The Latest Manchester City FC Transfer News for 2016 – 2017
Historical Transfer News and Team Gossip has been archived below:
Roberto Mancini begins his closed season with many targets on his radar as he looks to reinforce his squad of champions for next season with a host of star names being linked with a move to Eastlands. At the moment there seems to be more players departing Eastlands this summer than arriving sparking worries among fans that the team may be left short handed next season if the manager fails to bring in his top targets.
One of the first players who is likely to be leaving Manchester City permanently is Emmanuel Adebayor who has been on a season long loan at Tottenham. Spurs are said to be extremely interested in retaining the services of the striker and are looking to strike a deal to bring him to White Hart Lane on a permanent deal but with city looking for a much higher price than Tottenham have been willing to pay it is very unclear where the players future lies but it is certain it is not at Eastlands.
The Manchester side have now been seen to enter the race for Arsenals top striker Robin Van Persie as he is set to leave the Emirates as he has chosen not to sign a new deal and now the north London club are looking to cash in on their prized asset before he can walk away free at the end of next season. City as well as Manchester United, Chelsea and Juventus are all attempting to lure the player into their squads with a fee of around twenty five million pounds being touted as the figure arsenal wish to receive for their players services.
Ac Milan have recently stepped up their interest in bringing Edin Dzeko to the San Siro even though manager Roverto Mancini seems reluctant to lose his striker but as Dzeko has found a place in the starting line up hard to achieve he may lose his striker to one of Europe`s biggest clubs for a fee thought to be around the twelve million pound mark.
The future of Carlos Tevez is again up in the balance as the striker has not put to rest rumours that he may be on his way to Paris St Germain this summer with the big spending French team very keen on acquiring his services for next season. After the long feud between Tevez and Mancini last season which resulted in the striker going into self imposed exile in Argentina for four months it is very unclear if the rift has just been cleared publicly rather than in regards of them being ok in a personal fashion.
Real Madris have stepped up their interest in Manchester City defender Micah Richards as he is seen to be one of Jose Mourinho`s top targets for the summer with a fee of around ten million pounds looking to be on the table. City have made no reply as of yet to this offer and we will have to wait and see if Richards will remain at Eastlands next season or could he be on his way to the sunny Madrid.
A wildly entertaining game was somehow heading towards a goalless conclusion, until Bernardo Silva’s late, decisive - and controversial - strike
No word from the managers, as the television coverage switches breathlessly to Craven Cottage.You can go there too, with our old pal John Brewin. Should anything of interest be said - and Dean Smith’s interview promises to be lively - you can be sure to read all about it later on this very website. But no need to worry, because Jamie Jackson’s verdict has landed! You know what to do: click, click, click! Thanks for reading this MBM. Stay safe, healthy, dry and warm, everyone. Nighty night!
The Premier League have explained why Silva’s decisive goal stood. Rodri was trotting back from an obvious offside position, but once Mings chested it down and attempted to make a pass, he effectively played Rodri back onside. Here’s the relevant law: “A player in an offside position, receiving the ball from an opponent who deliberately plays the ball, is not considered to have gained an advantage.” Is the law an ass? Well, Mings wouldn’t have played the ball had Rodri not been where he was in the first place. You can understand why Villa are aggrieved, but it would seem City have the laws of the game on their side. A long evening of heated debate stretches out ahead on social media, which is one of the many reasons your humble MBM hack doesn’t go on it.
The win puts City top of the Premier League! That’s the first time they’ve got there all season, and they’re now the ninth team to take pole during this wild and wonderful season. Now on 38 points after 18 games, they depose Leicester City (played 19) on goal difference. United (played 18, 37 points) have the chance to regain top spot by winning at Fulham. John Brewin is all over the 8.15pm kick-0ff. Villa meanwhile remain in 11th position on 26, though they’ve only played 16 matches so far.
It could have ended 8-3, 2-4, or anything in between. But this is how it ends. What a sensationally entertaining game of football. Just a shame there’s a whiff of controversy over Bernardo Silva’s winner, Rodri getting away with interfering from an offside position. But on balance, it would be tough to argue that City didn’t deserve the win over the piece. Villa can be proud of their performance, though.
90 min +2: Four extra minutes. Most of the first two are taken up with celebratory faff. Villa are understandably deflated. They gave this everything.
