Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Match Preview: Bayern Munich vs Manchester City

City look to get revenge against European Champions

By Jack Mumford

Allianz Arena, Bayern Munich’s fortress, is City’s destination for their final game in the group stage of the Champions League on Tuesday night. 

With Bayern yet to lose at home this season and their complete domination of City at the Etihad Stadium in October still fresh in everyone’s memory, Manuel Pellegrini and his men will be glad they can go to Munich knowing their place in the Knockout phase is already confirmed. City can still finish top of Group D but would need to win by three clear goals at the home of the European Champions.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Match Reflection: Southampton 1 - 1 Manchester City

Another goal for Agüero but City continue to stutter on the road

By Jack Mumford

It was a story of missed chances, disjointed defending and a Hollywood goal in City’s 1-1 draw at the St Mary’s Stadium this afternoon. Another early Sergio Agüero goal set the ball rolling but after a special goal from Saints striker Dani Osvaldo, the Blues were forced to hang on to the point.

After City’s victory at West Brom on Wednesday night, they appeared to be back on the right track away from the Etihad Stadium but this display will have fans of Manuel Pellegrini’s men worried again.

Southampton started the season as standard bearers for hard working, pressing defending with neat, intricate football to match. They have, however, faltered recently having lost their last three Premier League matches. In fairness, this included trips to Arsenal and Chelsea.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Match Preview: Southampton vs Manchester City

City face tough trip to South Coast after win at West Brom

By Aaron Leggott

After Wednesday's 3-2 win at West Brom, Manchester City are set to travel away from the Etihad for the second time in four days, with a tough trip to Mauricio Pochettino's invigorated Southampton team next on the agenda.

After his appointment as successor to Nigel Adkins in January, many were critical of the decision and predicted the Saints might seriously struggle to stay in the Premier League.

Photo: Paul Watts/Southampton FC

What has happened since then is quite extraordinary. Under the Argentine, Southampton secured Premier League survival with ease, before taking the next step this season.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

West Brom 2 - 3 Manchester City: Thoughts and Ratings

By Adam Bailey

Praise may be endlessly flowing from the mouths of City supporters after last nights uncharacteristic away win, but ultimately, Manchester City should be relishing playing teams like West Brom who really shouldn't stand a chance against such formidable opponents.

Manuel Pellegrini's tinkering surprised me somewhat, especially with the inclusion of Edin Džeko alongside Sergio Agüero. However, the Bosnian's first half display was encouraging and his interchanges with Sergio and the advancing Pablo Zabaleta made for some dazzling play and you can't argue with his magnificent record against the Baggies. Although Džeko enjoyed a relatively straightforward first half in which the Blues achieved a comfortable two goal cushion, his showing in front of goal was less than clinical in the second and Álvaro Negredo's strength and technique would have troubled the Baggies a lot more in my opinion.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Match Reflection: West Brom 2 - 3 Manchester City

City break away duck with solid victory

By Jack Mumford

City slayed their away demons last night, powering past a shell-shocked West Bromwich Albion to win 3-2, with a late onslaught from West Brom making the scoreline a more respectable one. After losing four of the six away Premier League games so far this season, City knew they had to improve their away form to stand a chance of winning the title. 

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

West Brom have already won at Old Trafford and drawn at Stamford Bridge this season so City’s comprehensive victory is no mean feat.

Manuel Pellegrini made three changes from Sunday's victory over Swansea. The major news was captain Vincent Kompany returned to the side after two months out with a thigh injury. Joleon Lescott was the unfortunate man who had to make way for the returning Belgian. 

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Match Preview: West Brom vs Manchester City

City looking to break away curse in the Midlands

By Aaron Leggott

The Premier League has seen a real Jekyll and Hyde version of Manchester City this season. At the Etihad Stadium, they are ruthless - seven wins out of seven and a goal difference of +23 sees the Blues stand out from the pack. 

It's a different story away from east Manchester though; with just one win in six, Manuel Pellegrini's men sit in a meagre 15th place in the away form table - a worrying stat for any title challenger.

