MLS

MLS: Bou winner extends New England lead, Red Bulls beaten after late penalty drama

By Sports Desk August 14, 2021

MLS top scorer Gustavo Bou netted a late penalty to help New England stretch their lead at the top of the Eastern Conference with a 2-1 win at Toronto on Saturday.

The Argentine stepped up to convert the 83rd minute spot-kick, extending New England's lead to 12 points from second-placed New York City in the east.

Canada international Tajon Buchanan had put Revolution ahead in the 19th minute with an excellent header and they looked good value for the win until Toronto's 79th-minute equaliser.

Jonathan Osorio levelled the game with a close-range tap-in from Pozuelo's shot across goal.

But New England found a winner, with Bou sending his penalty high to the goalkeeper's right for his 12th goal of the season. The win extends Revolution's unbeaten run to seven games.

New York City kept up the pressure in second spot with a 2-0 home win over Inter Miami thanks to a double from Valentin Castellanos, including a Panenka penalty.

The victory means City are undefeated across their past six league games, winning four of them.

New York Red Bulls slumped to their fourth defeat in five MLS games, conceding a late penalty in dramatic circumstances in a 2-1 loss at Montreal.

Former Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama netted the 90th-minute spot-kick as the third different shooter after their previous two efforts were saved but retaken due to encroachment from keeper Carlos Coronel.

The result means the Red Bulls, who had gone ahead from Pascal Klimala's 45th-minute penalty, are winless in seven league games.

Sporting KC maintained their grip on top spot in the Western Conference with a 2-0 win at in-form Dallas.

Mexico international Alan Pulido put Sporting ahead with angled shot in the 12th minute before Daniel Salloi netted his 10th goal of the season in the 63rd minute with a sharp finish.

LA Galaxy are second in the west after Kevin Cabral's first-half strike earned a 1-0 win at Minnesota United.

Colorado Rapids scored twice in the second half to win 3-1 at Houston Dynamo, while Real Salt Lake beat 10-man Austin 1-0 to move up to sixth in the west.

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    Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola labelled Dani Olmo a "fantastic player" ahead of Tuesday's Champions League meeting with RB Leipzig.

    City have breezed through Group A as they prepare to head to Leipzig, having previously gone 14 games unbeaten against German opposition in the competition.

    The Bundesliga outfit can only make the Europa League after a disappointing group-stage showing, are still without a home win in Europe this term and parted ways with head coach Jesse Marsch on Sunday amid a poor run of form.

    Guardiola, though, heaped praise on Leipzig as he hailed Olmo as a standout star, although he dismissed any speculation of a reported move for the Spain international.

    Asked about a potential transfer for forward Olmo, Guardiola responded: "[The] answer is no. He is a Leipzig player.

    "If we are interested, I'm sure City will contact Leipzig. Saying that, he is a fantastic, fantastic player.

    "I'm happy he had the courage to leave Barcelona to develop his skills and then arrive at Leipzig."

     

    Olmo caught the headlines at Euro 2020 as he became just the third player – after Cesc Fabregas (2008) and Dejan Kulusevski (2021) – to assist two goals after being substituted on at the European Championship.

    But the former Barcelona man has made only three starts this season across all competitions, assisting just one goal, and he is yet to find the net after struggling with a muscle injury.

    Leipzig have felt the absence of one of their key players and are down in 11th in the Bundesliga, 16 points behind reigning champions Bayern Munich at the top.

    While speculation persists over who will succeed Marsch, Guardiola took the opportunity to praise the environment that has been developed at Leipzig.

    "Leipzig has a culture, they won't sign a manager who doesn't want to play their way," he added. "They want to play a specific way, pressing, gegenpressing, attacking, live, sleep, eat. 

    "This is the culture, and the new manager will be similar like that. The impact of a new manager is clear, players open their eyes and play for the Europa League, an incredible competition, the money from UEFA. 

    "We won at home, it was difficult, what they did in Bruges [a 5-0 win over Club Brugge]. There are highs and lows this season but the philosophy, the way they play versus Paris Saint-Germain, they should win 2-0,3-0. 

    "They play their style. We have to be careful, impose our game. Play to improve. We don't play for the points, we play to improve. It's a perfect training game for us. We go to Leipzig [and then] do a good dinner tonight to celebrate our qualification."

  • Guardiola confirms De Bruyne to start in Leipzig Guardiola confirms De Bruyne to start in Leipzig

    Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has confirmed Kevin De Bruyne will start their final Champions League group game against RB Leipzig on Tuesday.

    De Bruyne missed a month of action after contracting COVID-19 but made his return off the bench in Saturday's 3-1 win at Watford.

    The Premier League champions have already secured top spot in Group A after their 2-1 win against Paris Saint-Germain on matchday five.

    Speaking at a media conference ahead of City's trip to Germany, Guardiola revealed the Belgian will start the game, saying: "Kevin had the corona, was growing and after had the setback.

    "It's normal, the people who have the corona feel empty. Step by step he plays the minutes, tomorrow he will start and we'll see how many minutes."

    Guardiola also confirmed several youth players will travel for the game, though he also made mention that five substitutions are allowed in the Champions League, two more than in Premier League games, suggesting they may come off the bench rather than start in the Red Bull Arena.

    "They are fantastic young players. They need to settle but the potential is there," he said. "Of course all the guys who play tomorrow want to win, for respect for Leipzig, and respect for Brugge and PSG.

    "Hopefully tomorrow some of them can play - we have five subs, not three like here, so maybe we can use them."

    The game will be played behind closed doors after the German state of Saxony was placed into a partial COVID-19 lockdown.

    "In Germany the situation is not good," the City boss added. "The authorities have decided. We still have to be careful. That is my concern. The situation is dangerous.

    "We need to learn that the situation is not solved. Like the PM said, wear a mask, observe social distance and be careful."

    City left back Oleksandr Zinchenko also spoke at the media conference, and added: "It is sad news for both teams and the fans who wanted to go to the game and for the players as well. 

    "We just play for the fans but the main reason is for our health. I wish everyone is going to be healthy."

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