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Sky Blue News: Mid-Season Review, Ilkay Interest, Rico Extension, and More...

Monday morning headlines from Bitter and Blue.

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Manchester City v Brentford FC - Premier League Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

It’s your Manchester City headline roundup from Sky Blue News! We’ll be on a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday schedule during the World Cup Break. Here’s your Monday dose of all the latest.

Ilkay Gundogan pinpoints why Manchester City lost to Brentford - Jack Flintham - Manchester Evening News

Gundogan had a chance to put City ahead but was unable to get the ball out from underneath his feet. As the Blues pushed further for a winner they would end up being caught by a suckerpunch on the counter deep into second half stoppage time.

Toney tapped home to send the Bees’ supporters wild and see City slump to only their second defeat of the campaign. Following the loss, Gundogan admitted that he was disappointed with his side’s performance.

“We conceded a goal in the first 20 minutes which we knew was exactly what they wanted,” the City captain said. “Sometimes it is difficult to have an explanation. I don’t know, there is no excuse.

“Of course, it is disappointing and frustrating for me. I couldn’t sort out my feet quick enough [for the missed chance] and maybe I should have taken a touch.

“In general, I kind of disagree that we had chances in the second half. It felt like we crossed a lot of balls in areas where Erling [Haaland] was, but he was always against three men.

Manchester City Mid Season Review - Adam Marrett - Man City Square

A massive cluster of fixtures all finished to get to this point and now six weeks of no Manchester City football to watch, analyse and get excited for. Instead a World Cup has come around, rightly or wrongly is a different discussion, one I won’t touch on here.

For me, City are well placed for another Premier League title tilt post the World Cup, well placed in the Champions League with a tie against RB Leipzig to come in the second round and have navigated past Chelsea into the fourth round of the Carabao Cup where a home tie against Liverpool awaits.

Now there is a wait of a month before we are back at the Etihad, a perfect chance to review the four months of action we have seen so far.


Reflecting on the result and performance on Matchday Live, Dickov gave credit to visiting manager Thomas Frank and how he set his side up at the Etihad.

But the former City forward expects another fine run of form to begin when the Premier League gets back under way.

He said: “Sometimes you’ve got to hold your hands up and give credit [to the opponent], but every time this team gets a setback they come back and go and win five, six, seven or eight in a row.

“They’ve got a little break now, but I have no doubt that’ll happen.

“We’re so lucky to be able to sit here and watch the football these guys play. We’re used to them being at their very best every time.

“Sometimes if you get beat it’s easy to look at the other team and be critical but I think you’ve got to give a huge amount of credit to Brentford today.

Galatasaray ‘want to sign Ilkay Gundogan’ and more Man City transfer rumours - Isaac Johnson - Manchester Evening News

Galatasaray are reportedly aiming to lure Ilkay Gundogan to Turkey with the midfielder into the final year of his Manchester City contract.

His future at the Etihad remains uncertain with the player allowed to talk to overseas clubs in January when his deal enters its last six months. Gundogan is still an integral part of Pep Guardiola’s set-up having played 20 times this season, which includes 16 starts.

Among his 51 goals in 273 matches for the Blues is the winner in last season’s final-day comeback against Aston Villa which clinched the title for City - his fourth Premier League triumph.

Pep Guardiola suggests Manchester City star is ‘back’ after poor start to season - Danny Young - City Xtra

Stefan Ortega was given the Man of the match award for his crucial saves, but Pep Guardiola was full of praise for Riyad Mahrez, after a slow start to the season for the forward in comparison to his usual high standards.

Speaking to the media after Wednesday night’s game, Pep Guardiola said, “He’s back.

“Not just for the goal and the second action. Many details prove to me he’s back.”

He continued, “He arrived late, wasn’t good in the beginning and now he’s back.

“Riyad will be so important in the second half of the season.”

Report: Manchester City Set To Extend Young Star’s Contract, Considered Future Top Player By Pep Guardiola - Harri Burton - City Transfer Room

Born in Bury, Manchester, the teenager has a current contract with his boyhood club until 2025, but City are in advanced talks to extend his current deal, according to Nico Schira, a sports journalist on Twitter.

Pep Guardiola considers Lewis a future top player and hopes for the young star to stay committed to City with a new and improved long-term contract.

Having been with the club since the age of eight, Lewis has risen through the ranks of City’s academy, earning his debut under Guardiola.

Primarily playing as a full-back, the England Under 19s international can be deployed as a defensive midfielder.

And finally... A nice piece on the City legend who now calls Manchester home.


Indeed, after initially being somewhat tentative to move to Manchester, Zabaleta was soon convinced that the ambitious Abu Dhabi United Group project was one that he must get behind.

That passion radiated whenever the full-back stepped across the white line, whether it be under the watchful eye of Mark Hughes, Roberto Mancini, Manuel Pellegrini or Pep Guardiola.

In short, that enthusiasm was backed up by Zabaleta’s performances, rendering him an instant fan favourite.

He reflects with a smile: “They saw a player that came who was unknown (but) I always played with my heart. I did that for all my clubs really.

“When the new owners came, I wanted to be a part of the Club. I wanted to change the history of the Club.

“Some of the players showed that commitment from the first days, some didn’t. I wanted to help the Club to the next level.

There you have it. Check back here Wednesday for more headlines, and stay with Bitter and Blue for all the latest Manchester City news and reaction during Qatar 2022.