New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom is "ready to roll" against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday, according to general manager Zack Scott.

DeGrom was diagnosed with inflammation in his right lat following an MRI on Tuesday, though the star pitcher avoided the injured list having been shut down for the "next few days".

The two-time National League (NL) Cy Young Award winner was scratched from his scheduled start against the St Louis Cardinals on Tuesday before the MLB showdown was postponed due to inclement weather.

But DeGrom has been given the all-clear to make his comeback in the final game of the Diamondbacks series in New York.

"Anytime you're talking about someone that special, it's a relief whenever there's any kind of potential health issue," Scott told reporters on Saturday.

"It wasn't something that anyone thought was a major issue. He did throw his bullpen and was throwing 98 [mph] and looking good.

"So he's ready to roll for tomorrow. It was definitely a relief."

DeGrom is boasting an MLB-best 0.51 ERA through his five games in MLB in 2021.

The three-time All-Star has allowed 16 hits, five runs and just two homers for the Mets, while he has struck out 59 batters.

DeGrom tied Nolan Ryan's record for most strikeouts through a pitcher's first five starts of a season.

The 32-year-old tallied nine strikeouts over six innings against the Boston Red Sox last month to improve his five-game total to 59, matching Ryan's feat in 1978.

DeGrom also ranks first for strikeouts per nine innings (15.17) among pitchers this season.

Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski said it would be amazing to break Gerd Muller's Bundesliga record after taking another giant step towards history.

Lewandowski scored a hat-trick in a 6-0 demolition of Borussia Monchengladbach as Bayern celebrated a ninth successive Bundesliga title on Saturday.

Poland international Lewandowski took his league tally to 39 for the season, moving him to within one of Muller's all-time Bundesliga single-season record of 40 set in 1971-72.

"I have the chance to break this record," Lewandowski, who claimed his 249th Bundesliga victory – surpassing Claudio Pizarro as the foreign player with the most wins in the league, said. "It won't be easy, for sure. Ok, we have two games but if I want to break it, I have to score two goals.

"I have to work hard in the next game because I know it won't be easy. But to break the record would be something amazing for me as well because if you have 34 games – even less in my situation this season – it will be something.

"I have to believe it can happen. I have the chance. I have to be ready for this."

Bayern were crowned Bundesliga champions before kicking a ball thanks to Borussia Dortmund's dramatic win over RB Leipzig.

Hansi Flick's Bayern proceeded to put on a worthy celebration against Gladbach, humbling the visitors at Allianz Arena to maintain their stranglehold on the Bundesliga – equalling the record in Europe's top-five divisions (Juventus) with their ninth straight league crown.

Bayern won their 30th Bundesliga title (31-time German champions overall). Indeed, 52 per cent of the 58 trophies since the Bundesliga was founded in 1963 have gone to the Bavarian powerhouse.

For Bayern, it is their 16th title this millennium. Dortmund, Gladbach (five each) and Werder Bremen (four) have a combined total of 14 championships since the league was founded. 

"We knew one hour before the game for sure that we were already champions," added Lewandowski, who has now scored 201 Bundesliga goals for Bayern – after Muller (365 for Bayern), he is only the second player in league history to net 200-plus goals for a single team.

"But for us, it was more important to show on the pitch why we are champions and to show the best football. What we did during the game was spectacular, it was amazing because we scored so many goals. We showed that we are the best this season."

Keith Mitchell leads Rory McIlroy by two strokes following three rounds of the Wells Fargo Championship, where Bryson DeChambeau endured a whirlwind 24 hours.

American golfer Mitchell carded a five-under-par 66 to surge to the top of the leaderboard at Quail Hollow on Saturday.

Mitchell, whose solitary PGA Tour title came via the 2019 Honda Classic, was flawless in the penultimate round after holing five birdies without dropping a shot.

But four-time major champion McIlroy is lurking in Charlotte, where the two-time Wells Fargo Championship winner is two shots off the pace.

Former world number one McIlroy, who raced out to the lead, posted a three-under-par 68 to be tied for second position alongside Gary Woodland (70).

McIlroy was also two strokes back at the halfway stage of the tournament on Friday, having made the cut for the first time in two months.

