Friday, October 22, 2021

January 30, 2021 A last-minute consolation and a bundled effort from a long throw-in are the only goals Manchester City has conceded in nine games across all competitions in 2021. Pep Guardiola, one of the most attack-minded coaches in soccer history, has constructed a virtually impenetrable defensive unit in his fifth season at City and it is providing the platform for the team’s latest run at the Premier League title.

City’s lead grew to three points on Saturday after its battling 1-0 win over last-place Sheffield United was followed by second-place Manchester United’s latest slip-up, a 0-0 draw at Arsenal.

That’s five straight shutouts for City in the league — or 10 in its last 12 league games stretching back to a 2-0 loss at Tottenham on Nov. 21, when some were wondering if Guardiola’s latest iteration had the capability of winning the title this season.

Indeed, since a 5-2 loss to Leicester in City’s second league game — a result that shook Guardiola and led to him tightening up his defensive unit — the team has kept 20 clean sheets in 29 games in all competitions, conceding just 10 goals.

On a day when Guardiola rotated his lineup and City’s attack was never at its free-flowing best, a close-range effort from Gabriel Jesus in the ninth minute was enough to earn an eighth straight league win and see off a hard-working Sheffield United side looking far from the worst side in the division.

City’s defense, marshalled by the excellent Ruben Dias, was barely troubled.

When is it ever these days?

“When I woke up and went out of my building, I saw it was windy and freezing and I said, ‘Today will be the toughest game we are going to play this season,’” Guardiola said.

“Our commitment was fantastic. We played really well. We didn’t create much but we conceded few again. I am grateful to my players for the victory we had. It was so, so difficult and we did it.”

City’s 13 goals conceded is by far the fewest in the league heading into the second half of the campaign. Tottenham and Arsenal are tied for the next best record, with 20.

UNITED HELD

United has now dropped points in three of its last four league games, after a draw against Liverpool and — more painfully — a 2-1 loss to Sheffield United on Wednesday.

Edinson Cavani wasted United’s best two chances at Emirates Stadium while Alexandre Lacazette struck the crossbar with a free kick for Arsenal, which brought on Martin Odegaard — a loan signing from Real Madrid — for his debut.

United set a club record by extending its unbeaten away streak in the top division to 18 games but handed a big advantage to City, which also has a game in hand.

“We don’t think about the title race,” United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said, adding “We’re in January.”

NEWCASTLE REBOUNDS

After five straight defeats that saw the team plunge toward the relegation zone, Newcastle bounced back with a 2-0 win at Everton to move eight points clear of the bottom three.

Callum Wilson scored two goals in the second half and now has 10 in his first season at the club following an offseason move from Bournemouth.

Everton missed out on the chance to climb to fifth place, and manager Carlo Ancelotti accused his players of being “lazy, slow, not focused.”

Newcastle’s win was bad news for Fulham and West Bromwich Albion, two teams in the relegation zone which shared the points in an entertaining 2-2 draw at The Hawthorns.

Fulham occupies the third and final relegation spot and is four points from safety.

SLUMPING SAINTS

After a strong start to the season, Southampton is slipping down the standings and lost 1-0 at home to Aston Villa to make it three defeats in a row.

Ross Barkley scored the first-half winner by heading in a cross from Jack Grealish, with Southampton having been denied an early penalty when Villa defender Matty Cash blocked a goal-bound shot from Stuart Armstrong with his arm.

Villa rose to eighth, Southampton dropped to 11th.

Crystal Palace is three points behind Southampton in the 13th after beating Wolverhampton 1-0 thanks to the latest wonder strike by Eberechi Eze.

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Entertainment

September 7, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Michael K. Williams, who as the rogue robber of drug dealers Omar Little on “The Wire” created one of the most beloved and enduring characters in a prime era of television, died Monday. Williams was found dead Monday afternoon by family members in his Brooklyn penthouse apartment, New York City police said. He was 54. His death was being investigated as a possible drug overdose, the NYPD said. The medical examiner was investigating the cause of death. Little, a “stick-up boy” based on real figures from Baltimore, was probably the most popular character among the devoted fans of “The Wire,” the HBO show that ran from 2002 to 2008 and is re-watched constantly in streaming.

