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  • Tue, 02 Mar 2021 20:07:50 +0000: Manchester City v Wolves: Premier League – live! - Manchester City | The Guardian

    6 min: City aren’t giving Wolves a second’s peace. Moutinho is robbed by Sterling, who drops a shoulder in an attempt to make room, 25 yards out, but can’t quite get a shot away.

    4 min: Cancelo and De Bruyne combine down the left. Dendoncker hectically hacks the latter’s cross clear. Wolves have barely touched the ball. By the looks of it, they’re in for a long night.

    3 min: Nothing comes of City’s first, but not, I’ll be bound, their last, corner.

    2 min: City quickly establish a possession tip. It’s not long before Cancelo rolls a glorious pass down the inside-left channel for Sterling, who enters the box and looks to chip over Rui Patricio. The keeper blocks and it’s just a corner.

    Wolves get the ball rolling ... but only after taking the knee. There’s no room for racism. Kick it out.

    Pre-match title sequence. Rest well, Saint.

    The teams are out! It’s a cold, clear, crisp evening in Manchester. City wear their famous sky blue, while Wolves trot out in third-choice red. We’ll be off in a minute. Meanwhile, with City chasing the world record of 27 consecutive wins set by the New Saints of Oswestry Town & Llansantffraid, Graham Moger ponders one of the Welsh club’s previous guise: Total Network Solutions is arguably the best team name I’m aware of. After Young Boys obviously.” Surely the time-honoured answer to this question is the Eswatini collective Eleven Men In Flight, although Pellets, recently dropped by Spurs in the Europa League, seem to be getting some traction at the moment, presumably on account of being one of those words, like trousers or taint, that never stops being funny, no matter how many times you say it.

    The pre-match philosophies of Pep, as told to BT Sport: Don’t think much. Try to play. Try to win the game. Everybody is fit, everybody deserves to play.

    Nuno takes his turn: The shape is the foundation. Then the dynamic is what is important. The boys are OK and ready to go.

    Manchester City once again showcase the depth of their squad, making six changes to the team that squeaked past West Ham on Saturday. Raheem Sterling, Joao Cancelo, Bernardo Silva, Rodri, Gabriel Jesus and Aymeric Laporte replace Sergio Aguero, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Ilkay Gundogan, Fernandinho, Ferran Torres and John Stones, who are all named as subs.

    Just the one change to the Wolves team that started the 1-1 draw at Newcastle. It’s a defensive one: Ki-Jana Hoever takes the place of Willian Jose, who drops to the bench.

    Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Joao Cancelo, De Bruyne, Rodri, Bernardo Silva, Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus, Sterling.
    Subs: Stones, Gundogan, Aguero, Zinchenko, Steffen, Torres, Fernandinho, Foden, Garcia.

    Wolverhampton Wanderers: Rui Patricio, Dendoncker, Coady, Saiss, Hoever, Neves, Joao Moutinho, Jonny, Nelson Semedo, Pedro Neto, Traore.
    Subs: Ait Nouri, Willian Jose, Boly, Silva, Gibbs-White, Vitinha, Ruddy, Kilman, Otasowie.

    We’re all thinking about it ... but Pep Guardiola insists his Manchester City side are in Eyes Only On Next Match mode, that they’re not assuming the Premier League is already in the bag, and they’re certainly not worried about the world record for the most consecutive victories in all competitions. That’ll be because they need to win another 22 matches on the bounce to beat Olympique Lyonnais Feminin’s total of 41, so come off it. But the men’s total of 27, set by Welsh side TNS, is in reach. They’re 20 down, just eight more to go.

    Whether they’ll be happy to see Wolves tonight is a moot point. City won easily enough in the corresponding fixture earlier in the season, 3-1, but Nuno Espirito Santo’s men did the double over them last season, 3-2 at Molineux, 2-0 at the Etihad. No other team has taken more points from City - seven - since Wolves came back to the big time in 2018. And while the City formbook is there for all to see, Wolves are in decent nick too, having taken seven points from their last three matches, and it would have been nine had Newcastle’s Martin Dubravka not made an absurd last-minute save at the weekend.

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  • Mon, 01 Mar 2021 22:30:31 +0000: Pep Guardiola targets ‘eight, nine or 10’ wins for Manchester City to regain title - Manchester City | The Guardian
    • Manchester City manager still wants improvement
    • City play Wolves seeking 21st consecutive win

    Pep Guardiola has warned any Manchester City players feeling complacent that they can be identified and dropped. City host Wolves on Tuesday hoping to extend their record number of consecutive wins to 21 and hold a 12-point lead over Manchester United in second place. Yet with 36 points left to play for, Guardiola is intent his side do not relax.

    “This is the moment when I feel that [if] everyone is thinking, the job is done, or how good it is, then this guy is not going to play,” he said. “I’m so intuitive to know exactly the guys who are not ready to continue what we have to do.

    Related: Gareth Bale is back, Arsenal impress and Glenn Roeder tributes – Football Weekly

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  • Mon, 01 Mar 2021 08:00:18 +0000: Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend's action - Manchester City | The Guardian

    Fulham continue to struggle in front of goal, Leicester threatening a second collapse and West Brom play by the rules

    At the start of Scott McTominay’s United career, his place in the team seemed predicated in José Mourinho’s antipathy towards Paul Pogba, his receipt of the manager’s player of the year award the nearest Mourinho could get to presenting it to himself. Since then, though, McTominay has improved by several orders of magnitude, contributing power, tenacity and personality – skills that have been crucial in helping United improve from sixth to second. They still struggle to dominate, however, and when Pogba is absent the entirety of the creative burden rests with Bruno Fernandes, who had an off-day at Stamford Bridge. To take the next step, they need McTominay to develop his passing – in particular around both boxes, but also with regard to the one and two-touch play that controls games – or they will remain a team able to beat the best when at their best, but whose average level stops them competing over the course of a season. Daniel Harris

    Related: Tireless runner Daniel James suits Solskjær's gameplan to disrupt

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  • Sat, 27 Feb 2021 18:00:31 +0000: Pep Guardiola and City have eased back to take a huge leap forward | Jonathan Wilson - Manchester City | The Guardian

    Manchester City have changed the way they press and, though West Ham did offer some hope to the chasing pack, a quadruple suddenly looks possible

    It is a measure of how well West Ham played at Manchester City that for a time it felt like a contest. City won in the end – of course they did – to take their run of successive victories to 20, but there were perhaps 10 minutes before half-time when they were unsettled. But by the end, the only question was how this run can ever be stopped: City at the moment feel relentless.

    The Premier League title is as good as done, they’re 2-0 up after the away leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, they’re in the quarter-final of the FA Cup and the final of the Carabao Cup: a quadruple suddenly looks distinctly possible. And it is sudden: it is only 74 days since City drew at home against West Brom, a game they had kicked off while ninth in the table. The suggestion then was that this might be the weakest side Pep Guardiola has ever managed.

    Related: Stones strikes against West Ham as Manchester City make it 20 in a row

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  • Sat, 27 Feb 2021 17:09:09 +0000: Guardiola calls Manchester City's 20 successive wins one of his greatest achievements – video - Manchester City | The Guardian

    Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola declared that his side's 20th successive victory was 'one of the greatest achievements in our careers' after beating West Ham 2-1 on Saturday.

    City won with goals from defenders Rúben Dias and John Stones – and it was a result which extended their winning streak and lifted them 13 points clear in the Premier League.

    'Not one week's rest since three months, four months, every three days a game, with Covid situations, injured situations,' Guardiola said. 'Now fortunately we have everybody fit. So this kind of run, winning, winning, winning means the strength (of the players) mentally.'

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