City have enjoyed a number of wins against West Brom over the past few years
Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

However, after three successive wins, the Blues go into their clash against West Brom in high spirits and realistic of hopes of turning around their away form ahead of the festive period.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Manchester City 3 - 0 Swansea City: Thoughts and Ratings

By Jack Mumford

The bare statistics make this look like a stroll in the park for City but at times it certainly wasn’t that way. The elegant continental class of Samir Nasri was what really separated these two teams yesterday. Where Swansea spurned the chances they created through sheer weight of possession, City took a more direct style of passing, finished off brilliantly by Nasri and Negredo.

This cutting edge is what separates the mid-table outfits in the Premier League from the pace setters. A pace setter is certainly a way to describe the form of Nasri at the moment who just keeps taking his game to new levels. Nasri has frustrated many City fans since his move from Arsenal but the French midfielder is currently oozing confidence and City are reaping the rewards. 

 Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Nasri is the one player you can certainly say has benefitted from the change of manager over the summer. It is also plausible to say the Frenchman seems to up his level when Silva isn’t on the pitch, a strange anomaly but one that will be interesting to see the development of when Silva makes his inevitable return.

Match Reflection: Manchester City 3 - 0 Swansea City

Nasri double helps City record another home victory

By Aaron Leggott

Manuel Pellegrini’s City side continued their formidable home form on Sunday evening to brush Swansea aside with ease.

In truth, a 3-0 victory didn’t show the true reflection of the game, but two goals from Samir Nasri and a terrific free kick from Álvaro Negredo settled the game.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Swansea had their chances to capitalise on the two goals scored by opposition sides at the Etihad Stadium this season, but Jonathan de Guzmán missed a guilt edged chance on the brink of half time - a moment which probably proved the difference in quality between the two sides.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Match Preview: Manchester City vs Swansea City

Laudrup's Swans set to face the murky waters of the Etihad

By Adam Bailey

European enterprises held very different outcomes for both sides as Swansea suffered midweek misery whilst City enjoyed hilarity at home once again. Daniel Parejo's goal earned Valencia a 1-0 win in Wales on Thursday and the Welsh side must record at least a point in their next tie against St Gallen if they are to reach the last 32 of the competition. 

Swansea will travel to Manchester on Sunday with their ammunition severely depleted. Top scorers Wilfried Bony (10) and Michu (7) both suffered injuries in the mid-week fixture leaving Michael Laudrup with unsettling shortages up top. 

For Manuel Pellegrini's side however, Swansea's injuries have come at the perfect time. A shaky defensive performance on Wednesday night was masked by yet another attacking masterclass that saw Sergio Agüero, Samir Nasri, Álvaro Negredo and Edin Džeko help City to their 15th goal of the Champions League group stages.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Manchester City 4 - 2 Viktoria Plzeň: Thoughts and Ratings

By Jack Mumford

A 4-2 win in the Champions League should never be a disappointment but that was the general feeling at the Etihad Stadium last night.

Obviously with City already being through and Bayern’s earlier victory in Moscow, the Blues would have to get an unlikely win 3-0 in the Allianz Arena - resulting in this game being a dead rubber. 

Manuel Pellegrini made seven changes to the side that dismantled Tottenham and I went to the Etihad expecting fringe players like Edin Džeko and Joleon Lescott attempt to stake their claim for a future starting berth. 

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

However, against much weaker opposition many of these players looked like they had found their level or were suffering from a lack of motivation. In truth, the players that impressed most were those who are already regulars. Samir Nasri, Sergio Agüero and Fernandinho seemed to drag the rest of the team kicking and screaming through the match.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Match Reflection: Manchester City 4 - 2 Viktoria Plzeň

Pellegrini's progressors show Hart against a vivacious Viktoria Plzeň 

By Adam Bailey

Manchester City's impeccable home record almost suffered a frightening blow on Wednesday night as a vibrant Viktoria Plzeň side launched a full scale assault inside the Etihad Stadium.

A relaxed home crowd, buoyed by their side's progression into the last 16 of the Champions League, were treated to yet another goalscoring flurry on home territory. Seven changes were made to the outfit that savaged Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon and a shaky defence had their attackers to thank in a below par performance.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Match Preview: Manchester City vs Viktoria Plzeň

City face Czech champions in final home European group tie

By Aaron Leggott

As the football season hits December, many fans across Europe start to prepare for an exhilarating month of football as the Champions League group stage reaches its climax. 

