We’ve made it to Friday!! The UEFA Nations League is in full swing and international friendlies fill the schedule. Let’s get you set for a great weekend ahead with all the latest Manchester City headlines from Sky Blue News.
DE BRUYNE AND AKE CLAIM NATIONS LEAGUE VICTORIES - George Kelsey - ManCity.com
KDB and Ake are first up in National Team action and they both were able to come out on the winning side.
De Bruyne was on target for the Red Devils in a 2-1 win over Wales, while Ake put in an assured display at the heart of the Dutch defence as they came away from Warsaw with a 2-0 triumph against Poland.
With both sides vying for top spot in Group A4, neither could afford to slip up in their penultimate matches of the round.
And De Bruyne, in typically impressive fashion, eased any potential nerves inside ten minutes at the King Baudouin Stadium with his 25th international goal.
Netherlands close on Nations League finals - Reuters
Nathan contributed to a clean sheet for the Oranje.
The unbeaten Dutch have now won four of their five Group A4 games and are three points ahead of Belgium, who beat Wales 2-1.
The Dutch need only a draw at home to Belgium in Amsterdam on Sunday to secure a place in next year’s four-team Nations League finals.
Gakpos 13th-minute opener at the Narodowy Stadium came at the end of a slick passing move as the striker had only to tap home Denzel Dumfries inch-perfect square pass after the Polish defence has been prised apart.
Bergwijn doubled the lead in the 60th minute, coming in off the left flank to play a clever one-two with substitute Vincent Janssen and curling the ball expertly into the net.
Deadly De Bruyne leads Belgium to win over Wales - Reuters
And De Bruyne was typically brilliant for the Belgians.
Belgium were excellent in the opening period with slick interplay centred around the mercurial talent of De Bruyne.
When he netted after 10 minutes it stretched to 49 games Belgium’s incredible run of scoring, having last been kept out by France in the 2018 World Cup semi-final in St Petersburg.
Batshuayi teed up De Bruyne on the edge of the box and his side-footed finish beat Wayne Hennessey in the Wales goal.
De Bruyne then struck the post with a shot from a similar position before he turned provider as his whipped cross laid on a tap-in for Batshuayi.
Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne scored one goal and set up another as they profited from a strong first-half showing to beat Wales 2-1 in their Nations League A Group 4 clash at the King Baudouin Stadium on Thursday. https://t.co/aBieQNedEY— Reuters Sports (@ReutersSports) September 22, 2022
Marcus Rashford, Kevin De Bruyne nominated for PL Player of the Month - Ben Knapton - Sports Mole
Kevin has also been nominated as the Prem’s POTM.
Rashford and Man United will be back in Premier League action in the Manchester derby on October 2, where fellow nominee Kevin De Bruyne will also aim to build on a solid September.
The Belgian playmaker provided three assists as the reigning champions drew with Aston Villa and overcame Wolverhampton Wanderers earlier this month, and he is one of three players from the Big Six clubs up for the award.
BREAKING: Kevin De Bruyne up for Premier League Player of the Month for September - CITYZENDuck - Bitter and Blue
I may be biased, but it seems like an easy decision. Give that man his trophy already.
KDB has three assists in September for Pep Guardiola’s men. He made a typically spectacular cross to Erling Haaland in the draw away to Aston Villa, and set up 2 of Man City’s 3 goals against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Rather amazingly, De Bruyne has never won an FPL POTM award in spite of being widely regarded as one of the finest midfielders in the world. He is up against Philip Billing (AFC Bournemouth), Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Tottenham Hotspur), Alex Iwobi (Everton), Jacob Ramsey (Aston Villa), and Marcus Rashford (Manchester United).
Vote early, vote often Cityzens. Let’s finally get him what is one of the few pieces of Premier League silverware he hasn’t got in his cupboard.
BREAKING: Kevin De Bruyne up for Premier League Player of the Month for September https://t.co/YTSP8Qq9NZ pic.twitter.com/q2WT9quSKK— Bitter and Blue (@BitterandBlue1) September 22, 2022
Jack Grealish has just told Man City how they can finally get the best out of him - Joe Bray - Manchester Evening News
The Jack news just won’t quit. Imagine if he hadn’t scored a first-minute goal in his most recent outing.
Not for the first time, Grealish nodded towards Pep Guardiola as an opinion he obviously values more than any of the outside criticism, as well as wisely listening to his mum, of course. There was some interesting tactical talk of why he is perhaps less involved in attacking moves at City compared to Aston Villa, again noting that he is trying to follow Guardiola’s plan as closely as possible.
Still, Grealish acknowledged that his goals and assists return could be improved, and vowed to work on that. This was a player who seems to know exactly how to find the right balance between adding Guardiola’s more rigid tactical requirements to his natural free-attacking instincts.
He seems to have plenty of trust in Guardiola and knows the people he should listen to rather than Graeme Souness - even if he admits it’s hard sometimes to block out all the noise. While pundits and commentators insist on trying to drive the narrative that Grealish will only justify his £100million fee if he plays as he did at Villa, Grealish seems to acknowledge that he is on the right path at City to become a more rounded forward with a better technical and tactical knowledge in Guardiola’s system.
Football media frauds take shots at Grealish for City career - Laura Graves - Man City Square
Our girl Laura has had it with JG slander. The media trolls should consider themselves warned.
What of the overall performances from Grealish, however? This is something that is rarely taken into consideration when it comes to City players, likely because of our habit of breaking statistical records.
He is no longer a “big fish in a small pond”, he is an important player in a well-drilled, highly disciplined, star-studded squad. PAUSE: mum has made me pie and mash.
Anyway, whilst Grealish may not control the rhythm of our games in the same way as Gundogan or De Bruyne. He does contribute to control and a measured tempo.
City’s style relies heavily on possession and dominance, though there are times that the opposition test this – in comes a solid CDM performance.
But there’s more to it than the CDM’s control; Grealish has the technical ability to cause problems for the opposition and slow the game down. This enables the blues to regain control of the rhythm.
As promised, my take on our very own @JackGrealish #MCFC @ManCity— Laura (@Laws_ellen24601) September 22, 2022
‘The reality is that their football knowledge lacks substance, insight, and validity.’
‘MYTH DEBUNKED – MIC DROP!’
Football media frauds take shots at Grealish (via @Laws_ellen24601) https://t.co/9hpysATz8x
MAHREZ: I WANT TO FINISH MY CAREER AT CITY - ManCity.com
And finally... Riyad has no desire to leave the Etihad any time soon. A true blue.
Since swapping the King Power Stadium for the Etihad, the 31-year-old has lifted eight major honours and scored 63 goals.
And after immense success at the Club, Mahrez explained how it’s his aspiration to end his playing days in Pep Guardiola’s side.
“I definitely want to finish my career at City and play as long as I can. I think I can still play for a long time. We’ll see what the future holds after football,” he said.
“I don’t know. I’m still thinking. I love football so it’ll be difficult to come out of it.”
Mahrez’s career has seen him operate in the French four tier, Ligue 2, Championship, Premier League and Champions League.
.@Mahrez22 opened his City account #OnThisDay in 2018 #ManCity pic.twitter.com/3CVScu1yVL— Manchester City US (@ManCityUS) September 22, 2022
That’s it everyone. Have a smashing Friday, and make sure to come back for more headlines tomorrow, right here at Bitter and Blue.