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Sky Blue News: Praise for Grealish, Southampton Saturday, Leadership Change, and More!!!

Still raving about Jack as we get ready for the Saints

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Manchester City v RB Leipzig - Group A - UEFA Champions League Photo by Vincent Mignott/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Thursday’s headlines before we turn our eyes to Premier League Matchday 5.

Jack Grealish: “It’s a great night! ...it had absolutely everything.” - Saul Garcia - Bitter and Blue

Jack was quite happy with his Champions League debut for Manchester City.

Jack Grealish is a happy man. Reflecting after a great match where he scored a great goal, the star English player spoke about his first UCL match and much more.

Let’s check it out-

“I loved it, I’ve been waiting a while, the past few days and weeks I couldn’t wait for this game,” he said. “It’s a great night! It was one of those games, it had absolutely everything.

“We’re delighted to get the win against a good team, they were full of energy. I’m delighted personally mainly with the three points, but also with the goal and assist.

“Ruben [Dias] went into a tackle, then the ball came to me. When I’m running into the opposition area I back myself against anyone one on one and luckily it paid off and I hit the back of the net. I’m delighted to get the goal.”

“Anything can happen in the Champions League, that’s why it’s such a wonderful competition.

WRIGHT-PHILLIPS: GREALISH THE CLOSEST TO GAZZA I’VE SEEN - John Edwards - ManCity.com

A City great has high praise for Super Jack.

Grealish is certainly of a similar mould, as he evidenced with a wonderful solo goal in the 6-3 win over RB Leipzig on his Champions League debut to continue his fine start to life at the Etihad Stadium.

Wright-Phillips is not the first to compare the two playmakers, with Wayne Rooney, Troy Deeney and Tim Sherwood all expressing similar views and the former City winger believes our new No.10’s self-belief is vital to the team.

“I love to watch him play,” he said on the RB Leipzig edition of Matchday Live.

“When he was at Villa, he was, for me, the closest thing you’re going to get to Paul Gascoigne. Once he gets more comfortable the more and more of it we’re going to see.

“You can have two players on him but he’ll find the way through to create that chance.

Man City captaincy reshuffle sees Ilkay Gundogan promoted - Stuart Brennan - Manchester Evening News

A new dressing room leadership structure for City.

City have a group of five “captains” and the squad and backroom staff vote for the leadership group, with Fernandinho garnering overwhelming support in the wake of Vincent Kompany ’s departure in 2019.

Dias captained the side in last night’s 6-3 win over RB Leipzig, with both Fernandinho and Gundogan starting the game on the subs’ bench.

And Gundogan captained the team in the three previous games - wins over Leicester, Arsenal and Norwich.

The 30-year-old Germany international was Pep Guardiola’s first signing as City manager, and one of the longest-serving players on the Blues’ books.

Match Report: Manchester City 6-3 RB Leipzig - Thomas Duck - Bitter and Blue

One last look at the RB Leipzig thriller.

City’s history with penalties, particularly in the Champions League, did give cause for some nervousness. But Mahrez stepped up to the spot and buried a screamer into the top left corner of Gulácsi’s goal to reclaim the two-goal lead for Pep’s side. It would prove to be the strike of the ball before Dutch referee Serdar Gözübüyük blew his whistle for halftime.

The second half featured even more scoring, and didn’t take long for the action to ramp back up. American midfielder Tyler Adams received a 49th minute yellow card as he committed a harsh foul on Grealish. But just two minutes later Leipzig were on the attack again with a quick succession of passes from their own penalty area which ended with Dani Olmo finding Nkunku in the box for another header that found it’s way past Ederson.

With the score now 3-2 the pressure was placed back on City, and it was clear that RBL had no intention of going away quietly. Luckily for the Etihad faithful, the Sky Blues weren’t done just yet either. Just 5 minute after Nkunku’s second, Grealish took advantage of a slow defensive response to cut through into the area and bend a sublime right-footed strike into the Leipzig net for City’s 4th.

The Mahrez and Grealish flaws that earned Man City pair a Pep Guardiola blast - Stuart Brennan - Manchester Evening News

What was Pep on about?

So when the TV cameras captured Guardiola collaring both Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez in the second half of last night’s 6-3 Champions League win over RB Leipzig, at first it was accepted as likely that he was not as furious as he appeared.

Only when Guardiola described the two spats as “fights” afterwards did it become clear that the manager was not very happy.

Mahrez’s legion of fans took to Twitter in the aftermath to demand more respect for their hero - but the likelihood is that Mahrez himself simply accepted the intense lecture.

Grealish is not as used to Guardiola’s quirky ways, so may have been a little more taken aback at first, but he was calm afterwards when he explained his tete-a-tete.

“That was just defensive work,” he said. “I won’t go too much into it because he might want the same tactics for the weekend.

“That’s what the manager is like, he’s always wanting more defensively and offensively. He’s someone I’m going to listen to after everything he’s done in the game. He’s obviously just handing out useful information.”

Everything you need to know ahead of Southampton’s visit to the Etihad Stadium… - ManCity.com

A first look forward at the Saints.

We face Southampton in fine fettle having won our last four in all competitions, scoring 17 times in the process as we sit fifth in the Premier League.

That record is particularly impressive at the Etihad Stadium, where Pep Guardiola’s men have won each of our domestic matches against Norwich and Arsenal 5-0, before scoring six against RB Leipzig on Wednesday evening.

Saturday’s opponents currently sit 14th in the Premier League with three points from their four matches so far.

After an opening day defeat Everton, Ralph Hassenhuttl’s side have picked up three hard-fought draws against Manchester United, Newcastle United and West Ham United respectively.

Reports: Phil Foden being prepped for switch in position - Dillon Meehan - City Report

Foden and De Bruyne and Grealish. Phil looks to be making the move to midfield.

Foden’s ability to be played in a central midfield role gives City even more flexibility in attack. The idea of Foden and Grealish lining up on the same side of the field, while both players take turns rotating out wide seems like a nightmare for defenders. With Mahrez’s continued good form, Jack Grealish’s impressive outings, Raheem Sterling’s resurgence at the Euros and Gabriel Jesus’ revival as winger, City look comfortable with their options out wide.

It remains to be seen if Foden possesses the “pausa” ability that Guardiola has looked for in players like Xavi, Iniesta, Gundogan and Foden’s idol, David Silva. Or if Foden will be used in a more dynamic role similar to De Bruyne.

And finally, the ladies have their opponents for the Continental Cup.

Follow Bitter and Blue for all the build up to Southampton. Sky Blue News will return on Tuesday.