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Norwich City v Watford: Premier League – live!

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  • 2019-11-09 02:15:04 27 days ago
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It’s nights like these that make you wonder how the Premier League gets away with it. The top flight’s Friday live slate rarely captures the imagination, but this clash between the league’s bottom two looks the most unappealing prospect on paper since [insert your own Brexit joke here].

That said, nobody expected a nine-goal thriller when Southampton hosted Leicester, and this early six-pointer does have the potential to be eminently watchable. Despite both being odds-on for the drop, these two teams are still capable of playing fluid, intelligent attacking football when everything clicks.

Unfortunately, both are also waist-deep in existential crises, weeks spent in the bottom three eroding their sense of identity. Watford brought in Quique Sánchez Flores to tighten up their defence, and have scored two goals in their last six league games. As for Norwich, well, they’ll always have Manchester City.

Since that statement win, Daniel Farke’s side have lost to a host of mid-table teams (Brighton, Burnley, Palace, Villa, United) without putting up much of a fight. Like his opposite number, Farke is caught between sticking to his team’s attacking ideals and buckling down for a dogfight, and is currently doing neither well.

As a result, all bets are off tonight. We might get a feast of attacking flair, or a buffet of defensive howlers. Either team could conceivably do what Leicester did, and turn what looks a tight contest into a shooting gallery. Who knows, maybe Elton or Delia will feel compelled to intervene – and maybe the Man know’s what he’s doing after all.

Kick-off: 8pm GMT. Team news and buildup to follow …

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Norwich City v Watford: Premier League – live!

Liverpool vs. Manchester City: Six classic encounters

Leaders Liverpool play Manchester City on Sunday as the top two in the Premier League meet at Anfield.

There have been some great battles and plenty of goals in this fixture over the last decade.

Here, the PA news agency looks at six classic matches between the two sides.

Man City 2 Liverpool 3, October 2008

Soccer – Carling Cup – Final – Cardiff City v Liverpool – Wembley Stadium
Dirk Kuyt completed an incredible Liverpool comeback against Manchester City in 2008 (Nick Potts/PA)

Dirk Kuyt was the hero as Liverpool came back from two goals down to bear 10-man City 3-2. First-half goals from Stephen Ireland and Javier Garrido seemed to put City in cruise control before Fernando Torres halved the deficit and Pablo Zabaleta was sent off for a tackle on Xabi Alonso. Torres headed an equaliser before Kuyt slotted home at the far post in the final moments. Liverpool lost only twice that season under Rafael Benitez but finished four points behind champions Manchester United as winning a first Premier League title proved elusive.

Liverpool 3 Man City 2, April 2014

Liverpool Legends v Milan Glorie – Legends Match – Anfield Stadium
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard gave a famous on-pitch team talk after beating Manchester City in 2014 (Peter Byrne/PA)

Liverpool looked as if they had struck a decisive blow in the title race on an extraordinary afternoon at Anfield. Brendan Rodgers' side took command as Raheem Sterling and Martin Skrtel scored inside the opening 26 minutes. But City struck twice within five-second half minutes through David Silva and a Glen Johnson own goal. A rare mistake from Vincent Kompany allowed Philippe Coutinho to score a 78th-minute winner, with Jordan Henderson sent off in the final seconds. At the end of the game, Reds captain Steven Gerrard gave his team-mates a rousing team talk on the pitch – but Liverpool slipped up in the final straight and City took the title by two points.

Man City 1 Liverpool 1 (City won 3-1 on pens), February 2016

Liverpool v Manchester City – Capital One Cup – Final – Wembley Stadium
City goalkeeper Willy Caballero saves from Lucas Leiva on his way to becoming a Wembley penalty shoot-out hero in 2016 (Mike Egerton/PA)

Argentina goalkeeper Willy Caballero was the shoot-out hero as City claimed the Wembley spoils in the League Cup final. A cagey contest broke into life four minutes after the restart when Fernandinho fired home from a tight angle. Liverpool levelled seven minutes from time as Adam Lallana struck the woodwork and Coutinho swept home the rebound. Extra time failed to produce any further goals, and it was first blood to Liverpool in the shoot-out as Emre Can scored and Fernandinho missed City's first spot-kick. But Caballero saved from Lucas, Coutinho and Lallana to get the City party started, with Yaya Toure converting the deciding penalty.

Liverpool 4 Man City 3, January 2018

Liverpool v Norwich City – Premier League – Anfield
Mohamed Salah scored Liverpool's winner in a seven-goal thriller in 2018 (Martin Rickett/PA)

This was possibly the best game of the lot as Liverpool ended City's unbeaten Premier League record in thrilling fashion. Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain's ninth-minute drive put Liverpool ahead, but Leroy Sane beat Loris Karius at his near post just before half-time. The Reds then scored three times in an eight-minute spell to go 4-1 up. Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Salah were on target, the latter pouncing on an Ederson error to chip the City goalkeeper. Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan netted in the final six minutes, but Liverpool held on. But City had the final word again, romping to the title as Liverpool finished fourth.

