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Injury-prone midfielder earns England call-up.
The 22-year-old has represented his country twice before at senior level, and is widely regarded as something of a wasted talent in the Premier League due to his repeated problems with injuries.
The former Everton man has hardly featured for Manchester City this season, after joining the club for 12million last summer, but finished the season on a high note with two fine goals in his side s 3-2 defeat against Norwich City at the Etihad Stadium.
He will now hope to feature in England s friendly games against Brazil and the Republic of Ireland and joins Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy as a somewhat surprise call-up.
The England squad in full is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Ben Foster, Joe Hart, Alex McCarthy.
Defenders: Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, Phil Jagielka, Glen Johnson, Phil Jones, Joleon Lescott, Kyle Walker.
Midfielders: Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Frank Lampard, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Jack Rodwell.
Forwards: Andy Carroll, Jermain Defoe, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck.
Andy Carroll: In-form for West Ham Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Roy Hodgson has recalled striker Andy Carroll to his England squad for friendlies against the Republic of Ireland and Brazil.
Carroll has not been involved since October’s World Cup qualifier in Poland, when he was an unused substitute, but has finished the season in fine form for West Ham.
Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy has earned a first call-up to the senior squad for the double-header.
More to follow.
England squad: Goalkeepers: Ben Foster, Joe Hart, Alex McCarthy Defenders: Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, Phil Jagielka, Glen Johnson, Phil Jones, Joleon Lescott, Kyle Walker.
Midfielders: Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Frank Lampard, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott; Forwards: Andy Carroll, Jermain Defoe, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck.
| Edin Dzeko’s precise volley proved the difference as Manchester City overcame West Bromwich Albion at the Etihad Stadium.
Samir Nasri won the ball in midfield before Carlos Tevez broke down the right and lofted the ball over to the Bosnian in the penalty area.
Dzeko neatly struck the ball into the ground and beyond the reach of Boaz Myhill.
West Brom battled for an equaliser in the second half but City clung on for all three points.
Nose for goal: Edin Dzeko slotted a well-taken volley past Boaz Myhill in the first half to put City in the lead Match facts Manchester City : Hart, Richards, Lescott, Kolarov, K Toure, Milner, Nasri ( Barry 73) , Garcia, Rodwell ( Maicon 76) , Dzeko, Tevez ( Razak 90) Subs not used: Pantilimon, Nastasic, Silva, Aguero Booked: Nasri, Kolarov Goal: Dzeko 35 West Brom : Myhill, Olsson, Ridgewell, Dawson, Jones, Tamas ( Long 81) , Yacob ( Dorrans 71) , Morrison, Mulumbu, Rosenberg ( Odemwingie 76) , Lukaku Subs not used: Foster, Reid, Popov, McAuley Booked: Yacob Referee : Phil Dowd Latest Premier League results, fixtures and table More to follow…
Silence please: Dzeko puts a finger to his lips and points to the sky after opening the scoring Instruction: Roberto Mancini (right) directs his players from the touchline Sent tumbling: Liam Ridgewell puts in a clumsy challenge on Manchester City midfielder James Milner (left) Toe-to-toe: Claudio Yacob (left) tries to muscle Dzeko off the ball as the Bosnian approaches the West Brom box .
Ouch: Aleksandar Kolarov (left) was booked for this challenge on West Brom defender Gabriel Tamas Acknowledged: Carlos Tevez picked out Dzeko for the opening goal in the first period .
Spurned: Jack Rodwell misses from inside the penalty area during the first half in Manchester .
Spot on? Sergio Aguero sported a pair of pink boots as he warmed up on the touchline On the sidelines: West Brom outcast Peter Odemwingie (right) watches from the bench Creator: Samir Nasri (right) tries to breach the West Brom defence at the Etihad
Samir Nasri: Fired Man City ahead Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Manchester City booked their place in the FA Cup final and as they beat holders Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley.
City dominated the opening period and a Samir Nasri effort meant they deservedly led at the break and their lead was soon doubled when Sergio Aguero headed home just after the interval.
Demba Ba pulled one back just after the hour mark for Chelsea, but City withstood late pressure and held on to book a cup final date with Wigan next month.
The main talking point at the start of the match was Roberto Mancini’s decision to start with Costel Pantilimon ahead of Joe Hart – but the Romanian barely had a touch of the ball as City dominated from the first whistle.
Indeed Petr Cech was needed to keep his side in the match in the opening ten-minutes, saving well from Aguero and then Carlos Tevez.