However, those connected with Manchester City will, in some ways, be glad to be able to focus on other competitions after qualification to the knockout stages was secured against CSKA Moscow earlier this month.

Of course, Manuel Pellegrini would prefer to see his side top Group D and receive a potentially easier route into the quarter finals, but the Chilean will acknowledge that any possibility of that happening will only occur if Pep Guardiola's side have a major slip up - which doesn't look likely on current form.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

City's opponents for their penultimate fixture appear in the form of Czech champions Viktoria Plzeň - the team yet to register a point in the Champions League this season.

Manchester City 6 - 0 Tottenham Hotspur: Thoughts and Ratings

By Jack Mumford

Well another scintillating performance against one of the best teams in the league at the Etihad Stadium. Many fans must now be dreaming of where we would be if only we could produce this form away from home.

The ghost of Sunderland felt like it was hanging over the club at the start of the day but City certainly showed they have moved on by putting six past one of the meanest defences in the country.

Many City players had their best game for a long while and Tottenham just couldn’t deal with it. If a side as good as Spurs struggled to deal with us then the rest of the Premier League must fear their trip to the Etihad Stadium. Such an emphatic performance only makes it more baffling that City aren’t running away with the Premier League this season.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

In Sergio Agüero Manchester City have a player that is simply on top of his game, and potentially the world, right now. Every time he received the ball yesterday he glided around any defender in front of him - leading to Pellegrini calling him the “third best player in the world." Agüero has defenders constantly running scared at the moment and it is simply a joy to watch such a talent playing in a City shirt. 

Monday, 25 November 2013

Match Reflection: Manchester City 6 - 0 Tottenham Hotspur

Six of the best sees City climb up the table

By Aaron Leggott

Yes, you read the title of that post right. Tottenham not only beaten, but humiliated. It is very rare (in fact, unbelievable) to see a scoreline between two top sides that reflects such a dominant performance, but in truth City should and could have had even more against an embarrassing Spurs side at the Etihad Stadium yesterday.

Goals from Sergio Agüero, Álvaro Negredo and Jesús Navas secured another historic victory for the Blues on home turf, and leaves critics questioning the reasons why Manuel Pellegrini's men can't replicate these performances away from home.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Match Preview: Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur

Pellegrini's under-performers look ahead to a Sunday spar with Spurs

By Adam Bailey

Late comebacks and late goals have been a welcome characteristic of City - Spurs clashes down the years, but is it too late for Manchester City to resurrect their fading title hopes?

The Blues slump in a dismal eighth place after eleven Premier League games and contemptible comparisons are already being made regarding City's irresistible home and painful away form. Pellegrini's men suffered a customary 1-0 loss at 'The Stadium Of Plight' a fortnight ago in a phlegmatic performance and a number of dark clouded questions now lie over the Chilean's head.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Blue Review: The brilliance of Sergio Agüero

Why one Argentinian could play a massive role in the Blues' title bid

By Jack Mumford

If there was one way to describe City’s season so far I would use the phrase ‘hot and cold’. Some brilliant performances - most notably the derby in September and the mauling of Norwich - have been cancelled out largely by individual errors at several Premier League grounds around the country.

The one constant shining beacon of hope though, the reason I and many others still believe we could be in for a very successful season is the escalation in form of Sergio "Kun" Agüero.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Match Reflection: Sunderland 1 - 0 Manchester City

Bardsley bursts City's title hopes

By Adam Bailey

Ex-Manchester United defender Phil Bardsley condemned Manchester City to their fourth defeat of the season in a 1-0 win that inflicted significant wounds into City's title hopes. 

The Stadium of Light has become a 'stadium of plight' for the Blues who have now suffered four consecutive 1-0 losses in Wearside. Gus Poyet's Black Cats were drowning in the depths of the relegation zone before 2pm on Sunday afternoon, but a thrilling three points against Manuel Pellegrini's side will help scratch themselves back up the table.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

The hosts started brightly when Sebastian Larsson tested the alertness of a make-shift City defence with a wicked ball that just escaped striker Steven Fletcher. However, the Swede was lucky to escape a straight red card just minutes later when he presented Javi Garcia with a menacing view of the bottom of his boot. Mike Dean was perfectly positioned, but not even a yellow was shown to the midfielder.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

