Manchester City Men capped off a perfect weekend at the Etihad with a win over Aston Villa. The WOmen downed Arsenal on Saturday and both sides are now three points off the top of their respective tables. Sky Blue News is here with all the latest to help you atrt your week right.
Given the build-up to this game, the atmosphere inside – and outside – the Etihad was electrically charged.
From the Villa kick-off, Erling Haaland charged all the way back to the keeper and then the full-back and City looked to make a start that would rattle the visitors – and with just four minutes gone, the Blues were ahead.
Jack Grealish won a corner on the left and Riyad Mahrez’s out-swinging cross was powered home by the head of Rodrigo.
The light blue touch paper had been well and truly ignited.
Quick Match Recap: Manchester City Delight at the Etihad, Beat Villa 3-1 - Saul Garcia - Bitter and Blue
Manchester City have won a crucial match after a tumultuous week for the club. Pep put out an unorthodox lineup and got the win. The team played inspired, united and charged to a convincing win.
A match that had a similar feel to all the City of old. Pep really got this team together and that City vs the world mentality can propel this side to new hieghts.
One where City was in control with possession and chances created. They played a really sound opening 45. It means a great win puts us just behind Arsenal with a chance to take top midweek as City visit the Gunners.
City had so many players who played well and this seems to be the turning point for City’s season as eveyone n newly invigorated.
Two of note who did play well and were lively were Jack Grealish and Kevin De Bruyne who were of just mint.
Quick Match Recap: Manchester City Delight at the Etihad, Beat Villa 3-1 https://t.co/TJm0XU1chS— Bitter and Blue (@BitterandBlue1) February 12, 2023
Man City send loud and clear Premier League warning in Aston Villa win - Simon Bajkowski - Manchester Evening News
The Premier League declared war on champions Manchester City this week, making serious allegations among over 100 charges that, if proven, would taint almost a decade of the club’s recent success and could even call into question their position in the competition. After Pep Guardiola had said in his Friday press conference that it was very clear what side he was on as he mounted a fierce defence of the club’s innocence, those inside the Etihad for the 3-1 win against Aston Villa showed exactly where they stood on the matter.
“F*** the Premier League,” was the message that rang loud and clear from the Etihad. It was sung by the fans outside the ground to welcome the players in, and then sung inside the stands throughout the game.
When it wasn’t heard, there were songs for former manager Roberto Mancini and Sheikh Mansour that aren’t regularly heard on a matchday as City supporters picked up the siege mentality that Guardiola had driven in the week. The booing of the Premier League anthem before the game was really something, even at a ground where the Champions League anthem has been booed for years.
There were even new banners for the occasion, on top of the existing ones that have taken on new meaning this week about City fighting until the end. If the charges against City are unprecedented, a tribute to a lawyer your club have hired - Pannick on the Streets of London - must also be a first while a few supporters had decided simply to draw a middle finger on a sheet with the words ‘INVESTIGATE THAT’.
Champions City have 48 points from 22 games to Arsenal’s 51 from 21 and can go top if they win at Arsenal on Wednesday.
It was not a vintage City performance against Villa but considering the build-up was dominated by serious allegations that could have huge ramifications for the Abu Dhabi-owned club, it was efficient enough to get the job done.
It also set up Wednesday’s clash at Arsenal beautifully, although they may have a worry with Haaland being withdrawn at halftime on Sunday with an injury.
“It’s going to be a tough game,” Gundogan told Sky Sports. “We are looking forward to it and know how tough it will be.”
Manchester City produced a defiant response to the Premier League's charge sheet as they comfortably beat Aston Villa 3-1 to close to within three points of leaders Arsenal on Sunday. https://t.co/Gw4DRCvO69— Reuters Sports (@ReutersSports) February 12, 2023
Not long after, Erling Haaland received a long ball that forced Villa’s defender and goalkeeper out of their positions. The Norwegian ignored a chance at goal and crossed the ball to Ilkay Gundogan in the centre. Martinez had already committed himself to the City striker, which allowed Gundogan to bury the ball into the net.
The entire sequence of attacks was similar to Gundogan’s title-winning goal on the final day of the 2021/22 season.
The final moments of the first half saw Grealish win a penalty for Manchester City. Riyad Mahrez stepped up to the task and bagged the third goal for City.
Ruben Dias announced his return to the team with a crucial tackle that stopped Leon Bailey in his tracks. However, the Portuguese defender later received a yellow card and was replaced by Nathan Akanji at half-time.
Guardiola also replaced Haaland with Julian Alvarez before City kickstarted the second half. The Blues continued to create chances, but lapses in concentration occasionally put the team in danger.
THE NOTEBOOK: Manchester City hail lawyer Lord Pannick with a banner and a Smiths song, Hollywood star Will Ferrell swaps Wrexham for the Etihad... and Erling Haaland tucks into GIANT lasagne - Jack Gaughan - MailOnline
He might eventually be on Kevin De Bruyne money, according to legal experts, and Lord Pannick KC – the man heading City’s defence against the Premier League - is being treated like a hero by fans, a new banner reading ‘Pannick on the streets of London’ unfurled in his honour.
The PA was in on it too, ditching Wonderwall to blast out Panic by the The Smiths at full time instead.
And finally... The Premier League’s case is off to a rousing start as expected.
Premier League forced to correct multiple errors in financial charges against Man City - Simon Mullock and Mark Jones - The Mirror
More than 100 charges were levelled against the reigning champions in an explosive statement on Monday, with the club accused of breaching the league’s financial rules from the 2009-10 season.
But some of the rules listed were inconsequential and did not relate to financial issues, something which the club noted at the time.
As reported by Mirror Sport on Monday, City’s legal team “noticed that a significant number of the charges and the regulations they breached were incorrectly notified on the original announcement and were later altered by the Premier League.”
These included rules E.3, E.4, E.11 and E.12, but they relate to irrelevant issues such as non-televised matches being played on a Saturday at 3pm, matches that take place on New Year’s Day and clubs entering the FA Cup.
Premier League forced to correct multiple errors in financial charges against Man City https://t.co/W0hA7VHrNW— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) February 12, 2023
Ther you have it Cityzens. Stay with Bitter and Blue for all the latest on the crucial match with Arsenal FC. COm back tomorrow for more form Sky Blue News.