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Sky Blue News: Superstar Jack, Post-Match Message, Etihad Chosen, and More...

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Manchester City v FC Bayern M¸nchen: Quarterfinal First Leg - UEFA Champions League Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Manchester City are turning the page on the first leg of their UEFA Champions League tie with Bayern Munich. The Manc Blues have their eyes back on the Premier League title as they await a weekend visit from Leicester City. Sky Blue News has all the latest to keep you current.

The Jack Grealish quality taking him to the next level for Pep Guardiola and Man City - James Quinlan and Alex James - Manchester Evening News

The former Aston Villa man is showing why City paid £100million to secure his signature 18 months ago. Grealish is now adept at what Guardiola is seeking from him and his manager has been quick to praise him this term.

His recent upturn in form has also caught the eye of former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand who believes Grealish’s intelligence is coming to the fore in understanding the City set-up. Indeed Ferdinand, speaking on punditry duty ahead of the Champions League last eight first leg tie with Bayern Munich, feels Grealish is on track at City despite something of an underwhelming first season in blue.

“It takes time to adjust. Just because his price tag is £100 million people don’t value or afford you the time to adjust,” said Ferdinand.

Jack Grealish has worked out how to be a superstar cog in a ruthless machine - Kim Carney - The Guardian

From the start, Guardiola said City were investing in Grealish for the long-term and it was not a case of expecting him to fit in immediately. They gave him a six-year contract, knowing how good he could be and expecting him to stay for a sustained period.

Grealish is being more effective not just attacking, but also in his defensive work, especially his pressing. I previously thought that was one of his weaker attributes, but it is becoming more robust. Against Bayern Munich on Tuesday he hassled Dayot Upamecano and won the ball back high up the pitch for Haaland to set up Bernardo Silva’s goal and in the win over Liverpool he ran 70 yards to stop Mohamed Salah making it 2-0.

Behind Grealish there has been greater consistency at left-back with Nathan Aké playing there regularly. Grealish knowing what is behind him and being assured the full-back knows their role gives him greater confidence going forward, where he can make the most difference.

John Stones: How Man City player is flourishing in new hybrid role under Pep Guardiola - Ben Grounds - Sky Sports

Jamie Carragher wrote on Twitter: “John Stones’ performances since the World Cup in that hybrid role for Man City have been outstanding.

“We have spoken for years about England having a centre back who can step into midfield and dictate the game. That’s what he did tonight. Will Southgate do the same?”

It is a question for the England manager when it is often wondered if the national team could or even should look to emulate how the game’s greatest minds in club football utilise the country’s elite.

Ukraine's Roman Yaremchuk, left, and England's John Stones vie for the ball during the Euro 2024 group C qualifying soccer match between England and Ukraine at Wembley Stadium in London, Sunday, March 26, 2023.(AP Photo/Ian Walton)

It is never as simple as a copy and paste job, but Southgate will be fully aware of Stones’ ball-playing skills.

His ability to create the overload in midfield is only possible if you have defenders who do precisely what defined the careers of Ferdinand and Kompany: Take pride in their first port of call.

Manchester City defender reveals resounding dressing room message after Bayern Munich first-leg win - Harry Winters - City Xtra

City will take a commanding lead to Munich next week, but after last years dramatic collapse against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu, defender Nathan Ake revealed that the squad are not getting carried away by Tuesday’s first-leg triumph.

“Everyone tells each other straight away that it’s not finished, we’ve got an important game at the weekend and then there’s the Munich game,” said the Dutch international.

“It was good, everyone was happy. It was a good feeling but also knowing that we still have to finish the job, it’s not finished yet, everyone knows that and I think that’s the mentality that the club has, the players have.

Champions League Team of the Week - Bernardo Silva, Erling Braut Haaland, Vinicius Junior - Matt Law - Sports Mole

Manchester City were the big winners in the first legs of the Champions League quarter-finals, with the English champions recording a 3-0 victory over Bayern Munich at the Etihad Stadium.

Tuesday’s three-goal success has left Pep Guardiola’s side in a strong position when it comes to reaching the semi-finals of the competition, with the second leg taking place at Allianz Arena next week.

Inter Milan, meanwhile, recorded a 2-0 win over Benfica on Tuesday, with the Italian giants also in a commanding position to progress to the final four.

Serie A leaders Napoli lost 1-0 to AC Milan at San Siro in their first leg on Wednesday, while the holders Real Madrid recorded a 2-0 victory over Chelsea at Bernabeu to put themselves in a solid position in the tie.

Euro 2028: Man City ‘delighted’ stadium is named in bid - but Man Utd’s Old Trafford misses out - Jenny Simpson - Manchester World

Fourteen grounds were originally shortlisted but that has now been whittled down to 10 venues. Manchester City’s Etihad stadium is among them - but Old Trafford has not made the final cut despite being on the original list of 14.

Local leaders today said it was welcome news for Manchester that the city is poised to be involved should the bid be successful. It comes after Manchester venues played host to a handful of games at the Women’s Euros last year including the opening fixture.

Manchester City Council leader, Bev Craig, said:“Manchester is a great sporting city and is known the world over for its passion for football.

“We’re really excited to be part of the UK & Ireland bid to host the UEFA EURO 2028 tournament - which if successful will provide not just a fantastic boost for the city’s economy, but also a chance for fans of the sport, new and old, to get directly involved in what is sure to be some top tournament action here on our doorstep.

And finally... A look at the MCWFC by the numbers.


On this day in 2014, Manchester City beat Reading 2-1 in our first competitive fixture as a professional outfit.

A goal in each half from Toni Duggan was enough to seal victory at the Manchester Regional arena, and secure progression to the FA Cup quarter-finals.

Nine years on and City are at the forefront of the women’s game, winning eight major honours in total and currently in pursuit of a second league title.

To celebrate the progress that the team has made over the past nine years, we look back at some of the numbers behind our success to date.

There you have it. STay with Bitter and Blue as we prep for the match against the Foxes. Come back tomorrow for more from Sky Blue News.