Edin Dzeko, in blue, says his new teammates at Manchester City will need time to settle down. Ian MacNicol / AFP
Edin Dzeko, in blue, says his new teammates at Manchester City will need time to settle down. Ian MacNicol / AFP

Premier League round-up: Dzeko warns rivals victory in opener ‘just the beginning’



Edin Dzeko has insisted Manchester City will take nothing for granted as they attempt to defend their Premier League title.

The reigning champions launched their defence with a hard-fought 2-0 victory at Newcastle United on Sunday with an efficient, rather than dazzling, display.

Title rivals Liverpool and Arsenal both enjoyed even narrower successes in their opening fixtures, and Dzeko knows there is no room for complacency during a campaign he expects to be as competitive as ever.

The 28-year-old frontman told CityTV: “It’s just the beginning of the season and it will be, definitely, a long season with the five teams fighting for the title. This is just the beginning.

“It’s good to start with a win, but we are not there. There are so many games to come and we have to prepare for the next one, for the big game against Liverpool to try to win at home.

“We have brought in some great new players. Some of them still need time because it was the World Cup and a lot of us came later to the pre-season.

“I think we can still improve a lot. Each game, we can be better and better and just try to continue where we finished [at Newcastle].”

Dzeko was a key figure in the win at St James’ Park despite not finding his way on to the scoresheet.

It was his clever back-heel, after he had drawn central defenders Fabricio Coloccini and Mile Williamson to the ball, that allowed David Silva to fire City into the lead against Newcastle, just as he had done 12 months earlier.

But if Silva’s 38th-minute intervention gave the visitors the advantage, it was one they were unable to push home until substitute Sergio Aguero beat Tim Krul at the second attempt in stoppage time at the end of the game.

Dzeko said: “We played very well. From the first minute, we were there like the manager wanted us to be, from the first minute to try to press them high, to try to score a goal.

“We didn’t score an early goal, but it was the perfect time, five minutes before half-time, and I think we controlled the game during the 90 minutes, were definitely the better side and deserved this win.”

Dzeko’s impressive individual display came amid reports that he is close to signing a new contract at the Etihad Stadium, but it was collective rather than individual plaudits that were of greater interest to the Bosnia-Herzegovina ­international.

He said: “I am very happy because of my performance and the performance of the team because I think we were brilliant.

“It’s always good to start the season with a win, especially away at Newcastle where it is always tough to go.”

Lambert says side will improve

Rickie Lambert said Liverpool will quickly find their rhythm in their hunt for a first league title since 1990, having got a first win on the board early.

An unspectacular but tough 2-1 home victory over Southampton gave Brendan Rodgers’s side a positive beginning but it seemed a long way from the devastating performances that tore opponents to shreds last season.

Next up are Manchester City, who pipped them to the title in the final week, but Lambert, who signed for the club in the summer from Southampton and made his debut on Sunday as a second-half substitute, believes Liverpool will soon pick up the tempo.

“I don’t think we played badly, I just don’t think it was as fluid as Liverpool can play,” said the England international.

“But I thought the first goal [from Raheem Sterling] was excellent: a great pass from Jordan [Henderson] and a good finish and after some pressure from Southampton we came strong and got the win.

“It was a really hard game and it was a great three points. The first game is always nervous, you are never quite as sharp as you want to be.

“The first game everyone is excited and desperate to win and you are not sure how you are going to play and the quicker you can get that win the better.

“The win is perfect but we now have a few hard games coming up.”

Lambert had the unique experience of being applauded by both sets of fans as he made his way onto the pitch with the 32-year-old former Liverpool trainee still warmly regarded by Southampton supporters, where he played for five seasons.

“It was special from the Liverpool fans making my debut, which was a dream, and it was special from Southampton fans who showed a lot of respect and appreciation,” he said.

McEachran and Marin loaned by Chelsea

Chelsea have thinned out their squad by allowing Josh McEachran and Marko Marin, pictured, to leave on loan. Central midfielder McEachran, 21, who signed a five-year contract in 2011, has yet to push on at Stamford Bridge and will spend the season with Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem. Winger Marin, 25, followed McEachran out of Stamford Bridge, sealing his season-long loan move to Fiorentina after falling out of manager Jose Mourinho’s short-term plans. The Germany international has failed to make an impact since joining from Werder Bremen in April 2012 and spent last term on loan at Sevilla.

sports@thenational.ae

Follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SprtNationalUAE

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Reading List

Practitioners of mindful eating recommend the following books to get you started:

Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr Lilian Cheung

How to Eat by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Mindful Diet by Dr Ruth Wolever

Mindful Eating by Dr Jan Bays

How to Raise a Mindful Eaterby Maryann Jacobsen

The Laughing Apple

Yusuf/Cat Stevens

(Verve Decca Crossover)

UAE tour of the Netherlands

UAE squad: Rohan Mustafa (captain), Shaiman Anwar, Ghulam Shabber, Mohammed Qasim, Rameez Shahzad, Mohammed Usman, Adnan Mufti, Chirag Suri, Ahmed Raza, Imran Haider, Mohammed Naveed, Amjad Javed, Zahoor Khan, Qadeer Ahmed
Fixtures:
Monday, 1st 50-over match
Wednesday, 2nd 50-over match
Thursday, 3rd 50-over match

The specs

Engine: Twin-turbo, V8
Transmission: 8-speed automatic and manual
Power: 503 bhp
Torque: 513Nm
Price: from Dh646,800 ($176,095)
On sale: now

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League last-16, second leg:

Real Madrid 1 (Asensio 70'), Ajax 4 (Ziyech 7', Neres 18', Tadic 62', Schone 72')

Ajax win 5-3 on aggregate

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

MATCH INFO

Manchester United 1 (Fernandes pen 2') Tottenham Hotspur 6 (Ndombele 4', Son 7' & 37' Kane (30' & pen 79, Aurier 51')

Man of the match Son Heung-min (Tottenham)

Specs

Power train: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and synchronous electric motor
Max power: 800hp
Max torque: 950Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed auto
Battery: 25.7kWh lithium-ion
0-100km/h: 3.4sec
0-200km/h: 11.4sec
Top speed: 312km/h
Max electric-only range: 60km (claimed)
On sale: Q3
Price: From Dh1.2m (estimate)

UAE SQUAD

Muhammad Waseem (captain), Aayan Khan, Aryan Lakra, Ashwanth Valthapa, Asif Khan, Aryansh Sharma, CP Rizwaan, Hazrat Billal, Junaid Siddique, Karthik Meiyappan, Rohan Mustafa, Vriitya Aravind, Zahoor Khan and Zawar Farid.

Nick's journey in numbers

Countries so far: 85

Flights: 149

Steps: 3.78 million

Calories: 220,000

Floors climbed: 2,000

Donations: GPB37,300

Prostate checks: 5

Blisters: 15

Bumps on the head: 2

Dog bites: 1

Predictions

Predicted winners for final round of games before play-offs:

  • Friday: Delhi v Chennai - Chennai
  • Saturday: Rajasthan v Bangalore - Bangalore
  • Saturday: Hyderabad v Kolkata - Hyderabad
  • Sunday: Delhi v Mumbai - Mumbai
  • Sunday - Chennai v Punjab - Chennai

Final top-four (who will make play-offs): Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Bangalore

The specs

Engine: 2.3-litre 4cyl turbo
Power: 299hp at 5,500rpm
Torque: 420Nm at 2,750rpm
Transmission: 10-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 12.4L/100km
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh157,395 (XLS); Dh199,395 (Limited)

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888


Latest
Most Read
Top Videos