In the Spotlight: Sunderland

No. 12: Paolo di Canio, Gus Poyet and the impact of Steven Fletcher

By Jack Mumford

City travel to the Stadium of Light this weekend to face a struggling Sunderland side. We caught up with Sunderland fan Glen Cardy (@glencardy7) to consider their season so far and look ahead to Sunday’s match.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Match Preview: Sunderland vs Manchester City

Pellegrini hoping to engineer City to an away victory

By Aaron Leggott

Recent trips to the Stadium of Light haven't been filled with happiness for the Blues, with a flurry of last minute winners from the Mackems succumbing the Blues to defeat after defeat. 

In fact, the last four victories have seen City failing to register a win - with three defeats and a draw the outcomes in that period. 

And with Manuel Pellegrini's looking extremely frail on the road this season, this probably isn't the fixture they would have wanted next.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Manchester City 5 - 2 CSKA Moscow: Thoughts and Ratings

By Aaron Leggott

My thoughts

What a great performance to cap off and ensure Champions League qualification at the third time of asking. 

Despite the group we were given, it is a hugely impressive feat to qualify with two games spare. Not only does it give us the opportunity to rest players in the remaining two fixtures against Viktoria Plzeň and Bayern Munich, but it also gives the players a new breed of confidence as they enter new territory. 

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Of course, our form in the Premier League will also benefit if we are to rest key players, and will give us an advantage on rivals who are still yet to qualify from their respective groups.

Match Reflection: Manchester City 5 - 2 CSKA Moscow

‘Beauty and the Beast’ seal last 16 qualification for the first time in City history

By Adam Bailey

The Etihad Stadium was treated to another five Manchester City goals on Tuesday night as Álvaro Negredo and Sergio Agüero ran riot in a 5-2 win over CSKA Moscow. 

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Manuel Pellegrini’s impressive Champions League credentials were on the line before the crucial tie in Manchester, but his side were in fine form to seal a comprehensive victory that fired them into the last sixteen for the first time in their history. 

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Match Preview: Manchester City vs CSKA Moscow

Group Stage qualification just one win away for City in the Champions League

By Aaron Leggott

Following the 2-1 victory in Russia's capital city a fortnight ago, City and CSKA Moscow meet again at the Etihad Stadium with the Blues needing a win to ensure qualification from the Champions League for the first time in their history.

The reverse fixture between the teams was marred by hundreds of CSKA fans aiming racist abuse at Yaya Touré, and the Ivorian will probably be looking to silence the minority and help his team reach the knockout stages.

And following the 7-0 drubbing of Norwich City at the weekend, City come into the game in good form, winning four of the last five in all competitions.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Manchester City 7 - 0 Norwich City: Thoughts and Ratings

By Adam Bailey

My thoughts

A good old mauling is something City haven't seen in a while, and so Saturday's 7-0 slaying of Norwich City unsurprisingly left us fans drooling. The Blues love scoring goals against the Canaries and we locked them firmly in their cage on Saturday afternoon in a magical performance in which David Silva majestically waved his wand.

Last weekend's late loss to Chelsea left a sour taste in the mouth and an authoritative response was required from Manuel's minions who are still hoping to march towards the Premier League crown. Pellegrini went with a sizzlingly strong squad with Costel Pantillimon occupying the space between the sticks. The inclusion of the big Romanian was expected and although I'd love to comment on his performance, he hardly touched the ball!

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Match Reflection: Manchester City 7 - 0 Norwich City

City blow the Canaries out the water

By Jack Mumford

City demolished a shambolic Norwich City side by scoring seven for the first time in their Premier League history on a blustery afternoon at the Etihad Stadium. Completing 712 passes in the process, the victory never seemed in doubt for City who were dominant in every aspect.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Returning to the Etihad which has been such a fortress for the last few seasons after almost a month of away games, City’s array of attacking options just appeared to be too clever and too quick for a hapless Norwich defence.