Gundogan has missed tonight from four yards, and two yards, but he makes no mistake from 12. Batter! City are going top, for a couple of hours at least!
Cancelo has a batter from distance. It’s tipped round the post by Martinez. Villa deal with the corner, but City are quickly coming back at them. Jesus wins a header, just to the left of goal. It’s going wide, but hits Cash’s arm. Penalty, as his arm was miles out of position.
87 min: More admin: Taylor is booked for some transgression or other, while Walton explains that Dean Smith wasn’t shown a second yellow; after the yellow was shown, Smith must have offered some trenchant analysis that deserved a straight red. What a ride this game has been.
85 min: If you thought this game hadn’t been weird enough already, BT Sport refereeing expert Peter Walton has disagreed with the officials over the goal! His view: Rodri was interfering with play, and the goal shouldn’t have stood. And you know what, he’s exactly right. Rodri came back from an offside position, miles off, then hassled Mings, whose mistake Silva capitalised from.
83 min: Mahrez breezes down the right with Villa short at the back. Mahrez thinks there’s somebody with him on the overlap, and plays a pass to nobody. Martinez gratefully receives the gift.
81 min: Villa claim that Rodri was offside during that move. He wasn’t interfering with play, according to both the ref and VAR. Dean Smith takes the protest too far, and is first given a yellow card, then a red. He stomps off towards the dressing room muttering words beginning with eff and cee.
It’s gone in no! Mings fails to deal with a long ball. Silva picks it up, advances down the inside-right channel, drops a shoulder to move back infield, and curls an unstoppable shot into the top left! To be fair, that had been coming.
77 min: This is beyond absurd now. This is positively psychedelic. This is four-years-of-Trump trippy. Mahrez romps in from the right. The ball deflects off Mings and somehow squirts across the face of goal and inches wide of the left-hand post. Then from the resulting corner, Jesus swings one in from the left, the ball shaving the right-hand post. How is this ball not going in?
76 min: McGinn doesn’t have his shooting boots on tonight. A cute roll-back and flick by Grealish tees up McGinn, free on the spot. Fresh-air swipe. Oh my.
75 min: Now it’s City’s turn to escape! McGinn slips Watkins into space down the left. He crosses low. Ramsey is waiting to tap in, but Dias, aquaplaning across the turf, somehow hooks it away just in time!
74 min: Targett has picked up a knock, and he’s replaced at left-back by Taylor.
72 min: City must be wondering how the hell they haven’t scored. Gundogan has missed two absolute sitters, from a combined distance of about five yards. Pep responds by rolling the dice, swapping Sterling for Mahrez.
70 min: A positively absurd miss by Gundogan! More box bagatelle, and the ball breaks to Gundogan on the edge of the six-yard box. He heads goalwards. It’s blocked. Martinez is out of position, and the ball’s back to Gundogan, who merely has to poke home from a couple of yards ... but he can’t sort his feet out, somehow missing it, the ball magically whistling between his legs! Villa hack clear.
68 min: Luiz is booked for a cynical tug on Silva. Before play restarts, Villa make a double change, El Ghazi and Ramsey coming on for Traore and Barkley.
67 min: Watkins is released down the left. His low shot-cum-cross is half cleared by City. The ball breaks to Luiz, who hits a screamer through a thicket of players. Ederson pulls off a marvellous parry in the circumstances. Chances are the flag would have gone up for offside had that gone in, with Barkley lurking behind the last man.
66 min: Luiz slaps the free kick witlessly into the wall. What a dangerous position that was. What a waste for Villa.
65 min: Barkley, to the left of the D, slips a ball infield for McGinn, who purchases a cheap free kick from an over-committed Gundogan. A free kick in a central position, just outside the D.
64 min: Luiz sends a 25-yard riser straight down Ederson’s throat. Tell you what, not much of this game has been played in the middle third. I’d quite like to see the stats for that. It must be some sort of Premier League outlier.
63 min: Some penalty-box pinball down the other end now, as Foden fizzes one in low from the left. Jesus can’t control. Gundogan can only slash wide left from close range.
61 min: After some penalty-box pinball, McGinn slices a shot from the edge of the box so badly that it ends up behind him, curling through 180 embarrassing degrees. Above the piped-in crowd noise, you can hear a cruel, but perfectly timed, “hoo hoo” of laughter.