Just as Chelsea looked to have found a footing in the match, and the deadlock was broken by City – although there was some luck about it for Nasri.
Yaya Toure created the chance as his marauding run could not be stopped by City, he fed Aguero in the box who in-turn played in Nasri – he looked to play it back to the Argentine – but instead it hit Cesar Azpilicueta and cannoned straight back to the Frenchman to side-foot home from five-yards.
Moments later and the lead should have been doubled, but this time fortune was on Chelsea’s side as the ball dropped for James Milner just inside the box, taking a touch he unleashed his shot – which beat Cech, but hit Aguero – who could do little but block the goal-bound effort.
Yet another chance came City’s way on the stroke of half time as they countered brilliantly from a Chelsea free-kick at the other end – the charge was led by Milner and Mancini’s men had five on three – but the England midfielder’s cross into the box was poor, but Cech’s clearance still fell for the on-rushing Vincent Kompany – who could only volley wide.
City then began the second period as they finished the first and within two minutes – the lead was indeed doubled.
Gareth Barry created the chance with a wonderful ball into the box and Aguero rose superbly to loop his header into the far corner of Cech’s goal leaving the Czech star helpless.
Unsurprisingly City were happy to counter on Chelsea, who had no option but to push forward and look for an opening and they introduced Fernando Torres on the hour, and within minutes they had a goal back.
A long ball from David Luiz was not dealt with by City, and Ba just held off Kompany before helping the ball into the corner of the net with an acrobatic effort.
Suddenly Chelsea were in the cup tie as the momentum had totally changed, and not long after they should have levelled as Eden Hazard led a counter attack, he looked to play in Juan Mata and the Spaniard got the ball as Matija Nastasic failed to deal with the clearance but Pantilimon was off his line brilliantly to slide in and palm it away.
The Romanian then made a brilliant save to keep Ba out as Hazard escaped the attentions of Kompany in the box – and suddenly City were on the back foot.
Luiz stuck a free-kick just wide of the post and he was then on the receiving end of a two-footed lunge from Aguero, who was hugely fortunate not to see red.
Chelsea continued to press and Torres had a couple of half chances, but they could not find a way though as their grasp on the FA Cup was wrestled away from them.
Vincent Kompany believes Manchester City stand shoulder to shoulder with Manchester United and Barcelona among Europe’s big clubs .
The captain says expectations at the Etihad Stadium have risen beyond recognition since Sheik Mansour’s Abu Dhabi-based consortium completed their buy-out in 2009 and an incredible turnaround has occurred on and off the pitch.
The comments came as Manchester City travelled down to Wembley by train.
One’s Kompany: Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany arrives in London I hope someone’s saved me a seat: Carlos Tevez boards the train That’s A-Toure: Kolo Toure looks happy to see the camera Can you check I turned the iron off: Micah Richards makes a last-minute call Kompany described the current season as a rollercoaster on the eve of the FA Cup semifinal against Chelsea, but was eager to remind fans who are unhappy with the defending champions Premier League form, despite Monday’s 2-1 win at United, how far City have evolved.
Belgium star Kompany said: We ve made a massive progression, not just on the field but off the field as well.
The club work and function like a big club, and that couldn t be said two years ago.
Bit of kip: Pablo Zabaleta falls asleep on the train down to London Card games: James Milner (centre) and his team-mates indulge in a spot of ‘Snap’ Hitman: Sergio Aguero using his phone on the ride down to The Big Smoke Hey! Aguero spots the camera People forget this is a turnaround that has happened over four or five years.
It’s incredible and in that sense I believe we have overachieved.
But now that we ve set the standard we cannot go under it again.
Elite: Manchester City celebrate after Sergio Aguero’s winner against United Unrealistic gap: City proved they should be closer to United in the table
Police are investigating post-match footage to determine whether Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany was racially abused after his side’s win over rivals United.
Greater Manchester Police say they have received no complaints from either club but were made aware of the footage by local newspaper Manchester Evening News.
Kompany was being interviewed with team-mate James Milner by Sky Sports’ Geoff Shreeves when a man can be heard shouting in the background.
Victorious: Police are investigating footage of Vincent Kompany’s post-match interview A police statement released on Tuesday says ‘the force will work with both clubs and review any footage to investigate the incident.’ City had previously closed the gap on Premier League leaders United to 12 points with victory at Old Trafford, as goals from Milner and Sergio Aguero sealed their win.
Ugly scenes had marred United’s victory at the Etihad in the corresponding fixture on December 9 when players of the visiting side, including Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand, were pelted with coins after Robin van Persie’s winning free-kick.
