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Sky Blue News: Men Edge Palace, Women Beat Brighton, UCL Officials, and More...

Monday morning headlines are back at Bitter and Blue.

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Brighton and Hove Albion v Manchester City - Barclays Women’s Super League - The People’s Pension Stadium Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images

Manchester City men kept pace with Arsenal FC with a win away against Crystal Palace on Saturday. Sunday saw the women’s team defeat Brighton and Hove Albion to stay in third in the WSL. Sky Blue News returns with all the latest form a successful weekend on the road for MCFC.

Man City taking opposite approach to Arsenal in title race after Crystal Palace win - Tyrone Marshall - Manchester Evening News

Manchester City haven’t always enjoyed their visits to this isolated part of the capital. There have been some grinds in south London for them over the years and Crystal Palace have posed a threat at the Etihad too.

On Saturday they never actually looked like scoring, but for then 75 minutes neither did City. It was proof in point of why this team is yet to produce a winning run longer than three games in the Premier League.

But for better or worse they found a way in this game. Kind of. In truth, it owed an awful lot to a lackadaisical bit of play from Michael Olise. Palace switched off to a City short corner and the winger was unable to stop himself as he tried to close down the suddenly-free Ilkay Gundogan, bringing him down for a penalty that would have infuriated Patrick Vieira.

Manchester City Clear Crystal Palace 1-0, Away: Reaction & Tweets - Saul Garcia - Bitter and Blue

Manchester City go down south and come away with all three points. They beat Palace thanks to a deserved penalty by Erling Haaland. City played well all match and had much positive vibes in this one.

On to the reaction-

Pep Guardiola Reaction

“What a holding midfielder,”

“There are no words to describe – with or without the ball, the presence he has and how clever he is with the ball and he attacked with the ball the space when he saw it was there so yeah, an incredible, fantastic game.

“He’s one of the best, for sure. Not as good as his manager.”

“He has to score five goals every game,” joked Guardiola.

Julian Alvarez ‘to sign new Manchester City contract next week’ - Oliver Thomas - Sports Mole

Alvarez was one of the breakout stars at the 2022 World Cup with winners Argentina, recording four goals and one assist in seven matches, including a brace in the 3-0 semi-final victory over Croatia.

Alvarez’s current contract at the Etihad Stadium runs until the summer of 2027, but a recent report claims that the forward has been in discussions with City over a new lucrative deal.

Barcelona have been credited with an interest in Alvarez, with Sport claiming that the Catalan giants have been alerted by the forward’s ‘concerns’ over his lack of regular first-team football under Guardiola.

However, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano, Alvarez has ‘approved’ City’s latest contract offer and will put pen to paper on his new one-year extension next week.

The forward is believed to be earning around £50,000 a week on his current deal, but Romano claims that the forward will be rewarded with a ‘significant’ pay rise for his progress since joining the club.


The Jamaican’s brace in our dramatic 2-1 success over the Seagulls saw her overtake Nikita Parris in No.1 spot for most goals in a single season in sky blue as the double raised her tally to 26 goals for the term.

Shaw’s first of the afternoon came when she prodded home Yui Hasegawa’s neat cut-back in Crawley, before she snatched three points in the closing stages with a coolly taken finish after the hosts equalised on the cusp of half-time.

And she described the feeling of writing her name in City’s history books as she spoke on full-time.

“It’s an unbelievable Club and it’s an honour to represent,” she said.

“I just want to help the team as much as possible and keep scoring. That’s my job, that’s my role.

“I didn’t know that [about breaking the record], but that’s special.”

Manchester City to offer new long-term deal to star on-loan defender - Freddie Pye - City Xtra

Burnley recently hit the 80 points mark in England second division, with their dominant 13-point lead meaning that the prospect of Premier League football next season is a pending reality.

However, the question remains as to whether Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Manchester City will sanction another loan spell at the Lancashire club for their first season in the English top-flight under Vincent Kompany.

Before then, a new report has detailed that Etihad Stadium officials will sit down and place a new contract in front of Harwood-Bellis to secure his long-term services should he continue to develop at his current rate in the game.

That is according to the information of Alan Nixon, who has stated that the reigning Premier League Champions are set to offer Taylor Harwood-Bellis a new contract before deciding where the impressive young central defender will play next season.

Slavko Vincic appointed as referee for Manchester City vs RB Leipzig - Colin Cranmer - City Report

The Maribor born official has refereed two Manchester City games over the past seven years and if City are looking to go through on Tuesday night then this record needs to change: because he has yet to oversee a City victory. Two draws in two dead rubber group stage games against Celtic in 2016 and Shakhtar in 2019, with Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho issued yellow cards in each.

Twenty games refereed so far this season for the 43 year old, and as far as card stats go, this is quite incredible - he has given seventy seven yellow cards in his twenty games so far this season, but just ONE red card, which came in England as he dismissed Marseille’s Chancel Mbemba for a reckless and out of control challenge against Tottenham in the Champions League Group Stage.

This can be a good omen or a bad omen, depending on which way you like to look at things - but, the last time Vincic was in Manchester, he was the referee at Old Trafford for Manchester United’s Champions League last 16 second leg last season where they also took a 1-1 away result back to Manchester (spooky, right?). United of course lost that game 1-0 to Atletico Madrid, went out of the competition, and haven’t played a Champions League game since, so make of that what you will.

And finally... Vinny returns to the Etihad at the weekend, but he isn’t thinking about a permanent move home, yet.

‘I think City should have the best manager in the world - and that’s NOT me!’: Burnley boss Vincent Kompany plays down talk of him returning to manage former club… as he claims he wishes Pep Guardiola could stay for TEN more years - Tamara Prenn - MailOnline

Guardiola brought up the subject following his team’s FA Cup victory over Middlesbrough, which sets a managerial clash between the former player and his coach in an upcoming quarter-final.

The Manchester club will face the Clarets in the competition on March 18.

’Vinny’s destiny to be manager of City is written in the stars,’ Guardiola explained.

‘It’s going to happen, I don’t know when but it will happen.’

The Manchester City legend is overseeing impressive results at his relegated Burnley side

But Kompany played down suggestions that his attention was focused anywhere but Burnley, who are chasing promotion after a year’s exile from the Premier League.

‘I think City should always have the best manager in the world, and that is not me,’ the former Belgian international said to the BBC’s The Football News Show.

‘The focus is just on Burnley getting better and we will see. Maybe it only gets shown how far I am from being that guy, but eventually I just work as hard as I can to just get better every single time.’

There you have it Cityzens. It’s a return to mid-week football for the men as they prep to host the second leg of their UEFA Champions League clash against RB Leipzig. Stay with Bitter and blue for all the latest. Come back tomorrow for more from Sky Blue News.