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Sky Blue News: Pep v ETH, KDB Wins Award, FA Cup Injury News, and More...

Tuesday headlines from bitter and blue.

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Manchester City v Chelsea FC - Premier League Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

The Champions of England have completed their Premier League season and are now focused on completing the treble. Next up, Machester City will take on Manchester United in the first-ever FA Cup Final Manchester Derby. Sky Blue News has all the latest ahead of the trip to Wembley.

Are Manchester City the greatest dynasty in sports? Comparing Premier League champions to world’s elite - Mike DeCourcy - The Sporting News

When Arsenal ran out to a lead that grew as large as 11 points and stood at 8 points with fewer than two months to play, the specter of Man City’s dominance always loomed. The Gunners’ three consecutive draws seemed as much a capitulation to City’s inevitability as anything Liverpool, West Ham and Southampton had mounted.

Since the start of the 2017/18 season, City have dominated the most competitive league on the planet. They’ve won five of the past six league championships. Liverpool had to win 26 of their first 27 games in 2019/20 — that’s 79 of a possible 81 points — to build a lead comfortable enough that City wouldn’t catch them.

Manchester City have more money than just about anyone, but they are not the only club that has spent big trying to contend for Premier League titles.

Chelsea had a net spend of nearly $600 million for the 2022/23 season — and managed to get a lot worse, dropping from third to 11th place. So it was important to be smart about it, and City have been that almost from the start.

Have they become the most dominant current dynasty in men’s sports? Going back to 2015 and examining the highest achievers from the world’s top leagues, it’s hard to make the case against them.

Pep Guardiola and Erik ten Hag show different Man City and Man United approaches to FA Cup final - Joe Bray - Manchester Evening News

Ten Hag told the Manchester United fans that his side ‘have a really good chance’ to win the FA Cup final against City next season, prompting defiant chants from the stands. Over in West London, Guardiola was philosophical over the performance of his second-string City side, and ordered his players to take two days off and think about anything but United.

The FA have already engraved the word ‘Manchester’ on the FA Cup, given the certainty that one of United or City will win the FA Cup this week. Ten Hag will hope his good first season will end in two cups and a top-three finish - Guardiola knows there will still be a bigger prize at stake and hopes a third trophy will have ‘Manchester’ engraved on it come June 10.

“There’s still one game to go and I’m sure these players will give everything to beat Manchester City next week,” Ten Hag said into the microphone on the Old Trafford pitch. “I’m sure we have a really good chance to take the cup back to Old Trafford.”

In contrast, Guardiola said: “Enjoy two days with your families. Don’t see each other. Wednesday we prepare the first final.”

Guardiola has been keen to ease the burden on his players since the Premier League title was sealed last weekend. He said a number of his players are ‘mentally exhausted’, prompting four key men to be left in Manchester as the second string lost at Brentford. For the second time in a week, the City bench would probably have beaten the starters if they were put in a head-to-head game.

Manchester City are set to broadcast the Champions League final to fans unable to travel to Istanbul - but the game will be shown at a venue in the city centre and NOT at the Etihad due to Weeknd gig - Jack Gaughan - MailOnline

Pep Guardiola’s side are looking to make history over the next fortnight, with the FA Cup final against Manchester United on Saturday before facing Inter in the European showpiece a week later.

City have been allocated just shy of 20,000 tickets at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium, with the club moving to screen the game in Manchester’s city centre.

With a capacity of 6,000, Depot Mayfield is the chosen venue given the Etihad Stadium is playing host to R&B star the Weeknd on the same night.

The 6,000 tickets will be made up of supporters, guests and staff and the Premier League champions are expected to announce details later in the week.

It follows on from City showing the 2021 final defeat by Chelsea, played during Covid restrictions, to 4,000 people at their training ground. The Etihad’s prior engagement meant using the City Football Academy, situated across the road, was not possible this time.

Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne wins Premier League Playmaker of the Year award - Oliver Thomas - Sports Mole

The 31-year-old, who is widely regarded as one of the best playmakers to have graced the English top flight, claims the prize after registering 16 assists in 32 appearances, and played an integral role in the Citizens winning a fifth title in six seasons.

De Bruyne was unable to increase his assist tally on the final day of the season as he was left out of the matchday squad for City’s 1-0 defeat away against Brentford on Sunday.

Nevertheless, the Belgium international picks up the Playmaker award for the third time and is the only player in Premier League history to win the accolade more than once having received the inaugural prize in 2017-18 and his second in 2019-20.

De Bruyne also finished top of the assists charts in 2016-17 and he is the only player in Premier League history to end a campaign with the most assists on four separate occasions.

Everton eyeing up summer move for teenage Manchester City midfielder as Bundesliga clubs circle - Harry Winters - CityXtra

The teenager made his senior and Premier League debut for Manchester City against Brentford on Sunday afternoon, replacing defender Nathan Ake, as Pep Guardiola’s squad concluded their league campaign with an underwhelming defeat.

Charles came on just past the hour mark in West London, with Ethan Pinnock’s late goal giving Brentford a 1-0 victory over the Premier League champions.

Sunday’s defeat was the Blues’ first since February, bringing an abrupt end to Manchester City’s 25-match winning streak across all competitions.

Charles was named amongst a youthful substitutes bench by Guardiola, with several first-team players absent from the matchday squad, ahead of upcoming crunch clashes against Manchester United and Inter Milan over the next two weeks.

The 19 year-old had been apart of Brian Barry-Murphy’s Premier League 2 title winning squad during the campaign, making 26 appearances in the competition for the Manchester City EDS.

Man Utd & Man City full injury list and fitness latest ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final - gallery - Michael Plant - Manchester World

The Red Devils wrapped up their Premier League campaign on Sunday with a 2-1 victory over Fulham and the three points saw them secure a third-place finish above Newcastle United. But Erik ten Hag had to manage without four injured players for the game at Old Trafford.

The United boss also rotated his side and dropped Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Raphael Varane, Luke Shaw, Christian Eriksen and Anthony Martial to the bench from the team that started against Chelsea on Thursday.

“We played Thursday once again and they had a week to prepare,” Ten Hag said after Sunday’s match, when asked about his team selection. “I wanted a fresh team on the pitch but also players who could present them for the cup final. I want to see different things. I think the team and the squad performed well.”

As for City, their campaign ended in underwhelming fashion as Pep Guardiola’s side took just a point from the last two matches. A 1-0 loss to Brentford on the final weekend meant the champions finished the campaign on 89 points - a relatively low tally given City’s impeccable standards over recent years.

But the Blues last few matches were impacted by injury, with seven doubts ahead of the trip to Brentford, while Guardiola didn’t introduce John Stones, Rodri, Bernardo Silva, Ilkay Gundogan and Erling Haaland from the bench due to fatigue.

“The guys who don’t play here were really exhausted yesterday,” the Catalan explained post-match. “We spoke with them, they said they are mentally completely drained.

And finally... Relive the 1999 playoff final that sent City back to the top flight of English football.


Joe Royle’s side travelled to Wembley to face Tony Pulis’ team for a chance to immediately return to the second tier of English football after relegation from Division One the season before.

And, in ‘Typical City’ fashion, we did just that after a nerve-wracking penalty shootout victory following an intense and eventful 120 minutes of action.

Late goals from Gills pair Carl Asaba and Robert Taylor put the Kent side on the brink of promotion, but a sensational turn of events saw Kevin Horlock and Paul Dickov score in stoppage time to take the game to extra-time.

The additional 30-minutes couldn’t separate the sides, before Nicky Weaver’s heroics in the shootout, saving two, alongside Horlock, Terry Cooke’s and Richard Edhill’s dispatched spot kicks produced a result which will never be forgotten.

There you have it. It’s a busy week ahead at Bitter and Blue as we prep for the FA Cup Final. Stay with us for all the latest. Sky Blue News returns tomorrow with more headlines.