Dominant: Kompany (right) guided his side to another Premier League win at Old Trafford Match winner: Sergio Aguero celebrates his brilliant winning goal at Old Trafford
Roberto Mancini claims Manchester City will regain the Premier League title next season after Sergio Aguero’s dramatic late winner at Old Trafford.
The City manager, who admitted this year’s title race is over despite their 2-1 victory over United, claims they do not even need to make any summer signings.
Mancini, whose team reduced the gap to 12 points with seven to play, said: We can win the title next season with this squad.
We don t need to make changes.
Horror: Phil Jones is aghast as Sergio Aguero fires home the winner for Manchester City Carbon copy: Sergio Aguero’s strike was reminiscent to the championship winning goal against QPR Elation: James Milner celebrates with Samir Nasri after scoring the first goal via a deflection How they stand: City closed the gap to 12 points United deserve to win the title for sure.
But we have lost it because we had some important players injured and that created problems.
Yaya Toure and Aguero have been injured and we cannot afford to lose those types of players.
But this game we deserved to win.
We didn t deserve to lose at home and we wouldn t have deserved to lose this.
Mancini also said that the win proves that the gap isn t as representative of the respective squads strength.
It demonstrated tonight that we are not (15 points worse).
We are happy, it is normal, you play football, we are happy because we won.
We play football to win.
We wanted to play football, we had the ball, kept it and played better.
It was important for us, we showed we didn’t deserve to stay 15 points behind.
Every time we play United…also the game at the Etihad, we dominated and lost, but this is possible, it is football.
Delighted: Roberto Mancini gave Alex Ferguson a warm handshake before the game began Old boy: Carlos Tevez had a strong game up front keeping the Manchester United defence occupied Mancini will now focus on Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final at Wembley against Chelsea.
He added: Chelsea will be different, it is a semi-final and they are playing well.
It will be a good game, but this was important because we want to finish second.
Of some concern for City was the loss of playmaker David Silva in the closing stages of the game with a hamstring injury.
The Spaniard now looks doubtful for the trip to Wembley.
Mancini said: ‘Maybe it is not so bad but I don’t think he will be ready for Chelsea.’ James Milner, who opened the scoring, hopes the win will stand them in good stead for the rest of the season, in which they are still gunning for a second FA Cup triumph in three years.
Every derby is a massive one, we wanted to come and put in a performance, he told Sky Sports 1.
We deserved the win at what is always a tough place to come.
It was a great result and we will want to keep the momentum until the end of the season.
We worked very hard and got a win.
United are tough to break down at Old Trafford where they have an excellent record.
Heated: Aguero and Phil Jones square up near the end of the match Shoving: Ryan Giggs and Gareth Barry also got involved in the argument City skipper Vincent Kompany was in the wrong place at the wrong time when Phil Jones header went in off him in the wake of Milner`s goal, but a Sergio Aguero special won it for the visitors.
Kompany knows the win will do little in the current title race, but hopes it can make a difference heading into next season.
We worked very hard and we gave them few chances, he said.
We were the better team.
Every game we play to win and the way we finish the season can have an impact on the next when we will start from the beginning.
This is a good game to have under our belt.
Luck: Jones’ attempted header came off the back of Vincent Kompany and into the goal Sir Alex Ferguson was furious with referee Mike Dean after claiming David de Gea’s view of James Milner’s strike was obscured by an offside Carlos Tevez.
The United chief said: I have seen the first goal on TV.
Certainly Tevez is interfering with play but the linesman on that side no way is he giving it.
Tevez is clearly in the road of the goalkeeper.
If that’s not interference, I don t know what is.
Ferguson will not take a 13th Premier League title for granted, but added: As each game goes along you whittle them down.
We have Stoke on Sunday.
The support will be great.
Sense of humour: Mancini laughs at a decision during the game although ref Mike Dean had a solid match Defeat was tough for United to take against their local rivals, but Ferguson was also looking for the positives.
‘ It was a very intense game with the two best teams in the country,’ he said.
‘ We were unlucky to lose it.
We know Aguero is a fantastic finisher but we gave him a lot of room.
I was pleased with the performance and thought we did really well.
‘ There were lots of plus signs, our form is good, I have no complaints.
If you look at the whole thing, it`s not a bad day for us in terms of the performance level.