60 min: Space for Foden down the left. He rolls inside for Jesus, but there’s to be no instant impact for the City sub. He’s swarmed and Villa break, Grealish grooving his way down the left and winning a free kick off Cancelo. A free kick just to the left of the City box.
59 min: De Bruyne makes way for Jesus. He gestures towards the ankle he hurt against Palace. City fans will hope this is just precautionary.
58 min: Foden bullies Traore off the ball and barges in from the left. Foden enters the box and goes for the curler towards the top right, but gets the spin all wrong and it sails miles wide.
56 min: De Bruyne is on the turf again, but only because Grealish has slid in on him late. Grealish offers his apologies immediately. He’s slightly lucky to get away without a yellow, but the referee is probably taking the slippery conditions into consideration.
54 min: De Bruyne reverts to type, his wily pass finding Cancelo, who sashays in from the right, enters the box, and lashes a rising shot off the top of the crossbar! How on earth is this still goalless? It’s been a brilliant game, with chances aplenty.
52 min: This is one-way traffic. Down the left, Foden wins a corner off Konsa and takes the set piece himself. Martinez claims, and launches long for Traore down the right. Traore brings it down from the sky and dinks it infield with one touch, sending - of all people - De Bruyne sprawling on the wet turf! Traore’s away! He races down the right, cuts inside past Zinchenko, but doesn’t quite get enough purchase on his curler towards the bottom left. Ederson claims. That would have been goal of the season, not least because the Premier League’s most consistently brilliant player over the last few seasons was the hapless victim!
51 min: Gundogan, out on the left, rolls a pass infield for Foden, who cushions a return. Gundogan opens his body and looks for the curler into the top right. Not quite; too high.
49 min: Cancelo drives down the right and whips a cross in. Easy for Martinez this time, but Villa are struggling to get out.
48 min: Sterling plays an elegant long-distance one-two with De Bruyne down the right, but his cross, intended for Foden at the far post, is way too heavy.
47 min: City are quickly on the attack again. Sterling opens his body to shoot, having cut in from the right, but Mings blocks.
Villa - who had been happy to keep their hosts waiting in the rain - eventually get the second half underway. No changes.
An extremely entertaining half comes to an end. City have posed more threat; Villa have defended staunchly and will be the happier of the teams as everyone goes in to wrap themselves in hot towels and pop on some fresh kit. Don’t go anywhere!
45 min +2: Now some heroics from Villa’s other full back, as Targett smashes the ball away just in time, De Bruyne waiting for a Foden pull back to arrive.
45 min +1: City go up the other end and should take the lead. De Bruyne, out on the right, somehow spots, then threads a pass towards, Foden, free in the box on the left. Foden smacks a shot goalwards, but it’s blocked by Cash.
45 min: Barkley advances on the City box again. He’s got Grealish to his left, and Watkins to his right, but opts for the curler towards the bottom right again. It’s deflected out for a corner, reward his poor shot didn’t really deserve. Nothing comes of the set piece.
43 min: City probe this way and that, but Villa hold their shape well. Rodri eventually flings a long cross in from the right. Foden meets it with a header, but there’s no power on it, and Martinez snaffles with ease.
41 min: Foden and Zinchenko combine well down the left, but the substitute isn’t causing Cash as many problems as Cancelo did. Zinchenko is forced to turn tail, and the move peters out.
39 min: City’s eighth corner of the match leads to a ninth, out on the right. Martinez comes out to claim number ten, flaps like a swan, and is fortunate to be awarded a free kick for clanking into Stones. Keepers always get those.
37 min: Barkley advances into the City box and tries a curler towards the bottom right. Ederson holds on well in these sodden conditions, and good thing too for City, because Traore was sniffing around in the hope of picking up any rebound.
36 min: Mings takes his own sweet time over a free kick. The City bench spring up as one, incensed at the perceived time-wasting. Dean Smith, on the other hand, views it as professional clock management. The referee has a word with Mings. For a second, it looks as though Smith and Guardiola are going to lock horns, but what initially looks like a full and frank exchange of views ends in broad smiles and low fives.
34 min: Foden wheechs a glorious ball across the face of the six-yard box from the left. Any toe-poke and it’s in. But nobody in sky blue has bothered to take a gamble. Villa escape again.
33 min: Incidentally, Zinchenko has taken up his position at left-back. Cancelo has moved over to the other flank to deputise for poor Walker.
