Can anyone stop Manchester City?

By Mariah Ramharack March 22, 2021

#INCASEYOUMISSEDIT the 2021 edition with Mariah Ramharack On many a Sunday, I realize that people have looked at the stories they've seen throughout the week with different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these trending issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT the 2021 edition with Mariah

  Barring injury, Manchester City on track for a quadruple.\

Based on current form Manchester City is on course to secure four titles – the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, and the Carabao Cup.

The Citizens possess depth, quality and mental fortitude and guided by the tactical genius Pep Guardiola to sweep all that lies before them. In all competitions this season, Man City has won 25 of their last 26 games, their only defeat coming against Manchester United, who beat them 2-0 on March 7.

However, Guardiola will remind his players that there is no room for complacency as they have not won anything, yet. He will also be hoping that his players steer clear of injury during the international break.

Other than their silky smooth passing that break teams down with regularity, Manchester City have been blessed with an unyielding defence, which will be key to their success in the Champions League.

The first task will be overcoming German powerhouse Borussia Dortmund in the quarter-finals.

In the Premier League, City winning the title looks inevitable as with nine games to go, they hold a healthy 14-point lead over Manchester United who has 57 points.

The Manchester-based juggernauts have also sealed a place in the FA semi-finals following their recent 2-0 win over Everton. They are also set to face the inconsistent Tottenham Hot Sput in the Carabao Cup.

After a difficult start to the season, Manchester City has hit top form at the right time and as their genius coach explained, the secret to success is simple.

“It is not just tactics, it’s mental-being ready every game,” he said.

 

India showed its quality against England in the T20I series

India and England were locked at 2-2 heading into Sunday’s final T20I match of their closely fought series and the final match was no different.

 However, India showed their tremendous quality and class in securing a victory that was not as close as the scores suggested.

Sent to bat, India posted 224-2 in their 20 overs. It was a total that overwhelmed England, who fell short scoring 188-8 in 20 overs.

Opening the innings with Rohit Sharma, skipper Virat Kohli led from the front and was there at the end, scoring an unbeaten 80 not out from 52 balls, which prompted commentator Ian Bishop to tweet, “I would love to see Kohli open more often, especially when India bat first in T20I.”

The Indian captain and Sharma and Kohli mounted a 94-run partnership that laid the foundation for India’s mammoth score.

Sharma went on the attack early smashing 64 from 34 balls while Kohli supported from the other end.

Suryakumar Yadav’s 32 from 17 and Hardik Pandya’s unbeaten 39 not out ensured that India never lost momentum while Kohli played the perfect anchor taking over at the end to push India well beyond 200 runs.

 It was then the turn of their bowlers to defend the total on an excellent batting strip and they duly obliged. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the difference maker taking 2-15 in his four overs. Shardul Thakur took 3-45 as England struggled to stay close to the required run rate.

“It was a complete game for us. We totally outplayed the opposition,” said Kohli afterwards. “The fact Rishabh and Shreyas didn’t get the chance to bat and still got close 230, is testament to how we did with the bat.”  

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  • Silva glad to be playing his part as Guardiola hails 'extraordinary' midfielder Silva glad to be playing his part as Guardiola hails 'extraordinary' midfielder

    Bernardo Silva is glad to have rediscovered his best form for Manchester City after being hailed as an "extraordinary" player by Pep Guardiola following Saturday's win against Burnley.

    The Portugal international opened the scoring for City in their 2-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium and had other opportunities to double his tally before Kevin De Bruyne sealed the three points.

    He played a game-high three key passes against Burnley from a central position that he has become familiar with this campaign, standing out for the reigning champions in an otherwise disjointed display.

    Silva asked to leave City during the close season due to what he perceived to be an unfair lack of playing time last season, but the 27-year-old is pulling the strings once again this term and is eager to maintain his form.

    "It's tough when you don't play the minutes that you want to," he said. "It happened with me, it's happened with most of the players here. It's how it works. You have to go and fight for your place.

    "I'm happy that I am helping the team and I am happy with the momentum but it's just the beginning."

    Silva has two goals from 10 appearances in all competitions this season and, alongside fellow midfielder Rodri, Guardiola believes the former Monaco man is his side's best-performing player right now.

    "He and Rodri are in the top form. They have both played incredibly well in the last four or five games," Guardiola said. "Bernardo is at the same level as in our second season together when we won 98 points. He was out of this world, the way he played.

    "He always gives us the extra touch, the extra pass we need and he doesn’t lose balls. He scored a goal, which was important for him. The performance of Bernardo has been extraordinary again. 

    "We are incredibly lucky to have him. He is a joy to have with us and is playing in an incredible top level right now."

    Silva's goal against Burnley was his second in eight Premier League appearances against them. He has also assisted five goals in the fixture, making the Clarets his favourite opponents in the competition.

    With their victory over Burnley, City have now kept six clean sheets in their opening eight Premier League games this season – more than any other side.

    "My players always play good because they give everything and they gave it in a difficult game after the international break," Guardiola added.

    "Burnley are organised and you have to adjust and adapt to the way they play. I am so satisfied for the game we played and the victory we got."

