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Sky Blue News: Arsenal Reax, Emirates investigation, Forest Petition EPL, and More...

Friday morning headlines from Bitter and Blue.

Arsenal FC v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Manchester City are on the quick turnaround once more as they are prepping for a visit to Nottingham Forest. City will be looking to win their third Premier League match on the bounce at the City ground. Sky Blue News has all the latest to get you ready for the weekend ahead.

Jack Grealish almost got himself sent off after scoring crucial Man City goal as he admits ‘Arsenal played a lot better than us’ - Chris Burton - Goal

WHAT HAPPENED? The England international winger netted a crucial goal for the reigning champions as they secured a vital 3-1 victory over fellow title hopefuls at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday. Grealish’s effort came in the 72nd minute, 10 minutes after he had picked up a caution, and he has revealed that he came close to whipping off his shirt in wild celebration – which would have resulted in him being shown a red card.

WHAT THEY SAID: Grealish told reporters afterwards of saving himself from suspension after making a decisive contribution to the City cause: “When I was celebrating I was going to take my top off but I realised I was on a yellow card! It was massive. For me, it was a great night. That’s what I’ve been wanting to do. To score that one tonight was so important and I was absolutely buzzing. Gundo [Ilkay Gundogan], I knew he was going to pass it at the time. If it was Erling [Haaland] in that position… I was trying to go back across but as it was coming it felt like 10 seconds. I was due one of them when it deflects in.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Grealish’s strike did flick off Takehiro Tomiyasu, allowing the ball to bobble over the outstretched arm of Aaron Ramsdale, with the Gunners shooting themselves in the foot on a regular basis on the defensive front against City. Grealish concedes that Pep Guardiola’s side were not at their best, adding: “I don’t think we played that well. I think Arsenal played a lot better than us, I think they were the better team.”

Manchester City Conquer London, Beat Arsenal 3-1: Reaction & Tweets - Saul Garcia - Bitter and Blue

Manchester City have made it a huge fight for the title now! A great win at the Emirates vs Arsenal gets City level on points and still just one game back. Points will be dropped and City will have to be disciplined and just play their game.

A great win and tactics from Pep Guardiola and company.

On to the reaction-

Pep Guardiola Reaction

“We are built as a team to go as a crazy team. When you wait, float a little bit, the opponent... That’s not who we are. Second-half we were more aggressive, winning duels. When that happens, we’re a better team!”

“Losing here, it would have been almost over...”

“There are times when you can’t use it but Bernardo has something special in personality and character. He started left-back, then right-wing and it shows you how good they are. He plays football, understands many positions and did very well.”

Man City midfielder on reproducing club form for country after surprise international call-up for England - Megan Armitage

Lionesses legend Fara Williams, who racked up a record 172 caps between 2001 and 2019, believes Coombs’ consistency held the key to her return and says her crucial experience can help England defend their Arnold Clark Cup trophy.

The 39-year-old, speaking ahead of the Lionesses’ opening game against Korea Republic on Thursday (16 February), said: “Given the fact that England need more midfielders and Laura Coombs has been one of the most consistent performers off the back end of last season and coming into now, her selection was absolutely not a surprise for me.

“I think she’s somebody that was worthy of the call-up.

FA investigating after objects thrown at Man City’s Kevin de Bruyne in win at Arsenal - Mandeep Sanghera - BBC Sport

The midfielder was targeted while he was walking around the pitch after being substituted late on.

Referee Anthony Taylor is believed to have mentioned it in his match report.

Arsenal are studying CCTV footage and say they will impose strict sanctions if those responsible can be identified.

“This is unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” added a Gunners spokesperson.

De Bruyne scored and set up a goal as City took over top spot in the Premier League from the Gunners.

The Belgium international posted a picture on social media of himself at Emirates Stadium with the caption ‘beer anyone?’.

Another picture posted by De Bruyne, with a cup in the air near him, had the caption ‘thanks!’.

Manchester City join Liverpool and Manchester United in monitoring Chelsea star - Freddie Pye - CIty Xtra

Manchester City are set to be in the market for a new central midfielder in the upcoming summer transfer window, and Mount’s fellow England internationals in James Maddison and Jude Bellingham have been mooted as potential targets.

However, City have privately distanced themselves from interest in the Leicester City star, while Borussia Dortmund’s Bellingham is expected to command a transfer fee north of £100 million given the interest from the likes of Liverpool and Real Madrid.

That could move City in the direction of other options, with Chelsea’s Mason Mount the latest to be linked with some level of interest and monitoring from those within the Etihad Stadium this week.

According to the information of ESPN’s James Olley, Manchester City are monitoring Mason Mount’s contract situation at Chelsea, alongside Liverpool and Manchester United, as talks ‘stall’ over a new deal.

Nottingham Forest make Premier League request ahead of Man City fixture - Jack Flintham - Manchester Evening News

Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper has admitted that he has requested for centre-back Steve Cook to be re-registered to his 25-man squad ahead of the visit of Manchester City this weekend.

Forest discovered on Thursday that defenders Scott McKenna and Willy Boly will be out of action for six weeks and three months respectively. The defensive pair join left-back Omar Richards, centre-back Moussa Niakhate and right-back Giulian Biancone in the treatment room.

If the Premier League rejects the request to add Cook to their squad, Forest will have only Joe Worrall and Felipe available in the centre-back position for their next spell of matches. Confirming the request in his pre-match press conference, Cooper commented: “Scott McKenna is going to be out for six weeks.

“Willy [Boly] is looking longer at about three months. That’s not the news we were hoping for but it’s something we have to get on with.

And finally... Who’s your pick for City folk hero?

Who is City’s ultimate cult hero? - BBC Sport

Ger Deegan, Maine Road Ramble, external

Pablo Zabaleta has got to be up there in terms of supporters’ biggest cult hero. He just got it. He got the club from day one and connected with fans from the moment he set foot on the pitch.

‘Zaba’ was a genuine throwback in the full-back position but also a very composed and probably underappreciated footballer in his own right. He played every game like it was his last and gave 110% every time he wore the blue shirt.

You would be hard pressed to find a Blues fan who has a bad word to say about him and to this day his song can be heard week in and week out in the South Stand of Etihad Stadium.

He’s adored at City, and the fact he was part of a team that kick-started a decade of domestic dominance is an added bonus to his 333 appearances.

There you are. Stay with Bitter and Blue all weekend for the buildup to Forest and the post-match reaction. Come back Monday for more from Sky Blue News.