A healthy crowd was in attendance to watch McIlroy lurk heading into the final round and the Northern Irish star – amid the coronavirus pandemic that has impacted attendances – said: "I sort of realised that it's hard for me to bring the best out in myself without that atmosphere that we had today. I'm excited to be in the position I'm in."

U.S. Open champion DeChambeau ended the day eight shots behind Mitchell following his third-round 68.

DeChambeau flew home to Dallas on Friday after thinking he missed the cut. When the cut changed, the American star boarded another flight back to Charlotte.

"It was funny," said DeChambeau. "We did a lot of scrambling last night to get back. One of the scenarios was like turning right back around, but the crew couldn't, you know, refuel and their hours were out. So we had to get a new crew, if anything, and it just didn't work out.

"So we're like, 'Well, let's just go in the morning'. So I left at 02:45am on a flight and I got here at 06:20am Drove 30 minutes to the golf course, put on my clothes in the locker room and headed out to the putting green. I did get a workout last night, though."

DeChambeau has a double-bogey or worse in each of his rounds at this year's Wells Fargo Championship. It is the fifth time in his career that he has recorded at least one double-bogey or worse in each of the first three rounds of a Tour event.

Thomas Muller joked Robert Lewandowski is "not normal" after the Bayern Munich star scored a hat-trick to close in on a Bundesliga record.

Bayern were crowned Bundesliga champions on Saturday before kicking a ball thanks to Borussia Dortmund's dramatic win over RB Leipzig.

Hansi Flick's side proceeded to put on a worthy celebration against Borussia Monchengladbach, hammering them 6-0 at Allianz Arena to mark their ninth straight title in sensational style.

Lewandowski was integral, scoring a hat-trick to take his tally of league goals to the campaign for 39, moving him to within one of Gerd Muller's all-time Bundesliga single-season record of 40 set in 1971-72.

With two games remaining – against Freiburg and Augsburg respectively – it seems almost certain that Lewandowski will etch his name into the record books, and current team-mate Muller remains in awe at his prowess.

"We do have to say, that we as a team try our hardest for him. But how he is able to score those goals is not normal as well," he joked.

Muller has now won 10 Bundesliga titles, though conceded it has not always been a smooth ride this season. Indeed, his fellow long-time team-mates Jerome Boateng, Javi Martinez and David Alaba, along with head coach Flick, are all leaving at the end of the campaign.

"I do have to say that the game was more championship-like than the actual championship," Muller said.

"It was a great game today. We were there from the first until the last minute. Thanks to all the emotions and the euphoria, we knew that we had won the championship before the actual match.

"If you look at the big picture, then it was very hard for us over the past two weeks to be honest. Through all the talks I had with the others, the elimination in the Champions League really hurt us.

"We felt like we could do something in the Champions League this season. But we were able to overcome that in the recent two weeks. We were able to properly take a deep breath.

"There is not a lot of romance in this business, but we tried to have as much romance at the end of the season today as we could.

"Jerome will leave, David will leave, Javi will leave and the coach will leave. I know that Hansi hasn't been here for so long, but the other three were my team-mates for nearly ten years now, so they were always there when we won the championship for nine times in a row."

When it comes to Lewandowski, however, Muller added: "Well that is not about romance. I don't know how many hat-tricks and braces this guy had. It is more like mathematics!"

It proved to be a bittersweet moment for Flick, who is entering the final two games of a short but hugely successful tenure in which Bayern have won seven trophies.

"It's outstanding what the team has achieved," he said. "You could see that we were ready. That's the mentality of this team. The game today was worthy of champions.

"The whole club creates this atmosphere that you can be successful. Bayern has always been my club, I was a big fan when I was young, Gerd Muller was my big idol, Paul Breitner, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

"I have now experienced two fantastic years here. To experience this togetherness on a daily basis is outstanding. These two years have been very valuable for me."

Paris Saint-Germain have reinforced their ambitions with the new four-year deal signed by superstar forward Neymar, according to Mauricio Pochettino.

After months of speculation, Neymar finally committed his future to PSG on Saturday.

