Cardiff City v Manchester City: match preview

According to Neil Warnock, Manchester City’s defeat against Lyon “might give them a kick up the backside”. Whether that turns out to be the case or not, this is one of those games that could get a little lively. There is some ill-feeling from last season, when Joe Bennett committed a poor challenge on Leroy Sané that saw Pep Guardiola call for players to receive more protection. Warnock admitted Bennett’s tackle was “a disgrace” but said Kevin De Bruyne put Jazz Richards out for 17 matches. Watch this space. Stuart James Saturday 3pm Continue reading...

Are Manchester City so drilled they can’t think enough on their feet? | Jonathan Wilson

City’s shock defeat by Lyon raised concerns regarding the team’s leadership and capacity to think independently, as well as a susceptibility to pressing It’s one game, at the beginning of the group stage. There is plenty of time to recover. For Manchester City, defeat by Lyon on Wednesday is likely to be no more than a blip. Even in an underwhelming display, they had more than twice as many shots as their opponents and, more often than not, would probably have won. There is no reason to panic. But that is not to say there are no reasons for concern. What will be most worrying are the recurring issues. Pep Guardiola, we are told, has worked on new patterns of play for this season’s Champions League, different ways of breaking down obdurate opponents. City had begun each of the five league games this season in a different shape. The aim Continue reading "Are Manchester City so drilled they can’t think enough on their feet? | Jonathan Wilson"

Mikel Arteta won’t blame Guardiola’s ban for Manchester City’s defeat

• Manager absent from touchline because of suspension
• Coach says team were slow and careless against Lyon Mikel Arteta said he had no idea whether Pep Guardiola’s touchline absence because of suspension had anything to do with Manchester City unexpectedly losing a fourth Champions League game in a row, though the assistant coach did accept that the side had been slow and occasionally careless. “You can’t say what would have happened had Pep been around, it’s completely hypothetical,” Arteta said. “The only reality is that we lost the game. We started quite slowly, we lost too many duels and twice in the first half we gave away the ball in dangerous areas and allowed Lyon to score both times.” Continue reading...

Manchester City have best players in the world, says Mikel Arteta

• City No2 still makes Real Madrid Champions League favourites
• Arteta in charge on bench against Lyon with Guardiola bannedMikel Arteta believes Manchester City have the best players in the world and would not change them for anyone, though he still reckons Real Madrid should be favourites for the Champions League. “It’s hard to make comparisons, we still have a very young squad,” the City assistant manager said. “It is a surprise to be made favourites when there is a team out there that has won the competition three times in a row. Even if they have lost Cristiano Ronaldo I would still make Real Madrid the main favourites because of their history and their experience but I do think the Champions League is going to be quite open this season. There isn’t that much between the top teams.” Continue reading...

Champions League: previews for the big matches this week

Form guide, fitness news and facts on Inter v Spurs, Liverpool v PSG, Manchester City v Lyon and Real Madrid v Roma By Martin Laurence for WhoScored Tottenham’s two previous trips to San Siro have been eventful to say the least. Eight years have passed since Gareth Bale announced himself on the European stage with a second-half hat-trick in Milan. Those goals weren’t enough for Spurs to avoid defeat on the night, having conceded four goals before the break, but they did go through as group winners – along with Inter. Spurs’ most recent visit to San Siro, for the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie in 2013, ended in sheer relief. Spurs went into the game with a 3-0 lead from the first leg but again conceded four, only scraping through thanks to a late away goal from Emmanuel Adebayor. Continue reading...

Raheem Sterling and Manchester City hit impasse in contract talks

• Sterling enters final year of deal at end of season
• Forward wants pay rise to basic of at least £220,000 Manchester City and Raheem Sterling have reached an impasse in contract discussions for the forward, with the clock ticking as he will enter the final season of his deal in the summer. When joining from Liverpool in summer 2015 for £44m Sterling signed for five years. As it is thought there is no option for an extra 12 months his value will markedly decrease unless an agreement can be made before July. Continue reading...

Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Ryan Fraser ran Leicester ragged; Neil Warnock will not tolerate more Cardiff mistakes; and Rafael Benítez needs a new plan Jürgen Klopp was asked to describe his emotions during stoppage time in the 2-1 victory at Tottenham. His dominant Liverpool team had led 2-0 going into it but they conceded to Érik Lamela in the 93rd minute to set up a nervy finale. “I would love to say it is the first time in my life I have been in a situation like that but it happens so often,” Klopp said. “My wife hates it.” The Liverpool manager would not have gone through the wringer if some of his players – Sadio Mané, in particular – had played in a teammate when they ought to have done. If there was one criticism of Liverpool’s best performance of the season it was the lack of ruthlessness and, even, traces of Continue reading "Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action"

Pep Guardiola blasts Manchester City sloppiness in Lyon wake-up call

• Manager chastises players before Champions League opener
• After win over Fulham, says Liverpool are strong title rivals Pep Guardiola has admitted being angry with his Manchester City players despite their convincing 3-0 victory against Fulham at the Etihad Stadium. City were sloppy at times and Guardiola was unhappy at what he perceived as a slip from his side’s usual high standards. He pointed to a second-half Bernardo Silva miss to highlight the point. Continue reading...

Champions League is back with Manchester City unlikely favourites | Paul Wilson

Pep Guardiola’s team have yet to reach a Champions League final but the bookmakers fancy them to halt Real Madrid’s hot streak and outpace Spurs, Liverpool and Manchester United The Champions League is back this coming week, and easily the most striking aspect of the competition before the group stages commence is that Manchester City are the favourites to win it. With all respect to Pep Guardiola’s expensively assembled side, this seems odd. City have yet to even reach a Champions League final, yet bookmakers give them a better chance of carrying off the spoils this season than Real Madrid, who just happen to have won the last three finals and are looking to extend their record to four. Perhaps there are reasons for this lack of confidence in the standout European performers of recent seasons, the team who have shown they can win in any number of ways from Continue reading "Champions League is back with Manchester City unlikely favourites | Paul Wilson"

Leroy Sané strikes early as dominant Manchester City brush Fulham aside

In his address to supporters to mark the 10th anniversary of the Abu Dhabi takeover, the owner, Sheikh Mansour, suggested Manchester City are merely “halfway up their Everest”. They are already out of sight to Fulham, who by the same calculation must be observing events from somewhere between base camp and a hole in the ground. Even though there were only half as many goals, this was as much of a mismatch as Huddersfield being hit for six last month. To say they won with something to spare would be to risk serious understatement. City had John Stones, İlkay Gündoğan, Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus and Phil Foden on the bench, with no place for Benjamin Mendy anywhere. Rotation was the official line when eyebrows were raised at the French international’s absence. City will be telling us the height of Salisbury cathedral next, but whatever the reason for the absence of Continue reading "Leroy Sané strikes early as dominant Manchester City brush Fulham aside"

Pep Guardiola says he isn’t aware of release clause in De Bruyne’s contract – video

Pep Guardiola has denied knowledge of a release clause in Kevin De Bruyne’s contract, following reports that the Belgian playmaker might be bought out for €250m (£223m). “I don’t know anything about that,” the Manchester City manager said. “The journalist asked me if we would sell for 250 million and I said ‘no’. I don’t think he has a release clause in his contract.” Continue reading...

Manchester City v Fulham: match preview

Fulham are the first of the promoted sides to visit an Etihad Stadium that has proved a graveyard for so many during Pep Guardiola’s time in charge. Manchester City have dropped points this term but this was on the road and unless Slavisa Jokanovic can produce a minor miracle his side may finish in damage limitation mode. Jamie Jackson Saturday 3pm Continue reading...