Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! Get all your morning headlines ahead of Manchester City Women’s visit to reigning champion Chelsea. Without further ado, it’s the Sky Blue News.
Erling gets his goal, but Norway falls to Slovenia in the UEFA Nations League.
Manchester City striker Erling Haaland was mostly kept quiet, but he sprang into life on a couple of occasions when he got a whiff of the ball.
In the 36th minute he lashed a shot narrowly wide after being played in down the channel.
Early in the second half, Norway’s high press paid dividends and a ricochet off Mo Elyounoussi fell to Haaland who was typically merciless and lashed home on the spin. A VAR check confirmed the striker was onside.
A win would have put Norway in the driver's seat in their group.
Haaland, 22, scored his sixth goal in five games in the 2022-23 Nations League for the Group B4 leaders.
But goals from Andraz Sporar and Benjamin Sesko turned the match in Slovenia’s favour in the second half.
Serbia will have the chance to leapfrog Norway at the top of the table when they meet Sweden later on Saturday.
A victory for second-placed Serbia would put them ahead of Norway on goal difference before the two nations meet in their final group match on Tuesday.
Haaland has scored six of Norway’s seven Nations League goals and his latest strike, following a defensive error, takes his international tally to 21 goals in 22 games for his country.
This is your weekly notification of 'Erling Haaland has scored a goal'— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) September 24, 2022
He wasn't on the winning side today, however.
Chelsea and Manchester City face off hoping to atone for poor WSL starts - Sophie Downey - The Guardian
Both squads desperately want a result on Sunday to get their seasons going in the right direction.
While Chelsea struggled to get their attack firing, Manchester City’s performance against Aston Villa displayed some fundamental issues in defence. The 4-3 defeat will have stung Gareth Taylor and his players who have once again endured a slow start to a campaign.
While they showed character to come back from two down, their frailties were clear to see when faced with tactically astute opponents. The exodus of players over the summer has left some conspicuous holes, and while Taylor has brought in quality, they are not like-for-like replacements.
Inevitably, it will take recruits like Laia Aleixandri, Deyna Castellanos and Mary Fowler time to adjust to the pace and physicality of English football. Villa exposed this with an intense high press that forced mistakes out of City’s back line. Without the protective shield of Keira Walsh, they were exposed to a barrage of pressure. Facing a Chelsea side well known for their energy in attack, it has been a focus in training this week.
Chelsea Women v Manchester City Women - Preview, Team News and Prediction - Manc Pete - Bitter and Blue
Taylor and the Women’s side know the London Blues will still be a stern challenge.
Gareth Taylor claimed he wasn’t surprised by Liverpool’s shock 2-1 win over Chelsea last weekend. The champions opened the scoring with a penalty, but two penalties for the Mersey reds took the points.
“I wasn’t surprised that Liverpool got something out of the game [against Chelsea]. We played them in pre-season and they’re a tough outfit. Same with Aston Villa, a completely different team from last season, lots of changes and when those players play well, anyone can beat anyone.
“There’s no change in that respect. For us, we know it’s going to be a really tough game, it’s their first home game but we’re looking forward to the challenge. We’ll hopefully show a better version of ourselves without the ball this time.”
And, speaking ahead of City’s match at Kingsmeadow, Taylor says the blues are looking forward to facing the champions in their own backyard. “It’s one that the players are looking forward to. Regardless of the team we pick, we’re expecting a good level and will try to make it difficult for Chelsea on their own patch but also show our best version with the ball.”
REPORT: PEP GUARDIOLA IS A HUGE FAN OF 23-YEAR-OLD WHO TOTTENHAM VIEW AS THEIR DREAM SIGNING - Bill Meyers - HITC
Another defender is on the radar at the Etihad campus.
Gazzetta dello Sport believe the Spaniard is a big admirer of Bastoni, and could attempt to bring him to the Etihad Stadium in 2023.
The Italy international has made eight appearances in all competitions for Inter Milan this season, and is a key player for Simone Inzaghi.
However, an exit from the San Siro in 2023 could definitely be possible if recent events are anything to go by.
Man City ‘set to rival’ Manchester United for Alessandro Bastoni and more transfer rumours - Ricky Charlesworth - Manchester Evening News
Could the Sky Blues beat their rivals to Bastoni’s signature?
Manchester City are reportedly set to gatecrash Manchester United’s attempts to sign Italy international Alessandro Bastoni.
The centre-back has plenty of admirers across Europe following some impressive displays for Inter Milan over the past few years. He is a regular for Inter and has 15 caps for Italy, making one appearance for Roberto Mancini’s victorious side at Euro 2020.
Your evening transfer gossip from the Etihad, including reported interest in Rodri....https://t.co/HUmODgh85h— Manchester City News (@ManCityMEN) September 24, 2022
Can Arsenal Challenge Manchester City for the Premier League Title? - Emmanuel Odey - Bitter and Blue
And finally... Arsenal legend Wenger likes the Gunners to finish near the top of the table.
After serving under Pep Guardiola as an assistant manager and learning the ropes under his compatriot, Arteta is proving to be a good student as he is building an Arsenal team capable of winning the Premier League. One man who thinks so is his former manager at the club Arsene Wenger.
Speaking in a recent interview, the Frenchman extolled the team’s virtues, expressing hope for a title challenge.
“I would say they are moving in the right direction. I honestly think there is no weak position in the team... they are young, promising players and they have bought well this year,” said Wenger
“There is no completely dominating team this season and Arsenal has a chance with the potential that is there.
“We used to be in the top four and why not again? You cannot even rule out the fact that they can fight for the title and hopefully they can do it.”
Can Arsenal Challenge Manchester City for the Premier League Title? https://t.co/As5Lb3NNNo— Bitter and Blue (@BitterandBlue1) September 24, 2022
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