remains a critical factor in their aspirations for a successful campaign.

  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic returns to AC Milan as senior adviser to ownership group Zlatan Ibrahimovic returns to AC Milan as senior adviser to ownership group

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    The 42-year-old retired from football following Milan’s final game of the last Serie A season, but has returned to the club in his first job since his playing days as an adviser to the management and owners.

    Ibrahimovic will serve as a senior adviser to the ownership, which is led by RedBird and longstanding partners the New York Yankees.

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    Record run

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    Elite company

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    City hit 20 earlier in their current era of dominance, Roberto Mancini’s side with a perfect Etihad Stadium record from March 2011 to March 2012 when Sunderland, vanquished 5-0 earlier in the sequence, drew 3-3 – the only two points dropped on home soil that season by Mancini’s title-winners.

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    Good omens

    Villa top this season’s home league table with eight wins from eight. Liverpool also have a perfect record but from seven games, while Newcastle have won seven out of eight.

    They are third outright with 35 points, only the fifth time in their history they have had such an impressive record after 16 games.

    The other occasions when, converting to three points for a win, they would have been on 35 or more are their 19th-century title-winning seasons of 1898-99 and 1899-1900, a runner-up finish in 1910-11 and their most recent title in 1980-81.

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