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Manchester City’s Hart Angers Mancini With Criticism: Roundup

The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable Internet links.

Mancini’s Rebuke

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini said Joe Hart “should stay in goal and make saves” after the goalkeeper criticized his team for blowing a 2-1 lead in last night’s 3-2 Champions League loss at Real Madrid, the Guardian reported.

“If anyone should criticize the team it should be me, not Joe Hart,” the Guardian cited Mancini as saying. “I am the judge, not Joe Hart.”

Rooney Ready

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney will be available for the Sept. 23 Premier League game at Liverpool after resuming full training a month ahead of schedule following a thigh injury, the Sun reported.

United had expected Rooney to be out for two months after gashing his right leg against Fulham on Aug. 25, the Sun added.

United Tribute

United and Liverpool will put their rivalries aside and participate in a joint tribute to the victims of the 1989 Hillsborough soccer stadium disaster when they meet in four days, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The opposing captains, likely to be Steven Gerrard and Nemanja Vidic, will release 96 red balloons before kick off to represent the number of Liverpool supporters who died, the Telegraph added. The match will be Liverpool’s first at home since an independent report last week into the deaths.

Barcelona Backup

Barcelona wants to sign Newcastle United goalkeeper Tim Krul at the end of the season as backup for Victor Valdes, the Daily Mirror reported.

The 36-year-old Jose Pinto, the Spanish club’s current reserve goalie, is set to leave the Camp Nou when his contract expires next year, the Mirror added.

Ba’s Future

Demba Ba’s future at Newcastle is in doubt after the Senegalese striker’s agent criticized Magpies manager Alan Pardew for not starting him at Everton two days ago, the Independent reported.

“If he continues to be a substitute all season, we’ll look at other solutions,” the newspaper cited the agent Alex Gontran as saying.

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