It was mixed results for Manchester City Football Club at the weekend. The men strolled past Burnley FC 6-0 to secure a place in the FA Cup semis at Wembley. The women lost to Aston Villa in extra time to see their FA Cup dreams come to an end. Sky Blue news is here to help get it all sorted.
Manchester City vs. Burnley: FA Cup victory and another trip to Wembley - Laura Graves - Man City Square
As the blues pick up form and turn the Etihad into a goal fest, having scored 13 and conceding 0 in their last two home games this week, we head into international break after securing places in the semi finals of the FA Cup and the quarter finals of the Champions League.
To the frustration of fans, the international break comes at a time where City’s performances have begun to become ones we recognise from the boys, building momentum for the business end of the season, halted by a meaningless international break.
The opposition must come to accept that the only way to stop Erling Haaland is by Pep taking him off. Scoring 5 midweek vs. Leipzig and another hat-trick on Saturday vs. Burnley. He’s on fire.
Quite clearly the star of the show currently, he has no intention of soaking up the limelight alone. The Norwegian has no problem hyping up his teammates to the fans to ensure they are recognised for the parts they play in his goals – if he can ask his agent to put a sock in it, and commit long-term, he’s captain material.
Another exciting performance from El Arana, our Sergio regen, Julian Alvarez. After being rewarded with a new contract, extending his salary and length of stay at the Etihad.
Manchester City Face Blades For Wembley Final Place - Manc Pete - Bitter and Blue
The match against the Blades will be sandwiched between City’s Champions League second leg in Munich and a possible title match at home to Arsenal. United, meanwhile, are encased in a promotion battle and will continue to fight off Middlesbrough for the second automatic promotion spot, with Vincent Kompany’s Burnley almost promoted.
In the other semi-final, Brighton will face the Stretford Rangers to face either the blues or the Blades. The Seagulls overcame Grimsby 5-0 while the red outfit had to wait for Fulham to have two men sent off before coming from a goal down to win 3-1.
April’s match will be City’s five successive semi-final, however, they have only made the final once, beating Watford 6-0 in 2019. The last time City were knocked out of the cup before the semi-final was a 1-0 fifth-round defeat to Wigan in 2018.
Manchester City Face Blades For Wembley Final Place https://t.co/dPERh73vTT pic.twitter.com/tmrTbMxdol— Bitter and Blue (@BitterandBlue1) March 19, 2023
Pep Guardiola offers unbeatable bet to journalist on Manchester City’s future manager - Freddie Pye - City Xtra
Despite the scoreline, Vincent Kompany’s Burnley put up an admirable fight and showcased precisely why they are on the verge of returning to the Premier League ahead of next season, with their manager’s principles and philosophy clearly on show on Saturday evening.
Speaking after the contest against his former colleague and Manchester City captain, Pep Guardiola glowed with praise for Vincent Kompany, and reaffirmed that he is of the belief that the former Belgium international is a future Etihad Stadium manager in development.
“The reception (he got at the Etihad Stadium) shows how Vincent (Kompany) is in this Club, how he is in this institution. The people don’t chant his name or don’t make this welcome if you were not so important,” said Pep Guardiola during his post-match press conference.
“The job he has done so far in Burnley is really, really impressive. I admire the courage to come here, to make man-to-man, they had chances, and I had the same feeling after playing against his team, being there.”
Guardiola continued by proving his confidence in Vincent Kompany through the form of a bet to one assuming journalist in attendance.
“One day, he (Vincent Kompany) will be sitting here (as a manager), talking about representing Manchester City. It’s going to happen. I’ll bet you whatever you want. I will win the bet,” the 52 year-old boldly stated.
CITY EXIT FA CUP AT QUARTER-FINAL STAGE AFTER ASTON VILLA DEFEAT - Paul Brown - ManCity.com
Deyna Castellanos cancelled out Rachel Corsie’s opener at the Bescot Stadium to leave the tie level at full-time but Rachel Daly won it for the hosts in extra-time.
Gareth Taylor’s team will now focus on the league where we’re third, two points behind leaders Chelsea.
We face the Blues at home next Sunday as we fight for a second WSL title.
FULL-TIME OF EXTRA-TIME | Our FA Cup run ends at the Bescot Stadium.— Man City Women (@ManCityWomen) March 19, 2023
2-1 #ManCity pic.twitter.com/uqtzkb7Lxz
Man City have finally done what Pep Guardiola wanted after the World Cup - Joe Bray - Manchester Evening News
Since the restart, a number of players - as well as Guardiola - expressed the need to put one of those winning runs together, but they kept taking two steps forward and one back. A frustrating home draw with Everton, the Carabao Cup defeat at Southampton and derby defeat against Manchester United. A 1-0 reverse at Tottenham, and even the draw at Nottingham Forest. All examples of City being below-par in at least one area of the pitch and killing any momentum.
That Spurs result appeared to be a turning point, however, with the Forest draw nothing to do with the performance level and application, and the subsequent draw at RB Leipzig a good result considering the 7-0 second leg win. And since losing at Tottenham, City have embarked on their longest unbeaten run since the start of the season: ten games, eight wins, 31 goals scored, five against and five clean sheets.
The six wins in a row matches the six between September and October as their longest of the campaign, and that run that Guardiola and his senior players keep referencing feels like it has finally arrived. If anything, the international break has put a halt in the rhythm, so the challenge will be to pick it back up as quickly as possible.
The visit of Liverpool should be more than enough motivation after a fortnight off, as should the double-header with Bayern Munich and a favourable FA Cup semi-final against Sheffield United within the first six games back. Guardiola has praised the collective attitude of his players in the last week, and they will need that supportive mentality to go again against Liverpool and beyond.
Manchester City’s Erling Haaland creating ‘problems’ with hat tricks - Pep Guardiola - Rob Dawson - ESPN
The Norwegian striker has now scored 42 goals this season, including six hat tricks, and Guardiola says the high standards will bring even higher expectations.
“This guy will have a problem in the future, people expect every game he scores three or four goals and this isn’t going to happen,” Guardiola said. “People have to say a little bit, I know he doesn’t care, he’s so positive in his life, he’s optimistic, he never complains, always looks at himself, as much as we play good he’s going to score.
“The target numbers I don’t know. We play like this, Erling will score goals.”
City head into the international break second in the Premier League, into the quarterfinals of the Champions League and into the semifinals of the FA Cup.
Guardiola’s team still has a chance of winning the treble last achieved by Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United in 1999, and the City boss admits his players have hit form ahead of a crucial period of the season.
ERLING HAALAND IS PUTTING UP VIDEO GAME NUMBERS pic.twitter.com/plNCU191nL— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 18, 2023
And finally... A look at the next 5 Premier League fixtures for both City and Arsenal FC.
Arsenal & Manchester City’s next five games - How Premier League title rivals’ upcoming fixtures compare - Anselm Noronha - Goal
How will the next few games impact Arsenal and Man City’s chances of winning the Premier League title?
Arsenal have opened up an eight-point lead over Manchester City at the Premier League summit ahead of the international break.
Mikel Arteta’s men have won all their league games after the 3-1 home defeat they suffered at the hands of the defending Premier League champions, although the north London-based side played a game more in the 4-1 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday.
On the other hand, during the same span, Pep Guardiola’s men were held to a two-goal draw at Nottingham Forest but won their last three league games amid their engagements in cup competitions.
Arsenal are getting closer to that Premier League trophy pic.twitter.com/lGn1mku6TW— GOAL (@goal) March 20, 2023
There you have it. Stay with Bitter and Blue for all the latest during the international break. Com back tomorrow for more from Sky Blue News.