‘ You don’t want to a lose a derby game, but we’re okay.’ THE TITLE RUN-IN Manchester City Wigan (h) – Wednesday, April 17 Tottenham (a) – Sunday, April 21 West Ham (h) – Saturday, April 27 Swansea (a) – Saturday, May 4 Reading (a) – Sunday, May 12 Norwich (h) – Sunday, May 19 Manchester United Stoke City (a) – Sunday, April 14 West Ham (a) – Wednesday, April 17 Aston Villa (h) – Monday, April 22 Arsenal (a) – Sunday, April 28 Chelsea (h) – Saturday, May 4 Swansea (h) – Sunday, May 12 West Bromwich (a) – Sunday, May 19
| A stunning Sergio Aguero goal gave Manchester City some pride in the Premier League title race, after the Argentinean’s goal sealed the visitors’ win over bitter rivals United at Old Trafford.
James Milner put the visitors a goal up with a driven effort from just outside the area after veteran United midfielder gifted Gareth Barry possession wide on the right.
The hosts battled back as Phil Jones nodded a Robin van Persie free-kick into the back of Vincent Kompany’s head, which bounced over the line for the equaliser.
But substitute Aguero burst into the League leaders’ box and rifled the ball into the roof of David de Gea’s net to clinch victory with ten minutes to play.
One up: Sergio Aguero fired Manchester City into the lead with a wonderful strike Out-jumped: Vincent Kompany (left) can’t keep Phil Jones’ effort from ending up in the back of the net Jubilation: Despite Jones’ celebrations, the equaliser went down as a Kompany own goal Gifted: James Milner put Manchester City in the lead with a powerful drive from the edge of the area MATCH FACTS Manchester United : De Gea, Rafael, Evra, Jones, Ferdinand, Giggs, Carrick, Young ( Kagawa 90) , Rooney ( Hernandez 85) , Welbeck ( Valencia 80) , Van Persie Subs not used: Lindegaard, Buttner, Nani, Cleverley Booked: Rooney, Giggs, Valencia Goal: Kompany 59 (og) Manchester City : Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Clichy, Nastasic, Milner, Nasri ( Aguero 71) , Barry, Silva ( Lescott 90) , Y Toure, Tevez ( Garcia 90) Subs not used: Pantilimon, Kolarov, K Toure, Dzeko Booked: Silva, Kompany, Tevez Goals: Milner 51, Aguero 78 Referee : Mike Dean More to follow…
Overjoyed: Milner is congratulated by his City team-mates after breaking the deadlock Swing when you’re winning: Milner celebrated by showing the fans his golf technique .
Last ditch: United’s Phil Jones (left) was at full stretch to nick the ball away from the incoming Carlos Tevez MILNER’S GOLF CELEBRATION James Milner celebrated the opening goal at Old Trafford with a golf swing in the direction of the visiting Man City fans – in a nod to a forthcoming charity event for his foundation.
The James Milner Foundation (JMF) recently announced that its first golf day will be held at the De Vere Mottram Hall, in Cheshire on April 23.
The evening will raise funds for the foundation, NSPCC, Help for Heroes and Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.
The JMF is a charity to promote healthy recreation young people in the UK, promoting opportunities in sports, in particular football, rugby and cricket.
No go: Carlos Tevez tries to flick the ball goalwards, but can’t control his effort Early chance: Robin van Persie (centre) lets fly from inside the City area Big hittter: City captain Vincent Kompany stretches to nick the ball away from Van Persie Dispute: Pablo Zabaleta (centre) argues with referee Mike Dean after the referee blew up for half-time Ready and waiting: Rooney takes the ball for a United corner as the City defence organise themselves Raging: Roberto Mancini (right) was also on the pitch to complain to Dean about his timekeeping .
Combative: Rooney tries to wriggle away from centre back Kompany Welcome back: Wayne Rooney returned from injury to take on United’s bitter rivals Up close: Patrice Evra (right) climbs on James Milner as the pair fight for possession Proud moment: Evra was joined by his son, Lenny, as Yaya Toure (back, right) chases Ryan Giggs .
In attendance: Manchester United joint chairmen Joel Glazer (right) and Avram Glazer (centre) watch with David Gill (left) Crocked: Serbia centre back Nemanja Vidic was not part of United’s squad .