The world's most expensive footballer joined the club in 2017 and has helped them to three successive Ligue 1 titles, two Coupe de France triumphs and the Coupe de la Ligue twice.

However, Neymar has been unable to propel PSG to Champions League glory, while his attempts to win the Ballon d'Or – often cited as one of the major factors behind his big-money move from Barcelona – have also proved fruitless so far.

Nevertheless, tying the 29-year-old down to a new contract has been a priority for PSG, who are also hoping to secure the long-term future of Kylian Mbappe. Links to Lionel Messi are sure to continue too, unless the Argentine superstar commits himself to Barca.

"It shows the ambitions this football club have," Pochettino declared ahead of Sunday's crucial clash with Rennes in Ligue 1, which comes five days after a Champions League exit at the hands of Manchester City.

"Not just for the present but also for the future. That shows everyone how this club thinks about the future, trying to improve and win, which is the main goal, even when we are in a complicated situation as we are now."

Pochettino also conceded his main task is to blend together the supreme individual talents he has at his disposal, adding: "The PSG family is happy for extending the contract of a player like Neymar.

"Our challenge is, with all the talent our players have, to play as a team. To put their talent in service for the whole team, to use their individual talent to improve the team as a collective.

"That is our challenge for the future. It is always easier to build up the future of your team with a player like Neymar, who is committed to stay here much longer."

NEYMAR AT PSG – BY THE NUMBERS

Neymar has made 112 appearances for PSG, scoring 85 goals.

His tally of 45 assists means he has registered 130 goal involvements, though that is some way short of the 182 Mbappe has managed since arriving from Monaco.

Mbappe does, however, take more minutes per goal involvement, scoring or assisting every 71 minutes in Ligue 1, while Neymar either scores or assists every 68 minutes, which is the best rate in the competition since Opta began recording such data in the 2006-07 season.

Neymar has also been crucial in the Champions League for PSG, albeit several untimely injuries have, in previous seasons, coincided with the French champions falling out of the tournament in the knockout stages.

Of the 65 matches Neymar has scored in across all competitions, PSG have only lost three times – against Guingamp in the Coupe de la Ligue in January 2019, Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League in February 2020 and Lorient in Ligue 1 in January 2021.

Sergio Aguero has apologised to Manchester City's supporters after his dismal penalty in Saturday's 2-1 home defeat to Chelsea. 

Pep Guardiola's side would have wrapped up the Premier League title with victory over the Blues in a rehearsal of this month's Champions League final. 

They would have been well on their way to sealing a third championship in four seasons had Aguero – who will leave City at the end of the season – added a swift second to Raheem Sterling's breakthrough strike on the stroke of half-time. 

Yet City's record goalscorer got it all wrong.

His tame Panenka attempt from 12 yards was comfortably gathered by Edouard Mendy, with Chelsea subsequently roaring back to seal all three points through Hakim Ziyech and Marcos Alonso. 

City have now failed to score more penalties (four) than any other side in the Premier League this season, while they are the first side to miss at least four spot-kicks in consecutive top-flight seasons since Tottenham in 1993-94 and 1994-95.

Writing on Twitter, Aguero said: "I would like to apologise to my team-mates, staff and supporters for missing the penalty. It was a bad decision and I take full responsibility."

Guardiola refused to be too critical, saying: "Always I say to the player in the penalties, take one decision. Panenka, right, left, short, whatever you want, but commit.

"He was committed. If he misses it, he misses it. Everyone is disappointed but the first disappointment is for him."

Including his spot-kick, Aguero had two attempts on Saturday, while also creating two chances, albeit one of those came with his seemingly inadvertent assist for Sterling's opener – the 32-year-old taking a heavy touch when presented with a gaping goal.

He registered 23 touches in total, the lowest of any City outfield player to start the match, but did complete all 11 of his passes before making way for Phil Foden in the 70th minute.

Liverpool kept themselves in the hunt for a top-four Premier League finish as they earned a 2-0 win over Southampton at Anfield.

Sadio Mane's 31st-minute header and a late Thiago Alcantara strike - his first for the club - proved the difference as the hosts ensured their slim hopes of clinching Champions League qualification remain alive.

