Happy Christmas Cityzens!! Manchester City made their return this week as the club downed rivals Liverpool FC, ending the Reds' attempt to repeat as Carabao Cup winners. The women remain idle during Christmas week, but the men have two more fixtures to squeeze in before the calendar flips to 2023. Sky Blue News has all the latest to get you set for the week ahead.
Lauren Hemp believes Man City heading towards New Year full of confidence after recent run - Jack Lacey-Hatton - Manchester Evening News
They had a tough start to the season with back-to-back WSL defeats away at Aston Villa and Chelsea, but are unbeaten in ten games since. City will return to domestic action on January 15 with a trip to West Ham. And as the WSL now breaks for Christmas and the New Year, Hemp is looking to push on again in 2023 and believes she can take her game to a new level.
“I feel like I am getting better as a player,” Hemp said. “The team are now doing well, we’ve picked up a load of wins and are in a strong position.
“We’re unbeaten in 10 games, so we’re going into the New Year with a lot of confidence. We’re in a really good place.
“I’m playing with some really talented people at the moment as well, which helps. For example if I put a decent ball in the box I know Bunny (Shaw) is going to get on the end of it at the moment.
Here’s a look at which arrows are pointing up and down after the match.
3 Up -
Kevin De Bruyne - KDB was back to his spectacular self on his return to the Etihad. He didn’t have the World Cup he might have hoped for with Belgium, but it’s all better now that he can serve goals on a plate to his favorite Norse God.
Smooth & Rich - For those not old enough, that is a reference to the 1990 hit song Rico Suave Ecuadorian rapper Gerardo. Our Rico was just as smooth and an even bigger hit on the day. At just 18, young Rico is quickly becoming a City favorite.
Transfer return? Bayern Munich star Sane pays a visit to Man City’s training base - Ritabrata Banerjee - Goal
WHAT HAPPENED? The Germany international spent four seasons at Manchester City from 2016 to 2020 before returning to his home country and joining Bayern Munich. He recently paid a casual visit to his former club and was seen greeting players like John Stones, Kyle Walker and Scott Carson.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Sane was part of the German squad that crashed out of the 2022 World Cup at the group stage after finishing third behind Japan and Spain.
WHAT NEXT FOR SANE? He will be next seen in action when Bayern Munich take on RB Leipzig in a Bundesliga clash on January 20.
“He will be remembered forever” – Pep Guardiola offers glowing assessment of Manchester City midfielder following Liverpool masterclass - Freddie Pye - City Xtra
Goals from Erling Haaland, Riyad Mahrez, and Nathan Ake ultimately secured the win for Manchester City, despite Fabia Carvalho and Mohamed Salah drawing Liverpool level on two occassions.
However, despite the Merseyside club’s best efforts, it was largely the performance of Kevin De Bruyne that set the two clubs apart on the night, as the 31 year-old provided two assists across the 90 minutes in an exemplary all-round performance.
Speaking to the media after the 3-2 win against Liverpool on Thursday night, Pep Guardiola said of the Belgian midfielder, “What can I say?”
“Eight years (at Manchester City), he’s done everything for this club, he’s an absolute legend.”
Guardiola continued, “He will be remembered forever, one of the greatest, greatest, greatest players of all time of this club.”
City by the hand of Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland had a good showing as the club won.
On to the reaction & tweets:
Pep Guardiola Reaction
on Rico Lewis: “Without him we couldn’t play the way we played. I was really impressed. He’ll be an incredible player for #ManCity in the next few years. He’s so intelligent, so humble. He’s 18 and he was outstanding, he was man of the match.”
Man City have been given another reason to make dream Jude Bellingham transfer - Daniel Murphy - Manchester Evening News
Guardiola has called out players in the past for not being at the peak of their powers physically, just like Riyad Mahrez in October, but none have come in for such a harsh public haranguing as Phillips has. Being ‘overweight’ for a footballer isn’t like being overweight to you and me. The standards are so incredibly high and any of us would kill to be in the ‘overweight’ shape Phillips is in. It would hardly be surprising if he’s only a kilogram or two over which will be burned off in no time.
Yet, it still isn’t the best look for Phillips as he hits yet another speed bump in the inauspicious start to his City career. The battling midfielder has only played 54 minutes for the club this season due to various injuries. He can’t be blamed for needing shoulder surgery, an injury that was caused during a mid-season friendly, but it has still left City in a tough position with only one natural holding midfielder available.
Guardiola voiced his frustration with the situation as early as September: “Absolutely [it’s been frustrating] – for us as well. We need him because Rodri cannot play all the games, Kalvin came to fight for that position and sometimes you need two holding midfielders to be more defensive,” he said.
And finally... ManCity.com takes us on a trip back to the last Manchester Derby played at Maine Road.
We’ve looked at Pep Guardiola’s first game in charge of City, our last game at Maine Road and Sergio Aguero’s five-goal haul against Newcastle United.
Today, we rewind back to 2002 and the last Manchester derby at Maine Road.
Fittingly, the occasion proved to be a day to remember with City securing a famous 3-1 victory over United.
Shaun Goater claimed a brilliant brace of goals - bringing up 100 City strikes as well - to supplement Nicolas Anelka’s early opener and ensure that Kevin Keegan’s side deservedly claimed the derby bragging rights.
There you have it. We hope that you and yours have a wonderful Christmas. Happy Holidays to all of us. Come on City!!!