Friday 24 November 2017

Humble Hart plays down the plaudits

MANCHESTER CITY goalkeeper Joe Hart has deflected praise for his performances by making the modest claim he is merely doing his job.

The England number one has been in outstanding form over the past month, conceding just three goals in his last seven games.

His display in the Premier League leaders' 3-0 win over Liverpool on Tuesday earned widespread plaudits. But the 24-year-old said: "I am not improving -- I am just having more to do. Sometimes I don't have a lot to do in a lot of the games and when I am called upon I like to be there.

"That is all part of being at Man City now. I've got to be focused every minute. Even when they are up at the other end I know they can counter."

City's ultimately comfortable defeat of Liverpool got their title charge back on track after two disappointing results over the holiday period.

Roberto Mancini's men, three points clear at the top of the league, were held to a draw by West Brom on St Stephen's Day and then beaten at Sunderland on New Year's Day.

Hart believes it was vital City got back to winning ways.

He said: "We had to beat them as we needed three points."

No CL reprieve for Red Devils

FIFA today confirmed the Swiss Football Association will not be suspended, ending any lingering chance of Manchester United being reinstated into the Champions League. The world governing body had given a deadline of January 13 for the SFV to take action against Sion for breaking a transfer embargo.

That action came on December 30, when they docked the club 36 points - three for each game in which one of the six illegally signed and therefore ineligible players featured.

The ratification from FIFA means Basle will remain in the Champions League and ends any hope of a reprieve for United, who were knocked out by the Swiss side.

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