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Sky Blue News: Leaked Game Plan?, Kelly WSL PotM, City Windfall?, and More

Thursday headlines from Bitter and Blue.

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Liverpool FC v Manchester City - Barclays Women’s Super League Photo by Matt McNulty - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Don’t look now, but the end of the 2022/23 season is drawing ever closer. Manchester City have 4 Premier League matches remaining, The Fa Cup final on June 3rd, and the home leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinal with Real Madrid. If they win the UCL semi, they would then have the final in Istanbul on June 10. That is a possible 7 matches in just 28 days starting with Everton away this Sunday. A match every 4 or so days is a lot to keep up with but never fear, Sky Blue News is here to help you keep it all sorted.

Two Things Manchester City Must Do to win the Second Leg vs Real Madrid - Saul Garcia - Bitter and Blue

Watching the first leg, the control lineup did what it was supposed to, so with Pep Guardiola tweaking it a bit the inclusion of Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez or Julian Alvarez.

That means either Bernardo Silva or Ilkay Gundogan need to come off and for me that has to be Bernardo. Give him the weekend start and put in one of these three as his last few actions in the first leg were quite bad both from the turnovers to the lack of concentration.

With an injection of pace the team can stretch the deep laying Madrid backline and hopefully connect more short space passes that open up a winger or Erling Haaland who was double marked almost all match.

Carlo Ancelotti’s game-plan for Manchester City second-leg ‘leaked’ by Spanish media - Freddie Pye - City Xtra

According to Radio MARCA, a ‘source close to the Real Madrid coach’ Carlo Ancelotti has revealed that the Bernabeu boss intends to start wide-forward Rodrygo from the substitutes bench at the Etihad Stadium next Wednesday.

Eduardo Camavinga – who operated from the left-back role in the first-leg against Manchester City – will reportedly start in midfield, as Ancelotti implements a defensive version of the 4-4-2 formation.

It is claimed that Real Madrid will look to run the clock down against Manchester City, ensuring that the contest is not lost too early in the game, and increase the chances of extra-time or even a penalty shoot-out.

Manchester City or Real Madrid will face AC Milan or Inter Milan in the Champions League final next month, with the latter holding the advantage heading into their second-leg, with former Etihad striker Edin Dzeko on the scoresheet.

Erling Haaland: Why FWA Footballer of the Year award must go to Manchester City’s unique scoring phenomenon - Adam Bate - Sky Sports

Watching Haaland live is genuinely an experience like no other. It has been a privilege to witness 22 of his goals this season. And yet, even if the eyes had been locked on the ball throughout, he has totalled only 270 touches in those appearances.

That combination of few touches and many goals might lead one to conclude that Haaland is a player better suited to highlights packages than the live experience. In fact, the opposite is true. To study Haaland without the ball is to see the full story.

There is always a temptation to dazzle with numbers when it comes to the Norwegian but here is a statistic that is rarely discussed. Haaland has made the fifth most runs of any player in the Premier League this season.


The 25-year-old secures the prize for the first time this season after a hugely impressive month in front of goal.

Indeed, the winger grabbed three goals and three assists in as many league matches as Gareth Taylor’s side recorded back-to-back home wins against West Ham United and Reading.

It’s the second time in as many months that a City player has scooped the award, with Bunny Shaw having topped the voting charts in March.

Kelly saw off competition from Manchester United’s Hannah Blundell, Aston Villa’s Rachel Daly, Tottenham Hotspur’s Beth England, Leicester City’s Courtney Nevin and Brighton & Hove Albion’s Elisabeth Terland.

Speaking about her success, she said: “It feels amazing to win this award, and it was a great month for us.

“It was really nice to get some goals and assists, and to help the team as much as I can.

Man City confirm travel arrangements for FA Cup final vs Manchester United with fan gesture - Joe Bray - Manchester Evening News

With no trains running between Manchester and London on June 3, City and United have announced plans to put on extra coaches for fans with tickets for the game. Both clubs have been allocated 30,500 seats at Wembley, with City in the West End of the stadium.

The club say subsidised coaches will cost £50 for adults and £40 for juniors for a return journey - that’s cheaper than the FA’s coaches for supporters which are priced at £60 and £40 respectively.

With a Coldplay concert taking place at the Etihad on the day of the final, coaches will depart from two Metrolink Park and Ride locations for City fans, rather than the stadium car park - East Didsbury and Radcliffe.

Man City will land astonishing £285million if they complete treble triumph - Tom Victor - The Mirror

The reigning Premier League champions sit top of the pile again with just a handful of games remaining, though challengers Arsenal remain in touch.. City are also in the final of the FA Cup, while a 1-1 draw in Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final leaves them well within reach of European glory.

There is still work to do, of course, and City could still end the season empty-handed. If they are able to repeat the 1999 achievements of neighbours Man Utd, though, then the rewards would be huge.

According to The Sun, Champions League success would net City £117.2m. With the Premier League crown worth £164m, plus £3.9m for the domestic cup, the grand total could hit £285.1m.

The first trophy City can make sure of is the Premier League, with an opportunity to make it three titles in a row. The season ends on May 28, but there is still a chance for Guardiola’s men to clinch the title even earlier than that.

And finally... Winning is a habit for the City boys!


With the prospect of extra time looming another vital tackle from Samuel denied Hammers dangerman Kodua before referee Alex Sawden blew to signal the onset of extra time.

The drama continued four minutes after the restart as Herrick foiled Dickson for the third time on the night as he latched onto a rebound from an Isaiah Dada-Mascoll free-kick.

Herrick was then there again, producing a stunning diving save to deny Muir on 97 minutes.

City though were not to be denied though and that man Oboavwoduo was there again on 102 minutes as we took the lead in dramatic fashion.

Tom Galvez was the architect driving at the Hammers defence before letting fly.

Though Herrick parried his initial effort, Oboavwoduo was there to follow up and force the ball home in emphatic fashion.

There you have it. Stay with us at Bitter and Blue for all the latest as we build toward a weekend visit to Goodison Park. Sky Blue News returns tomorrow with more headlines.