The Associated PressSTOKE, England (AP) — For Manchester City, a record-setting season in the English Premier League could yet have the perfect ending.
Beating Stoke 2-0 on Monday restored City’s 16-point lead and increased the possibility that Pep Guardiola’s side could clinch the title by beating fierce rival Manchester United at home in the derby on April 7.
“Everybody in the blue side of Manchester knows it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” City captain Vincent Kompany said, with a smile.
David Silva inspired the latest win for the runaway leaders, scoring in each half by finishing off sumptuous team moves that have been the hallmark of City’s season.
Silva side-footed home a cross from fit-again winger Raheem Sterling to give City a 10th-minute lead against a Stoke team that is next to last in the standings. City dominated thereafter and Sterling won back possession on halfway to start the move that led to the second goal, a hooked finish by Silva following a pass across the box from Gabriel Jesus.
Silva took his tally of league goals to eight in a season that has been disrupted for the playmaker while he makes regular trips back to his native Spain because his prematurely born son is receiving medical attention.
He was there for much of last week, with Guardiola allowing Silva to miss the second leg of its Champions League last-16 matchup against Basel.
“When I play football, I forget. I forget everything. So it’s good for me to play,” Silva said. “I know in my private life it’s a very hard moment, but my son is fighting. I am very happy because he’s getting stronger and fighting.”
Greek league suspends play
ATHENS (AP) — Greece indefinitely suspended its soccer league on Monday, a day after the gun-toting owner of PAOK Thessaloniki marched onto the field following a disputed goal in a match.
FIFA urged Greek authorities to take swift action against PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis or face a possible suspension.
Ivan Savvidis walked onto the field twice accompanied by bodyguards, and appeared to be carrying a pistol in a holster around his waist. He made no move to use the weapon at any time.
Fernando Varela had just scored in the 90th minute on Sunday for PAOK against AEK Athens, putting the hosts ahead 1-0 in the northern city of Thessaloniki. The referee signaled a goal but then seemed to disallow it for offside. The match was eventually abandoned.
“The FIFA monitoring committee ... strongly condemns the recent incidents in Greece and urges all national football stakeholders to act immediately to put an end to the unacceptable situation arising in Greek football,” a FIFA statement said.Speech