The Saints, meanwhile, failed to make themselves mathematically safe from relegation as they suffered defeat, though with 10 points separating them from 18th-placed Fulham, it is highly unlikely they will be dragged into the mix.

Liverpool's last two outings - 1-1 draws against Leeds United and Newcastle United - were largely defined by a failure to take their opportunities, rather than any issues creating them.

And Jurgen Klopp could have been forgiven for worrying that a familiar pattern was once again emerging as his team missed chance after chance in the opening 25 minutes.

Mohamed Salah was guilty of twice finding Fraser Forster's gloves when he might have done better, while Diogo Jota and Mane each shot over from good positions.

And when Alisson did brilliantly to close the angle on a Che Adams one-on-one created by Nathan Tella just after Georginio Wijnaldum hit the bar, it looked like the Reds were in for another forgettable outing.

However, from the resulting attack, Liverpool went ahead, Salah sending in an inswinging cross that Mane simply could not fail to head home from close range.

The fragility of that lead was underlined before the break when Tella headed straight at Alisson with the goal at his mercy, and the Brazilian needed to show sharp reactions again to deny substitute Michael Obafemi just past the hour mark as the Saints pushed.

Clearly enjoying his starring role, the goalkeeper even gave himself another huge stop to make as he passed the ball to the feet of Adams before getting down to block the subsequent shot.

A nervous finish could have been avoided had Mane stayed onside before lashing home a recycled ball beyond Forster late in the second half, but the hosts wrapped things up in the 90th minute through Thiago's low finish from the edge of the box.

What does it mean? Reds still in top-four running

Chelsea may well be out of reach for Liverpool as they look to sneak into the Champions League places late in the season, but Klopp's squad have every reason to believe they can catch Leicester City.

The fading Foxes are now just six points ahead of the Reds having played a game more and must take on Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham in their final three games.

Alisson the hero

It always felt like Liverpool's goalkeeper could be in for a busy game with such an inexperienced centre-back pairing ahead of him, Nathaniel Phillips partnering Rhys Williams in defence.

But the Brazilian was more than up to the task, with almost all of his six saves across the 90 minutes coming in situations where the opposing player looked the clear favourite to win the duel.

Wijnaldum toils

A Liverpool team that has prided itself on midfield solidity in recent years lacked that for large periods of this game, and the typically reliable Wijnaldum cannot escape his share of the blame for that.

The Dutchman made just 41 passes, zero tackles and zero interceptions in an anonymous showing that perhaps shows why Klopp might be willing to let him go this summer.

What's next?

Southampton are back in action as early as Tuesday when they host Crystal Palace, while Liverpool head to Old Trafford on Thursday in order to fulfil their postponed meeting with bitter rivals Manchester United.

Antonio Conte claimed he has made Inter's players much more valuable in the transfer market as he urged them to turn winning into "an obsession".

Inter's Serie A title celebrations continued on Saturday with a 5-1 thrashing of Sampdoria at San Siro as they were given a guard of honour by their opponents before kick-off.

The win was Inter's 14th consecutive victory at home – a new club record – as two goals from Alexis Sanchez and one apiece from Roberto Gagliardini, Andrea Pinamonti and Lautaro Martinez put the gloss on stylish performance.

Conte ended Juventus' Serie A dominance by delivering the Nerazzurri's first title in 11 years and he also reckoned his coaching has made Inter's players worth more.

He told Sky Italia: "I think the work we've done over two years has made a big difference, as the squad improved not only on the pitch, but also in terms of transfer value.

"The team is now considerably more valuable than it was when I took over, and so I think investing in my experience has paid off.

"I always knew my arrival would bring certain expectations. I feel those expectations have now been met.

"These lads can still grow further, they can improve in terms of mentality especially, but they are winners and they know what it is they have to do.

"Since we went to the top of the table, we've left absolutely nothing to chance. Zero. We didn't ease off for a moment, not even today.

"I always said victory has to become an obsession for a winner, like a drug that they need. There's Roma next, let's take it one step at a time and always try to get the best out of every game."

The victory over Sampdoria was Conte's 136th in his 200th Serie A game as a manager – no other coach has won as many in the three-points-for-a-win era.