Man City 1 Liverpool 2, April 2018

Liverpool reached their first Champions League semi-final for 10 years after coming from behind at the Etihad Stadium to secure an emphatic 5-1 aggregate win. Liverpool held a healthy first-leg after Salah, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mane had scored in a 3-0 Anfield win. But Merseyside nerves were jangling after Raheem Sterling set up Gabriel Jesus inside two minutes. The tension got to City manager Pep Guardiola, who was sent off for a pitchside outburst after Sane's effort was incorrectly ruled out for offside. Salah chipped home in the second half after a powerful run by Mane and Firmino completed the formalities 13 minutes from time.

Man City 2 Liverpool 1, January 2019

Manchester City v Liverpool – Premier League – Etihad Stadium
Leroy Sane celebrates scoring City's winner against Liverpool in January 2019 (Martin Rickett/PA)

Liverpool's unbeaten 20-game start to the start came to an end as their lead at the top was cut to four points. City knew nothing other than victory was necessary to keep their title ambitions alive. But they almost fell behind when Mane hit a post and John Stones scrambled the ball off the line after his attempted clearance struck goalkeeper Ederson. Data showed the ball had failed to cross by just 1.12 centimetres. Sergio Aguero broke the deadlock close to half-time before Jurgen Klopp's side equalised after 64 minutes through Mane. But Sane fired home the winner eight minutes later, inflicting Liverpool's only league defeat of the season and sparking a title surge that saw City home by just one point.

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Armed mugger jailed for 10 years after attempting to rob Arsenal duo

An armed mugger has been jailed for 10 years after attempting to rob Arsenal duo Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac of luxury watches worth £200,000.

Harrow Crown Court heard that Ashley Smith and his accomplice did not count on the bravery of Bosnian defender Kolasinac in fighting back.

Ozil then drove them from the ambush as the would-be robbers pursued them on a stolen moped and threw stones, the court heard.

Kolasinac – Ozil knife attack
Ashley Smith (left) and Jordan Northover (Met Police/PA)

Smith, 30 – who was described by judge Ian Bourne QC as a prolific "career criminal" who was well known to police – was out on licence for a 42-month sentence for burglary in 2017 when he tried to carry out the street robbery on the Arsenal pair.

He had been released in connection with a burglary offence in January.

Smith, of Archway, north London, had previously pleaded guilty to the attempted robbery just feet from Kolasinac's home in Hampstead, north west London, on July 25.

The judge said Smith, who appeared in court by videolink, had a "leading role" in the "very serious" attempted robbery with Jordan Northover, 26.

The would-be robbers used a stolen moped, were dressed in helmets and dark clothing to try and conceal their identities.

Kolasinac – Ozil knife attack
CCTV of Ashley Smith and Jordan Northover trying to rob Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Ozil (Met Police/PA)

Smith and Northover had been circling the area and on the look-out for a victim when they targeted the players.

Kolasinac had arranged to meet Ozil who was in a car with his newlywed wife, the court heard.

The judge said that Kolasinac, nicknamed The Tank, "must have been terrified by the events which took place immediately outside his house".

Smith and Northover were "armed and dangerous" and were using a knitting needle and a pointed screwdriver as weapons, according to the judge.

He said: "Between them they produced these weapons which they threatened Mr Kolasinac with, a long pointed blade which was thrust in the victim's direction and made contact with him.

"The two of them had not counted on Mr Kolasinac fighting back and he behaved incredibly bravely."

At this point Mr Kolasinac may have felt the robbers would have done "anything they needed to obtain the watches", the judge noted.

The weapons were described as a 10-12 inch long screwdriver with a thin steel coloured spike and a smaller darker instrument that was probably about six inches long.

The court heard that footage showed Mr Kolasinac attempting to engage with the culprits, but he was able to get in the car which was then driven away by Ozil.

The judge noted: "But that was not the end of it. The two men pursued the car along the high road and attempted to stop the vehicle, throwing stones at the car."

The players managed to flee, but the stones caused "significant" vehicle damage.

The judge added that "fortunately for justice" an alert member of the public later saw the moped being parked in Boreham Wood and called police.

CCTV of Ashley Smith and Jordan Northover
CCTV of Ashley Smith and Jordan Northover (Met Police/PA)

Officers were able to trace the defendants and arrest them.

The judge stated that Smith has "an appalling criminal record" of 20 convictions from 38 offences dating back to when he was 14 years old.

Assault, theft, burglary, driving without a licence and breaching a community order are among some of the offences.

Defence lawyer Susan Meek told the court that Smith had described the ambush as "a scummy thing to do and that when he takes drugs these are the things he ends up doing".

Smith was also ordered to pay £181 in a victim surcharge.

Northover is to be sentenced at a later date which has yet to be set.

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