It was a weekend of mixed results for Manchester City Football Club. The women took a serious blow to their title hopes after losing to Arsenal FC. The men took down Liverpool 4-1 after conceding the first goal. Sky Blue News is here to help you get it all sorted.
Katie McCabe downs Manchester City to bolster Arsenal’s WSL title hopes - Suzanne Wrack - The Guardian
It was a performance that was symbolic of Arsenal’s gutsiness in the face of mounting games and a mounting injury list, added to when Caitlin Foord was forced off in the 36th minute. “We didn’t even have her out kicking long balls yesterday just to save her foot,” Eidevall said of McCabe. “Then, she manages to play 80 minutes on that yellow card, which was extremely harsh, and then she tops it off with that goal.”
Eidevall made two changes to the side that beat Bayern to earn progression to the Champions League semi-finals, with Lotte Wubben-Moy coming in for the injured Kim Little, and Leah Williamson shifting into midfield, while Sabrina D’Angelo lined up in goal. McCabe, though, was fit to start.
For City, there were no changes to the side that earned a 2-0 victory against Chelsea, the Women’s Super League title holders, last weekend. Gareth Taylor’s side had been served a healthy dollop of luck in their quest for a first title since 2016, with the visit of Chelsea and trip to Arsenal coming after gruelling Champions League tests for the London teams.
Taylor played down that advantage after the defeat at Borehamwood. “Everyone keeps talking about that,” he said. “Me, personally, I love playing every three or four days, I don’t think that should be an excuse. That’s when you see the best of players, players prefer to play than train, so I don’t see it as being a big issue.”
Victory over the injury-hit Gunners, who were missing two of their major stars in Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema, would have confirmed City’s status as serious contenders for the title, as well as boosting their chances of finishing in the top three and qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
And it all looked so rosy when Shaw gave the blues the lead after just five minutes. Chloe Kelly’s cross from the right was met by the head of the Jamaican star, who expertly guided the ball over Sabrina D’Angelo and into the far corner.
City had the upper hand for most of the first half, snapping at the heels of the Arsenal players and picking up the loose balls where necessary. Shaw was denied by D’Angelo as she dispossessed the Arsenal defence and hit a vicious shot, was was parried out for a corner by the keeper.
However, they were susceptible to the occasional Arsenal counter-attack, and in the 25 minute, Ellie Roebuck was called into action to prevent such an attack. Caitlin Foord released Stina Blackstenius and Roebuck was quickly out to smother the ball and take a knock on the knee for her troubles.
Manchester City Women Crash to Defeat at Arsenal https://t.co/vejGhXMU1d— Bitter and Blue (@BitterandBlue1) April 2, 2023
His side made it four successive wins in the Premier League with an impressive 4-1 victory over recent rivals Liverpool on Saturday.
Leaders Arsenal responded later in the day with a win over Leeds United to remain eight points clear at the top, having played one game more and with a visit to the Etihad Stadium still to come.
And the boss says City cannot afford any slip-ups with the season potentially following a similar pattern to those when we went toe-to-toe with Jurgen Klopp’s side before clinching two titles on the final day of the season.
“We are in the moment that we lived before,” Guardiola said. “I have the feeling that if we lose a game we lose the competition.
After Liverpool’s opener City resumed with dominating possession. Riyad Mahrez put a rasping volley over the bar, then in the 26th minute Liverpool broke again but for Jack Grealish getting a toe on a ball from the rampaging Salah to prevent him playing through a teammate.
City equalised in the 27th minute through Julian Alvarez after a well crafted Manchester City move. City picked their way through Liverpool’s midfield and Gundogan found space on the edge of the box to find Grealish out wide on the left, with Jack expertly picking out Alvarez in the middle to equalise. It was nothing more then City deserved on the balance of play up until that point.
The rest of the first half played out with City in possession, and Liverpool always a threat on the break. Half time came which would lead to second half that would make or break City’s title chase.
City came out firing in the second half and took the lead with just under a minute played in the half. Julian Alvarez who was making the moment his starting in place of the injured Haaland, played Mahrez through out wide on the right.
Riyad then played a fantastic ball across the box for De Bruyne to tap in and give City a deserved lead, and send the Etihad into raptures. City kept their foot down after De Bruyne’s goal and added a third in the 53rd minute through captain Ilkay Gundogan.
Mendy has only just returned from a muscular problem, featuring as a second-half substitute in Real Madrid’s 2-1 defeat to Barcelona in La Liga before the international break.
However, the left-back is now facing a month on the sidelines with a calf issue that he picked up during a training session with his Spanish club.
Mendy has another two years left to run on his contract, but there has been speculation surrounding his future over the last few months.
According to Fichajes, both Man City and Arsenal are interested in signing the defender this summer, and the Premier League duo would be prepared to pay in the region of €60m (£53m) for his signature.
The report claims that Real Madrid are willing to sell the Frenchman, viewing him as a player capable of raising a healthy transfer fee in the summer market.
Sources: Barcelona likely to accept £90m Man City bid for Ansu Fati - Peter O’Rourke - Football Insider
Financial problems at Camp Nou mean the La Liga giants will have to sell players to raise funds, and the 20-year-old midfielder could be one of many players made available at the end of the season.
Football Insider sources revealed on Friday (31 March) that Man City are plotting a move to sign Ansu Fati this summer following his father’s comments in the press.
Fati’s father openly expressed his frustration at his son’s lack of playing time at Barcelona, suggesting he should leave for another club in the summer.
“If it was up to me, I would take him [to another team]. As a dad, I am angry. Seeing Ansu play so little winds you up a little bit and sometimes I think as a father, not a coach,” said his father.
ICYMI! - Barcelona would accept a £90m bid for Man City target Ansu Fati this summer. ✅— Football Insider (@footyinsider247) April 2, 2023
- Financial problems at Camp Nou mean the La Liga giants will have to sell players to raise funds.
- Could Fati make the switch to the Etihad?
Full story in thread. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/wlKT6iteEZ
And finally... Klopp knows that Liverpool had no chance against City.
Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool could not have beaten Man City even with an extra player - Rob Dawson - ESPN
City midfielder Rodri, who had not long ago been booked, escaped a second yellow card in the first half for a foul on Cody Gakpo but Klopp said afterwards that going down to 10 men probably wouldn’t have stopped Pep Guardiola’s side from winning.
“I didn’t see it good enough,” Klopp said. “Could he have got a second yellow? Yeah. I am not sure we would have won against 10 men.”
Liverpool took the lead through Mohamed Salah before Julian Alvarez equalised for City. But Klopp said the game was lost because of a dire second-half display during which City scored three times and said only four players — Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Alisson and Gakpo — had put in adequate performances.
“Four performances were OK,” the Liverpool manager added. “The two midfielders, Hendo and Fab, worked a lot, Cody and Ali and that is very difficult. If you want to get something here, 14 or 15 players have to be on top of their game and that was not the case.”
Klopp when asked about Rodri's potential sending off pic.twitter.com/loRgg6hUMo— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 1, 2023
There you have it. Stay with Bitter and Blue throughout the week for everything Man City. Come back tomorrow for more from Sky Blue News.