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.