Thursday’s soccer news starts with Zack Steffen on the bench for Manchester City’s 2-0 win at Gladbach in the first-leg of their Champions League round of 16 series. Due to pandemic restrictions, Gladbach moved its home leg to Bucharest. Bernardo Silva opened the scoring for City in the 29th. Gabriel Jesus doubled the lead in the 65th minute. The series concludes in Manchester on March 16.
“In this competition, we don’t have much margin for error,” Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said. “If you have a 1 on 1 or a 3 v 2 situation, you have to at least finish the action or make the keeper make a save and we didn’t do it. In that position we have to finish better. They have to know that – in the Premier League we can drop points but in this competition, you have to be clinical. If there is something I want us to improve it is that.”
Before that second-leg, Manchester City plays five Premier League games with the first four at home. That run starts with West Ham United on Saturday and includes the Manchester derby on March 7. It’s an opportunity for City to seal its lead at the top of the table, extending its 13-game win streak and 17-game unbeaten run in the Premier League.
Moving to the Championship, Daryl Dike subbed on in the 62nd minute and scored in Barnsley’s 2-0 win at Stoke City. Callum Styles put Barnsley up in the 9th minute. Dike scored in the 90th. Barnsley is in 8th-place in the Championship.
“This season, Callum has scored a lot of fantastic goals and this is the ‘Stylesy special’,” Barnsley coach Valerien Ismael said. “But I’m more delighted about the Dike goal – it’s important for him, the guys and the team spirit for him to have that breakthrough in that moment in a very important game. This was a battle and Saturday will be a fight. We are more ready, we are prepared, we have the confidence and we need to keep the momentum going.”
Cameron Carter-Vickers’s Bournemouth lost -1 at home to Cardiff City. Trailing from a 28th minute goal and 37th minute penalty. Bournemouth’s Shane Long scored in the 67th Geoff Cameron’s QPR drew 0-0 at PNE. Paul Arriola was on the bench for Swansea City’s 1-0 home win over Coventry City. Ben Cabango scored in the 54th minute.
In La Liga, Sergino Dest subbed on in the 77th minute and Konrad De La Fuente was on the bench for Barcelona’s 3-0 home shutout of Elche. Lionel Messi scored in the 48th and 68th. Jordi Alba finished off the Barca goals in the 73rd minute.
Also in the soccer news, Concacaf announced a broadcast rights deal for the Nations League with Paramount+, the revamped CBS streaming service. “We are very excited about this new partnership with CBS Sports and believe it will elevate Concacaf men’s and women’s national team football,” Concacaf president Victor Montagliani said. “When we launched these new competitions, our motivation was to provide more competitive football for men’s and women’s national teams in our region. With the backing of our Member Associations, we put the sport first and structured things in a way that we believed would attract fans and potential partners. This new agreement validates that approach, and we know Paramount+ will be a great platform to showcase Concacaf football.”
Montreal is looking for a new coach after the resignation of Thierry Henry. “It is with a heavy heart that I’ve decided to take this decision,” Henry said. “The last year has been an extremely difficult one for me personally. Due to the worldwide pandemic, I was unable to see my children. Unfortunately due to the ongoing restrictions and the fact that we will have to relocate to the US again for several months will be no different. The separation is too much of a strain for me and my kids. Therefore, it is with much sadness that I must take the decision to return to London and leave CF Montreal.”
The Guardian’s Jonathan Liew on City’s Champions League win. The Athletic’s Matt Slater asks about the future of soccer broadcast rights. MLSsoccer’s Tom Bogert previews Portland’s Champions League campaign.
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Logo courtesy of Manchester City