Meeting of minds: Roberto Mancini (left) shakes hands with his opposite number Sir Alex Ferguson Friend or foe: Former United striker Tevez (left) hugs Rooney (right) before the match started Gloating: Home fans hold a banner to taunt their cross-city rivals ahead of the match THE TITLE RUN-IN Manchester City Wigan (h) – Wednesday, April 17 Tottenham (a) – Sunday, April 21 West Ham (h) – Saturday, April 27 Swansea (a) – Saturday, May 4 Reading (a) – Sunday, May 12 Norwich (h) – Sunday, May 19 Manchester United Stoke City (a) – Sunday, April 14 West Ham (a) – Wednesday, April 17 Aston Villa (h) – Monday, April 22 Arsenal (a) – Sunday, April 28 Chelsea (h) – Saturday, May 4 Swansea (h) – Sunday, May 12 West Bromwich (a) – Sunday, May 19
Sergio Aguero fires in the winner to stun Old Trafford Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Substitute Sergio Aguero broke Manchester United hearts all again as Manchester City won 2-1 at Old Trafford.
The Argentine, whose goal won City the title in May, came off the bench to score the winner after a Vincent Kompany own goal had cancelled out James Milner’s strike in an eventful second-half.
The result closes the gap between the two sides to 12 points with seven games to play and while it is unlikely to prevent the Red Devils regaining the Premier League crown, the game was still played out in an intense atmosphere.
The first half, although surprisingly open, was more notable for a series of robust challenges rather than goalmouth incidents as Wayne Rooney and Kompany were both booked for poor fouls.
Rafael did clip the crossbar after latching onto a Robin van Persie flick-on just before the interval but clear opportunities were few and far between despite the end-to-end nature of the contest.
But City didn’t have to wait long to find the breakthrough in the second half and it came after good work from Gareth Barry, who robbed Ryan Giggs on the left before finding Samir Nasri in the area.
Rafael did well to tackle Nasri in the box but the Frenchman was still able to tee up Milner and the midfielder struck a fierce left-footed shot that took a slight deflection past David De Gea.
As has been a feature of their season, the goal appeared to spark United to life and the home side soon found an equaliser from the unlikely source of City skipper Kompany.
Van Persie whipped in a free-kick and Phil Jones just had to nod into the empty net but he miscued the effort badly only to strike the back of the Belgium international and see the ball diverted home.
If that was supposed to prompt a United onslaught it failed to emerge with Roberto Mancini instead looking to his bench to introduce Aguero for Nasri and deliver the game’s killer blow.
The diminutive striker showed remarkable balance to dance past a series of challenges and blast the ball into the roof of the net to stun the home crowd into silence.
Despite heavy United pressure in the final stages, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side could not find an equaliser and for the second successive season City were able to leave Old Trafford as the victors.
Both St Helens and Castleford will be looking to bury the memories of derby disappointment when they meet at Langtree Park.
Saints were beaten by arch-rivals Wigan in the lunchtime kick-off on Good Friday while the Tigers were toppled by neighbours Wakefield in the only evening fixture.
Defeat to the Warriors ended a three-match winning run for Nathan Brown’s troops so they will hope to get back on track against a Castleford side that have not tasted success since shocking Leeds on February 10.
The hosts are once again without Jonny Lomax and James Roby; Willie Manu and Anthony Walker have been left out of the squad picked to face Wigan.
However there is a boost for Brown with the return of New Zealand international Lance Hohaia, while there is also a recall for Joe Greenwood.
Much-changed Tigers Castleford coach Ian Millward has rung the changes so all his squad are involved over the busy Easter period.
Second rower Charlie Martin is set to make his Super League debut and there are recalls for James Clare, who started the defeat to Hull FC at the beginning of March, and Adam Milner.
Steve Nash and Dan Fleming also feature in a 19-man party that sees Richard Owen, Jake Webster, Jamie Ellis, Lee Gilmour and Grant Millington all drop out.
“I want all of our squad to play over Easter so everyone will play,” Millward said.
“There are players like Steve Nash, who’s been at Dewsbury Rams, and Dan Fleming, who’s been at Batley Bulldogs, who will both play in Monday’s trip to St Helens while James Clare will get another opportunity.
“I’m also really pleased with the progress of young Charlie Martin – he’s only young and has been out of the game for 18 months but we want to reward him for his rehabilitation and hard-work to get back playing so he’ll also play on Monday.” St Helens: Wellens, Gardner, Turner, Soliola, Meli, Hohaia, Perry, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Wilkin, Laffranchi, Flanagan, Clough, Jones, Makinson, Ashe, Greenwood, Walmsley, Percival, Howarth.
Castleford: Carney, Shenton, Dixon, Chase, Walker, Clark, Huby, Hauraki, Emmitt, Milner, Massey, Holmes, Thompson, Tansey, Nash, Fleming, Clare, Martin, Mason.