The team needed to put together three wins in a row to stay within touching distance of Mikel Arteta’s side in the Premier League title race, secure a Champions League quarter-final spot, and reach the last four in the FA Cup. That was achieved with 14 goals scored, none conceded. The team is in the middle of an amazing run of form.
And just when the next target was to hunt down Arsenal and bridge the gap in the next few weeks, another forced break is upon us. The last thing Manchester City needed heading into the final stretch of the season was a disruption of such a momentum.
City’s performance this season has been quite unpredictable. The team has suffered some unexpected or even inexplicable losses and draws that could prove very costly by season’s end if the damage is not fixed in the next few weeks.
The League Cup quarter-final loss to Southampton cost the club the trophy. Eric Ten Hag took full advantage leading Manchester United to secure his first trophy at Old Trafford. It was a win that came at Pep Guardiola’s and Manchester City’s expense.
Poised to cross paths in the FA Cup final if both teams dispatch their semi-final opponents, the Blues will need to be at their best to triumph. But more pressing at the moment is the need to bridge the gap to Arsenal. A lengthy winning run will be required to overtake the Gunners who have been quite consistent this season.
Why International Break Comes at Wrong Time for Manchester City https://t.co/Bo6udBlB2d— Bitter and Blue (@BitterandBlue1) March 21, 2023
An extra time loss to Aston Villa in the Women’s FA Cup aside, we’ve been in scintillating form since then, embarking on a 13-game unbeaten league run.
This sees us firmly in the hunt for the title, as we sit two points away from league leaders Chelsea in third place.
And Kelly, who has scored three goals and registered 10 assists this term, is relishing the task at hand on Sunday.
“[Chelsea will be] another good challenge for us and I think we’re ready for the challenge,” she said.
“I think the girls are finding great form at the minute – Bunny’s on fire and I think all the girls are just really enjoying ourselves. On the training pitch we’re working hard.
Paul Hirst in The Times reports that City sources have deemed Haaland’s groin issue as ‘not serious’ and described the striker’s withdrawal from the national team as ‘precautionary’, although it is also reported that the club’s medical staff are currently unsure whether the player will be available for the game against Liverpool on April 1st after the international break.
Hirst writes that the 22-year-old will undergo further tests at the club to establish how long he will be out upon his return to Manchester.
With City entering the business part of the season, it will become critically important to keep their talismanic striker as close to full strength as possible, with the current Premier League champions gunning for three major trophies.
Kevin De Bruyne decision hints at next step for Pep Guardiola and Man City squad - Liam Wood - Manchester Evening News
By the time De Bruyne returns from this latest international break - where it was confirmed he would be the new Belgium captain - he will almost certainly be sitting on 99 international caps, while also on the brink of more personal and collective recognition at City.
Erling Haaland naturally took centre stage for his astonishing five-goal return against RB Leipzig to move City through to the Champions League quarter-finals. However, with bigger tests to come in the charge for elusive European honours, it was De Bruyne and his performance in that game that really meant the most.
Guardiola knew it, too. Speaking about De Bruyne in his post-match press conference, the City manager said: “I’m going to discover De Bruyne? After seven years, I’m going to tell you how incredible he is?”
Actions, as they say, speak louder than words. Guardiola has not exactly showered De Bruyne with praise this season as pundits and supporters attempt to ascertain the reasons for his dip in form. But the dip is, for mere mortals, still representative of an impressive season when it comes to statistical output.
The Togolese international scored 19 goals in 34 appearances for City, which included 14 in his first season. He scored four goals in his first four matches as City beat Blackburn, Wolves, Portsmouth and Arsenal as City made a blistering start to the new season.
And, it was his goal against his former club that made all the headlines and gave City fans one of the most memorable moments of the ADUG era. With the blues 2-1 up, Adebayor scored with a powerful header to send the blues 3-1 ahead, but, rather than celebrating with his teammates, the striker ran the length of the pitch before sliding in celebration in front of the travelling Gunners supporters.
His actions sparked a furious reaction from the fans, who tried to pelt him with anything they could get their hands on, while the striker would later justify his actions, blaming the taunts of the visiting fans for his celebration.
In the same match, he stamped on former teammate Robin van Persie and, although the referee missed the incident, Adebayor received a retrospective ban, ruling him out of the Manchester derby.
Manchester City goalkeeper, Ederson has claimed there is a “big possibility” that Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti will take over the Brazil national team.
Ederson also admitted he wants the LaLiga champions to be eliminated from the Champions League, so that Ancelotti can come to the Selecao “as quickly as possible.”
Ancelotti is under contract in Madrid until the end of next season.
Recently, Brazil’s confederation was forced to deny it had reached a deal with the 63-year-old Italian.
However, Brazil’s national team players seem confident that Ancelotti could be their next coach.
“I was discussing this with Casemiro, Vinicius Junior, [Eder] Militão.
“There is a big possibility that he comes,” Ederson said in a press conference on Tuesday.
Man City goalkeeper, Ederson reveals Ancelotti’s next job https://t.co/MqshjHd5mi— Daily Post Nigeria (@DailyPostNGR) March 22, 2023
And finally... Sergio continues to heap praise on Man City Starlet Julián Álvarez.
He’s proven he can play at the highest level: Manchester City legend Sergio Aguero praises Julian Alvarez - The Print
Alvarez has already been dubbed as the player who is destined to succeed Sergio Aguero. His recent one-year contract extension further fortifies his intention of staying in Manchester and in the Premier League for the majority of his career. Manchester City legend and their all-time record goal scorer Sergio Aguero has praised Alvarez.
While speaking to Manchester City he said, “He arrived in the team only very recently, and it’s his first experience in Europe. It’s only been a short time, but he’s proven he can play at the highest level – in the Premier League, the Champions League, and the World Cup as well,” Aguero said.
“I’d highlight his humility, his will to learn, and how he implements those learnings in his life for the things he has done really well since arriving. It’s not easy to arrive from South America and adapt quickly to the demands of a team as monumental as City,” said Aguero.
There you have it. STay with Bitter and Blue for all the latest from the international break and the build-up to MCWFC v Chelsea. Come back tomorrow for more from Sky Blue News.