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Sky Blue News: Women Lose Again, Ake Bests KDB, Foden Extension?, and More...

Monday morning headlines to start your week from BnB

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Chelsea FC v Manchester City - Barclays Women’s Super League Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

It’s derby week!!! Manchester City Men’s team will be back in action against arch-rivals Manchester United this weekend. We've got all the headlines to get derby week started right, here at Bitter and Blue.

Man City Women fall to second defeat of the Women’s Super League season at Chelsea - Jack Flintham - Manchester Evening News

That’s 2 losses on the bounce to start the season. Things are not going well early for MCWFC.

Manager Gareth Taylor made three changes from the side that lost the seven goal thriller at Villa Park last weekend with Kerstin Casparij, Leila Ouahabi and Deyna Castellanos making their first starts of the campaign. Despite the changes, City were nearly caught cold straight from the first whistle as a long ball forward presented a chance for Sam Kerr but her shot was sliced wide.

The Blues were let off the hook ten minutes later as a mistake from Steph Houghton allowed Kerr to break through. The Australian’s selflessness though cost Chelsea the opener as her pass to Kirby allowed City to recover and keep the scores level.

Taylor’s team managed to settle the ship and were unlucky not to go ahead when Lauren Hemp’s strike was well saved by Ann-Katrin Berger in the 35th minute. This save would cost City just seven minutes later as a free flowing move from the hosts resulted in Guro Reiten crossing for Kirby to tap home.


There were positives to take away, but the results are not there for City so far in the WSL.

The hosts made an electric start at Kingsmeadow and almost took the lead after just eight seconds, with Sam Kerr turning the ball just wide of Ellie Roebuck’s right post from six yards.

City responded well and two minutes later, Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw showed superb strength and balance to burst into the box, but her effort was blocked out for a corner, which was well defended by Chelsea.

The frantic start continued as the hosts had a golden chance to open the scoring after 12 minutes, after Steph Houghton’s underhit backpass put Kerr through on goal.

The striker unselfishly squared to Kirby who directed towards goal, but Laia Aleixandri was in the right place at the right time to clear for City.

Taylor’s side quickly turned defence into attack as Shaw raced into the box and was sent tumbling under the challenge of Kadeisha Buchanan, but referee Abigail Byrne waved away the penalty claims.

Van Dijk Scores as Dutch Reach Nations League Finals -

Ake and the Dutch National Team win the group over Belgium.

The Dutch ended their group campaign unbeaten, six points clear of Belgium.

Belgium boss Roberto Martinez described Belgium’s heavy defeat in their previous meeting with the Netherlands as “a needed wake-up call”, and said prior to their meeting in Amsterdam that his side were out for “revenge”.

Martinez had to watch from the from stands as he served a touchline ban in Amsterdam, with Thierry Henry taking charge in the dugout.

Having kept their faint hopes of reaching next summer’s finals alive with victory over Wales three days ago, Belgium tried to unsettle the hosts early on but Eden Hazard was unable to make the most of Amadou Onana’s cutback inside five minutes.

The Dutch did not manage a shot on target in a quiet first half but, after a lively start to the second period by Belgium which saw Remko Pasveer deny Onana with a one-handed save, Van Dijk all but guaranteed Van Gaal’s side top spot.

Netherlands win Nations League group with skipper Virgil van Dijk’s header -

Sunday’s win sealed the deal in UEFA Nations League A.

Van Dijk powered home a header from a corner in the 73rd minute at the Amsterdam Arena on Sunday to ensure the Dutch finished runaway winners in League A Group Four.

They finished with 16 points, six more than Belgium who had a chance to leapfrog their neighbours, and take first place, but needed to win by three goals or more on Sunday to do so.

Any hopes of a goal feast were quickly stymied, however, as the two sides effectively cancelled each other out in a tight tactical battle.

The Dutch pressing game frustrated Belgian efforts at building up attacks, while a five-man defence for the visitors meant there was little room for the home strikers.

Phil Foden ‘agrees lucrative new Manchester City contract’ - Ben Knapton - Sports Mole

The Stockport Iniesta looks ready to extend his time at the Etihad.

The Citizens youth product can reportedly expect a bumper pay rise with his renewal, with his weekly salary set to rise to a mammoth £250,000 per week.

Foden would therefore move closer to the club’s top-earning players in Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Braut Haaland, and the deal is a six-year agreement until 2028.

The report adds that City and Foden reached an agreement a while ago, and the only thing left is for the club to confirm the player’s new deal, which should not be too far away.

The 22-year-old has made the first XI in all seven of City’s Premier League games so far this term, coming up with two goals and two assists in those seven outings.

RUMOUR: Foden Agrees Contract Extension Through 2028 - CITYZENDuck - Bitter and Blue

The extension would keep Phil around until he’s 28.

According to Football Insider, Manchester City and Phil Foden have agreed terms for a new contract that will keep the England star at the Etihad through the 2027/28 season. The deal would pay the 22-year-old academy product a reported £250,000 a week. Here’s an excerpt from the Football Insider report.

It is believed Foden has agreed a six-year contract, meaning the deal will be worth around £78million in total.

An agreement has been in place for some time, but City have held back on making an announcement.

However, all parties are confident there are no issues and the deal will be formalised soon.

Foden has decided to commit the best years of his career to the club where he has developed into one of the world’s elite young talents.

Erling Haaland could open up simple plan B for Man City that unlocks Jack Grealish potential - Joe Bray - Manchester Evening News

And finally... Could Haaland be the key to finding Jack’s best for CIty?

It seems that with Haaland always waiting, City are prepared to put plenty of crosses into the box, whether it be from an underlapping or overlapping midfielder - someone like De Bruyne or Foden - or a deeper cross from Joao Cancelo, Foden or Bernardo Silva.

The players know Haaland will be there, so there is now less risk to putting crosses into the box than there may have been last season where players took it in turn to play out of position as a false nine. A look at City’s crossing statistics for the season so far and last season as a whole suggests that crossing the ball is becoming a more viable tactic.

Last season, City averaged 23 crosses per game, although only 19 per cent (4.4 per game) of those were accurate. This season, City are actually averaging fewer crosses per game at 21, but six of those are finding a Blue shirt with an accuracy of 28 per cent. Pep Guardiola hates losing possession unnecessarily, and if it happens he expects City to win back the ball quickly.

There you have it. Come back tomorrow for more headlines from Sky Blue News.