As rumoured, Costel Pantilimon started in goal ahead of Joe Hart but as you can probably gather from the score line, anyone of the 47,066 crowd could probably have been in net for City. He was forced into one smart diving save in the first half but for the most part he was merely a spectator to the massacre like the rest of us.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Match Preview: Manchester City vs Norwich City

Hart set to be dropped for City's first home game in three weeks

By Aaron Leggott

Following a 2-0 victory against Newcastle United in the Capital One Cup, City are set to welcome Norwich City to the Etihad Stadium as Manuel Pellegrini's men prepare to play their first home game in three weeks.
Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

The win during midweek saw City progress to the quarter-finals of the cup - where they will play Leicester City - a performance which saw Costel Pantilimon replace a out-of-form Joe Hart in the goal. 

In Pellegrini's defence, Pantilimon was always expected to start in the league cup tie, but there is set to be a surprise as the big Romanian has been reported to be replacing Hart against Norwich to make his first Premier League start in City colours.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Match Reflection: Newcastle United 0 - 2 Manchester City

Merlin inspires City to quarter finals

By Jack Mumford

City finally reached the end of their long run of away games last night after a lifeless second string side crawled past Newcastle United 2-0 after extra time at St James’ Park. The Blues will now travel to Leicester City in the last eight of the Capital One Cup.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

However, Manuel Pellegrini will be worried tonight after Stevan Jovetić and Micah Richards both left the pitch injured. 

Montenegrin Jovetić lasted only 10 minutes in his return from a hamstring injury and Richards hobbled off the pitch after 80 minutes suggesting he was struggling with cramp.  

Last night ended the sequence of 4 successive away games in 11 days which has included two trips to London to face West Ham and Chelsea and the long haul flight to Moscow.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Match Preview: Newcastle United vs Manchester City

City divert attention to domestic cup action after Chelsea defeat

By Rebecca Halliwell

The fourth round of the Capital One Cup sees Manchester City travelling to St James’ Park. 

Manchester City will want to win to make amends for their defeat to Chelsea at the weekend. Their away form seemed to be improving but a late goal from Fernando Torres saw City limited to four points out of a possible 15. 

While the Capital One Cup won’t be on the top of Manuel Pellegrini’s must-win list, the Chilean will be expected to put out a good squad and prove the Blues depth. 

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

In the Spotlight: Newcastle United

No. 11: A Derby defeat, Loïc Rémy and Sammy Ameobi

By Aaron Leggott

Following Sunday's catastrophic 2-1 defeat at the hands of Chelsea, the Blues turn their attention to domestic cup football as they travel to the North East to play Newcastle. The previous meeting between the sides saw City come out 4-0 winners. I spoke with Newcastle fan Adam Johnson (@ajnufc) to get an update on our opponents. 

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Monday, 28 October 2013

Chelsea 1 - 2 Manchester City: Thoughts and Ratings

By Adam Bailey

My thoughts

All eyes will be on the Hart - Nastasić bust up, but on days like this, it's far more rewarding to take the positives out of the game. My opinion has been scrutinised  by the majority of my Twitter followers, but I do feel Nastasić played a bigger role in Chelsea's winner. Hart, wrongly of course, darted out of his goal too early. However, the Serbian saw him coming and still proceeded to head over the top of him into Torres' path. Any other direction and the goal is averted, but too much discussion has been centered around the issue and I want to leave it there.

As for Fernando Torres, he was magnificent. He'll never return to the form he hit in his days at Liverpool and every experienced pundit knows that he won't, but it makes a decent headline at the end of the day. He terrorised Gaël Clichy all evening and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't slightly concerned with the Frenchman's form of late. He seems to have lost his pace and concentration and dare I say it, Aleksandar Kolarov seems to be a better option at the moment.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Match Reflection: Chelsea 2 - 1 Manchester City

Defensive catastrophe ruins hard working away performance

By Jack Mumford

An injury time mix up between Joe Hart and Matija Nastasić sent City to their third defeat  in four away games against title rivals Chelsea on Sunday afternoon. Chelsea had taken the lead but City replied strongly and as the match entered injury time it appeared both teams may have to settle for a point. This all changed a minute after the board went up as a simple ball over the defence created havoc and left Fernando Torres with a tap in to win the match 2-1.

This disappointment came after a busy 8 days in which City won away at West Ham and spent the majority of the week thousands of miles away in Moscow recording a 2-1 victory over CSKA in the process.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Match Preview: Chelsea vs Manchester City

City looking to grab yet another away win

By Rebecca Halliwell

Sunday afternoon sees two of the best teams in the Premier League set to pit their wits - with Manchester City heading south to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. This is looking to be an exciting match with Chelsea on a good run of form while City will be looking for three points to keep them near the top of the table.

