Theres no place like home. Its been over a decade since Manchester City made the move from Maine Road to the City of Manchester Stadium. Much has changed over the years. A new home. New ownership, purchasing the best players money can buy. And heightened expectations. Results have generally followed, particularly at home. The new Etihad may lack the character of the old Wembley of the North, but the confines in east Manchester suit City just fine. The team has made their home an absolute fortress. An exclamation mark was put on their top home form in a 6-0 demolition of Tottenham Sunday. Youll struggle to find a more complete performance than that of Manuel Pellegrinis men against a worthy Premier League foe. Four more goals were put past Viktoria Plzen in Wednesdays Champions League action. Progression from the Group Stage had already been achieved. And while not at their best, its a trademark of top teams to win at home despite inferior form. Mission accomplished. Without two of their top players (Kompany/Silva), City has shown no dip in home form. Results on their travels are a different story. Losses at Cardiff City, Aston Villa, and Sunderland raise questions. But its the convincing, completely one-sided home wins, especially against Spurs and Manchester United that stand out most, giving reason to believe a team sitting eighth in the Premier League table just a week ago should be considered favourites to win the league. Manchester City has 73 points in their last 29 Premier League home matches (W23, 4D, 2L), including a perfect record this season (6-0-0. 26 goals for, 2 against), the best stretch of home form among all league competition. The only true home embarrassment came at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League. But its the Premier League form that bodes well. Before Sunday, Spurs had conceded just one goal away from White Hart Lane but City moved through the team with ease. Citys prowess at home has been good, but this years edition looks to have taken the advantage to another level. The preferred attacking, more liberal style of Pellegrini plays to the teams strengths – athletic, two-way players in the middle of the park surrounded by fluid, creative players able to rotate and find space in advanced positions. The approach differs to that of his predecessor, Roberto Mancini. The Italian tactician was more conservative and calculated. When the away form under Mancini dipped (City had the fifth best away record a season ago), it was clear a change had to be made. Pellegrini still must solve the riddle as to how best structure his side for away competition. The team simply doesnt have reliable players in the back four that will lead to superior away form. So taking care of business at home is paramount. Home records are the most important indicator as to who will finish as champion. The team with the best home record has won the league every season dating back to 2001-02. Arsenal was champion that season with a 12-4-3 home record. Second-place Liverpool were better (12W-5D-2L) and seventh place West Ham had an identical home record. It is unlikely City will address their issues along the backline in the January transfer window. Instead, it is more likely Pellegrini will look for a goalkeeper, either to challenge or replace the unreliable Joe Hart. Asmir Begovic of Stoke City has been the top goalkeeper in the Premier League and an approach for the player would be worthwhile. Begovic has more than two years left to run on his contract but is a particularly valuable asset for a team like City as hes still able to play in the Champions League. Stoke seemingly has their goalkeeper of the future in Jack Butland. The 20-year was sent out on loan to Barnsley until the end of the year, and is six years younger than Begovic. Butland has the talent. Whether Mark Hughes feels comfortable enough with Butland will boil down to how far above the relegation zone Stoke sits come January, combined with the price willing to be paid for his current goalkeeper. In the meantime, theres much to like about the City attack. Sergio Aguero has been my Player of the Year, thus far. As a recess striker, Aguero is given free rein to play off the high striker and get involved numerous ways. The Argentine has 16 goals in all competitions thus far, 10 in the Premier League to go along with four assists. Ten of his 16 goals have also come at the Etihad. His finishing in front of goal remains lethal, exhibiting the ability to score in a number of ways. When the attack is played through Aguero dropping deeper, then allowing him to find space on the return ball inside the 18, his knack for finding space has made the player virtually unmarkable. Staying healthy was an issue last campaign and his role was ever changing. This season, he is the undoubted key player in the City attack. Agueros goal that won City the league at the Etihad in May 2012 will be remembered as one for the ages. If he can sustain his current form, especially at home, City and Aguero could be in for a season for the ages. Other Musings - If Aguero has been the leagues top player, Manchester Uniteds Wayne Rooney has to be a close second. Absolutely everything positive at United goes through number 10. Nine of Uniteds last 11 goals have gone directly through Rooney (2G, 7A). The quality in service has been outstanding, combined with a work rate second to none. Sir Alex Ferguson claimed Rooneys dip in form, and subsequent benching a season ago, stemmed from a lack of fitness. New manager David Moyes credits Rooneys success to rediscovering his hunger. "Thats a big part of what he is... a lot of people said that might have been missing from his game last season – well its certainly not missing now," said