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Rediff.com  » Sports » EPL snapshots: Guardiola is manager of the month; Aguero returns to training

EPL snapshots: Guardiola is manager of the month; Aguero returns to training

Last updated on: October 13, 2017 22:53 IST

Pep Guardiola

IMAGE: Pep Guardiola. Photograph: Phil Noble/Livepic/Reuters

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was named Premier League manager of the month for September on Friday after guiding the club to four wins from four games.

City, who top the table on 19 points and are ahead of local rivals Manchester United on goal difference after seven games, began the month with a 5-0 thumping of Liverpool before beating Watford 6-0 away and Crystal Palace 5-0 at home.

 

Guardiola's team, who host StokeCity on Saturday, rounded off their clean sweep in September with a hard fought 1-0 victory at defending champions Chelsea to take their total to 17 goals scored with none conceded during the month.

The Spaniard fended off competition from fellow nominees Jose Mourinho, Mauricio Pochettino and Arsene Wenger to claim the award for the second time since taking charge of City last season.

Kane named player of the month!

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane was named player of the month after scoring six goals in four league games.

The 24-year-old opened his domestic account for the season with a brace in Tottenham's 3-0 win at Everton on September 9, but failed to find the net as his side were held to a 0-0 draw by struggling SwanseaCity in their next league game.

Kane got back on track the following weekend with another double as Tottenham ran out 3-2 winners at West Ham United before adding two more goals in their 4-0 demolition of promoted HuddersfieldTown on September 30.

"I'm very pleased to have got this award again. Hopefully there will be a few more from now until the end of the season," Kane said in a video posted on the Tottenham Twitter account after claiming the award for the fifth time.

Kane's fifth win drew him level with Everton's Wayne Rooney and former Manchester United and Arsenal striker Robin van Persie. Only former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has more wins than the trio, with six in total.

Aguero returns to full training ahead of Stoke clash

Manchester City's Sergio Kun Aguero at a training session on Friday

IMAGE: Manchester City's Sergio Kun Aguero at a training session on Friday. Photograph: Sergio Kun Aguero

Striker Sergio Aguero has completed a full training session with ManchesterCity and could be available for Saturday's Premier League game against StokeCity, two weeks after sustaining a broken rib in a road accident.

The 29-year-old was injured in a car crash in Amsterdam last month and missed City's 1-0 win over champions Chelsea and both of Argentina's 2018 World Cup qualifiers but returned to light training for the league leaders earlier this week.

"Back to training. I am ready!" Aguero said on his verified Twitter account, alongside pictures of him and his team mates in action during Thursday's session.

Aguero is City's top-scorer with six goals in as many Premier League appearances for Pep Guardiola's side, who lead the standings on 19 points after seven fixtures.

Chelsea's Kante out for nearly a month with hamstring injury

Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante is facing nearly a month on the sidelines with a muscular injury he picked up during the international break, his manager Antonio Conte said ahead of Saturday's Premier League trip to CrystalPalace.

The France international limped off clutching his hamstring during last week's 1-0 World Cup qualifying victory in Bulgaria and missed his country's next game against Belarus on Tuesday.

An initial scan suggested the 26-year-old would be out for up to 25 days, but Conte is hoping a second one will give him better news.

"For sure it's a muscular problem, a hamstring," Conte told a news conference on Friday. "This is a big loss for us. You know very well the importance of N'Golo Kante in our team. We don't have another player with the same characteristics.

"For this reason, we are going to do another scan after one week to understand the situation very well, and see if this scan is better than the scan before."

The champions, fourth in the table on 13 points after seven games, have league matches against Watford and Bournemouth, as well as a Champions League double-header with Roma and a League Cup clash with Everton this month.

Midfielder Merino signs permanent Newcastle deal

Newcastle United have turned Mikel Merino's loan move from German side Borussia Dortmund into a permanent deal with the midfielder signing a five-year contract, the Premier League club said on Friday.

The 21-year-old Spaniard joined Newcastle on a season-long loan from Dortmund in July and has played in all seven of their league games so far.

"I'm really happy to be here, and for this part of the contract to finally be official," Merino told Newcastle's website.

"I'm focused on my displays and improving myself, and I'm really happy to have signed this contract."

Rafa Benitez's promoted side are ninth in the table and travel to Southampton, three places below them, on Sunday. 

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