The Blues played well in midweek with Manuel Pellegrini again deciding to opt with Sergio Agüero and Álvaro Negredo as his striking duo. Sergio scored his second brace in as many matches and with the two players on good form, will Pellegrini select them to play against Chelsea?

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Friday, 25 October 2013

In the Spotlight: Chelsea

No. 10: The return of Mourinho, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard

By Aaron Leggott

Two wins in the last two away games has put the Blues in a brilliant position going into November. Edging towards a third of the season, we are set to face arguably our biggest title rivals on Sunday as we make the trip to the capital to play Jose Mourinho's Chelsea. I caught up with Chelsea fan Jamie Collett (@jamieberry11) to get a lowdown on Sunday's opponents.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

CSKA Moscow 1 - 2 Manchester City: Thoughts and Ratings

By Adam Bailey

My thoughts

In truth, I anticipated a rugged encounter in Moscow, but to my absolute delight, it turned out to be a relatively straightforward victory for the blues. The pitch was in terrible nick and the paint job only amplified the shoddiness of CSKA’s match preparation. As for the racist chants, well, it just shows you which countries are still insistent on living in the dark ages.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Freezing conditions and an intimidating foreign crowd usually carry bad omens for City, but we dominated from the off. David Silva’s return to the team has ensured a return our normal style of play and unsurprisingly, the Spaniard bossed the midfield once again on Wednesday night. Fernandinho capitalised on his impressive display against West Ham last weekend and his effortless composure on the ball made City look like magicians on a beachy playing surface.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Match Reflection: CSKA Moscow 1 - 2 Manchester City

Crucial victory in Moscow as Agüero stars yet again for gutsy City

By Jack Mumford

City battled to a 2-1 victory over a struggling CSKA Moscow side thanks to another two goals from Sergio Agüero on Wednesday evening. CSKA weren’t City’s only obstacle to the three points as the Arena Khimki pitch certainly didn’t lend itself to the passing brand of football City currently play. 

However Agüero, who is going through a purple patch of eight goals in his last six games, replied to CSKA’s opener quickly to guide City to a victory that is the perfect response to their recent crushing defeat against Bayern Munich.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Manuel Pellegrini chose to keep the same 4-4-2 formation that worked so well at West Ham on Saturday but rotated his fullbacks as Pablo Zabaleta and Aleksandar Kolarov came in for Micah Richards and Pablo Zabaleta respectively. The only other change to the line-up was Samir Nasri dropping to the bench as Jesús Navas filled his right sided midfielder role.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Match Preview: CSKA Moscow vs Manchester City

City looking to bounce back after Bayern defeat

By Rebecca Halliwell

Manchester City have made the long trip to the Russian capital as they prepare to face CSKA Moscow in their third match of the 13/14 Champions League campaign.

At the weekend, the Blues secured a win against West Ham United, meaning their first league away win of this season. Manchester City played well with Sergio Agüero scoring two goals and David Silva netting the third. The Blues are now sitting fourth in the league and second in their Champions League group.
Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Sunday, 20 October 2013

West Ham United 1 - 3 Manchester City: Thoughts and Ratings

By Adam Bailey 

My thoughts

Let’s be honest; our hearts were in our mouths just moments prior to kick off. West Ham’s spectacular 3-0 thrashing of Tottenham Hotspur a fortnight ago married with our repugnant away form so far this season promised only more despair for Manuel Pellegrini’s title chasers.

Those were the typical thoughts of a pessimistic City fan who knew that his beloved blues could beat, and also lose to any team in the Premier League. However, class (not money) shone through and we stylishly placed the Hammers back in the toolbox.

For me, there were three stand out performers, two of which have undergone some unfair criticism this season. Firstly, Sergio Agüero looks to be back to his brilliant best and seems to have put his parasitical injury trouble behind him. Six league goals already this campaign pays testament to his natural finishing ability and his second of the game shows he has no trouble heading the ball either!

