Blue moon rising over Manchester

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Blue moon rising over Manchester

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Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez, right, celebrates after scoring during the football match between Manchester City and Stoke City in Manchester, England on Tuesday. [AFP/YONHAP]


MANCHESTER, England - Manchester City is on the verge of qualifying automatically for the Champions League after beating Stoke 3-0 on Tuesday, three days after defeating the same opponent in the FA Cup final to end a 35-year trophy drought.

Carlos Tevez scored twice to take his league tally to 21 goals this season - equal top with Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov - as Man City moved past Arsenal into third place in the Premier League with one match remaining.

Making his first league start since injuring his hamstring five weeks ago, Tevez played a one-two with James Milner before beating two defenders inside the box and smashing the ball into the net to put City in front in the 14th minute at Eastlands.

The Argentina forward curled in a free kick in the 65th minute to join Berbatov at the top of the scoring chart in the race for the Golden Boot.

The 26-year-old has been linked with a move away from City after submitting and then withdrawing a transfer request earlier this season. Manager Roberto Mancini, however, said the club captain had indicated he now wants to stay.

“He is a fantastic striker and a fantastic player for us. I think he will stay here next year. He doesn’t have a problem,” Mancini said. “I spoke with him many times in the last 20 days. It is my opinion that Carlos stays here next season.

“Carlos is an important player here. The feeling for him is good. Nowhere else can he find behavior that all people have for him.”

City defender Joleon Lescott had made it 2-0 with a simple header in the 53rd minute, his second goal of the season.

City is one point ahead of Arsenal and visits Bolton on Sunday, when the Gunners travel to Fulham.

The top three English teams advance to the Champions League group stage. The fourth-place side has to negotiate a two-legged playoff match in August, with four-time European champion Bayern Munich and 2006 semifinalist Villarreal potential opponents.

Stoke struggled to lift itself for the match after the 1-0 loss to City at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, the club’s first trip to the FA Cup final in its 148-year history.

It was the first trophy City had won since the 1976 League Cup and its fifth FA Cup win, 42 years after the last, giving Abu Dhabi businessman Sheikh Mansour some payback on the estimated $485 million he has spent since buying the club in August 2008.


AP


한글 관련 기사 [연합]

EPL 3위 맨시티, 새로운 ‘빅4’의 등장을 알리다

맨체스터 시티가 잉글랜드 프리미어리그에서 새로운 `빅4`의 등장을 알렸다.

지난 2008년 아랍에미리트연합(UAE)의 정치인이자 재력가인 만수르 빈 자이드 알나하얀이 구단주로 취임하며 맨체스터 시티(이하 맨시티)는 단번에 세계에서 가장 부유한 구단으로 재탄생했다. 맨시티는 막강한 오일머니를 바탕으로 스타급 선수들을 대거 영입했다. 천문학적인 액수를 배팅하며 전 세계 정상급 선수들을 대거 사들일 기세를 보였다.

하지만 빅4 진입은 매번 실패로 끝났다. 2008~09 시즌에는 리그 10위라는 초라한 성적표를 받았고, 2009~10 시즌에는 5위로 리그를 마무리했지만 꿈에 그리던 빅4 진입에는 실패했다. 그런데 2010~11 시즌 맨시티는 드디어 빅4 진입에 성공했다. 프리미어리그의 `강자`를 대변하는 빅4에 맨시티가 당당히 이름을 올린 것이다.

맨시티는 18일 새벽(한국시간) 시티 오브 맨체스터 스타디움에서 펼쳐진 `2010~11 잉글리시 프리미어리그` 37라운드 스토크 시티와의 경기에서 테베스의 2골에 힘입어 3-0 완승을 거뒀다.

전반 13분 아크 중앙에서 때린 테베스의 오른발 슈팅이 스토크 시티의 골망을 가른 것을 시작으로 후반 7분 레스캇의 추가골, 후반 19분 테베스의 쐐기골까지. 맨시티는 일방적인 경기력을 선보이며 대승을 거뒀다.

이로써 맨시티는 20승8무9패, 승점 68점으로 리그 3위에 랭크됐다. 1위 맨체스터 유나이티드와 2위 첼시, 그리고 4위 아스널과 함께 빅4로서 어깨를 나란히 한 것이다.

오는 23일 펼쳐지는 최종전 결과와 상관없이 맨시티는 빅4 진입을 이미 확정지었다. 중요한 것은 3위를 지키느냐다. 4위 아스널이 승점 67점으로 맨시티와 승점 1점차다. 맨시티는 최종전에서 볼턴을 상대로 리그 3위를 확정하기 위해 끝까지 긴장의 끈을 놓지 않고 있다.

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