However, the 51-year-old once again deflected questions about his future at Inter despite leading the club to their first Scudetto since their treble-winning campaign in 2009-10.

Conte's contract expires in 2022 but his position is uncertain amid doubts over Inter's financial situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

"I am here to talk about the present, not the future. We know how hard we worked, how much we suffered, so we need to enjoy this moment," Conte said.

"Over two years, we brought back credibility to Inter, the club, the team and the fans. I've missed my chance to celebrate too many times in my life, this time I want to enjoy it to the full. As for the rest, we'll see."

Lewis Hamilton is embracing the element of competition in the 2021 Formula One season after taking his 100th career pole in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Hamilton tops the standings three races in having won two of them, victories in Bahrain and Portugal coming either side of Max Verstappen's triumph at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

The seven-time world champion was involved in another tussle with his rival on Saturday, edging out the Red Bull driver to reach a notable personal milestone.

Hamilton was 0.036 seconds quicker than Verstappen at the end of Q3, with Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas making up the top three 0.132s back.

The Briton is the first F1 driver to manage a century of pole positions, with his first coming back in 2007 in Canada. Racing greats Michael Schumacher (68) and Ayrton Senna (65) are second and third on the all-time list respectively.

He has managed 10 poles in five of the past six seasons, while his haul of 12 in 2016 is his best tally for a single year.

The 36-year-old has recorded 58 wins when starting from first on the grid, only failing to finish among the points on two occasions, albeit not counting for nine retirements.

And it is not only the milestone which has boosted Hamilton ahead of Sunday's showdown, but also the challenge presented by Verstappen, who sits eight points behind him in the standings.

"It's always difficult to assess in the moment but wow, I've been racing a long time and the 100 mark is something I don't think anybody and particularly me thought I would ever get to that number," Hamilton told a news conference.

"It's been so enjoyable and it's crazy that it is 100 and it felt like one of the first. That for me is even more special. There have been so many qualifying sessions, so many near misses, so many mistakes and so many moments of growth and I love how close it is between us all.

"I think that's great for the fans and I think that's exciting for me also. And also the people that are only just behind us."

For his part, Verstappen is confident he can push Hamilton all the way.

"It's difficult to predict at the moment. I think we were quite decent in the long runs but [Mercedes] looked strong," he said.

"We know that it's hard to overtake around here and to be following closely, but I'm always optimistic and positive that we can do a good job and have a good race, and I hope, of course, that it's going to be as close as today."

There was not so much joy for Verstappen's Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez, who went spinning in Q3 and could only claim eighth.

He said: "I just felt a bit weak going into qualifying, and it was just getting worse and worse throughout.

"I had a bit of an issue with my [left] shoulder through qualifying, and I was just feeling bad, all the way through it. 

"I've been with the doctors from the team, and it should be all good for tomorrow."

Aryna Sabalenka won the Madrid Open after a 6-0 3-6 6-4 victory over world number one Ashleigh Barty on Saturday.

Sabalenka wrapped up the first set to love in just 25 minutes as an unusually sluggish Barty struggled to find any kind of rhythm to her game.

Barty, who had won 16 consecutive matches on red clay, rallied in the second set to get herself back on level terms.

At 4-4 in the deciding set Sabalenka broke Barty and then held her nerve on serve to secure her 10th WTA Tour career title which will see her climb up to fourth from seventh in the world rankings on Monday.

Barty was on a streak of nine consecutive WTA Tour titles and had not lost to an opponent in the top 10 since the WTA Finals in 2019.

But in-form Sabalenka had not dropped a single set in Madrid in the lead-up to the final and began in imperious fashion.

The 23-year-old from Belarus produced a clinical first set, dropping just four points, as Barty failed to win a single game in the set to record a bagel for the first time in four years.

The pair exchanged breaks in the second set before Australian Barty, 25, finally discovered some momentum to break her opponent again to seal the set.

Sabalenka squandered a one-set lead to lose to Barty in the Stuttgart Open final two weeks ago.

And Barty, also playing in the final of the tournament for the first time, had threatened to break her opponent at 4-3 in the decider.

But this time Sabalenka took her chance when Barty fluffed a drop shot and then double faulted to give her three break points, converting at the first time of asking with a powerful backhand.