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Match Reflection: West Ham United 1 - 3 Manchester City

Agüero nails Hammers with ease

By Jack Mumford

A Sergio Agüero inspired victory ended City’s dismal away form in an impressive 3-1 triumph at the Boleyn Ground yesterday evening. Pellegrini’s men had already lost away at Cardiff City and Aston Villa with their only previous away point this season coming at Stoke City in stark contrast to their 100% home record. This record never looked likely to continue though as City enjoyed near total domination over Sam Allardyce’s industrious, if not particularly exciting, West Ham side.

Agüero and Silva celebrate in front of the travelling faithful
Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

In the first game after the international break that was successful for so many of City’s players and with an apparent lack of defenders to pick from, the Chilean manager chose Javi Garcia over Joleon Lescott to accompany Matija Nastasić at the back in perhaps the biggest surprise in the team. Pablo Zabaleta was also rested as him and the now fit Micah Richards rotate in the right back role.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Match Preview: West Ham United vs Manchester City

City looking to improve away record in Capital

By Rebecca Halliwell

Tomorrow Manchester City are set to face West Ham United. In last year’s corresponding fixture, the Hammers held the Blues to a goalless draw with West Ham incorrectly having a goal ruled out for offside. Last season, Manchester City struggled to find any away form and even though they were unbeaten at that stage in late November, they had lost ground in the title race. This season is proving to be similar with the Blues having lost to Cardiff and Aston Villa despite being in front, as well as a draw with Stoke.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

In the Spotlight: West Ham United

No. 9: Ravel Morrison, Manuel Pellegrini and West Ham's inconsistent form

By Aaron Leggott

The international break has finally come to an end as Premier League football returns this weekend. Ahead of City's game at West Ham, we caught up with Hammers fan Jack Bowers (@JackBowers92) to get a lowdown on tomorrow evening's opponents. 

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Match Reflection: Manchester City 3 - 1 Everton

City continue their 100% home league record against Everton

By Jack Mumford

Goals from Álvaro Negredo, Sergio Agüero and a Tim Howard own goal made it four victories from four home Premier League games for City this season as they overcame an in-form Everton side 3-1 this lunchtime. 

This result improved a bad week in which City have lost both to Aston Villa and Bayern Munich. The impressive win came despite playing the last hour without inspirational captain Vincent Kompany who walked off with a suspected groin strain. Kompany was joined on the treatment table by Aleksandar Kolarov who disappeared down the tunnel midway through the second half.

Boss Manuel Pellegrini elected to stick with the same 4-4-2 formation that was so convincingly beaten by European champions Bayern Munich on Wednesday night.  However, there were several changes in personnel as Pablo Zabaleta came back into the side, Joleon Lescott came in for Matija Nastasić to slot in alongside Kompany - albeit only for half an hour - and Kolarov started ahead of Gaël Clichy at left back.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Friday, 4 October 2013

Match Preview: Manchester City vs Everton

Does Pellegrini have the Hart to keep number one between the sticks?

By Aaron Leggott

Everton will be travelling to the Etihad Stadium for the early lunchtime kick off with realistic hopes of putting a further dent in Manchester City's title hopes. 

After Wednesday's defeat at home to Bayern Munich, City have endured a mixed start in all competitions - whilst Everton come into the game in a rich vein of form after winning all their games in September under the guidance of Roberto Martínez.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

It seems like the Spaniard's deadline day signings have made an immediate impact. Romelu Lukaku, James McCarthy and Gareth Barry all made the decision to move to Goodison Park - with the latter missing out tomorrow as he can't play against his parent club.

In the Spotlight: Everton

No. 8: Keeping Leighton Baines, new signings and a bold prediction!

By Aaron Leggott

Following two consecutive defeats against Aston Villa and Bayern Munich, the Blues are set to face Everton in the day's early kick off. We caught up with Toffees fan Nick Bailey (@nbabsolutely) to get a perspective from our upcoming opponent.

Photo: Official Everton Facebook

Manchester City 1 - 3 Bayern Munich: Thoughts and Ratings

By Aaron Leggott

My thoughts

I'll start this off by saying that I wasn't too surprised with the result on Wednesday. A lot of City fans went into the game thinking we could at least match the quality of Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich - but the match proved their superiority - not only over City, but the rest of Europe as well.

