Headlines for a leisurely holiday Monday. Let’s dive right in.
Ferran continues to look good, now in a Spanish shirt. Follow the link to all the updates on Manchester City internationals.
The Manchester City forward, who grabbed a brace against Arsenal before the international break, swept home Marcos Llorente’s cut-back to give Luis Enrique’s side a 3-0 lead at half-time.
Torres started alongside Aymeric Laporte and Rodrigo at the Estadio Nuevo Vivero, netting the ninth goal of his international career after Jose Gaya and Carlos Soler had fired La Roja into a two-goal lead inside 25 minutes.
ROUND-UP— Manchester City (@ManCity) September 5, 2021
@JackGrealish starred in England's 4-0 win against Andorra
@FerranTorres20 bagged a goal with @Laporte and Rodrigo also featuring in Spain's victory over Georgia
@IlkayGuendogan came off the bench for Germany as they thrashed Armenia 6-0
Ferran Torres on target, Laporte injury boost - Manchester City International Roundup (05/09/21) - Tom Cayless - City Report
After a scare in the match, it looks like LaPorte will be okay after all.
Spain 4 - 0 Georgia
All of City’s Spanish trio started tonight in their 4-0 win against Georgia, former City player Eric Garcia also started at centre-back alongside Aymeric Laporte. However, Laporte was subbed off at half-time with an injury concern. Ferran Torres played until the 61st minute when he was subbed off. He scored Spain’s third goal, just before the break. Rodri was the only one who avoided substitution, he also made the most passes in the match. It was an important victory for Spain, especially after their last defeat, and City’s trio all contributed.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, Luis Enrique provided a positive update on Laporte’s injury situation:
“I think it’s nothing [adductor issue]. Slight discomfort/overload. I don’t even think he’ll need any tests”
Zack Steffen to miss remainder of USA’s international break - Stephen Killen - Manchester Evening News
City’s number 2 keeper has contracted the virus.
The positive result comes as the latest blow in his attempts to establish himself as Berhalter’s number one as he was forced to miss their last match against El Salvador after complaints of back spasms.
And the bad string of luck continues as he is replaced by New York City FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson and will not travel to their final game of the international break.
America are gearing up for their final two Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers as they host Canada on Monday before they face Honduras on Thursday.
A statement released by US Soccer read: “U.S. Soccer has confirmed that goalkeeper Zack Steffen has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not travel to Honduras for the U.S. Men’s National Team World Cup Qualifier on Sept. 8 in San Pedro Sula. He will be replaced on the roster by Sean Johnson.
“Steffen’s positive result was confirmed through rigorous serial testing in accordance with U.S. Soccer’s COVID-19 protocols.
Zack Steffen has caught Covid while on international duty with the UShttps://t.co/TtUhQq6sr8— Manchester City News (@ManCityMEN) September 5, 2021
Man City and USA International Zack Steffen Set For Clarity Over Long-Term Future With Premier League Club - Vayam Lahoti - City Xtra
Zack looks set to sign a new contract for City. So it’s not all bad news for the netminder.
As exclusively reported by The Daily Star this week, Zack Steffen is currently in talks over an improved four-year deal in the east side of Manchester, and is expected to commit his future to the Champions League finalists.
It has further been mentioned that Guardiola is a big fan of the American, who was signed from Columbus Crew for £7 million in 2019, and made his debut for Manchester City in their 2-1 victory over Bournemouth in the FA Cup last year.
Despite securing the arrival of Jack Grealish from Aston Villa this summer, Manchester City have also tied up the likes of John Stones, Kevin De Bruyne and Rúben Dias to long-term contracts, which shows the club’s desire to keep hold of some of their most valuable assets for the years to come.
Pep Guardiola’s upcoming decisions at Man City will determine Rodri role - Simon Bajkowski - Manchester Evening News
Can Rodri continue to grow into the defensive midfield role?
Now into his third season at the club, there are still doubts over how well the 25-year-old fits into the team and whether his strengths are enough to negate the parts of his game that he does not do as well as Fernandinho. Having been hailed as his replacement when he arrived, it was telling that the Brazilian has signed another contract extension this summer to extend his stay in Manchester.
Pick your team for Man City game against Anyone, then share it with others and see the most popular selection by all fans.
Rodri has had an encouraging start to the season though.
Fernandinho started at Tottenham after a full pre-season under Guardiola, but became ragged as the game progressed as Spurs enjoyed more and more joy on the counter-attack. Since then, Rodri has been in and impressed against both Norwich and Arsenal.
It shows just how far Gunners have fallen that the midfielder still can’t be considered to have come up against decent opposition yet, but nobody in the Norwich game regained possession more times than Rodri. And he then took the initiative to shoot and score against Arsenal — something the manager has been trying to encourage his players to do more of, in the absence of a recognised centre-forward.
Kayky may bypass the Academy and head straight to first team training.
In a bumper update on the academy, Sam Lee from the Athletic has provided us with more information on the Brazilian’s situation. Upon arrival, Kayky will train with the first team and if he impresses, it is possible that he would skip academy matches altogether.
However, that depends entirely on how he settles in his new surroundings and how many first-team opportunities arise.
Able to operate off both wings, Manchester City’s failure to sign a recognised number nine may present an opportunity for the youngster to impress in some fringe fixtures in the Carabao and FA Cup.
That, of course, depends on his performance in training.
Working with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling will be a significant step up, but it’ll improve his game infinitely.
Four iconic poses that could be used for Man City’s Sergio Aguero statue - Alex Brotherton - Manchester Evening News
And finally, Brotherton has a fun look at the possible poses for the upcoming Kun statue.
Forged from galvanised steel and standing five metres tall, the statues of City legends Vincent Kompany and David Siva are a sight to behold.
Scottish artist Andy Scott is the man behind the sculptures - but he now has another commission.
Having impressed the club with the likeness of the city duo, Scott will soon start work on a statue of another City hero; club-record goalscorer Sergio Aguero.
Deciding which pose a football statue should take is a crucial decision, because everyone associated with the club wants their hero immortalized in a certain way. The decision will no doubt have already been made by now, but here are a few ideas of how Aguero’s statue could look...
Have a great Labor Day everyone. We’ll see you right back here tomorrow at SBN!!