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Sky Blue News: City Screwed, Women Win, End of an Era?, and More...

Monday morning headlines from Bitter and Blue.

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West Ham United v Manchester City - Barclays Women’s Super League - Chigwell Construction Stadium Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images

Manchester City Women got the win on Sunday and the Men are looking to turn the page to Tottenham Hotspur. Sky Blue News has all the latest headlines from an up and down weekend for City.


The boss believes when teams camp in and around their own box for long periods, it makes it harder for Haaland to find channels to run into – but perhaps when he did against United, his team-mates didn’t pick him out as often as they could have.

“At the moment we have the process because when teams are sat on the 18-yard box it’s more difficult,” said Guardiola.

“But then we have to find him a little bit more, too.

“(Against United) he had not enough touches, but it’s true that when we get there sometimes we have to look for him. But we will do it.”

Asked who should be looking to play it to Haaland, Pep replied: “Everyone. When we have the ball, everyone is allowed to attack and when you don’t have the ball to defend.

Screw job at Old Trafford: Manchester City Lose 1-2 vs Manchester United: Reaction & Tweets - Saul Garcia - Bitter and Blue

A really tense game decided by the refs did no one any good and City come out of it hurt and dazed in the PL.

On to the reaction-

Pep Guardiola Reaction

“I said to the players – don’t waste energy thinking what happened. Focus on Spurs.

“I would not say we win or lose for this action [the controversial first goal]. Of course, it was involved – an important one.

“But wasting energy thinking about what happened in the past, you are in the next game.

“The best thing to do is analyse the things we have done good, what we can improve and then focus on Spurs. Now it is done. It is gone.”

“The game was really good. We played really good.

What Man City squad decided in Old Trafford dressing room after Manchester United loss - Joe Bray - Manchester Evening News

The Blues have now lost back-to-back fixtures after their cup defeat at Southampton, and defender Nathan Ake says the squad were pleased with the response from that off-night at St Mary’s.

However, Ake also conceded that the team’s reaction to United’s equaliser ultimately cost them a point, and he vowed that City will work hard to put things right in the next fixture against Tottenham on Thursday.

Asked what was said in the dressing room at Old Trafford at full-time, Ake revealed: “Overall, it was a much better performance from us. When they scored the first goal we have to learn from that moment and play the same and don’t start to change things.

“Obviously, the last game we didn’t play well. We were much better in large parts of the game in this one today so we can take that as a positive, but as a City player you want to win all the games and these kinds of games. All we can do now is get ourselves back together and focus on the next one.

Shaw hits winner as Man City close gap to top three - Sam Drury - BBC Sport

The game was played exclusively in the West Ham half for long spells but the hosts did have chances and must still be wondering how an almighty scramble in the City six-yard box did not bring the opening goal after 25 minutes.

In the second half, Paul Konchesky’s side pressed for an equaliser but City looked the more likely to add to the goal tally late on.

Shaw’s stabbed effort came back off the post and Castellanos was denied by a good reaction save from Hammers goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold.

“I think we showed really good resilience,” City boss Gareth Taylor told Sky Sports.

“[Shaw] is the talisman at the moment with producing the goals. I thought her all-round game was excellent. She’s a real asset for us.”

Were Manchester City Robbed In The Derby? - Manc Pete - Bitter and Blue

The decision to award the goal has split general opinion to the point where the rules are once again being scrutinised to find out who was right and who was wrong. The problem is that referees, assistants and VAR all seem to have very different interpretations of the rules of the game. In addition, the rules have been changed so much over the years, that it’s getting extremely hard to keep up.

Take the handball rule for example. One time it was clear; it hits your hand, then its handball. But not anymore. If it hits your hand that’s in an unnatural position, it’s handball. But if a defender is on the floor and it hits the hand, then it’s accidental. Or is it? That seems to be the rule referees are adhering to. Take Rodri’s handball at Everton last season. In fairness, that should have been a penalty. But, because of where the ball hit him, it was deemed no handball.

The offside rule has changed so much that assistants are no longer supposed to put their flag up, even when it’s a blatant offside, until a goal is scored. Play is brought back and checked by VAR before a decision is made.

Manchester City in a slump or the end of a era? - Adam Marrett - Man City Square

Leading into the game at Anfield City were flying, with Erling Haaland banging in goals for fun, Phil Foden looking like he was about to take the next step & the free flowing football we have grown accustomed to under Pep Guardiola in full display.

That game saw the first part of the tinkering with the line up from Guardiola away from what had served Manchester City so well, with a change defensively to the tried and traditional set up.

An argument could be made that it cost us three points that day, and the strange tactical tweaks and line ups have continued to this point of the season.

Since that game, the free flowing football from Manchester City has barely been sighted, the heights of early in the season haven’t been reached since. Teams have come to the Etihad with their low defensive block and been successful.

Brentford came to the Etihad and left with three points, which they fully deserved and put in a great performance against a lethargic and tired looking Manchester City. Everton came with a similar set up, and frustrated Manchester City at the Etihad and left with a point after a spiteful first half, and a Demarai Gray wonder goal in the second.

And finally... Arsenal are officially your Premier League title favorites.

Arsenal Officially Replace Man City As EPL Title Favorites After Going Eight Points Clear - Robert Summerscales - FanNation Football

The Gunners have occupied top spot in the EPL since matchweek 3.

But ahead of the latest round of fixtures, City were still ranked as favorites in the betting, despite being five points behind Arsenal.

Then City lost 2-1 at Manchester United on Saturday. That result sparked many bookmakers to promote Arsenal to co-favorites alongside City.

But following Arsenal’s victory over Spurs on Sunday, which increased their lead over City to eight points, Mikel Arteta’s team are now officially outright favorites.

Players from Arsenal pictured celebrating after a 2-0 win at Tottenham sent them eight points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table in January 2023

Players from Arsenal pictured celebrating after a 2-0 win at Tottenham sent them eight points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table

IMAGO/PRiME Media Images/David Horn

UK bookmaker Coral is now offering odds of 8/11 (-138) on Arsenal winning the EPL. City can be backed at 13/10 (130).

That’s all for now. Stay with us at Bitter and Blue for all the latest as Pep Guardiola and Manchester City get ready for Tottenham Hotspur.