The front six of Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Arjen Robben, Toni Kroos, Franck Ribéry and Thomas Müller was used to devastating effect, with Micah Richards describing the game as playing against an extra man. 

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Match Reflection: Manchester City 1 - 3 Bayern Munich

Brilliant Bayern down City with ease

By Rebecca Halliwell

Manuel Pellegrini's Manchester City were given a cruel lesson in European football after current Champions League holders Bayern Munich annihilated the Blues in their own back yard.

Goals from Franck Ribéry, Thomas Müller and Arjen Robben gave Munich an initial 3-0 advantage before Álvaro Negredo came off the bench to grab City a consolation goal on 79 minutes.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

In truth, City had a good first five minutes. They kept possession despite the pressure and Micah Richards tested Manuel Neuer with a decent header from a corner. But one defensive lapse led to Bayern’s first goal on seven minutes. Joe Hart’s attempted save was poor and Ribéry's strike from outside the box deflected in off his arm.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Match Preview: Manchester City vs Bayern Munich

City set to take on European Champions

By Aaron Leggott

After a convincing win in the Czech Republic a fortnight ago, Manchester City are getting ready to face a totally different challenge this evening in the Champions League.

That challenge comes in the form of current holders Bayern Munich, who travel to the Etihad for the second time in three years. That game saw City come out as comfortable 2-0 winners, but it was essentially a dead rubber with Bayern resting a number of key players.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

In the Spotlight: FC Bayern Munich

No. 7: Previous meetings, Pep Guardiola and Franck Ribéry

By Aaron Leggott

Our first Champions League game at the Etihad Stadium this season sees the Blues pit their wits against the current holders, Bayern Munich. We caught up with Enis Köylü (@eniskoylu) a German and Turkish football expert who works as a sub editor and site manager for Goal. 

Photo: Official Bayern München Facebook

Monday, 30 September 2013

Match Reflection: Aston Villa 3 - 2 Manchester City

Dominant Blues suffer shock defeat

By Aaron Leggott

A second half turnaround from Aston Villa ensured a brilliant week culminated with a sour ending as the Blues succumbed to their second Premier League defeat of the season.

In truth, anyone who watched the game would have expressed their surprise at this result, such was City's domination for large periods of the game.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Yaya Touré opened the scoring for the Blues, before Karim El Ahmadi levelled the scoreline just after half time. Edin Džeko almost instantly replied to put City back ahead before goals from Leandro Bacuna and Andreas Weimann secured the points for the Villans.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Match Preview: Aston Villa vs Manchester City

City looking to continue their impressive form

By Alex Mason

Manchester City should be sky high with confidence after winning their first game in the Champions League since 2011, and destroying local rivals Manchester United in the derby last week. 

City will be looking to build on their 12 goals in the last three games
Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

This weekend, they take on Aston Villa - a team that the Blues love to play. City have defeated Villa 18 times in the Premier League, more than any other team in the league. The last time Villa beat City was in 2011, courtesy of a Darren Bent goal. 

In the Spotlight: Aston Villa

No. 6: Christian Benteke, Sergio Aguero and a comfortable afternoon in the Midlands

By Aaron Leggott

Ahead of tomorrow's clash against Aston Villa, we spoke to Villa fan Gez Mulholland (@GezMulholland), as he talks about Villa's chances against the Blues, Christian Benteke and their new summer signings. 

Photo: Wikipedia

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Match Reflection: Manchester City 5 - 0 Wigan Athletic

Revenge is sweet! City smash Latics for five to progress in Capital One Cup

By Aaron Leggott

There were plenty of broken hearts when Ben Watson headed home during injury time to clinch the FA Cup for Wigan in May, but there is an increasing feeling that the Wembley wrongs are being rewritten after Jesús Navas smashed in City's 12th goal in three games, and the fifth of the night yesterday as the Blues pushed the Latics aside with ease.

Goals from Edin Džeko and Yaya Touré, as well as a brace on his home debut for Stevan Jovetić secured a comfortable route into the fourth round of the Capital One Cup as Manuel Pellegrini looks to fight on all four fronts this season.

Jovetić was in great form as City produced yet another emphatic win
Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

There was also rare first team appearances for Marcos Lopes and Dedryck Boyata, whilst Micah Richards returned from injury to play a full 90 minutes.