31 min: Rodri has a belt from distance. Sterling becomes the victim of friendly fire, and the deflection goes out for a goal kick.
30 min: City apply some pressure on the pedal. De Bruyne has a whack from just inside the area. His powerful sidefoot is blocked out for a corner. From the set piece, the ball’s worked to Sterling on the right. He fizzes into the six-yard box, but that one’s blocked out too. The third corner leads to nothing.
28 min: Dr MBM is vindicated! Walker does indeed limp to the bench, after trying his best to run that thigh injury off. Zinchenko comes on to replace him. The good doctor’s hard-won reputation restored!
27 min: Grealish slips Traore into the City box down the left, but with options in the middle, Traore flashes an ambitious effort from a tight angle into the side netting.
26 min: Corner for Villa out on the right. Grealish’s delivery is no good, and City are quickly breaking upfield. Villa are light at the back, but De Bruyne plays an uncharacteristically clumsy pass down the left, hoping to release Sterling but only managing to clump it out for a goal kick.
25 min: Dr MBM is a right quack. Walker, at death’s door a couple of minutes ago according to this report, is running freely again. Zinchenko, who had been warming up with a view to replacing him, has sat back down again.
23 min: De Bruyne heads a pass down the right for Sterling, who skitters into the Villa box and wins a corner off Targett. De Bruyne takes. The ball clanks off Konsa and tees up Rodri on the penalty spot. Rodri gets a shot off, but it’s weak and straight at Martinez.
21 min: It doesn’t look as though Walker is going to be able to continue. A problem with his thigh? His hamstring? He’s down getting treatment, though he springs back up quickly enough and appears determined to play on. Not sure how long he’ll last, as he’s still jogging around very gingerly.
19 min: More space for Cancelo, who is having a whale of a time out on this left wing. He reaches the byline yet again and whips through the six-yard box. Sterling can’t get anywhere near, blocked off cleverly by Mings.
17 min: Although to be fair to Walker, he’s hobbling a bit and grimacing quite a lot. After another phase of play, Grealish comes over again and puts his arm around his England team-mate’s shoulder. All friends again. The tussle itself looked innocuous.
15 min: Grealish and Walker tussle under a high ball out on Villa’s left touchline. Walker ends up in a heap on the floor and isn’t too happy about it. The referee comes over and reminds both that they’re grown men.
14 min: Another corner for City, on the left. Gundogan challenges at the far post. Villa get it clear, after a minor stramash in the six-yard box. There is absolutely no way this match is going to end goalless.
12 min: Cancelo throws a couple of shapes down the left and confuses Cash. He breaks into the box and tees up Foden, whose shot is blocked by Konsa. Barkley over-elaborates with a back-heel as Villa try to clear their lines, but City can’t capitalise on the mistake. Out since November, the rusty Barkley got away with one there.
10 min: And now it could easily be 2-2, and should be 0-1. Villa have a man over on the break. Grealish is in acres to the right of the D. Barkley, driving upfield, slaps the pass straight at Cancelo. Now it’s Villa’s turn to wonder how they haven’t converted a fine opportunity into a goal. This is great entertainment.
9 min: Foden shimmies in from the left, dropping one shoulder then the other, and makes his way into the box. He releases a pearler of a shot, but it’s blocked and deflected out for a corner, which comes to nothing. Just the nine minutes gone, yet this could easily be 2-1.
8 min: Foden dances along the byline to the left of goal. His cutback is cleared. This is breathless.
7 min: Grealish diddles his way down the left and reaches the byline, before fizzing a dangerous low ball into the mixer. There’s nobody in black to receive the cross, so City clear and go up the other end again.
6 min: ... then pour up the other end, Barkley finding Traore in space out on the right. He sails past Cancelo with ease and dribbles into the box. Serious danger for City here! But Traore over-elaborates, torn between shooting from an angle and teeing up Grealish in the middle, and is eventually crowded out. Great start, this.
5 min: Nothing comes of the next corner. Villa relax ...
4 min: A free kick for City out on the right. De Bruyne knocks it in. Grealish concedes a corner. From the corner, the ball drops to Silva, a couple of yards out. He’s got to score, but somehow Martinez gets in the way to block. What a save! Stones tries to poke home the rebound, but Cash deflects over the bar for another corner. What an escape by Villa!
