Here at the latest Premier League headlines for Thursday, May 5.
Pep’s Premier League vow
Pep Guardiola promised Manchester City will bounce back from their Champions League heartache at the Bernabeu Stadium. City were within moments of booking a return to the final on Wednesday night as they held a 1-0 lead – and a 5-3 aggregate advantage – over Real Madrid in an absorbing semi-final second leg.
Yet the Premier League leaders’ caved in dramatic fashion as Rodrygo struck twice with 90 minutes on the clock to send the tie into extra time. With City still reeling, Karim Benzema then put Real ahead for the first time over the two legs from the penalty spot.
The Spanish giants held on for a memorable 3-1 success on the night and 6-5 on aggregate, to progress to a final date with Liverpool in Paris. City must now quickly pick themselves up from this shattering loss as the Premier League title race resumes at the weekend. Guardiola’s side, who host Newcastle on Sunday, have no room for error, with Liverpool trailing them by just a point with four games remaining.
The City manager said: “We need time now, one or two days, but we will rise. We have to do it (and) with our people (we will). The players gave everything. We were so close and we could not do it.
“There is a long history in sport of this kind of situation happening when you arrive at the end, 10 or 15 minutes left, and you are absolutely being dominated with the opponent creating a lot of problems. But that didn’t happen. Then they found it, and a minute later another one. With their people supporting it was difficult and after the penalty made the difference.”
Three Lions won’t be dropped
The Football Association has rejected claims that it is set to drop ‘Three Lions’ from its matchday set-list. A report on Thursday morning suggested the famous David Baddiel and Frank Skinner track was going to be replaced due to concerns it offends other nations.
But the FA has now said that the plan is to continue playing a song which is “about the hope” of being an England fan.
“Contrary to reports this morning, the FA still plays Three Lions at major Wembley matches and has never had any intention of doing otherwise,” a statement read. “The song belongs to the fans and is about the hope of following the England team. It was requested by the FA to be played as one of our team songs at the 2018 World Cup and at the Euros last summer and this is our plan at tournaments going forward.”
Hodgson will end with Watford
Roy Hodgson says his days as a manager will be over when his Watford role finishes. Former England boss Hodgson, 74, became Watford’s third manager of the season in January after Xisco Munoz and Claudio Ranieri.
Hodgson has been unable to stop the slide as Watford are staring Premier League relegation in the face with four games remaining, and he has confirmed it will be the final job of a 46-year managerial career.
He told Sky Sports: “It was quite simply a discussion between myself, (Watford owner) Gino Pozzo (chief executive and chairman) and Scott Duxbury and they said to me, ‘we have this job that we think needs doing’. I made it clear it needed to be a short term one between (then) and the end of the season – and I came out of retirement to do that particular job.
“Now that job unfortunately is ending and I’ve enjoyed my time doing that job. But I don’t think I shall be putting my name forward anymore for further sorties, if you like, into the world of Premier League football because it’s a very demanding world. And I think perhaps now I’ve earned the right to step back, enjoy a bit of free time and spend some time with my wife and son.”