Tag Archives: Manchester City

Jose Mourinho says title race is over as Man City beats United

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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said his side’s title hopes are “probably” over after 2-1 loss to “lucky” neighbours and title rivals Manchester City.

City widened the gap on top of the Premier League to 11 points thanks to Manchester derby victory at Old Trafford, and became the first team to win 14 successive English top-flight games in a single season.

They took the lead when man-of-the-match David Silva hooked home from close range after confusion at a corner on 42 minutes.

Although United appeared to have been handed a lifeline in first-half stoppage time when poor defending from Nicolas Otamendi and Fabian Delph allowed Marcus Rashford to steal in for a composed finish. However, Otamendi quickly made amends nine minutes after the break when Romelu Lukaku — who had a poor game — lashed at a clearance in the area and the City defender pounced on the rebound to score.

Still, Mourinho took issue and focused on an incident in the 79th minute, when Ander Herrera went down in City’s box under a challenge from Otamendi but was booked for diving instead.

“I think they are a very good team, they are lucky, they have decisions in their favour,” Mourinho said. “My first reaction is that I feel sorry for Michael Oliver. The referee is a human being and he tried his best. He was very committed to have a good match, which I think he had, but made one mistake, which was a crucial mistake.”

Regardless, City has only dropped two points in their first 16 league games. Although they had numerous opportunities to extend their lead, it was their keeper Ederson who made the decisive late intervention with a miraculous double late save from the Romelu Lukaku and substitute Juan Mata.

When asked whether the title race was now over, Mourinho answered: “Probably, yes. Manchester City are a very good team and they are protected by the luck, and the gods of football are behind them.”

Kevin de Bruyne disappointed with Paul Pogba absence in upcoming derby

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Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne claims that he was disappointed that Paul Pogba will be absent for Sunday’s Manchester derby because he relishes coming up against the best players.

Pogba will be starting a three-match ban after he was sent off in Manchester United’s 3-1 win at Arsenal for a challenge on Hector Bellerín.

Although the French international said last week that he hoped Manchester City players would suffer injuries to help United’s title push, de Bruyne rejected the idea that karma was at work.

“I don’t believe in that,” de Bruyne said. “I’m a very straightforward guy. If someone believes it is karma then OK. Everyone has their right to their opinion. I don’t want anyone to get injured. It’s a competition, you want to play against the best teams and the best players.”

“I don’t care [what he says]. He can say whatever he wants. We just have to be focused on whatever we’re doing. He’s a massive player. I know him a little bit. He’s unbelievable. He took a red card and that’s the way it goes – you have injuries and suspensions.”

Should City win at Old Trafford on Sunday they will move 11 points clear at the top, but De Bruyne remains wary of celebrating too early, and that nobody will care about Manchester City’s present club-record 20-match winning run if they fail to pick up any trophies this season.

“It means we [would] almost have a four-game advantage,” he added. “It’s a good gap but doesn’t mean anything. Football goes very quick. It’s a busy two months when things can change but the way we’re going is good and we need to continue that.”

“If we don’t win anything, are you going to talk about 20 wins? Nobody will care about it. Our winning run is phenomenal and gives us a good advantage but we have a big week with Swansea and Tottenham following the United game.”

“If we lost two out of three and they win everything, they are there. At the moment we are on an up. We need to keep focused with whatever we are doing and keep busy with ourselves.”

City did not offer €100m signing-on bonus to Lionel Messi -Guardiola

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Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola has said that the club did not offer FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi a €100m signing-on fee to leave the La Liga giants last summer.

Messi, 30, agreed fresh terms last week to extend his contract with the Catalan club until 2021, amidst a separate report in Spain claiming that City tried to lure the Argentinian to England with the €100m fee plus a €50m a-year salary.

When asked about the reputed offer, Guardiola summarily denied the rumours.

“It’s not true. Lionel Messi has signed a contract one week ago,” he said. “This was never going to happen; Messi started his career there and he’s going to finish it there. If he wanted to leave he wouldn’t have signed the contract.”

City will be playing against Shakhtar Donetsk in Kharkiv on Wednesday night in the final round of Champions League group fixtures although the Blues are already through as group winners. If they win Guardiola will be the club’s first manager to win all six group games.

“We are doing well but that doesn’t mean you will achieve the title,” he said. “In this competition one bad 45 minutes and you are out. That means you can win the title but go out if you are doing well. I’m not concerned if we are playing the best football.”

Guardiola also has an eye on Sunday’s showdown against Premier League and City rivals Manchester United, with team playmaker David Silva becoming a doubt through injury.

“David had a little bit of a problem in the last minutes [against West Ham United on Sunday],” he said. “We made a test after the game and I don’t know if he is able to play on Sunday so that’s why he stayed there, to recover in Manchester.”

Late goal by Raheem Sterling completes City rally at Huddersfield

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said his had side “competed amazingly” as Raheem Sterling scored to rally from 1-0 down at half-time to win at Huddersfield.

Manchester City have won their past 11 away matches in all competitions — a record for a top-flight club in English football history, and also equal a club record of 11 successive Premier League victories.

“If you want to win the title you cannot expect easy games,” said Guardiola. “We have to live these kinds of situations and we spoke at half-time about how we are going to react. We spoke about not giving up, to keep going.”

“It is impossible to win every game easily, this league is so tough,” he added. “The guys competed amazingly, which is why we won.”

Huddersfield had the luck of getting their first goal through their opponent’s own doing, with City defender Nicolas Otamendi inadvertently turning the ball past Ederson, his own keeper inside the six-yard area.

However, Raheem Sterling won a penalty after half-time following a tangle with Scott Malone that ended with him on the floor.

It was the correct decision as Malone had his arms around his opponent as Sterling tried to break free, and Sergio Aguero converted the ensuing penalty through a precise finish from 12 yards, with over three quarters of an hour to play with stoppage-time factored in.

The winning goal then came 6 minutes from time for City, as a shot from Gabriel Jesus came back off Huddersfield keeper Jonas Lossl before striking Sterling on the knee and then looping in.

Despite tempers fraying at the final whistle with Huddersfield forward Rajiv van la Parra sent off following a clash with Leroy Sane, this was the first time City have come from behind at half-time to win a Premier League away match since April 1995.

City have also now accumulated 37 points from their opening 13 Premier League fixtures, a record of excellence stretching back seven months which also see them remain unbeaten for 26 games.