2 min: It already feels like City have made over 200 passes. Villa haven’t touched it yet. Ah now they have, Gundogan spraying a diagonal ball towards Silva on the right, Targett chesting it down to intercept.
Here we go, then. Manchester City get the ball rolling ... but only after the knee is taken. No room for racism. Kick it out.
The teams are out! Manchester City wear their sky blue, while Aston Villa are in second-choice black. Jack Grealish looks in a very chipper mood, exchanging cheery patter with the officials. Some breaking news: it’s raining in Manchester. We’ll be off in a minute or two.
I missed a tinder-dry zinger from Dean Smith: “We’re unbeaten in 18 days.” He’s here all week, ladies and gentlemen. Try the egg.
Pep’s up next. “We still haven’t finished the first leg. We have many games to play for all the teams, so many things can happen. This is the toughest period, the weather conditions are tough, you don’t see the light, you don’t see the sky. Our life is training and go home. Another game, go. That’s just what we will have to do.”
Dean Smith talks to BT Sport: “It’s nice to be out of the house! We haven’t played since New Year’s Day. Hopefully the lads will be fresh but we’ve had the Covid situation and players who have been suffering, so hopefully they will be OK. There’s a little bit of the unknown, but we’re not making any excuses and hopefully this is a team that can compete tonight.”
Manchester City make three changes to the team sent out to batter Crystal Palace 4-0 on Sunday. Phil Foden, Rodri and Joao Cancelo come in; Gabriel Jesus, Fernandinho and Oleksandr Zinchenko drop to the bench.
Aston Villa’s last fixture was the FA Cup tie against Liverpool. They were forced to send out the whippersnappers for that one, so let’s look back to the New Year’s Day match at Old Trafford instead. Just the one change to the team that was unfortunate to go down 2-1: Ross Barkley comes in for Anwar El Ghazi, who is named today as a sub.
Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Dias, Joao Cancelo, De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Sterling, Foden. Subs: Gabriel Jesus, Zinchenko, Steffen, Torres, Mendy, Fernandinho, Mahrez, Garcia, Bernabe.
Aston Villa: Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett, Douglas Luiz, Barkley, Traore, Grealish, McGinn, Watkins. Subs: Heaton, Taylor, Nakamba, El Ghazi, Engels, Guilbert, Elmohamady, Davis, Ramsey.
Welcome to our coverage of the second phase of an elegant game of leapfrog. Last night Leicester City hopped over Manchester United and Manchester City to hit the top of the Premier League table. Now it’s City’s turn to attempt the leap from third to first, which they’ll do this evening if they see off Aston Villa. The third manoeuvre comes later, when Manchester United visit Fulham, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.
City are hot favourites to beat Villa. They’re bang in form, having won their last five in a row, while Villa’s Premier League squad haven’t played since New Year’s Day thanks to an outbreak of this damn virus. Villa’s players can be forgiven if they lack some match sharpness, then, and of course who can predict the effect on anyone who has had Covid-19. There’s also the small matter of Villa’s historical record at City: they’ve lost on 14 of their last 15 visits, and are on the wrong end of an aggregate score of 33-4.
This was a breathless affair for which an abacus was needed to keep count of the endless chances. Manchester City created most of these in a blur of activity close to Emiliano Martínez’s goal and when Aston Villa were finally breached on 79 minutes it was deserved.
Tyrone Mings dallied, Rodri mugged him, the effervescent Bernardo Silva received the ball, swerved away from a clutch of defenders, then fired in a memorable strike. This brought jubilation for City and anger for Villa as the visitors complained Rodri had come from an offside position. Dean Smith’s ire was enough to have him sent off by Jonathan Moss, the referee unimpressed by the manager’s vociferous complaints.
Frenchman unable to break partnership of Stones and Dias
‘He has to be focused to come back in the best condition’
Pep Guardiola has said Aymeric Laporte can reclaim his first-choice status for Manchester City, despite the impressive central defensive partnership of John Stones and Rúben Dias.
