Ederson and Alisson at forefront of modern goalkeeping, says Dida

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Former Brazil international Dida believes compatriots Ederson and Alisson Becker are at the forefront of modern-day goalkeeping.

The pair have played a key role in the Premier League title race so far, keeping a combined 31 clean sheets as Manchester City and Liverpool battle it out at the top of the table.

Alisson leads the way with 17, having not conceded a league goal in 388 minutes – 478 if the goalless Champions League draw with Bayern Munich is factored in – and has kept the most clean sheets in Europe’s top-five leagues.

But it is what both offer in possession in terms of distribution, with the ball at their feet and out of hand, which sets them apart from most of their contemporaries.

“The quality of Brazilian goalkeepers has certainly risen, and these names confirm it,” Dida told Press Association Sport.

Alisson has been in good form for Liverpool.

Alisson has been in good form for Liverpool.

“The technique of modern goalkeepers includes the ability to play with the feet and a deeper reading of the match.

“Certainly, Brazilian goalkeepers can compete at international levels.

“However, currently there are many high-level goalkeepers, first of all AC Milan’s (Italy) goalkeeper Gigio Donnarumma.”

Dida, who retired in 2015 after twice winning the Champions League with Milan and the 2002 World Cup, is set to return to the pitch later this month as part of the AC Milan Glorie side who face Liverpool Legends at Anfield.

The game, on March 23, will raise money for the LFC Foundation and means the Brazilian will reprise his role from the 2005 and 2007 Champions League finals against Liverpool.

In their first meeting Milan were eventually beaten in a penalty shootout having famously conceded a 3-0 half-time lead and enduring a “nightmare” second half.

“Everything was very fast. It is as if there had been a blackout,” said Dida.

Ederson

“I never thought of a second half like the one we lived. It was like living a nightmare. You can win or lose whatever match, but I will never forget what happened that night.

“Certainly the outcome of the match could have been different if (Xabi) Alonso had not scored after the save of his penalty (for the equaliser).

“Of course, I think about it sometimes, but even if we must not forget these episodes, we must move forward.

“At the same time, however, I will never forget the victory in 2007, a true joy.”

Liverpool Legends v AC Milan Glorie will be held at Anfield on March 23, with proceeds going to the Liverpool Foundation. For details and to purchase tickets visit: https://www.liverpoolfc.com/news/tickets/328746-tickets-liverpool-legends-ac-milan

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Manchester City sure they'll 'end up doing an investment' in India

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The owners of Manchester City are considering buying a club in India.

A major investment could even be made this year as the City football Group continues to expand its global portfolio of clubs, chief executive Ferran Soriano has revealed.

The news comes just a fortnight after CFG acquired a share of Chinese outfit Sichuan Jiuniu, taking the number of clubs under its umbrella to seven.

The group also owns or has stakes in New York City, Melbourne City, Yokohama F Marinos, Atletico Torque and Girona, as well as flagship club Manchester City.

Soriano said: “We have some interest in some markets and countries where there is a genuine football passion and opportunities, like China, but also India. So there might be other opportunities in Asia.

“With all these developments we have to be patient. We’ve been looking at India for nearly two years now. I’d say this year we’ll end up doing an investment in India.”

CFG was created in 2013 as City’s first sister club was established in New York. The expansion since has been rapid and further investments are likely to follow.

Soriano said: “As we see it now, there is a natural pace of growth that we will follow that takes us to more than seven teams, but not 100 teams.

“I cannot see 10 years ahead but the group might have two or three teams more. Is this going to change in five years and we’re going to have more? Maybe, (but) I don’t know that.

“But to complete the vision that we had six years ago, I think we will have maybe two or three clubs more.”

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Winners and losers from Premier League week 29 as Romelu Lukaku shines for Man United

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Romelu Lukaku

Week 29 of the Premier League season may well have been the most crucial in terms of the title race and the relegation battle.

Manchester City’s 1-0 away win over Bournemouth on Saturday took them two points clear of Liverpool, who could only draw with Merseyside rivals Everton, meaning Pep Guardiola’s side remain on top of the table.

Tottenham Hotspur drew 1-1 at home to north London rivals Arsenal, keeping Mauricio Pochettino’s side in third place.

Manchester United’s dramatic victory over Southampton sees them rise to fourth place at the expense of the Gunners, while Chelsea closed the gap on their London rivals by beating Fulham.

Seventh-placed Wolves won for the first time in four matches, while Watford’s last gasp win over Leicester keeps them in eighth place.

Crystal Palace’s crucial win over fellow strugglers Burnley has eased the relegation pressure on the Eagles, and Brighton’s narrow victory over Huddersfield takes them five points away from the drop zone.

All of the bottom five teams lost this weekend, meaning Cardiff remain 18th, two points behind Southampton.

Who inspired their team and who crumbled under the pressure? Here are our winners and losers.

WINNERS

Hugo Lloris – Tottenham Hotspur

After a nightmare performance against Chelsea last time out, Lloris knew that he would need to be at his best against Arsenal at Wembley.

The Frenchman deserves huge praise after he saved Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s penalty late in the north London derby, preserving a point for his side.

Romelu Lukaku – Manchester United

Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku has scored four goals in two games.

The Belgian was among the winners in week 28 and here he is again after another fine brace, this time against Southampton.

The striker is in clinical form and, at the moment, everything he touches seems to turn into goals.

United face Arsenal next in the league and with Lukaku in such fine form, they will be confident of leaving the Emirates with all three points.

Riyad Mahrez – Manchester City

Riyad Mahrez

Riyad Mahrez scored the winner at Bournemouth.

Mahrez was on the list of losers for the last round of fixtures, but he made up for a poor showing with the winning goal against Bournemouth.

He started the match on the bench but got his chance to prove himself when Kevin de Bruyne came off injured.

The Algerian finished well from a difficult angle and will be feeling confident again.

LOSERS

Lucas Torreira – Arsenal

Lucas Torreira

Lucas Torreira saw red in the north London derby.

Torreira surprisingly started the north London derby on the bench and his afternoon only got worse when he was substituted on by Unai Emery.

The Uruguayan flew into a reckless challenge with Danny Rose and was given a straight red card. He’ll now miss the crucial clash with United.

Mohamed Salah – Liverpool

Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah and Liverpool were lacking quality against Everton.

Salah is enduring a poor run of form in front of goal and that continued against Everton at Goodison Park.

He missed the best chance of the game for Liverpool and looked a shadow of the Salah from last season. If Liverpool want to win the league, they need Salah at his best.

Bournemouth

Sevilla v AFC Bournemouth - Pre-Season Friendly

The Cherries made it clear from the first minute that they were content with defending deep against City.

However, they failed to have a single shot in the whole game, meaning Ederson was a spectator like the rest of the fans at the Vitality Stadium.

That’s poor from Eddie Howe’s men, considering that they blew Chelsea apart 4-0 not long ago at home.

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