September 8, 2021 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Britney Spears’ father filed Tuesday to end the court conservatorship that has controlled the singer’s life and money for 13 years. James Spears filed his petition to terminate the conservatorship in Los Angeles Superior Court. “As Mr. Spears has said, again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter,” the document says. “If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance.” Judge Brenda Penny, who oversees the case, will need to approve the move. Britney Spears attorney Matthew Rosengart said in an email the filing “represents another legal victory for Britney Spears — a massive one — as well as vindication for Ms. Spears.”

September 8, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — With Katie Holmes and Lil’ Kim on his front row and singer Marina on the mic high above his runway, Christian Siriano helped kicked off New York Fashion Week’s first big pandemic round of in-person shows Tuesday with a flurry of neon and lace-inspired in part by all the Italian women in his life. From ornate Gotham Hall, beneath a stained-glass skylight 70 feet up, Siriano’s commitment to size inclusivity was never stronger as he opened and closed the show with plus-size breakout model Precious Lee. She first walked in a stunning yellow trouser suit with wide loose pants and an asymmetrical jacket, a matching crossover bralette underneath.

September 7, 2021  VENICE, Italy (AP) — Paul Schrader knows he has a limited number of films left, so whatever he does from here on out is going to be for himself. At 75 years old, the writer of “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull” and director of “American Gigolo” and “Mishima” was even somewhat prepared to call it a day after his 2018 film “First Reformed,” for which he got his first Oscar nomination. He didn’t want to. He just knew it might be the reality. “I thought I would go back to this character again for about the fifth time,” Schrader said in a recent interview. By “this character” he means “the man in the room.” It’s Travis Bickle. It’s John LeTour. It’s Julian Kay. And it’s a formula he’s been working with for 45 years.

Business News

September 8, 2021  -Stocks were mostly lower in Asia on Wednesday after a lackluster session on Wall Street, where weak jobs data and pandemic concerns weighed on sentiment. Shares rose in Tokyo after economic growth for the April-June quarter was revised upward to an annualized 1.9% from an earlier estimate of 1.3%. “Any feel-good factor was ignored, though, given the climb was less than half of the 4.20% fall in Q1,” Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a commentary. “Japan will be lucky to break even this year as the current Covid-19 wave will almost certainly have weighed on domestic consumption,” he said.

September 8, 2021 NEW YORK (AP) — There will be something missing at two Whole Foods stores opening next year: the rows of cashiers. Amazon, which owns the grocery chain, said Wednesday that it will bring its cashier-less technology to two Whole Foods stores for the first time, letting shoppers grab what they need and leave without having to open their wallets. Cameras and sensors track what’s taken off shelves. Items are charged to an Amazon account after customers leave the store with them. But there will be an option for those who want to shop the old-fashioned way: Self-checkout lanes will be available that take cash, gift cards and other types of payment. Amazon first unveiled the cashier-less technology in 2018 at an Amazon Go convenience store and has expanded it to larger Amazon supermarkets. But it will be the first time it has appeared at Whole Foods, a chain of more than 500 grocery stores Amazon bought four years ago.

September 8, 2021  BEIJING (AP) — An avalanche of changes launched by China’s ruling Communist Party has jolted everyone from tech billionaires to school kids. Behind them: President Xi Jinping’s vision of making a more powerful, prosperous country by reviving revolutionary ideals, with more economic equality and tighter party control over society and entrepreneurs. Since taking power in 2012, Xi has called for the party to return to its “original mission” as China’s economic, social and cultural leader and carry out the “ rejuvenation of the great Chinese nation.” The party has spent the decade since then silencing dissent and tightening political control. Now, after 40 years of growth that transformed China into the world’s factory but left a gulf between a wealthy elite and the poor majority, the party is promising to spread prosperity more evenly and is pressing private companies to pay for social welfare and back Beijing’s ambition to become a global technology competitor.

Fashion News

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