The Frenchman had been an automatic choice since signing in January 2018 before a poor display in the 2-0 defeat at Tottenham in mid-November allowed Stones to re-establish himself in the XI, alongside Dias. Laporte has also since struggled with injury. Stones and Dias have been key in City’s impressive record of 17 clean sheets this term but the manager is clear there is a route back for the 26-year-old.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær takes a leaf out of Fergie’s book, Mason Mount channels vintage Lampard and Wolves’ woes go on
There has been recent evidence that Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s adherence to the lessons learned at Sir Alex Ferguson’s feet was wavering. His Manchester United have lately shown something of their own identity, but here Solskjær used a classic Fergie blueprint. Even when United were far superior to Liverpool, Anfield was where the old master’s team would sit deep and try to score on the counter, or from set pieces. It is not difficult to imagine unsung players like Scott McTominay and Fred being handed a Ferguson detail of sweeping up the bits and pieces in midfield in the mould of a Phil Neville or Quinton Fortune. There was to be no unlikely goalscoring hero in the mould of a John O’Shea, Diego Forlan or Gary Pallister. Instead, Sunday will be recalled in future for Anfield’s emptiness, a match endured rather than enjoyed. And Ferguson, even during his imperial period, would probably have been happy with a point. John Brewin
Stones says during his spell out of the team he took a long, hard look in the mirror and decide to make improvements. Micah Richards is taking credit for it now.
Stones: “Very good. We knew it was a tough game today, the last two years we’ve not beaten then at home. It is something we’ve worked on the last few days, another cleansheet and win to keep that run going.
“I need to contribute with goals.”
What a side!
5 & 9 - Manchester City are the first team to record five consecutive victories in the Premier League in 2020-21, while they’re now unbeaten in nine games in the competition (W7 D2). Charge. pic.twitter.com/1CQWOPJpLc
Rico says: “Would be good to see him and Torres get some time together. However, you can’t argue against Silva getting a game.”
Their time will come.
Balanced it out.
John Stones scored as many goals today (2) as Manchester City have conceded this season when he has been on the pitch.
Two clinical finishes from Stones and beautiful strikes from Gundgoan and Sterling make it a great day for City who barely got out of second gear. Palace had a plan to defend, so had no response to City taking the lead. Easy peasy.
90 mins: Two minutes more.
Richard Hirst asks: “But can anyone sort out the pecking order (pun intended) of Eagles, Magpies, Seagulls and Throstles?”
McCarthy bundles Torres over on the edge of the area. Sterling decides he should be the man to shoot from 18 yards, he gives a stuttering run-up and then curls it into the top corner on the goalkeeper’s side. It is a cracker!
86 mins: Happy birthday for tomorrow Pep!
Two stones enveloped by a gundogan nutsack....and guardiola standing proud
84 mins: How do all of these Premier League footballers have such professional looking haircuts? I NEED TO KNOW! I’ve been cutting my own since March.
82 mins: Simon McMahon brings exact science to the blog in response to Peter Oh (60 mins): “Evening Will. Stones may indeed break crystal, but paper wraps stones, and scissors cut paper. On which basis I’m predicting Arsenal to win the league, and Sheffield United to avoid relegation. It’s not a scientific basis, granted, but still ...”
80 mins: Batshuayi is now being punished for his half-assed warmup and is forced onto the pitch for the final 10 minutes or so. Not much for him to achieve here.
78 mins: Looking at the replay, Ayew seems to trip himself up before Fernandinho slides in to get the ball.
76 mins: Ayew is still on the pitch, which is a bit harsh on the lad. He has had nothing to work with all day and has chased the ball and shadows for 76 minutes. He is now claiming for a penalty after bursting into the box before being taken down. The referee waves it away but VAR will check, I am sure.
74 mins: Hodgson and Lewington are out on the touchline. I assume they are just telling their players to keep going in a professional manner.
72 mins: De Bruyne and Gundogan with Torres and Cancelo coming on.
70 mins: Stones has now scored two Premier League goals for City, having scored zero before today. Lovely stuff.
De Bruyne swings in a corner which Dias heads towards goal, forcing Guaita into a good save but he can only parry it straight to Stones on the penalty spot, who smashes it into the back of the net for his second of the match!
66 mins: Batshuayi is out to warm up but his routine consists of standing with his arms folded while speaking to Benteke.
64 mins: Walker thinks he has won a throw-in off Eze but the referee awards him a free-kick, much to his surprise. Not much happening overall.
62 mins: De Bruyne swings a lovely crossfield ball into the path of Foden who takes a touch and then falls over in comical fashion.
City are now going through the motions, whereas Palace have no motions to go through. De Bruyne whips a shot from a central position 25 yards out which flashes wide.
