Man City boss Pep Guardiola hits back at Yaya Toure's racist claims

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Pep Guardiola has defended himself against Yaya Toure‘s accusation that he has a problem with African players, calling the Ivorian’s claim a “lie”.

Toure, who barely featured as Manchester City won the Premier League title under Guardiola last season, hit out at the Catalan in an interview with France football earlier this week.

The Ivory Coast midfielder suggested the City manager – who was also his boss at Barcelona – might have treated him less favourably because he is African.

Guardiola has now responded to the comments from his former player, telling Catalan television station TV3 in quotes reported by the Spanish press: “It’s a lie and he knows it.

“We were together for two years and now this is when he says it. He never told me face to face.”

Yaya Toure

Toure left City this summer after making just one Premier League start during the team’s record-breaking charge to the title under Guardiola last term.

The 35-year-old, who won three Premier League titles, the FA Cup and two League Cups during his eight years at the Etihad Stadium, said of his former manager in France football: “I’m not the first person to talk about his different ways of treating people.

“I know some other people at Barca who have also wondered about that. Maybe it’s the case that we Africans aren’t always treated by certain people in the same way that they treat others.

“When you see that he’s had problems with Africans wherever he’s been in the past, you wonder.

“When the day comes that he picks a team featuring five Africans – and not naturalised Africans – I promise I will send him a cake!”

Provided by Press Association Sport

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New Derby manager Frank Lampard's career in numbers

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Former England and Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has been appointed as Derby’s new manager.

The 39-year-old takes his first step into management, signing a three-year deal at Pride Park as a replacement for Gary Rowett, who left the Rams to take charge of Stoke.

Here, we take a look at Lampard’s career in numbers.

11,000,000 – The fee, in pounds, paid by Chelsea to West Ham for the midfielder’s signature in 2001.

13 – Years at Stamford Bridge.

50 – Chelsea’s first championship in half a century was secured in 2005 with two Lampard goals in a 2-0 win at Bolton.

164 – Number of consecutive Premier League appearances for Chelsea -a record for any outfield player – from October 2001 to December 2005.

211 – Goals for Chelsea, a club record, eclipsing Bobby Tambling’s long-standing total of 202.

11 – Major trophies won with Chelsea (one Champions League, one Europa League, three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups).

0 – There was no fee involved in the move to Manchester City, who agreed a short-term deal after Lampard had said he was moving to their sister club, New York City FC.

85 – The minute of Lampard’s goal against Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium which earned City a 1-1 draw in September 2014.

15 – Goals in 31 games for New York City FC.

106 – England caps, featuring 29 goals.

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Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold among 2017/18 season's top 10 emerging young stars

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With the 2017/18 domestic season behind us, we’ve had some time to reflect on it before the chaotic World Cup period gets underway.

There were some young players who burst onto the scene over the last 10 months across Europe.

Here’s a look at 10 of the best young stars (21 years or under) that emerged over the past campaign.

HOUSSEM AOUAR – Lyon

Ever so graceful on the ball, the Lyon academy product has turned heads in Europe this season owing to his performances in Ligue 1. The attacking midfielder weaves past defenders with ease and with six goals and five assists in France’s top flight this past season, has proved to possess an end product as well.

Houssem Aouar.

Houssem Aouar.

LEON BAILEY – Bayer Leverkusen

A Jamaican with plenty of pace to burn (who’d have thought, right?). Bailey’s progressed well at Leverkusen after making the switch from Genk. The 20-year-old’s been a real threat in the Bundesliga scoring nine goals, a great return from a young winger. His decision making needs work and there’s still plenty of scope for improvement which is frightening.

Leon Bailey.

Leon Bailey.

FEDERICO CHIESA – Fiorentina

Arguably the brightest young talent in Serie A at the moment. Chiesa, son of Parma legend Enrico, has been a highlight of Fiorentina’s season. The 18-year-old winger directly contributed to 11 goals in the league for La Viola and was called up for Roberto Mancini’s first Italy squad.

Federico Chiesa.

Federico Chiesa.

MATTHIJS DE LIGT – Ajax

The Dutch 18-year-old has emerged as one of the best young centre-backs in Europe this season. De Ligt is being linked to various clubs, Manchester City and Barcelona among them. He’s tall, quick, good on the ball and has a fantastic positional sense. The Ajax youngster is proving to be the complete package.

Matthijs de Ligt.

Matthijs de Ligt.

TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD – Liverpool

A midfielder by trade, Alexander-Arnold has impressed at right-back particularly towards the business end of the season. The 19-year-old showed composure beyond his years and held his own in the Champions League final against Real Madrid as well. His inclusion in England’s World Cup squad speaks volumes of his excellent displays in his breakthrough campaign.

Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Trent Alexander-Arnold.

JUSTIN KLUIVERT – Ajax

It’s only being whispered in the corridors at Ajax for now, but Justin Kluivert has the potential to become one of the world’s best. Every major club in Europe is monitoring the 19-year-old’s progress and having hit double figures for goals in Eredivisie this season, interest in the diminutive winger is only growing.

Justin Kluivert.

Justin Kluivert.

MALCOM – Bordeaux

The former Corinthians attacker has progressed well at Bordeaux with his third season at the club proving to be his best yet with 12 goals and seven assists in Ligue 1. The 21-year-old is at his best when cutting in from the right flank and attacking the heart of the opposition’s defence.

Malcom.

Malcom.

RYAN SESSEGNON – Fulham

Despite playing over 20 times at left-back, Sessegnon has managed to score 16 goals and provide eight assists this season to help Fulham gain promotion to the Premier League. Even in the play-off final against Aston Villa, it was his assist that set up Tom Cairney for the decisive goal. It’s no wonder the pacey 18-year-old has been the talk of the Championship.

Ryan Sessegnon.

Ryan Sessegnon.

CENGIZ UNDER – AS Roma

With the ability to play on either flank or in behind, the 20-year-old has made an impact at Roma this term following his move from Basaksehir. Under largely played off the bench but scored nine goals in all competitions. He’s considered the most promising Turkish talent since Arda Turan.

Cengiz Under.

Cengiz Under.

ALBAN LAFONT – Toulouse

The Toulouse number one has been so impressive this season that he’s quickly threatening Gianluigi Donnarumma’s tag as the best young goalkeeper around. Lafont has been a mainstay between the sticks for Toulouse over the past two seasons and is seen as Hugo Lloris’ successor for France. The 19-year-old is in the mould of Manuel Neuer though, operating as a sweeper keeper.

Alban Lafont.

Alban Lafont.

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