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Manchester City Season Review – December

A Look Back At A Busy Month For The Blues

Manchester City v Arsenal FC - Premier League Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

City went in to December and were prepared for what would be their busiest month so far. The blues were set to play their final nine games of the year, however it ended up being eight as City’s visit to Everton was called off due to an outbreak of Covid-19 at the City training ground.

But a match every few days, which would include League Cup and Champions League matches, as well as Premier League games and would be a big test of City’s credentials on all fronts.

Porto 0-0 City

City’s 100% group stage record came to an end as they were held in Portugal. Gabriel Jesus had a late goal disallowed due to Joao Cancelo being offside, and the home keeper made a string of excellent saves through the match to keep the blues at bay.

Little did anyone know that City would be returning to this same venue five months later to contest the final.

City 2-0 Fulham

The blues moved into fifth place in the league with victory over struggling Fulham. It looked like City could be in for a goal fest when Raheem Sterling scored after just five minutes. Kevin de Bruyne added a penalty on 26 minutes, however the blues were once again wasteful in front of goal.

Visiting keeper Alphonse Areola made some excellent saves while de Bruyne hit the bar as City were denied a hatful of goals.

City 3-0 Marseille

The Champions League group stage came to an end and City signed off in style as they dispatched Marseille.

But the blues had to wait until the first few minutes of the second half to break the deadlock. Ferran Torres was again on target in the Champions League, scoring three minutes after the break, and substitute Sergio Aguero scored his 41st Champions League goal, ten minutes after coming on.

Visiting keeper Alvaro Gonzalez then denied Raheem Sterling a goal by scoring it himself to send the blues 3-0 up and give City 16 points from the group stage, the highest points haul from any English team at that stage of the competition.

United 0-0 City

In one of the most dismal derbies in recent times, City left Old Trafford with a point, which saw them drop down to 9th in the league.

The match contained just four shots on target between the two sides, however it seemed to delight United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who claimed it was the reds ‘best performance in a derby.’

Riyad Mahrez had a shot saved by de Gea while Scott McTominay had the home side’s best chance. In the end, it was 90 minutes that the fans would never get back and the faithful would hope for better when West Brom visited three days later.

City 1-1 West Brom

City’s unbeaten run stretched to seven matches, but the blues had more than enough opportunities to see of the struggling Baggies.

Ilkay Gundogan converted Raheem Sterling’s cut back on 30 minutes and it looked like the blues would go on and claim a routine victory. However, the visitors had other ideas and the faithful were shell-shocked when Semi Ajayi’s effort, that was heading wide of the post, was deflected past Ederson by Ruben Dias to give the Baggies an equaliser.

In the second half, City virtually camped in the West Brom half of the pitch, but found keeper Sam Johnstone in inspired form. And the keeper made two point-blank saves to deny City three points deep into injury time.

The result left City in sixth place, five points behind leaders Spurs.

Southampton 0-1 City

Raheem Sterling’s 16th minute goal was enough to secure victory for City and make sure they kept in touch with new leaders Liverpool.

Kevin de Bruyne provided Sterling with the opportunity and the England man swept the ball home to put City in front. Southampton responded well and felt they should have had a penalty when Sterling appeared to handle, however VAR dismissed the appeals.

One goal was eventually enough, and would trigger an amazing run that took them to the Premier League title.

League Cup – Arsenal 1-4 City

City recorded their biggest recent victory at Arsenal as they strolled into the semi-final of the League Cup.

Gabriel Jesus headed City in front after just three minutes, converting Oleksandr Zinchenko’s cross, but the Gunners were level on the half hour mark.

But two goals in five second half minutes put City in control. Riyad Mahrez got on the scoresheet on 53 minutes and Phil Foden added a third on 59, however the youngster looked like being marginally offside. With VAR not in use, the goal stood and City went 3-1 up.

Foden’s cross in the 73rd minutes was headed home by an unmarked Aymeric Laporte, to give the blues a thumping win and set up a semi-final at Old Trafford.

City 2-0 Newcastle

Ilkay Gundogan and Ferran Torres scored one in each half as City recorded their 12th straight home win over Newcastle.

City dominated from start to finish and Newcastle must have feared another drubbing when Gundogan scored in the 14th minutes.

Ferran Torres doubled City’s lead 10 minutes into the second half, and the blues could have had more but once again found a visiting goalkeeper in inspired form, denying de Bruyne and Aguero certain goals, while Bernardo Silva hit the post.

Everton v City

There was a touch of controversy surrounding City’s visit to Everton. The blues had their match called off due to an outbreak of Covid-19 at City’s training ground. The decision was made in conjunction with the FA and Premier League; however Everton demanded more disclosure on the outbreak.