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City edge Chelsea in SO to win Cup

Manchester City players celebrate with the trophy after winning the English League Cup Final soccer match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium in London, England, on Feb 24. (AP)

Sterling the hero

LONDON, Feb 24, (RTRS): Manchester City won the English League Cup for the second successive season as the beat Chelsea 4-3 in a penalty shootout after the Wembley showpiece had ended 0-0 after extra time.

City had been largely frustrated throughout the 90 minutes and the extra period as Chelsea grew into the game.

But it was Pep Guardiola’s City who proved more clinical with their penalties and Raheem Sterling struck the decisive blow past Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Extra time had finished in farcical circumstances when Spaniard Arrizabalaga refused to be substituted after appearing to be injured making a late save from Sergio Aguero.

City have now won the League Cup four times in six seasons to move to second on the all-time list with six titles, two behind the record eight of Liverpool.


BERLIN: Borussia Dortmund beat Bayer Leverkusen 3-2 to restore a three-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga on Sunday with their first league win in four matches as they snapped the visitors’ four-game winning run.

The Ruhr valley club have 54 points with champions Bayern Munich on 51 after their 1-0 win over Hertha Berlin on Saturday.

Dortmund, who had not won in their previous five games in all competitions, started on the backfoot, with in-form Leverkusen having 75 percent possession in the first 15 minutes.

But the hosts scored when Dan-Axel Zagadou slotted in from close range as their first corner was floated into the box by Raphael Guerreiro.

Kevin Volland drew the visitors level in the 37th after a fine combination with Kai Havertz, but a minute later Dortmund teenager Jadon Sancho sensationally volleyed home a deep cross from Abdou Diallo to put his side back into the lead.

Mario Goetze looked to have killed off the game when he gave Dortmund a two-goal cushion on the hour but Leverkusen defender Jonathan Tah sneaked in at the far post to head home a free kick and revive their chances in the 74th.

Dortmund, who lost 3-0 at Tottenham Hotspur in their Champions League last 16, first leg earlier this month, managed to hold on for victory despite late Leverkusen pressure.

MADRID: Alvaro Morata scored his first goal for Atletico Madrid in a 2-0 win at home to Villarreal on Sunday which cut the gap behind La Liga leaders Barcelona back down to seven points.

Morata, who is on loan from Chelsea and had seen two goals ruled out after video assistant referee (VAR) reviews in recent games, broke the deadlock in the 31st minute, sending a cross from Filipe Luis into the bottom corner on the volley.

This was a less intense performance from Diego Simeone’s side than Wednesday’s thrilling 2-0 win over Juventus in the Champions League but they still had several chances to add to their lead, with Diego Costa spurning three good opportunities.

They finally sealed the points with a goal from midfielder Saul Niguez in the 88th minute, aided by two lapses from the visiting side, who are in serious danger of getting relegated.

Goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo misjudged a bounce in his area which allowed Saul to reach the ball first while defender Victor Ruiz was perfectly placed to head the shot away but mistimed his jump, watching on as the ball sailed past him into the net.

Atletico are second in the standings after 25 games on 50 points, while leaders Barcelona have 57. Villarreal are 18th on 23 points, two away from getting out of the relegation zone.

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