60 mins: Ayew wins Palace a corner by whacking a shot off Dias. It comes to nothing.
Foden is on for Bernie Silva.
58 mins: Guaita takes a touch rather than clearing straightaway, allowing Jesus to close him down but the goalkeeper recovers just in time to avert disaster.
Palace clear a corner to the edge of the box, where Townsend loses possession to Gundogan, who gets it out of his feet and sets himself so he can perfectly curl it into the top corner. Ooooooof!
55 mins: Palace have Benteke and Batshuayi to bring on, but could they change much? Probably not.
53 mins: Sterling whips in a cross from the right but it defeats everyone in the box and goes out for a throw. City are still very much dominating.
51 mins: Bobby Dummett is back: “The reason I don’t see this as the Steve Coppell derby is because I his contribution to the two teams can’t really be compared, and I don’t think the City fans hold him in the high regard he deserves. It would be like calling Forest-Leeds the Brian Clough derby.”
He is a bit of a joke in east Manchester, that’s for sure.
49 mins: Sterling goes down in the box after losing his footing, so there is certainly no penalty.
47 mins: Jesus gets a whack in the chest from Cahill after the Brazilian beats him to the ball. City get a corner, which De Bruyne takes but it is easily cleared.
Paolo Biriani says: “Will, it’s easy to only remember Stevey coppell as a good manager but he was a hell of a player. God, he was good. As a youngster, seeing him in an England shirt gave me hope. Hope’s all dashed, of course, but I loved seeing him play. Keep this game as the Steve coppell derby please.”
John Stones’ goal separates the side. City have had most of the ball but been a touch pedestrian, Palace have defended well as a unit - it really is as we should have expected.
45 mins: One minute added on.
44 mins:Bobby Dunnett says: “The Steve Coppell derby? I think of this more as the Jamie Pollock derby. Or possibly the Sun Jihai derby.”
I will also accept the Eddie McGoldrick derby.
42 mins: De Bruyne finds Sterling in the box but his first touch is a little too heavy, allowing Tomkins to clear. The Palace defender thinks the throw-in should be his but the officials say otherwise, much to his chagrin.
40 mins: Ederson is probably having a lovely kip around about now. Not had anything to do.
38 mins: City will be hoping to add to their opener, as another game of holding on against a very defensive side will not be particularly inspiring. Jesus almost gets it after Gundogan flicks a cross into his path but the Brazilian can’t get much power in his header, making it easy for Guaita.
36 mins: Ward is late on De Bruyne and ends up clothes lining him 30 yards from goal to give away a free-kick. The Belgian looks a bit sore after that, so walks away from the set-piece. Gundogan takes it but sends it well over the bar.
34 mins: De Bruyne whips in another corner but it does beat the first man. Maybe he should have tried taking it with the outside of his boot.
Also a good option ...
@Will_Unwin If you lived in Toronto you could watch this game live and still have time for your tea afterwards
32 mins: The Steve Coppell Derby is certainly going the way of City at the moment. The balance that Zinchenko brings really has helped City in recent weeks, as he provides greater reliability on and off the pitch, compared to Mendy.
Walker swings in a potentially dangerous cross but it takes a flick off a Palace man and goes out for a corner.
30 mins: Palace’s gameplan really does fall apart by conceding. A second goal here would finish this as a contest, as Palace do not look keen on attacking.
28 mins: What superb cross that is from De Bruyne. There are not many in the Premier League who can provide that level of precision with the outside of their boot.
De Bruyne swings in a wonderful cross with the outside of his right boot, which lands perfectly on Stones’ head, allowing him to flick it into the corner.
24 mins: City find some impetus and as a nice move ends with De Bruyne getting a shot away from the edge of the box, which is deflected wide by Cahill’s head. The resulting corner creates to chances for City but both are blocked by Palace defenders.
22 mins: City are looking for the gaps in the Palace defence but they are really struggling to find any, resulting in the ball being passed backwards and sideways at regular intervals.
20 mins: Eze gets the ball 45 yards from goal, gets it out of his feet, sees Ederson is off his line (a bit) and pings it well over the bar. An optimistic effort.
18 mins: Walker spends 10 seconds turning one way, then the other as he works out where to pass the ball and in the end taps it five yards to De Bruyne. Palace happy to give City the ball, especially at the moment as they are doing very little with it. It is not surprising to see that Hodgson has Palace well drilled.
