Raheem Sterling joins list of top six worst misses that features Cristiano Ronaldo and Fernando Torres

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Raheem Sterling missed a tap-in as Premier League leaders Manchester City were held by Burnley on Saturday.

Sterling, who is having the best scoring season of his career to date, was picked out at the far post by Danilo’s cross, but scuffed the contact and sent the ball wide of the far post.

City were leading 1-0 at the time – with the match inside the final 20 minutes – thanks to a first-half Danilo strike. But they would drop points as Johann Berg Gudmundsson struck in the 82nd minute to give Burnley a 1-1 draw.

Here, Press Association Sport look at six of the worst misses:

Ayegbeni Yakubu: World Cup, Nigeria v South Korea, 2010

The former Everton and Portsmouth man was the beneficiary of a pinpoint cross from the left and Yakubu, inside the six-yard box, went for the precision finish rather than a blast into the open goal. Unfortunately for him he sent the ball six inches wide.

Yakubu’s infamous miss for Nigeria.

Chris Iwelumo: World Cup qualifier, Scotland v Norway, 2008

In a crucial World Cup qualifier, and on his Scotland debut, striker Iwelumo managed to miss the target from close range after a perfect cross from Gary Naysmith. It was a sitter and Iwelumo never did score for his country.

Cristiano Ronaldo: Primera Division, Rayo Vallecano v Real Madrid, 2012

Even the world’s best players can blunder, and Real Madrid superstar Ronaldo would not want to relive this one. He was slipped the ball across goal by Gonzalo Higuain as Real Madrid attacked at pace, and only had to tap home. Too easy perhaps. Ronaldo instead chipped towards an empty net and hit the post.

Even the best sometimes are human.

Ronnie Rosenthal: Premier League, Aston Villa v Liverpool, 1992

The Liverpool striker rounded Villa goalkeeper Nigel Spink and, with the goal wide open, leant back and side-footed the ball against the bar – to the delight of a packed Holte End.

Fernando Torres: Premier League, Manchester United v Chelsea, 2011

If there was a single moment which summed up Torres’ miserable Chelsea career, this was it. The Spaniard had done all the hard work by rounding David De Gea, but with an open goal gaping he prodded tamely wide from the edge of the goal area.

Fernando Torres had his fair share of blunders at Chelsea.

Jon Dahl Tomasson: Eredivisie, Feyenoord v NAC Breda, 2001

Newcastle fans will remember Tomasson missing a hatful of chances during a tough stint at St James’ Park. None matched this one though, with Tomasson – in the centre of the goalmouth – scooping over the bar from barely a foot out.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger praises Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan's chemistry

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Arsene Wenger says the instinctive understanding between old friends Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan can transform Arsenal‘s turbulent season.

Aubameyang marked his Arsenal debut with a goal in Saturday’s 5-1 demolition of Everton, while Mkhitaryan provided three assists in his first start for the Gunners.

The swaggering show from the former Borussia Dortmund team-mates was a much-needed boost for Arsenal boss Wenger after a difficult January that saw Alexis Sanchez force through a move to Manchester United, while the north Londoners struggled on the pitch.

Gabon striker Aubameyang joined from Dortmund on deadline day for a club record £56 million, reuniting with Armenia midfielder Mkhitaryan, who arrived earlier in the window from United in a swap deal for Sanchez.

While Aaron Ramsey scored his first career hat-trick against Everton, it was the promising partnership between Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan that stole the show.

“Overall, the two players integrated well into our game and they looked as if they had played for us forever,” said Wenger.

“They have similar qualities to what our game is about. Technically, they are good. They are quick and overall it was a first convincing performance.”

Aubameyang was a constant menace with his pace and energy and, while his goal was fortunate given he was offside when he ran onto Mkhitaryan’s pass, there was enough quality on display to suggest he may keep the misfiring Alexandre Lacazette on the bench for the foreseeable future.

“The quality of his movement and finishing was excellent. He gives problems to defenders with his movement, he is always looking to go into spaces that are difficult to cover,” Wenger said.

“When he gets ahead it is hard to catch him. When we understand him better we can make more of that.
“He is not at his best physically and still has some work to do on that, but the price is reasonable I think, overall for that quality of striker in today’s market.”

Mkhitaryan struggled to make an impact at United, but he looked revitalised at the Emirates Stadium, linking with Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil to devastating effect as Arsenal tore Everton to pieces with four goals in the first half.

“He is a good link player and he works very hard as well,” Wenger said.

“Overall, I think he looked well-accepted by the rest of the team and was understanding very well how we want to play. I can say is that it was a convincing debut.”

ICE-COOL RAMSEY

Hat-trick hero: Ramsey.

Wenger also reserved praise for Ramsey as the Wales midfielder finally took his manager’s advice to stay cool in front of goal.

“I felt always – when I watched the games after on the video – you think always that he is there in a good position in the box and I felt always that he had between 10 and 15 goals at least in his locker,” Wenger said.

“He didn’t do it until now because I think he rushed, sometimes, with his finishing. He looks much calmer.”

Everton boss Sam Allardyce was furious with his side’s display as they tarnished his 500th match as a Premier League manager.

“I’m angry because accepting an instruction is the players’ responsibility at this level of football,” he said.

“We tried to give those instructions. There was a very good performance by Swansea on Tuesday against Arsenal and we based our plan on that.

“We set out to play like that, unfortunately Swansea played at the top of their game and we played at the bottom.

“That is why we were tumbling goals left, right and centre with our pathetic performance. None of it was any good. All the team played crap.” 

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte questions media's treatment towards him as exit rumours persist

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Antonio Conte feels he is getting a rougher deal from the media than his rival Premier League managers have to endure.

Chelsea boss Conte won the league title and took the Blues to the FA Cup final during his first year in English football.

This season has so far proved more difficult, though, and rumours persist about the Italian leaving Stamford Bridge.

Conte has regularly expressed his desire to remain in London for at least the remaining 18 months of his contract and thinks journalists are singling him out by repeatedly asking about his future.

“I don’t understand why other coaches are not under pressure after a defeat in the way that you (the media) are doing with me,” said Conte, who was this week linked with a return to managing the Italian national side.

“But I repeat, this is not problem because I don’t read (newspapers), I don’t go online.

“As you know very well, I don’t have a relationship here with a journalist.

“I want to see if there is one to tell the opposite (that he is not about to leave).”

Conte’s Blues are currently 18 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City and fighting for a top-four finish in order to qualify for the Champions League.

Chelsea players walk off the field after loss to Bournemouth.

Chelsea players walk off the field after loss to Bournemouth.

While he was lifting the title last May, his rivals at England’s other so-called top-six clubs were left with plenty to improve on.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, whose team are on course to take Chelsea’s crown, and Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho saw their sides finish well off the pace in their first seasons at their respective clubs.

Liverpool have entertained under Jurgen Klopp but he has not managed to add to their trophy cabinet since taking over in October 2015, while Mauricio Pochettino continues to receive plaudits at Tottenham despite failing to end a 10-year wait for silverware.

When it was suggested that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger – who has enjoyed FA Cup success in three of the past four seasons but not won the league since 2004 – has faced plenty of recent criticism, Conte replied: “Yes but after 20 years, not after one year and a half.

“Me after one year, and then after we won the league because don’t forget that last season we won the league as underdogs.”

Conte takes his side to Watford on Monday evening, looking to bounce from the 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Bournemouth on Wednesday.

Asked what he would like to do when he eventually does leave Chelsea, he said: “Now my ambition is to have another season in England and to respect my contract. This is my decision.

“Then we will see what happens and anything can happen.”

Provided by Press Association Sport 

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