Manchester City are tightening their grip on the Premier League Trophy. With a 0-3 victory against Everton, The Sky Blues have on hand firmly on the tile. City need only three more points to lift the trophy for the fifth time in six years. Sky Blue News is here with all the latest to keep you up to speed as we head toward what promises to be an eventful week at the Etihad.
When Man City can lift Premier League trophy after Arsenal defeat - Simon Bajkowski - Manchester Evening News
Arsenal’s surprise 3-0 home defeat to Brighton immediately after a 2-0 win at Goodison Park for Pep Guardiola’s side has opened up the possibility of City winning the league this week. The reigning Premier League champions will be crowned again on Saturday if the Gunners lose at Nottingham Forest, but can claim the prize outright regardless of Arsenal’s result by winning their home game against Chelsea.
Should the title be decided this week, City and the Premier League will have the trophy presentation at the Etihad following the conclusion of the game. If the race goes into the final week but City still emerge victorious, they will lift the trophy at Brentford regardless of if they actually win the title at Brighton in midweek.
If City are able to do it this weekend and wrap up the title with two games to spare, it would be the second successive year they have been able to lift the trophy in front of their own fans at home under Guardiola’s management. Ilkay Gundogan’s match-winning performance against Aston Villa on the final day of last season ensured that a raucous and relieved Etihad could enjoy pipping Liverpool to the league.
Everton received a huge boost in their relegation battle by winning 5-1 at Brighton in midweek, and looked to follow up by putting a dent in City’s title hopes. Victory for the Toffees would have meant taking a huge step towards Premier League safety, and the Mersey blues set up to frustrate City as much as possible.
And the home side could, and maybe should have taken the lead with the score at 0-0. Mason Holgate hooked his shot over the bar form just a few yards out when unmarked at the far post. It was a period where Everton were on top but couldn’t take advantage and were made to pay as a result.
City tightened up and took the lead with a clever finish from Gundogan in the 37th minute A cross by Mahrez found the German inside the penalty area with his back to goal. Gundo controlled with his thigh, before hooking home with his right foot.
Two minutes later, scorer turned provider as his cross from the right found the head of Haaland, and the big Norwegian powered his header beyond Pickford in the Everton goal to make it 2-0. The striker was left completely unmarked, unchallenged and given the time and space to pick his spot.
That knocked the wind out of Everton’s sails and any thoughts of claiming the three points, which was compounded five minutes after the break. Foden’s charging run was abruptly ended on the edge of the penalty area and Gundogan curled a delightful free-kick over the wall and into the goal to make the game safe.
David Ornstein provides bumper update on future of Manchester City star Ilkay Gundogan - Freddie Pye - City Xtra
At present, the 2022/23 season would mark the end of Ilkay Gundogan’s stay at Manchester City, with there being no sign of a new contract for the veteran midfielder, despite his performances over the last few weeks in particular.
However, despite talks and negotiations over possible fresh terms coming to somewhat of a standstill, the situation remains open and the extension of his Manchester City deal beyond the end of the current campaign remains a possibility, as per new details.
According to the information of David Ornstein for The Athletic, a decision on where Ilkay Gundogan will continue his career beyond the end of this season is yet to be reached, and no agreements have been struck to determine his next destination.
It is stressed that the situation concerning the Manchester City captain ‘remains open’, and that includes the prospect of the 32 year-old German international extending his seven-year stay at the Etihad Stadium if ‘a compromise’ can be found over the terms of a new deal.
Barcelona have been most heavily-linked with a move for the former Borussia Dortmund man, and there is a feeling in some quarters that the Catalan club have offered Gundogan a greater contract in terms of the length of a deal.
The defender – who joined City in the summer of 2021 - will now remain at the Academy Stadium until June 2025 after putting pen to paper on a new deal.
Kennedy announced on her social media channels that she wouldn’t feature in our remaining two fixtures of the current campaign due to injury, but is excited by what the future holds on her return.
“I’m really happy to be staying here at City – I’ve loved my time here so far,” the defender said of her extension.
“I feel like I still have a lot more to give on a personal level and for the team, so I’m looking forward to continuing our success here.
“I feel as though I have unfinished business here at City. I’ve worked hard to get myself into a position where I’ve learned the style, and I have a great relationship with all the girls and staff.
We are delighted to confirm that @AlannaKennedy has extended her contract with us for another 2️⃣ years!— Manchester City (@ManCity) May 15, 2023
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The 32-year-old has again been an important player for the Citizens this season, featuring on 33 occasions in all competitions, contributing one assist in the process.
Walker only has little over one year left to run on his contract at the Etihad Stadium, though, and there is currently widespread speculation surrounding his future.
Aston Villa are said to be interested in signing the defender during the upcoming market, while AC Milan are also thought to be keeping a close eye on the developments.
However, according to The Sun, Walker will reject interest from other teams in order to remain with the English champions for the 2023-24 campaign.
The report claims that the England international remains happy at the Etihad Stadium despite having to accept a rotational role for periods of the season.
Man City are not believed to be actively planning extension talks at this moment in time, but the club are open to adding another year onto his deal, which would take him until June 2025.
Walker is thought to be keen to finish his career at boyhood club Sheffield United, although a move to the Blades would depend on whether they are in the Premier League.
Szymon Marciniak appointed as referee for Manchester City vs Real Madrid - Tom Cayless - City Report
Rather fittingly, Marciniak is a referee for the big stage. The Pole was given the ultimate honour of officiating the Qatar 2022 World Cup final. During the game, Marciniak awarded three penalties, with Lionel Messi converting the first and Kylian Mbappe the latter two before the match was decided via a penalty shootout.
Regarding cards, the 42-year-old isn’t afraid to dish them out. In the Champions League alone this season, Marciniak has awarded 23 yellow cards and two red cards in just six games, an average of four cards per game.
Marciniak has officiated the Blues previously. He took charge when City visited Dutch side Feyenoord at the beginning of the 2017-18 season. Pep Guardiola’s side ran out 4-0 winners courtesy of a John Stones double and goals from Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus.
World Cup final referee Szymon Marciniak will officiate #ManCity vs Real Madrid on Wednesday. Here's you need to know:— City Report (@cityreport_) May 15, 2023
And finally... Pep wants Gundo to stay. Us too Pep.
Pep Guardiola’s definitive stance on Ilkay Gundogan future as Man City star considers Barcelona transfer - Michael Plant - Manchester World
Pep Guardiola has confirmed he wants Ilkay Gundogan to stay at Manchester City next season, following Sunday’s Premier League win over Everton.
The German international scored a brace for the second week in a row as City beat the Toffees 3-0 at Goodison Park, in addition to the two he netted at home to Leeds United last week. Guardiola spoke of his admiration for the club captain after the win over Leeds and, with Gundogan playing a pivotal role in the latter stages of the title race, the City manager reiterated that stance on Sunday.
“He can show again and again and again the quality and importance and his commitment, to all of us, to the club, not just scoring goals, now he has his momentum,” opined the former Barcelona manager “Against Leeds he was the player and again today. He can do everything and everything well.”
Gundogan’s contribution to the team is particularly relevant at present given he could leave the club for free this summer. Barcelona are hoping to sign the midfielder when his contract expires at the end of season, but Guardiola said on Sunday that he hopes Gundogan signs an extension.
Asked if he wanted the club to do everything to keep the player, Guardiola replied: “Yeah. I talk many things with the club. Nobody knows what is going to happen, maybe he will stay hopefully.
There you have it. Stay caught with all things Manchester City with your friends at Bitter and Blue. Sky Blue News returns tomorrow with more headlines.