Sabalenka then clinically sealed victory with a flawless service game to love, clinching victory when Barty smashed a forehand into the net.

"To be honest, after the final in Stuttgart I was injured, I couldn't move and wanted to withdraw," Sabalenka said in an on-court interview after the win.

"But the recovery was good, in four days I feel better and now I'm the champion. It's been an amazing week."

Thomas Tuchel reiterated his belief the "unique" Champions League final stood apart from domestic meetings between Manchester City and Chelsea, but another Blues win gave his side confidence.

Three weeks on from knocking City out of the FA Cup and ending their quadruple bid, Chelsea defeated the Premier League leaders again.

Tuchel's men trailed to Raheem Sterling's goal a minute before half-time and then escaped further punishment when Sergio Aguero made a mess of a penalty moments later.

Chelsea regrouped at the break and responded with goals from Hakim Ziyech and Marcos Alonso to win 2-1.

Tuchel, who lost his first three coaching duels with Pep Guardiola in Germany but is unbeaten in four since, told Sky Sports: "Sure, it gives us confidence, because it's all about performance and confidence.

"We know very well, I've said it before and I will repeat it, that will not change the final. It's a very unique game. We cannot predict what will happen, so you need to be well prepared

"We will have some changes again and they will have some changes again, but we arrive with the knowledge that we are capable of beating them. This is what we have now and this will not change until Istanbul."

Chelsea had 43.3 per cent of the possession in the first half but 57.9 per cent in the second, while four of their five shots on target came after the restart.

Tuchel highlighted "more control" as key in their improvement, while Ziyech's goal allowed the team to get "more and more confident".

"What a performance in the second half," he said. "It was more or less an equal first half. In the last five minutes, we had to give it away completely.

"If they score the penalty, maybe it's over before it really starts. Maybe you go to half-time at 2-0 and you have no chance to come back.

"But it was very hard because we were 1-0 down and had one injured player, so I am absolutely impressed by the reaction and the performance in the second half.

"I think we even deserved to win with the performance in the second half.

"If you want to steal all three points at Etihad in this situation, after being 1-0 down, you need a bit of luck, a bit of momentum and decisions from referees. It's like this.

"But we had many, many half-chances, many chances here in the second half. Big, big congratulations to the team for the second half."

It was the first time in 10 attempts Chelsea had won after trailing at the interval in the Premier League.

The Blues had rescued just two draws since a comeback victory against Aston Villa in June 2020, losing on the other seven occasions.

So, Manchester City's Premier League champagne remains on ice after a 2-1 defeat against Chelsea but what, if anything, did the phoney war tell us?

Raheem Sterling's first club goal since February put City ahead during a magnificently silly ending to the first half, which wrapped up with Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy being able to go to ground, get back up and still have time to catch Sergio Aguero's gentle interpretation of a Panenka.

Hakim Ziyech, as he did in the Blues' 1-0 win over City in last month's FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, found the net and Chelsea looked the most likely winners from that point.

Timo Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi each had the ball in the net from offside positions before Marcos Alonso did so legally with a scuffed effort in stoppage time.

Three weeks from now, these squads – although almost certainly not these line-ups – will reconvene in the Champions League final. Maybe in Istanbul, but who knows?

Overthink, underthink... what to think?

Doing precisely the thing he hasn't in City's run to their maiden final in Europe's top competition, Pep Guardiola dropped a team sheet that prompt plenty of reaction, all roughly along the lines of "What on earth is that?"

Having made hay with a team packed full of playmakers since the turn of the year, the man who once joked he would like to pick a side of 11 midfielders selected precisely one such specialist.

Were City playing 3-1-4-2? 5-1-4, if that is even a thing? Holding midfielder Rodri was definitely in a category of one.

The easy conclusion to draw was one of Guardiola doing something so ludicrous, performing such a wanton act of deception that Chelsea or Tuchel would be completely unable to draw any conclusions for the final.

Watching a City team displaying nine changes from their midweek victory over PSG clank their way through proceedings, showing virtually none of their usual slick interplay, added some weight to that viewpoint.

However, that would mean Guardiola took a football match something less than completely seriously, which is something he had never really done.

