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Nasri: Chelsea are not special ones

first_img City face a fight to retain their Barclays Premier League crown having fallen seven points behind the Londoners at the top of the table. The champions had looked to be wavering after failing to win in four league games but they returned to form with an impressive 4-1 win at Stoke on Wednesday. It did not cut into Chelsea’s lead, and Jose Mourinho’s men remain firm favourites, but Nasri is convinced they could still be vulnerable. The Frenchman said: “I’m a big fan of Mourinho, but I am not impressed with his team, not at all. We have played them twice, one time with 10 men, and we were better than them. “Then we played them at the Bridge, we were better than them. “When I have seen some of their games, I don’t think they are that fantastic – they are just strong and have a good striker up front. “For me they are not special at all, and I think they are going to make some mistakes. We just have to perform, to win our games, and see what’s going to happen. “This title will be like this until the end of the season. No-one will win the league 10 games before the end of the season.” City famously overturned deficits to win both of their Premier League titles in 2012 and 2014 by narrow margins. They have also recovered from eight points behind to pull level with Chelsea once this season, only to fall back again in the past month. Press Association Nasri believes history shows that opportunities will arise and City, who have 13 games to play, have to be ready to pounce. They might even have taken two points off Chelsea’s lead already, but for Willian’s last-gasp winner against Everton on Wednesday. Nasri, who scored City’s fourth goal at the Britannia Stadium, said: “We know that the two times we won the league, we were behind at this time of the year. “Two months ago we were eight points behind Chelsea and came back and went level with them. Now we are seven points behind, but are not going to make big talk about it. “We will just try to get as many points as possible and wait for the mistake. “They won in the last minute against Everton, so maybe next time they will draw. We just have to win our games and see what will happen. “The season is still long, they have the Champions League and the final of the Capital One Cup as well, so have a lot of games to play.” Nasri, in a separate interview, admitted he can sometimes be a “little jerk” but has vowed to continue speaking his mind. The Frenchman has been surrounded by controversy at various times during his career and developed a reputation for making forthright comments. However, Nasri has stressed he is not about to change. The 27-year-old was quoted by L’Equipe as saying: “From time to time (I can be) a little jerk. “Sometimes it is better to shut up, but it’s something I cannot do. “I managed when I was younger and I would sometimes come home with a lump in my stomach. Next, you explode but not at the right person. “So I prefer to say what I think – even not being loved, even sounding arrogant, even being a little s***. “At least the people I love do not suffer.” Nasri has been quoted hitting out at his former boss Roberto Mancini – the manager who signed him for the Blues – and fans of his old club Arsenal over the last few years, as well as the French media. He also reportedly quit playing for France after falling out with his international team-mates and coach Didier Deschamps. Manchester City playmaker Samir Nasri has turned up the heat in the title race by claiming Chelsea are “not special”. last_img read more

NBA Awards: James Harden wins MVP, Lou Williams named Sixth Man of the Year

first_imgOther award winners:NBA Rookie of the Year: Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ersNBA Most Improved Player: Victor Oladipo, Indiana PacersNBA Defensive Player of the Year: Rudy Gobert, Utah JazzNBA Basketball Executive of the Year: Daryl Morey, Houston RocketsSportsmanship Award: Kemba Walker, Charlotte HornetsSeasonlong NBA Cares Community Assist Award: Kevin Durant, Golden State WarriorsPlay of the Year: LeBron James’ game-winner for Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Timberwolves (Feb. 7, 2018)Best Style: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City ThunderLifetime Achievement Award: Oscar RobertsonSager Strong Award: Dikembe MutomboHustle Award: Amir Johnson, Philadelphia 76ers PreviousLou Williams, of the Los Angeles Clippers, poses in the press room with the 6th Man award at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 25, 2018, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)NBA commissioner Adam Silver, from left, presents the most valuable player award to James Harden, of the Houston Rockets, as Harden’s mother Monja Willis looks on at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 25, 2018, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)Adam Devine, left, and Lou Williams, of the Los Angeles Clippers, winner of the 6th Man award, pose in the press room at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 25, 2018, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsDwane Casey, current head coach of the Detroit Pistons, accepts the coach of the year award for his work with the Toronto Raptors at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 25, 2018, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)NBA player James Harden, of the Houston Rockets, poses in the press room with the most valuable player award at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 25, 2018, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)Lou Williams, of the Los Angeles Clippers, accepts the 6th Man award at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 25, 2018, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)Dwane Casey, current head coach of the Detroit Pistons, poses in the press room with the coach of the year award for his work with the Toronto Raptors at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 25, 2018, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)NBA player James Harden, of the Houston Rockets, left, winner of the most valuable player award, appears in the press room with his teammate P.J. Tucker at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 25, 2018, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)Lou Williams, of the Los Angeles Clippers, poses in the press room with the 6th Man award at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 25, 2018, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)NBA player James Harden, of the Houston Rockets, arrives at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 25, 2018, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)Lou Williams, of the Los Angeles Clippers, accepts the 6th Man award at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 25, 2018, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)NBA commissioner Adam Silver, left, presents the most valuable player award to James Harden, of the Houston Rockets, at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 25, 2018, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)Lou Williams, of the Los Angeles Clippers, poses in the press room with the 6th Man award at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 25, 2018, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)Dwane Casey, current head coach of the Detroit Pistons, accepts the coach of the year award for his work with the Toronto Raptors at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 25, 2018, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)NBA player James Harden, of the Houston Rockets, left, winner of the most valuable player award, poses in the press room with his mother Monja Willis at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 25, 2018, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)Lou Williams, of the Los Angeles Clippers, accepts the 6th Man award at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 25, 2018, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)NBA player James Harden, of the Houston Rockets, poses in the press room with the most valuable player award at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 25, 2018, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)Lou Williams, of the Los Angeles Clippers, poses in the press room with the 6th Man award at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 25, 2018, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)NBA commissioner Adam Silver, from left, presents the most valuable player award to James Harden, of the Houston Rockets, as Harden’s mother Monja Willis looks on at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 25, 2018, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)NextShow Caption1 of 17NBA commissioner Adam Silver, from left, presents the most valuable player award to James Harden, of the Houston Rockets, as Harden’s mother Monja Willis looks on at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 25, 2018, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)ExpandIt was only fitting for James Harden to win the first NBA MVP award of his career in the Los Angeles. The Houston Rockets guard was born in Bellflower, Calif. and played basketball at Artesia High School in Lakewood. The MVP award put a bow on a season in which Harden led the Rockets to the league’s best record in the regular season. He averaged 30.4 points per game and finished as the league’s scoring champion.Harden had 86 first place MVP votes. LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers was the only other player to receive first place votes (15 total).Point guard Lou Williams was named the Sixth Man of the Year for his efforts off the bench for the Los Angeles Clippers. After Toronto was swept by the Cavaliers in the second round of the playoffs, Casey was fired. He would become the new head coach of the Detroit Pistons the following month.center_img It was a career year for Williams, who averaged 22.6 points and 5.3 assists per game. He earned 97 of the first place votes. Eric Gordon of the Rockets, who won the award last year, had three votes. Fred VanVleet of the Toronto Raptors had one vote.Williams has previously won the award after the 2014-15 season as a member of the Raptors.For the Clippers, it is the third time in the last five seasons that a member of its team won the award. Jamal Crawford won the award after the 2013-14 and 2015-16 seasons. Crawford, who spent the past season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, was the 2017-18 Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year recipient.Dwane Casey was named coach of the year after coaching the Raptors to a 59-23 season and the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more