clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Sky Blue News: Back to the Top, Immortal Erling, Álvarez v Bellingham, and More...

Headlines from an historic night at the Etihad.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Manchester City v West ham United - Premier League Photo by Richard Sellers/Sportsphoto/Allstar via Getty Images

Manchester City are once again top of the Premier League table after defeating West Ham United 3-0 at the Etihad. The story of the night however was the 70th-minute record-breaker scored by Erling Braut Haaland. The Norwegian is the first and only player to score 35 in a Premier League season. Let’s look through the headlines with Sky Blue News.

Quick Match Recap: Manchester City Beat West Ham 3-0, Break Records - Saul Garcia - Bitter and Blue

Manchester City win a hugely important match as the team was just in excellent form. City with Pep at the helm had nearly a perfect game. One that saw Jack Grealish and Erling Haaland play a really strong match.

What can you say about the team? The front four and backline were quite good in this one. We got a clean sheet as well!

A match that had a similar feel to most City matches, yet resulted in some great play for the team as the intensity was there early.

One where City was in control with possession and chances created. They played a really great match and this time kept the pressure on and have now a lead in the PL.

Man City reclaim top spot with ninth straight victory -Sky Sports

Goals from Nathan Ake, Erling Haaland and Phil Foden have taken the champions one point ahead of Arsenal, with a match in hand and five fixtures remaining.

West Ham were missing four key players, with Kurt Zouma ruled out with an ankle injury and captain Declan Rice, Tomas Soucek and Nayef Aguerd all missing due to illness.

Their five-man defence frustrated Man City in the first half, but the hosts got the breakthrough in the 50th minute as Riyad Mahrez curled an inviting free-kick to the back post and Ake arrived to head in at close range.

City doubled their lead in the 70th minute as Haaland ran on to Jack Grealish’s through-ball and chipped a delightful finish over the onrushing Lukasz Fabianski.

It was the Norwegian’s 35th Premier League strike of the season, setting a record for goals in a single campaign in the competition.

Foden came off the bench in the 77th minute and scored eight minutes later, hitting City’s 1,000th goal under Pep Guardiola in all competitions, in the Spaniard’s 404th match in charge.

How many wins do Manchester City need to beat Arsenal and win the Premier League? - Georgia Goulding - Manchester World

Arsenal have just four teams left to play before the season ends — Newcastle United, Brighton and Hove Albion, Nottingham Forest, and Wolves. If they win each of their remaining matches, they will finish with a grand total of 90 points. Man City will need to assume the Gunners will not drop a point between now and the end of the season, and also look to run for a perfect streak.

However, thanks to their games in-hand, City have some wiggle room. They have capitalised with their win over West Ham, and now have five fixtures left, meaning the Citizens could finish their season on a maximum of 94 points.

They also have a superior goal difference of +15 over Arsenal — if they remain ahead on goal ratio, City can afford to lose a match and draw one, or draw four matches, and still be crowned champions.

Without factoring in goal difference, City could lose a match, or draw three, but win the rest and still take home the title, even if Arsenal win every game left to play this season.


Our No.9’s form throughout his first campaign in England has been pivotal to the fortunes of Pep Guardiola’s side during the hunt for a fifth title in six seasons and third in a row.

He began the season with 18 goals in his first 13 Premier League appearances, including hat-tricks against Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest and Manchester United.

Play Video

Since domestic football’s return following the World Cup, Haaland has continued to impress, scoring another hat-trick against Wolves.

In total, Haaland has now scored a club record 51 times this season.

That is the most of any player at a Premier League club across all competitions, beating the 44 scored by Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2002/03 and Salah in 2017/18.

He’s also the leading scorer in this year’s UEFA Champions League having hit 11 goals in seven appearances.

Manchester City suffer major summer transfer blow as target closes in on Real Madrid move - Harry Winters - City Xtra

Bellingham had been earmarked as a potential replacement for City captain Ilkay Gundogan, who is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked with a potential free transfer to Barcelona.

Pep Guardiola’s side are expected to undergo a midfield overhaul this summer, with the future of Bernardo Silva still uncertain, as the Portugal international remains tight-lipped regarding his plans beyond the current campaign.

Kalvin Phillips also has an uncertain future at the Etihad Stadium despite signing from Leeds last year, with interest from a series of Premier League clubs, including Aston Villa and West Ham.

Manchester City were reportedly ‘increasingly confident’ of signing Bellingham last month, after Premier League rivals Liverpool cooled their interest in the Borussia Dortmund midfielder.

It was further claimed that the Blues would ‘not simply stand by and allow’ Real Madrid to sign the 19 year-old, with City willing to pay ‘whatever it takes’ to complete a deal.

Julian Alvarez shows Man City they can cope without Jude Bellingham in West Ham win - Daniel Murphy - Manchester Evening News

Alvarez continues to stake his claim

Julian Alvarez once again deputized for Kevin De Bruyne and though he didn’t score the winner or grab a penalty like he did at Craven Cottage, it was another impressive display in the attacking midfield position. The Argentine’s work rate and energy makes him look like the second coming of Bernardo Silva and his silky distribution makes it seem like the position could become a permanent one with the main striker role blocked.

His debut campaign will go under the radar given Haaland’s remarkable season but Alvarez has been a huge success and with a midfield shake-up on the horizon and Jude Bellingham likely heading to Real Madrid, he could lessen the burden on City needing a new big signing.

And finally... Sam Allardyce has a high opinion of himself, and Pep agrees.

‘He is right’ - Pep Guardiola agrees with Sam Allardyce’s ‘same level’ comment and hails ‘incredible experience’ of new Leeds boss - Soham Mukherjee - Goal

WHAT HAPPENED? After Allardyce replaced Javi Gracia at the helm of Leeds United, he insisted that he’s on par with the best managers of the Premier League and “there’s nobody ahead of me in football terms – not Pep, not [Jurgen] Klopp, not [Mikel] Arteta”. His comments were put before Guardiola for his reaction after Manchester City’s 3-0 win against West Ham and the Spaniard not only agreed with his claims but hailed several other experienced English managers like Roy Hodgson and Harry Redknapp for their contribution to football.

WHAT THEY SAID: “He is right. I want to be honest. Look at the managers, Roy Hodgson for Crystal Palace, what they have done. They are really good, they have incredible experience, they know the game perfectly and if he feels that it is because of this. It will be tough because he has the charisma, he will put out the pressure to the players and he knows exactly what to do in this kind of situation in a relegation battle,” he told reporters.

“It looks like this type of old managers… I’m honest, so what they have done for the club [is dismissed as] ‘they are old, whatever’.

“Now the people who are 35, 40, 45, we invent football or we create football. No, football is already created and these guys belong to that league and helped us to do it and that’s why. So, Neil Warnock, Huddersfield was in the last [spot] and now already out of the dangerous positions. I could not experience what Harry Redknapp has done in this country.

“There are many, many English managers that have done really, really well. You don’t have to be young to be a good manager. As much experience you have, you are good.”

There you have it. We go again against Leeds United at the weekend. Stay with Bitter and Blue for all the latest. Sky Blue News returns tomorrow with more headlines.