The fate of this weekends Premier League and WSL fixtures are still up in the air after the passing of Her Majesty the Queen, but we carry on at Sky Blue News.
Tottenham Hotspur may give Man City a tactic dilemma with Erling Haaland - Alex Brotherton - Manchester Evening News
The counter attack continues to be an issue for Manchester City, and no team displayed the fault more clearly last term than Spurs.
Plenty of City fans — and maybe even Guardiola too — will still come across the events of February 19th this year in their nightmares. City lost 3-2 that day, a result that ended their unbeaten run in the league at 15 games and invited Liverpool to close the gap at the top of the table.
Defensively, City were woeful on the day — Ruben Dias and Kyle Walker in particular — but their real issue was an inability to deal with Spurs’ counter-attacks and quick transitions from defence to attack. City’s line-up that day was filled with players well known for their ability to keep hold of the ball and not give possession away cheaply — Ilkay Gundogan in midfield and Bernardo Silva as the false nine — but still the ball came back at City before their were in the right positions to deal with it.
Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski were superb that afternoon, and all three will likely feature in Antonio Conte’s starting XI on Saturday. One would expect City’s defenders to produce much better individual performances than they did seven months ago. But the way Guardiola’s have played so far this season, they could once again find it difficult to contain Spurs’ attack.
Manc Pete gives us a look at the other side, including an assessment of Tottenham’s form this season.
Spurs are firing on all cylinders at the moment, which they usually do before fading towards the end. Currently in third place in the league, Spurs have knocked in 12 goals, an average of two per game, and also jointly hold the best defence along with Brighton, both teams conceding just five.
They started their season with a 4-1 home win over Southampton, before a fiery 2-2 encounter at Chelsea saw both managers receive red cards. Successive victories at home to Wolves (1-0) and away to Forest (2-0) was followed with a 1-1 home draw with West Ham.
In their last league game, Spurs overcame Fulham (2-1) at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, while in the Champions League on Wednesday, they left it late before beating 10-man Marseille 2-0.
Spurs are currently unbeaten in 13 matches, and the last time they suffered defeat was a 1-0 home loss to Brighton in April.
Welcome to Manchester Yui! She certainly seems excited to be a Blue.
Five-time Japanese champion Hasegawa called a move to City a “big dream”.
“When I played against City last season, I really liked the team’s playing style — so when I got this opportunity, I immediately wanted to join the club,” she said.
“People see me as an attacking player but I also want to be known for my defending and unpredictability.
“I may be small but I am strong — and I want to show that.
“I’d like to create as many goals and assists as possible for the team this season to help us to hopefully enjoy a lot of success.”
Our new lass is no stranger to scoring at her new home ground.
Hasegawa is no stranger to finding the net at the Academy Stadium, having done so for West Ham last season.
The midfielder launched an audacious chip over Karima Taieb around 30 yards from goal to double the Hammers’ advantage late on in a Barclays Women’s Super League clash in October 2021.
She said: “When I was playing in Japan, I scored similar goals to that on a few occasions.
“That is the kind of thing I’m good at and always want to do. I was very happy to score that type of goal in a difficult game against a tough opponent.”
Spoiler Alert: This could become a regular occurrence in the months and years to come.
The Manchester City striker faces some tough competition from other players in the Premier League, with seven other players nominated for the award.
Haaland will be favourite right now, but anyone is worthy of winning the award due to their performances in August.
Premier League Player Of The Month Nominees:
1: Pascal Gross
2: Erling Haaland
3: Gabriel Jesus
4: Aleksandar Mitrovic
5: Martin Odegaard
6: Nick Pope
Premier League Player of the Month: Man City star among nominees with Arsenal duo - Aiden Beswick - Manchester World
Nine goals from 5 games in August seems like a good case for getting the nod as POTM.
Manchester City forward Erling Haaland is among eight players to be nominated for the Premier League Player of the Month.
The Norwegian has been in fine form since joining the Sky Blues from Borussia Dortmund this summer, scoring 10 league goals so far.
Nine of those goals came in August, including back-to-back hat-tricks against Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest.
The 22-year-old’s nine goals in five games is a record in the league, while he is only the sixth player to score a hat-trick in consecutive matches.
Manchester City pay homage to the longest reigning Monarch in British History.
A statement posted on City’s website read: “Manchester City wishes to express its sincere condolences to The Royal Family following the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty’s dedication and service has been exemplary and we join our country and the Commonwealth in mourning her loss.”
Tonight’s Europa League game at Old Trafford between Manchester United and Real Sociedad will see both sides pay their respects. Both teams will wear black armbands and the flags at Old Trafford will fly at half-mast.
This coming weekend is due to see City host Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday with United scheduled to travel to Crystal Palace 24 hours later. However, the Premier League is expected to issue an update on whether or not fixtures will be fulfilled in light of the Queen’s passing.
There you have it. Follow @BitterandBlue1 for all the latest on possible play stoppages for both the Prem and Women’s Super League.