After enjoying all the pre-match Beautiful Mind gifs, there was some precedent to be found.

Klassic Pep

When Guardiola's Bayern Munich took on Tuchel's Borussia Dortmund in 2015, his biographer Marti Perarnau recorded an unusual tactical approach in the book "Pep Guardiola: The Evolution".

Faced with a Dortmund team keen on packing central midfield, Guardiola opted to use wide areas and long passes to unpick Tuchel's setup. Bayern deployed a 3-3-4 with the ball at times and ran out 5-1 winners.

While City lacked their usual fluency and assurance in possession – their 533 passes were their fourth-lowest number attempted in the league game this season – there was a definite plan to use the pace of Raheem Sterling, Ferran Torres and Gabriel Jesus to occupy Chelsea's back five.

Andreas Christensen injured himself trying to deal with a long punt in the 44th minute, with Jesus capitalising and squaring to an unusually hesitant Aguero before Sterling picked up the pieces.

Aguero then became the fourth City player after Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and Sterling to miss a Premier League penalty this season.

"I'm completely in love with him. He is an absolute top legend, an extraordinary player," Guardiola said of Aguero after he scored against Crystal Palace last weekend. It is fair to say his assessment of the Argentina striker's brainwave contrasted somewhat.

But Guardiola could reflect on the plan at least partially working. And if the first-choice attack of De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva had taken up the high and harrying positions City's forwards did here, it is safe to presume their sharper creative skills would have mustered more than the five key passes Aguero, Jesus, Sterling and Torres managed between them.

Three not easy

One club that keen golfer Guardiola will surely put back in his tactical bag is the back three – certainly in this form, with three specialist centre-backs as opposed to a full-back tucking in to occasionally make a two a three.

Reece James in particular made merry for Chelsea after half-time, to the extent Benjamin Mendy had to be removed. It was no surprise that the visitors' winner came down City's left flank.

Tuchel also rested key performers, but his 3-4-3 appears to be set in stone. For all his struggles in front of goal and with offside flags, Werner's speed has now run City's defence ragged in two consecutive games.

Both times these were City backlines without Kyle Walker's recovery pace, something that should significantly offset the Germany international's threat.

But, once again, we're into guesswork. Afterwards, Tuchel was only too happy to deal in cold, hard facts.

"We arrive [at the final] with the knowledge that we are capable of beating them," he told Sky Sports after Chelsea overcame Guardiola's City for the fifth time in the Premier League.

Irrespective of formations, personnel and any other smoke and mirrors, perhaps that counts more than anything.

Raheem Sterling does not plan to watch Manchester United's game against Aston Villa after Manchester City failed to clinch the Premier League title on the pitch.

Defeat for United on Sunday would confirm City as champions for the third time in four seasons, but they could have completed the job themselves against Chelsea on Saturday.

Sterling scored the opener after 44 minutes and the leaders should have added to their advantage moments later when Sergio Aguero's awful Panenka penalty was saved.

Chelsea improved after the break and hit back through Hakim Ziyech and Marcos Alonso to win 2-1 and turn the spotlight on Villa Park, although City still have three league matches remaining.

"I don't think I'll personally want to watch that game," Sterling told Sky Sports.

"I'll have some family time and look at the results and check up on the latest scoreline. To watch the game is a difficult one, so I'll try to chill."

Alonso scored the latest winner from a visiting team at the Etihad Stadium since Paul Scholes' derby day header for United in April 2010.

It was the second consecutive home league game City have lost in the 90th minute or later following Stuart Dallas' strike for Leeds United last month.

Their previous two such last-gasp defeats at the Etihad Stadium had come over the course of 235 matches.

"It's a difficult one to take, especially when we had chances to finish the game off and we didn't finish it off," Sterling added. "We got punished, simple as that."

City had 16 shots, worth a combined 1.8 expected goals, but only four hit the target.

"It was good to get on the scoresheet," said the side's stand-in captain, scoring for the first time for his club since February.

"I thought it was going to be the day we got over the line. We didn't finish our chances, and against a team like Chelsea, with the players they have, they'll punish you."