16 mins: City were very pedestrian against Brighton and they are not looking much quicker thus far today. Maybe they are just conserving energy.
Fernandinho sends a long diagonal ball into the box for Sterling but Ward reads it and nods it behind for a corner. De Bruyne swings it in towards the goalmouth where Guaita is waiting and punches clear.
14 mins: Ayew looks like he is in for a thankless task of chasing the ball around the halfway line today. City are knocking the ball around in the Palace half but do not look particularly penetrative.
12 mins: Bernardo Silva is the next man to try a cross into the box, but his inswinger from the right is headed well clear by Tomkins.
10 mins: A low cross is flicked into the City box but Walker is alert and gets down on his knees to chest it back to Ederson.
8 mins: De Bruyne goes over to the other side and the corner once again beats everyone in the box. Jesus eventually picks up the ball and looks to be taken down by McArthur but the referee gives nothing, as Palace take the ball up the pitch.
6 mins: Sterling earns a free-kick on the left flank after being clipped by Ward, who seems very apologetic for committing the crime. On the other side of the pitch, De Bruyne gets the ball near the byline from where he crosses the ball into McArthur to win a corner. The Belgian’s set-piece goes over everyone and results in another corner on the other side.
4 mins: Fernandinho swings a cross into the box but it lands at the feet of a Palace shirt. City are, needless to say, looking to control possession.
2 mins: There is a bit of a scrap on the far side as Palace break out after collecting the ball. Both teams look like they are up for it, at least.
Peep! Peep! Peep! Here we go!
Mary Waltz says: “Palace with Zaha had a fighting chance. Without him a 1% chance.”
Only time will tell.
Pep Guardiola says he has rotated his team, no tactical decisions in his changes. Guardiola says he does not know how Jesus will be after recovering from Covid. Something to keep an eye on ...
Zaha is missing after sustaining a knock against Arsenal. Kouyate is also absent due to a family problem.
@Will_Unwin That's all well and good, Will, but where the heck is Zaha?
After the disappointment of Liverpool v Manchester United, surely this is the real quiz now. City will fancy their forward line against that Palace back four, I am sure of that.
Greenman adds to the Foden chat: “Haven’t we put this discussion to bed? Seasons 18/19 & 19/20 saw constant criticism of Pep, both above & below the line, for not giving Foden enough game time.He’s developed into quite a useful player.Maybe the professionals know best.”
‘Quite a useful player’ indeed, but I just feel at this time he is becoming key to the side and that should be built on. Naturally, I am sure the City coaching staff know better but I can still proffer an underwhelming opinion.
Colin ‘The King’ Bell. I will out myself now as a City fan. When I was a kid - and we were utter dogshit - people would always refer back to Bell’s era and explain how good he was. I met him a few times and was a very lovely man. It’s sad to see him go but nice to witness all the great tributes to him.
Is 7.15pm on a Sunday a good time for a Premier League football match? I would quite like to be having my tea at this time but instead I am having to watch this.
Good to see Kyle Walker back - he will need to play well to make himself first choice again as Joao Cancelo has been one of City’s best players over the last month.
Robert Lin emails: “It’s just squad rotation, City play again on Wednesday, he’ll be back in the starting 11 then.”
I am not sure he needs to be rotated at the moment, he is finding his best form in midfield and is the man who is making City tick. Also, there are no guarantees he will be back on Wednesday.
Foden is back on the bench, which will not please the City fans who are desperate to see the midfielder become a mainstay of their midfield. His recent outings have been very impressive, so to leave him out is a little bit odd from Guardiola.
Palace are missing Wilfried Zaha who is completely absent from the match day squad, which will be a huge boost to City. The hosts are playing with an actual real life striker today, a rare treat for their supporters as Gabriel Jesus plays down the middle.
Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Stones, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Sterling, Jesus
Manchester City look like a great team once more. At least they did until that pedestrian performance against Brighton but let us all hope that was just a tiny blip. Kevin de Bruyne is pulling all the strings available to him and Phil Foden is showing why he should become an integral part of the City team for years to come.
At the other end of the pitch, Ruben Dias and John Stones’ internet dating relationship is blossoming even in this time of lockdown, with Joao Cancelo and Oleksandr Zinchenko offering the balance they have lacked for much of the campaign.