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Sky Blue News: Kelly the Hero, Julian is the Key, L’pool Charged, and More...

Head into the weekend with headlines from Bitter and Blue.

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England v Brazil - Women´s Finalissima 2023 Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

It’s on to the weekend for Manchester City Football Club. The lads are headed for the seaside and a visit to St. Mary’s. The women are off enjoying the international break. Sky Blue News has all the latest to get you ready for an important Easter weekend.

Robert Jones appointed as referee for Southampton vs Manchester City - Jamie Tomkys - City Report

The 36-year-old has taken charge of three City games this season; 1-0 wins away at Leicester and Crystal Palace and City’s 3-1 victory over Aston Villa at the Etihad. The Blues have won all four matches where Jones has taken charge this season.

Jones has refereed 19 Premier League games this season, giving out 78 yellow cards at a rate of 4.1 per match.

Full Appointments

Referee: Robert Jones

Assistants: Ian Hussin & Marc Perry

Fourth official: Craig Pawson

VAR: John Brooks

Assistant VAR: Harry Lennard


Sarina Wiegman’s side, looking to extend their unbeaten run to 30 games, were pushed hard by the South Americans.

Brazil were much-improved after the break and England were clinging on at times as the visitors changed their tactics and pressed high.

Greenwood and skipper Leah Williamson stood tall under tremendous pressure and United keeper Mary Earps was forced into a number of good saves.

Hemp , who picked up a booking, was industrious throughout, had to leave the pitch on 88 minutes after taking an accidental blow to face as a cross came in to the Brazil box.

Kelly had been introduced on 73 minutes but it was Brazil who finished stronger, and when Earps spilled a cross in added time, Alves fired the ball home to make it 1-1 and force penalties.

But Kelly would have the final say, keeping her cool in the shoot-out to fire home the decisive spot-kick and extend England’s long unbeaten run as a result.

Ederson exclusive interview: Man City goalkeeper on assists, futsal skills, being ‘crazy’ and targeting the treble - Adam Bate - Sky Sports

Speaking to Ederson at the club’s training ground almost six years into his City career, the now 29-year-old goalkeeper recalls that it was a goal in his final league game for Benfica that really captured Guardiola’s imagination. Ederson to Raul Jimenez. Goal.

“Raul was always on the last man, looking to go really fast in behind,” Ederson tells Sky Sports. “I was always looking to get the ball to him quickly so I was happy to do it in such an important game that won us the title. I am always happy to contribute with assists.”

Guardiola wanted to try it out at City too. “It is something that we practised a lot, particularly in that first year when I arrived. In the second game against Tottenham in that pre-season, Sergio Aguero hit the post. It was a good sign of things to come.”

It has added a new dimension to City’s game. “It is really useful against teams that press high because they leave space in behind that we can exploit. It is a great weapon to have because it means we are really varied. We can play it short, medium or long.”

Julian Álvarez is the key to Manchester City’s treble hunt - Juan Manuel Sierra - Man City Square

His pressing, runs into the channels, and overall tenacity make him impossible to predict or hold down, just ask Croatia’s entire team when he sprinted past all of them to score in the World Cup semi-final.

He also seems to have quite the connection with Haaland despite the two rarely featuring together, and Álvarez has actually played very little in general when compared to other City players.

Don’t let the 35 appearances fool you, he has only played 20 full nineties and only started 16 of those in all competitions. That’s less than Joao Cancelo, who left the club in January.

Despite his relatively low playing time, he’s on 17 goal contributions and has oftentimes looked like the most dangerous attacker on the pitch.

If his performance against Burnley in the FA Cup showed that he can be a crucial player to City, helping himself to two goals and a wonderful assist for Haaland to open the scoring, then his game against Liverpool this weekend solidified why he should play more minutes.

Man City boss Pep Guardiola has already made the case for Julian Alvarez to start vs Southampton - Jack Flintham - Manchester Evening News

With Haaland returning to training this week, it seems almost inevitable that the striker will return to the starting XI against Southampton. But, his inclusion should not automatically mean that Alvarez misses out.

In fact, Guardiola has already made the case for Alvarez to start at St Mary’s. Following the victory at Crystal Palace last month, the Catalan boss told Sky Sports: “Julian in Bournemouth scored twice. Teams defend deep against Haaland, he helps Haaland to come [into] more spaces and create. Julian is so important and we need him in these games.

“In the first half after 30 minutes I said to my coaches Julian is coming on immediately in the second half. We needed him in the middle and he had a chance immediately.”

Alvarez’s inclusion in the team while Haaland is on the field is pivotal against teams like Southampton who are likely to shut up shop in order to nullify the Norwegian’s threat. With the Argentine on the pitch, defenders are drawn towards his threat and suddenly there are more opportunities for both men.

Should City opt to drop Alvarez it could be a risky strategy which leaves Haaland isolated up front. A two-pronged striking unit is the ideal way to counteract the Saints’ defensive rigidity.

Liverpool charged by FA for disorder following player protests against Man City - Fred Garratt-Stanley - Goal

WHAT HAPPENED? After strong protests against referee Simon Hooper during their match against Manchester City last weekend, Liverpool have been hit with an FA charge. They lost the match 4-1, and felt aggrieved by one particular incident, when City midfielder Rodri escaped a second yellow card after making a challenge on Liverpool’s Cody Gakpo. According to the Football Association, the response of Liverpool players at this point was unacceptable, and the club has been charged as a result.

WHAT THEY SAID: “Liverpool FC has been charged after its players surrounded a match official during the 34th minute of their Premier League game against Manchester City FC,” said a Thursday statement from the FA. “It’s alleged that Liverpool FC failed to ensure its players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and/or do not behave in a way which is improper.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Liverpool have until April 12 to respond to the charge - currently, it’s not known exactly what their response will be, though Jurgen Klopp downplayed the incident after the match. Meanwhile, they’ve got more pressing matters to deal with, not least a huge Premier League match on Sunday against Arsenal.

And finally... City’s match with the Toffees has a new date. Unless it needs another new date.


Our trip to Goodison Park is now scheduled for Sunday 14 May with a 14:00 (UK) kick-off.

The game will be shown live on Sky Sports in the UK.

However, the new date is subject to our participation in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals on the following Tuesday.

Stay tuned to and the official Man City app for more information and any other fixture changes throughout the 2022/23 season.

There you have it. Stay with Bitter and Blue all weekend long for the latest from the Southampton match and more. Sky Blue News returns Monday with more headlines. Have a great weekend. Come on City!!