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SBN Weekly: City in the WC, Women v Brighton, FA Cup draw, and More...

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Wales v England: Group B - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Richard Sellers/Getty Images

Welcome back to Sky Blue News. It’s your Friday morning dose of what’s trending around the web.

Phil Foden stars for England against Wales: World Cup goal from the left reflects Man City man’s game right now - Adam Bate - Sky Sports

It was interesting that Southgate explained his reluctance to play Foden in midfield on the basis that he does not play there for Manchester City. Since operating deeper against Hungary last year, the England boss has started him six times on the right wing.

Crucially, playing on that flank also opens up the possibility of finishing from wide on his favoured foot. That is what happened for his goal. It was his first for England in over two years but the sort of strike that has become a familiar finish for fans of Manchester City.

His Premier League goal map shows that it is a productive zone for him but it is a position that he is less likely to find himself when playing from the right. For all the talk of Foden being a creator, the statistics suggest that finishing is a bigger feature of his game.

Made in Manchester: City And United Fire England Into World Cup Knock-Out Stage - Manc Pete - Bitter and Blue

After a goalless first 45 minutes, the Stockport Iniesta took the game to the Welsh. His driving run forward was abruptly halted just outside the penalty area. United striker Marcus Rashford stepped up and rifled the free kick into the top corner.

Two minutes later, Foden made his mark on the World Cup as he converted Harry Kane’s cross. Rashford dispossessed the Welsh defence and Kane drove forward and slipped a teasing ball across the six-yard box. Foden upped a gear to slide the ball home and send England 2-0 up.

City fans will have been delighted to see Kalvin Phillips replace Declan Rice in the 58th minute and ten minutes later, made his own contribution t England’s victory. His ball over the top of the Welsh defence set Rashford clear, and the United man raced into the penalty area to make it 3-0.

Kyle Walker also started the match as posed another attacking threat, while John Stones missed a glorious chance to make it 4-0, firing over when he looked for all the world that he would score.

The victory means England finish top of their group and face Senegal on Sunday for a place in the quarter-finals.

Julian Alvarez is justifying Pep Guardiola’s change of Man City decision - Joe Bray - Manchester Evening News

Alvarez was always a low-risk signing for City, brought in for a transfer fee of just £17m, and with a record for River Plate that means if things didn’t work out then there would surely be a queue of clubs lining up to sign him instead. But from the moment Alvarez’s deal was announced in January, he has continued to defy expectations.

City were initially keen to play down expectations of Alvarez, however his 2022 form for River Plate and the quality of goals scored made that impossible. Pep Guardiola changed plans so that Alvarez was included in City’s squad for the season rather than sent out on loan - even then, he was always going to be second-choice to Erling Haaland.

Alvarez has faced some low-key criticism for ‘settling’ as a back-up striker, with some questioning why he would be happy with sitting on the bench all season. Clearly, though, Alvarez is a confident player, and he has always looked keen to take his chances when they come.

Whether that was in pre-season as Haaland took longer to get up to full-fitness, or in his early cameos in the Premier League as Haaland got off to a flyer, the effort from Alvarez could never be questioned. With Haaland injured towards the end of the domestic fixtures before the World Cup break, Alvarez stepped in and registered three goals and two assists in five consecutive starts to show Haaland isn’t the only one who can chip in with the goals.


City were on the grass today as preparations for our Barclays Women’s Super League clash with Brighton continued.

We enter the match with the south coast side aiming to extend our winning streak to eight games in all competitions.

The latest of those successes came in last weekend’s Conti Cup victory over Sunderland, as we swept past the Black Cats 3-0.

Attention has swiftly turned back to league action, though, and we’ll be searching for a similar result to our last against the Seagulls.

In April 2022, we recorded an impressive 7-2 victory over the visitors, which aided our quest to reach the top three and the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw scored four in the emphatic success, and she’ll be hoping for more of the same this weekend as her rich vein of form in front goal continues this term.

How Norwegian superstar Erling Haaland spends his millions - Robert Baum - SoccerGator

At just 22 years old, Erling Haaland is already one of the most prolific goalscorers in the world. The Norwegian superstar has scored an incredible 158 goals in just 201 games for club, another 21 strikes, and 23 games for country. The goal machine continues his strong performances this 22/23 season at Manchester City, where he’s notched 23 goals in just 18 games.

Haaland is among the highest earners in the Premier League (close to $1 million/week with bonuses) and is reportedly worth around $170 million, more than French superstar Kylian Mbappe. Here, we look at how the young striker spends his money.

Erling Haaland’s cars

Erling Haaland’s cars are a big part of his life. The young Norwegian owns a Ranger Rover Sport, a Mercedes-Benz GLE Class, an Audi RS6, and BMW M5. That’s nearly $500,000 in expenditure on cars.

Emirates FA Cup: Manchester City Learn Third Round Opponents -Harri Burton - City Transfer Room

On the weekend of Saturday 7 January, Pep Guardiola’s side will welcome back Raheem Sterling as the Etihad will host an all-Premier League tie against the side sat in eighth.

Man City are six-time winners of the FA Cup, lifting the trophy in the 1903/04, 1933/34, 1955/1956, 1968/69, 2010/11 and 2018/19 seasons.

Guardiola only has one FA Cup success to his name, but will be hoping a victory over Chelsea in the Third Round will be the first step towards his second since becoming manager in 2016.

And finally... On the bright side for KDB, he has more time to rest and recover ahead of his return to Manchester.

Manchester City handed talisman boost ahead of Leeds United clash - Matt Smith - Leeds Live

Without the services of key midfielder Tyler Adams through suspension, the Whites and Jesse Marsch face an increasingly difficult challenge and one which is set to become even tougher following recent results in the ongoing FIFA World Cup.

\Following a 0-0 draw against Croatia in their final Group F fixture, Belgium have failed to progress through to the knockout stages of the competition in Qatar. The Red Devils’ shock exit is likely to spell an end to their ‘golden generation’ and Roberto Martinez’s reign.

Guardiola, however, may take a certain degree of satisfaction in his compatriot’s struggles. Talisman Kevin de Bruyne will soon return to City, providing the 31-year-old with a greater preparation period for the visit of Leeds than, perhaps, initially expected.

Lacklustre displays on the global stage are not reflective of De Bruyne’s Premier League antics, as he continues to exceed impeccably high standards. The former Chelsea man can already boast three goals and nine assists from 14 Premier League outings.

There you have it. Keep with us here at Bitter and Blue throughout the World Cup, and remember, Sky Blue News returns to our daily schedule on December 19.