Thursday Lunchtime Sports Update

SOCCER

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has hailed his players after their 2-nil victory at Manchester United kept the Premier League title race in their hands.

Second-half goals from Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sane saw City pick up the win which has moved them one-point ahead of Liverpool at the top of the table.

Guardiola says they’re targeting wins in all three of their remaining games

Manchester City and Liverpool dominate the P-F-A Premier League team of the year.

Raheem Sterling is among six City representatives in the team, while Players’ Player of the Year award favourite Virgil van Dijk is one of four Liverpool players in the line-up.

Manchester United’s Paul Pogba is the only member of the 11 not to play for Liverpool or City.

Mo Salah and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard are not included, despite being on the six-man shortlist for Players’ Player of the Year.

The Manchester City players are: Ederson, Aymeric Laporte, Fernandinho, Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Agüero.

The Liverpool players are: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson and Sadio Mané.

Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long says he’s hoping to earn a new contract at Southampton.

Long’s current deal runs out in the summer of 2020 and the 32-year-old admits he’s not in a position to demand an extension.

The Tipperary man has scored three times in his last four games for the Saints.

BOXING

Ireland’s T-J Doheny is predicting ‘fireworks’ in his world super-bantamweight bout against Danny Roman this weekend.

The Portlaoise southpaw will put his I-B-F belt up against Roman’s W-B-A title at the Forum in Los Angeles in the early hours of Saturday morning, Irish time.

Former world middleweight champion Andy Lee thinks the two fighters are well matched

SNOOKER

Ali Carter resumes play this afternoon at the BetFred World Championship in Sheffield.

The twice-runner-up leads Jack Lisowski 5-4 in the first round.

The last game of the opening round will be completed this evening when Kyren Wilson resumes 6-2 up on Scott Donaldson

The second round will start today with three former World Champions in action.

The 2005 winner Shaun Murphy takes on the 2010 champion Neil Robertson in the afternoon session.

The three times champion Mark Selby faces Gary Wilson tonight.

TENNIS

Rafael Nadal avoided successive shock losses on clay as he began his Barcelona Open tennis title defence with a win over Leonardo Mayer.

The top seed faces fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in the last 16 later.

ATHLETICS

Four time Olympic champion Mo Farah believes winning the London Marathon would be one of the biggest achievements of his career.

He retired from the track in 2017 to concentrate on running on the road full time.

Farah though knows he’ll have his work cut out if he is to beat defending champion Eliud Kipchoge ((pron el-e-ud Kip-chon-gay)) on Sunday.

GOLF

The P-G-A Tour’s only team event, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans gets underway today.

It’s a mixture of fourballs and foursomes over four days.

Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry will play as a pair, with Graeme McDowell (PRON: McDole) in a team with Henrik Stenson and Seamus Power to join up with David Hearn.

Tiger Woods is set to take part in a new P-G-A Tour event in Japan.

The Masters champion has announced that he will return to Japan for the first time since 2006 to play in a new event in October.

A prize fund of almost 10-million doallars will be on offer, with the other two events on the Asian swing the C-J Cup in South Korea and the W-G-C-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

MOTORSPORT

Former F1 driver Johnny Herbert believes it’s crucial that Sebastian Vettel gets a positive result in this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver has struggled so far this season and is already 31 points adrift of rival Lewis Hamilton in the championship standings.

Herbert tells Sky Sports News the German needs a win.

RACING

Jockey Paul Townend heads for the Punchestown festival after his best season ever.

Townend is set to win the Irish Jumps Jockeys Championship for a second time having won it back in 2011/12 and he has recorded his first ever century of winners.

Having currently ridden 104 winners this season to date, he says he’s delighted to have reached that milestone.

There’s an 8-race card in Tipperary with the first of the all-flat meeting going to post at 4.30. The going is yielding and good to yielding in places.

There’s better ground in the UK.

It’s good to firm and good in places at Beverley where they start at 1.40.

They start at 1.50 in Perth where it’s good

Warwick is good – they’re off there at 2

Kempton – good to firm, good in places at 4.40

Chelmsford – standard 5.30