Sterling was further frustrated by a second City penalty appeal that was unsuccessful shortly before Alonso's scuffed strike.

The City number seven went down under pressure from Kurt Zouma.

"For me, I couldn't get a shot off because he's put his knee in the back of my hamstring," Sterling said.

"I don't know how it's not a penalty, I don't know how it's not been reviewed properly. The ref said it's been reviewed but, at the end of the day, personally I knew it was a penalty.

"I thought the VAR was here to help, but it wasn't meant to be.

"He said to me it's been checked and it's been cleared and it's not a penalty. For me, it was a sure penalty."

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone insists he will not be watching Real Madrid's crunch LaLiga game against Sevilla on Sunday.

Atleti's 0-0 draw with fellow title hopefuls Barcelona on Saturday opened the door for Los Blancos, who can usurp their Madrid neighbours at the top of the table with victory in their game in hand.

A win would lift them level on points, but they would be first courtesy of their superior head-to-head record this season.

Atleti dominated the opening 45 minutes at Camp Nou but they could not find a way past Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Los Rojiblancos had six shots on target in the first half – the most by an opposing team before half-time against Barca this season in all competitions.

Simeone said he has little interest in watching Sunday's clash at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium, instead preferring to spend time with his family ahead of Wednesday's visit of Real Sociedad.

"I don't think I will watch it," he told a media conference. "I'm not watching the games; I don't have a good time and I prefer not to watch them. 

"It will not change much if I see it. I will be with the family having dinner and preparing on Monday for a good game against Real."

The result means Simeone has overseen more away games without a win against Barca in LaLiga than against any other side in the competition, drawing four and losing five of his matches in charge of Atleti at Camp Nou. 

Despite the extension of that unwanted run, Simeone was pleased with his players' efforts. 

"We came to Barcelona to play a game with determination and collective work, and the game that we imagined happened," he added.

"We have had a great first half. The second half was more even. The team did a great job and we are continuing on the path we are on, which is to take things game by game.

"The only thing I asked the players is to play, that they are themselves and they manage to play. And they absolutely did. 

"That fills me with joy because success is in being able to compete every year where we are."

After also drawing a blank in the previous meeting of the teams, Barca have failed to score against Atleti in the same campaign for the first time since 1989-90, back when the legendary Johan Cruyff was at the helm.

Manchester City's Premier League title celebrations were delayed by a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea on Saturday in a rehearsal of this month's Champions League final.

Pep Guardiola's side are on the brink of a third championship in four seasons but could not complete the job at the Etihad Stadium after Sergio Aguero allowed Edouard Mendy to save a tame spot-kick.

That effort would have added a swift second to Raheem Sterling's breakthrough strike on the stroke of half-time.

Instead, Chelsea rallied after the interval and scored through Hakim Ziyech – their FA Cup semi-final hero against City – and then, in the final seconds, Marcos Alonso to boost their top-four aspirations and keep the leaders waiting, unable yet to turn their focus to the European showpiece.

Although Guardiola's puzzling 3-3-4 formation initially had Chelsea on the back foot, it was a defensive mishap rather than a tactical manoeuvre that forged the opening on 44 minutes.

Andreas Christensen misjudged a bouncing ball and was brushed aside by Gabriel Jesus, who squared for Aguero in front of an open goal, only for Sterling to sweep into the net when his team-mate dallied.

Aguero did not have to wait long for his next chance, as Christensen hobbled off and Jesus tangled with Billy Gilmour before Chelsea were able to introduce a substitute, prompting a City penalty.

However, as Thomas Tuchel fumed at the officials, a dreadful Panenka attempt from Aguero was gathered by Mendy.

The shortcomings of the City system were then laid bare shortly after the hour mark when Rodri – their sole central midfielder – lost out to Ziyech and left space for a Chelsea attack which ended with the same man arrowing a low finish beyond Ederson.

Chelsea pushed for a winner but were twice denied by the offside flag. Timo Werner had already strayed before netting in the first half and did so again, before a closer call kept substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi off the scoresheet.

City furiously appealed for a second penalty when Sterling went down under pressure from Kurt Zouma, but the final twist was in Chelsea's favour as Alonso's scuffed shot looped over Ederson.

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