Moyes. "He has got the hunger and the desire back and hes committed for everything. Id rather have a Wayne Rooney that way than any other way." Complacency happens. Perhaps the time away to reflect, watching from the stands, has revitalized Rooney. Credit the player, the new manager, and also give credit to the old one, sending a wake-up call to a player in need of one. - Good for the Football Association to repeal Wes Browns three-match suspension after being sent off in a 2-0 Sunderland loss at Stoke. Brown was sent off based upon Sunderlands unruly reputation more than anything else. The Black Cats defender won the ball cleanly, although his foot did end up high after the sliding challenge. Sunderland has four red cards on the season, the most in the Premier League. Two ugly challenges against Hull City leading to sending offs havent won Sunderland any favours. And the continued dirty play of Lee Cattermole doesnt help matters. Manager Gus Poyet needs best to try to change this negative repute. It cost him a potential result at the Britannia. Sunderland isnt good enough to survive with a thug reputation tied to them. - Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho claims his Chelsea side were tired after a 1-0 Champions League loss to FC Basel. If the teams tired, why isnt Juan Mata playing? Is he not good enough? And how about a look at David Luiz? Two English centre backs continue to regularly start over a player set to start for Brazil at the World Cup. Mourinhos squad selection is often times puzzling. He has a squad full of top talent. Use it. - Arsenal defeated Southampton 2-0 at the Emirates last weekend. The score-line flatters the victor. An Artur Boruc all-time gaffe put the visitors behind early. The true TSN Turning Point: Adam Lallana substituted off in the 54th minute. After dictating the pace of the game, it all came unraveled after Lallana was taken off for Dani Osvaldo. Can Southampton play with two strikers? The two deep-lying midfielders (Wanyama/Schneiderlin) leave too much space between the central midfielders and the attack duo. Both Osvaldo and Lambert typically play high roles. The team moves with so much more fluidity with Lallana and Jay Rodriguez getting into advanced positions in support. Perhaps this is a case where the Osvaldo/Lambert potential partnership should be put on hold for the best of the team. The Saints are in tough again this weekend at Chelsea. Twitter - @WheelerTSNE-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org Frank Ragnow Lions Jersey
. "Im excited just for a new start, just to see where things are going, to bring some kind of tradition back to the team and guys being excited about something new," the defensive back said during a conference call Monday after agreeing to stay with the Bombers rather than go to free agency next month. DaShawn Hand Lions Jersey
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. Picard had a goal and two assists to help Canada improve to 2-0 at the tournament. Seven different players scored for the two-time defending champions. "Today all four lines played excellent," said head coach Laura Schuler. Detroit Lions Jerseys
. A little more than one year after missing a last-second tip-in that would have given the Wolverines a share of the Big Ten regular-season title, the 6-foot-8 forward scored on a layup with 7.For eight-and-a-half innings, everything pointed to the Winnipeg Goldeyes winning for the first time at Newman Outdoor Field in the regular season since 2012. In the bottom of the ninth, that all changed. The Goldeyes blew a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the ninth and watched the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks walk-off with a 4-3 win before 3,798 fans Friday night at Newman Outdoor Field. The loss halts Winnipegs four-game winning streak and extends their regular season losing streak at Newman Outdoor Field to seven games. Winnipeg struck for the first run of the game in the top of the first inning. With two out, Ray Sadler landed on second base after a throwing error by Fargo third baseman Ronnie Bourquin on a ground ball. Luis Alen then looped a broken-bat base hit over RedHawks shortstop Zach Penprase to score Sadler. The Goldeyes increased their lead to 3-0 in the eighth inning. With one out, Tyler Kuhns slow grounder was thrown down the first base line by Fargo starting pitcher Taylor Stanton, which allowed Kuhn to scamper all the way to third base. Jake Blackwood folllowed that will a seeing-eye single to easily score Kuhn.dddddddddddd After Blackwood reached second on a groundout by Sadler, Alen singled Blackwood in. Brendan Lafferty relieved Goldeyes starter Kyle Anderson for the bottom of the eighth and the RedHawks broke the shutout after Lafferty threw a wild pitch with Fargo catcher Petey Paramore on third base. After the Goldeyes left the bases loaded in the top of the ninth, Lafferty gave up three consecutive hits, including a game-tying two-RBI double to Sawyer Carroll. Kyle Bellamy then came in hoping to get the game to extra innings, but surrendered a single to C.J. Retherford to end the game. Lost in the defeat was another spectacular outing from Anderson, who pitched seven scoreless innings and gave Winnipeg every opportunity to win the game. He lowered his ERA to a league-best 0.91. Lafferty suffered the loss, while Wes Roemer picked up the win in his RedHawks debut. The two teams will meet again Saturday night. The Goldeyes will start Matt Jackson against Fargos Jake Laber. Game time is 6 p.m. Jerseys NFL China Wholesale Jerseys Cheap NFL Hoodies Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Gear Wholesale Jerseys 2019 Wholesale NFL White Jerseys
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