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  • August 29, 2019
    MANCHESTER, England -- There was pure elation at Yaya Toures goal-scoring return to action for Manchester City over the weekend.As he was leaving the field after scoring both of Citys goals in a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace, he was given a warm hug by coach Pep Guardiola. As he walked into the dressing room, he was given a standing ovation by his teammates.Among the fans spilling onto the playing surface amid the celebrations after Toures 83rd-minute winning goal was a man who was holding a young girl with his right arm and punching the air with his left.These joyous moments have been a long time coming for Toure.A player who will go down in the history books as one of Citys greatest players, Toure has been virtually ostracized since Guardiola took charge in the offseason. The main reason for that was Toures agent, Dimitri Seluk, who Guardiola clearly dislikes because of Seluks open criticism toward him.But it also had something to do with Toure himself, with Guardiola regarding Toure as too bulky and not fit enough to perform the type of hard-working pressing game that the Spanish coach wants from his players.It was a lean-looking Toure who took to the field against Palace on Saturday for only his second appearance of the season, and first since a virtually meaningless Champions League playoff match on Aug. 24. It was one of the most surprising selections of the season.Somewhat surprisingly, Toure played the full 90 minutes, despite his lack of recent game time, and proved to be the match-winner once again for City.Just like old times.His weight is perfect now, Guardiola said, and theres no doubt about his quality.Guardiola spoke in glowing terms about a player he sold when at Barcelona and then has overlooked in his short time at City, saying Toure is now a real part of the team and can help us achieve our targets.Theres even a chance Toure could be part of Citys squad for the knockout stage of the Champions League, should the club advance. Toure wasnt included in the squad for the group stage, so will lose his place when City plays Borussia Moenchengladbach on Wednesday.If we are able to qualify in the Champions League, I will sit with my staff and we will decide who are the best players to help us to achieve what we want in the Champions League, Guardiola said.Ive spoken many times in the last month with Yaya because he was my player with Barcelona, I know him very well. I know how he is as a player. As a player, there is no doubt. If there was a doubt, he would not be here. He is another guy to compete with our midfield players.Toure, however, is unlikely to regain the untouchable status he had under Roberto Mancini and -- for most of his three-year reign -- Manuel Pellegrini.He is 33 years old and no longer the dynamic midfielder who powered City to significant victories and trophies since joining from Barcelona in 2010. His latest contract expires at the end of the season.Also, he has so much competition in midfield these days, with Fernandinho and Ilkay Gundogan ahead of him in the pecking order as central midfielders and both David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne in front of him as attacking midfielders.Guardiola also has Fabian Delph, who is currently injured, and Fernando as other midfield options, as well as talented youngster Aleix Garcia.But Toure remains a great option for Guardiola to have. This weekend, for example, Guardiola turned to Toure after giving Gundogan and Silva a rest as they played twice for their countries in the international break.As backups go, there are worse options.I knew, Toure said, that one day my manager would need me.And his teammates are delighted that one of Citys greatest ever players is back. Toures departure from Etihad Stadium might not be so ugly, after all.It has not been easy for him in the past few weeks, City right back Bacary Sagna said. He kept working really hard in training, stayed professional, and that was his just reward. Trent Williams Youth Jersey . Colin Wilson had two goals and an assist, and Mike Fisher scored a goal and helped set up two others in the Predators 6-4 victory over the Red Wings on Monday night. Sean Taylor Jersey . LOUIS -- Rookie Tavon Austin has missed another day of practice, lessening the odds hell be ready for the St. [url=] .Y. - Rob Manfred was promoted Monday to Major League Baseballs chief operating officer, which may make him a candidate to succeed Bud Selig as commissioner. Clinton Portis Redskins Jersey . PAUL, Minn. Sean Taylor Womens Jersey . Giroud, who wasnt in the starting lineup for two matches after allegations about his private life and a decline in form, scored twice in the first half. Tomas Rosickys chip made it 3-0 before half time at Emirates Stadium, while defender Laurent Koscielny scored an unmarked header in the second half. CHICAGO -- Kris Bryant says he gets chills every time the fans at Wrigley Field shower him with MVP! chants.The 24-year-old just doesnt show it -- a common trait among his young teammates. If anything can overwhelm these kid Cubbies, they havent faced it yet.Bryant was one of five players 24 or younger in the starting lineup for the Cubs during Game 6 of the NL Championship Series, and that group is showing maturity beyond its years. Keep this up, and they could give Chicago a party generations in the making.Bryant has already established himself as one of the games top power hitters. Javier Baez (23 years old) made one spectacular play after another in the infield while winning NLCS co-MVP. Addison Russell (22) is an All-Star shortstop with power and Gold Glove aspirations. Catcher Willson Contreras (24) and outfielder Albert Almora Jr. (22) are rookies getting at-bats with a heavy World Series favorite.And so the Cubs are seeking their first championship since 1908 fueled by players too young to remember the first time a Clinton vied for the U.S. presidency.Chicago beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS for its first pennant since 1945, and now faces the Cleveland Indians in the World Series with a chance to end the sports longest title drought.If Chicagos youngsters feel any jitters before Game 1 on Tuesday night in Cleveland, dont expect to see them.Our young players are playing like theyre 32-year-old veterans, 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta said. Its just fun to watch. I get to play one out of every five days, but to really see the way our guys go about taking care of business makes me really appreciate the guys Im able to play with.Bryant and the other burgeoning Cubs helped Chicago lead the majors with 103 wins in the regular season, and its been more of the same in October. After pulling out 14 victories in their final at-bat during the regular season, the Cubs did it twice against San Francisco in the NL Division Series, then rallied from a 2-1 series deficit to beat the Dodgers.Veterans like Jon Lester have done their part, but the younger players have had plenty of pivotal moments, too.None mmore so than Baez, a breakout star this postseason with his lightning-quick tags and preternatural decision making in the field.ddddddddddddHe shared NLCS MVP honors with Lester after leading the Cubs to their 17th pennant and is batting .342 this postseason. He hit a winning homer off Johnny Cueto in Game 1 of the NLDS against San Francisco, then had a go-ahead single in the series-clinching victory in Game 4. He had four doubles and five RBI in the NLCS, too.Baezs biggest moments, though, mostly came outside the batters box. He stole home during Chicagos win in Game 1 of the NLCS, turned a heads-up double play by letting a soft liner bounce in front of him with two on in Game 2, and made a fantastic barehanded scoop to rob Adrian Gonzalez of a hit in Game 5.Baez is doing all that after emerging as a super utility player for manager Joe Maddon this season. Baez cut down on his swing and hit .273 with 14 homers and 59 RBI in 142 games, and as important, he embraced a role shuffling between positions.This guy never faltered, Lester said. He accepted his role as being a bench player and kind of a platoon guy. Thats hard to do at 20 or whatever he is.Bryant is on the short list of NL MVP candidates after joining Rogers Hornsby (1929), Hack Wilson (1930) and Derrek Lee (2005) as the only players with the franchise to get at least 120 runs, 35 doubles, 39 homers and 100 RBI. Hes 13 for 39 with a homer and six RBI in the postseason.Russell is only starting to make an impact in October, busting a 1-for-24 slump by going 6 for 13 with two homers in the final three games of the NLCS. Contreras, meanwhile, hit his first career playoff homer against Clayton Kershaw in the series clincher.You should not change what youre doing regardless of the time of the year, Maddon said after Game 6. You want to come out in the middle of October and play the same game weve been playing all summer.The youngsters have given the Cubs a lot of good games so far. Four more, and as Maddon said, We can really have a party. ' ' '