Center-back shortage hands Guardiola new dilemma in defense
First it was having a quartet of aging full backs unable to deliver on his demands. Then it was going eight months without a genuine left back.
Stones injury further depletes Man City’s central defense
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City will be without John Stones for around five weeks because of an injury, further depleting the Premier League champion's central defensive...
City defender Laporte has knee op, set to miss rest of 2019
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte is set to miss the rest of 2019 after undergoing surgery on his right knee, leaving the team short of center-back cover for its...
Netherlands beats England 3-1 to reach Nations League final
GUIMARAES, Portugal (AP) — Another semifinal loss, another missed chance for England to end its title drought.
The Netherlands took advantage of two sloppy defensive mistakes by England in...
BOURNEMOUTH, England (AP) — Manchester City returned to the top of the Premier League with a 1-0 win at Bournemouth, but lost Kevin De Bruyne and John Stones to injury on...
Pep effect: Guardiola impact showing on England at World Cup
SAMARA, Russia (AP) — The Pep effect is back for a third World Cup.
Titles for Spain in 2010 and Germany in 2014 were attributed partly to Pep Guardiola's influence on Barcelona and Bayern Munich, whose players filled six starting spots in each final.
Guardiola could be having the same impact on England.
MAE SAI, Thailand (AP) — The Latest on the rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach in a cave in northern Thailand (all times local):
English and Swedish soccer players competing in the World Cup are sending messages of hope to the members of a youth soccer team trapped in a cave in Thailand.
A rescuer filmed one of the boys wearing an England jersey. England defender John Stones says "we're hoping and wishing that they get out safe and sound."
England’s Stones calls Colombia ‘dirtiest team’ he’s faced
REPINO, Russia (AP) — England defender John Stones described Colombia as the "dirtiest team I've ever come up against" and said his team's ability to rise above the provocation is a sign of its growing maturity at the World Cup.
England won a penalty shootout Tuesday after a feisty, physical round-of-16 game finished 1-1 following extra time and with eight yellow cards handed out by the referee — tying for the most issued in any game in the tournament. Colombia's players received six of them.
Prolific attack masking Man City’s flaws at the back
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Six months into the season, finally there might be a glimmer of hope for Manchester City's frazzled rivals.
A night that saw City secure its place in the English League Cup final — setting up the prospect of a first of potentially four trophies for the team this season — also highlighted a vulnerability in Pep Guardiola's side that has been noticeable since the start of the year.
Man City juggernaut runs into defensive problems
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Partly out of desperation, partly due to having faith in his players' versatility, Pep Guardiola has shown no fear in experimenting with Manchester City's defense during his time at the English club.
Right winger Jesus Navas was briefly redeployed at right back, to no great success.
Left back Aleksandar Kolarov was turned into a ball-playing center back.
Holding midfielder Fernandinho sometimes switched to left back.
City beats Leicester but could be without Stones for 6 weeks
LEICESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City could be without John Stones for six weeks after the defender was injured in the Premier League leader's 2-0 victory at Leicester on Saturday.
John Stones pulled up during the first half with an apparent hamstring injury, leaving Pep Guardiola without both of his recent first-choice central defenders due to Nicolas Otamendi's suspension.
Ronaldo back with brace as Madrid, Man City, Spurs win in CL
After watching rival Lionel Messi score twice the night before, Cristiano Ronaldo did likewise for Real Madrid to open its bid for a third straight Champions League title with a 3-0 win over Cypriot club APOEL on Wednesday.
Messi helped Barcelona beat Juventus by the same score on Tuesday.
Harry Kane also chipped in two goals as Tottenham defeated Borussia Dortmund 3-1 at Wembley Stadium, while central defender John Stones surprised with two goals in Manchester City's 4-0 away rout of Feyenoord.
Man City spoils Feyenoord’s Champions League return 4-0
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) — Defender John Stones scored twice as Manchester City put on a display of swift-passing, attacking football to thrash Feyenoord 4-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday.
City did not manage an away win last season in the Champions League, but never looked like losing in De Kuip as it spoiled Feyenoord's return to the competition for the first time since 2002.
England calls up uncapped Gibson for Lithuania qualifier
LONDON (AP) — England manager Gareth Southgate has a defensive headache to solve after Chris Smalling dropped out of his squad for the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Lithuania at Wembley on Sunday.
Manchester United's Smalling has an unspecified injury, and has been replaced by uncapped Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson.
Man City routs West Ham 5-0 to reach FA Cup 4th round
LONDON (AP) — Manchester City swept aside West Ham 5-0 to reach the fourth round of the FA Cup on Friday, bringing an upbeat end to a testing week for coach Pep Guardiola.
Midfielder Yaya Toure's penalty, Norwegian defender Havard Nordtveit's own goal and a strike from midfielder David Silva made it 3-0 by halftime. Top scorer Sergio Aguero and defender John Stones added goals after the break to give Guardiola the easiest of introductions to world soccer's oldest knockout competition.
Defensive concerns mounting for Guardiola at Man City
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — During Manchester City's offseason of heavy spending, Pep Guardiola prioritized improving his midfield and wide areas rather than upgrading the team's defensive unit.
John Stones, an upcoming center back with lots of potential but still much to learn, was the only defender to arrive at Etihad Stadium ahead of the new season despite City's aging collection of full backs and the worrying state of his central defense.
Aguero double earns City 2-1 win at Burnley
BURNLEY, England (AP) — Sergio Aguero scored two scrappy goals as Manchester City recovered from conceding early to beat Burnley 2-1 in the English Premier League on Saturday.
Both of Aguero's goals were scored from inside the six-yard box, his first in the 37th minute after the ball was bundled into his path unwittingly off Argentina teammate Nicolas Otamendi.
Kompany out for 4-6 weeks, City manager Pep Guardiola says
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — It is estimated that 35 separate injuries have kept Vincent Kompany out for a total of 2½ years since he joined Manchester City in 2008.
Now, the unlucky defender could be facing another six weeks on the sidelines.
England mannequin challenge falls flat as Spain fights back
LONDON (AP) — When England's players froze on the field at the start of the second half against Spain, it was to celebrate Jamie Vardy establishing a two-goal lead by contributing to the mannequin challenge.
When they froze again in the closing minutes at Wembley Stadium, it was unintentional as Spain ran through the English defense to score twice and avoid defeat.
Man City winless run reaches 5 games with Southampton draw
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City failed to win for a fifth successive game in all competitions on Sunday, only avoiding a loss to Southampton when Kelechi Iheanacho produced a second-half equalizer for a 1-1 draw.
Although Pep Guardiola is enduring a five-game winless run for the first time since his debut campaign in charge of Barcelona in 2008-09, City is top of the Premier League on goal difference.