  • Rumour Has It: Newcastle consider move for Dortmund's Haaland Rumour Has It: Newcastle consider move for Dortmund's Haaland

    The race is on to sign Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland, who might be set to make a move in mid-2022.

    Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are all interested in the Norwegian goal machine, but could Newcastle United also be a factor?.

    Haaland netted 41 goals from 41 games last term for Dortmund and already has 13 this season.

     

    TOP STORY – NEWCASTLE ENTER HAALAND RACE

    Newcastle are the latest club to enter the race to sign Borussia Dortmund's Norwegian striker Erling Haaland, reports AS.

    The report claims Real Madrid are losing their grip as favourites to sign Haaland, with Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and now Newcastle potentially in contention.

    The Magpies' move is said to be "not out of the question" following the club's takeover by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund who appear set to make a splash in the transfer market in January. 

    ROUND-UP

    - Mohamed Salah's agent has arrived in England for contract talks with Liverpool over a £500k-per-week deal, according to the Mirror.

    - ESPN reports that Premier League trio Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool are tracking Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni, rivalling Real Madrid. United's interest is said to be based around whether Paul Pogba departs.

    - Dusan Vlahovic will follow Federico Chiesa's lead and reject a new Fiorentina contract offer in favour of a move to Juventus, ignoring Premier League interest from Tottenham and Liverpool, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport.

    - Barcelona are interested in Manchester United's Nemanja Matic, claims The Sun. The Serbian has a little over 18 months remaining on his United deal so Barca believe they could sign him next off-season on a cut-price deal.

    - Goal Germany reports that Bayern Munich are making a move to sign Salzburg talent Karim Adeyemi, with the player's agent and father reportedly holding talks with the Bavarian club on Saturday.

  • Premier League data dive: Mane reaches century as Reds run riot, Foxes end United's record away run Premier League data dive: Mane reaches century as Reds run riot, Foxes end United's record away run

    Manchester United suffered a torrid second-half spell to succumb to defeat against Leicester City in Saturday's headline Premier League clash.

    Failure at the King Power Stadium places further questions over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's tenure ahead of a daunting schedule but neighbours Manchester City did not experience similar problems as the defending champions cruised to yet another victory over Burnley.

    City's fellow title contenders Chelsea made London derby history as they battled past Brentford after Liverpool's fearsome front three had comfortably dispatched Claudio Ranieri's new Watford side.

    In the other fixtures, Wolves shocked Aston Villa to overturn a two-goal deficit and Norwich City fought for a goalless draw against Brighton and Hove Albion, while Southampton registered their first win over a depleted Leeds United.

    Using Opta data, Stats Perform takes a look at the pick of the fixtures from the day.

    Watford 0-5 Liverpool: Mane hits century as Salah continues scoring run

    Roberto Firmino became the first Brazilian to score more than one hat-trick in the Premier League as Ranieri fell to defeat by the biggest margin of any manager in their first home game with a new club in the competition.

    Firmino's first two goals followed Mane's opener as the Senegal international hit his 100th Premier League goal, without scoring a penalty, with only Les Ferdinand (149) and Emile Heskey (110) previously achieving such a feat.

    Mohamed Salah played an exquisite pass for Mane's landmark goal but the Egypt forward also found the net as he danced through Watford's defence to become the joint-top scoring African – level with Didier Drogba (104) – in the history of the competition.

    His left-footed curler also made him the first Liverpool player since Daniel Sturridge in 2014 to score in eight consecutive games in all competitions as Jurgen Klopp's side became the first top-flight side to ever score three-plus goals in seven consecutive away games across all competitions.

    Leicester City 4-2 Manchester United: Foxes end Red Devils record away run

    Mason Greenwood edged United ahead with his fifth strike from outside the box in 21 Premier League goals – only David Beckham and Nani have managed a higher share of goals for the club from in such a fashion of those to score 20 times.

    However, just 54 seconds split Marcus Rashford's equaliser for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side to make it 2-2 and Jamie Vardy putting the hosts 3-2 to the good.

    Patson Daka then became the first Zambian scorer in the Premier League, with 105 different nations now having a goalscorer, as Leicester won three consecutive games in all competitions against the Red Devils for the first time since 1901.

    Not only did the Foxes, who have conceded in seven straight top-flight games under Brendan Rodgers, make history they also ended the visitors' record run as 30 games without a loss on the road came to an abrupt end.

    Brentford 0-1 Chelsea: Blues make history in the capital against unlucky Brentford

    Ben Chilwell's third goal in three games – as many as in his last 33 appearances in the league – inspired Chelsea to a record-breaking seventh consecutive away win in London derbies.

    Thomas Tuchel's men have conceded just three goals this term – the fewest they have conceded at this stage since 2010-11 (two) – as the Blues won their 15th game against new top-flight opposition in 16 attempts.

    Meanwhile, Brentford – who were stifled by Edouard Mendy's 20th clean sheet in 38 games – remain winless in seven matches against Chelsea, losing each of their last three by an aggregate scoreline of 9-0.

    Manchester City 2-0 Burnley: Guardiola's men maintain dominance over the Clarets 

    City cruised to a comfortable 2-0 victory at Etihad Stadium, meaning they now boast a 32-1 aggregate scoreline over Burnley in their last nine games across all competitions.

    Pep Guardiola's side have now kept clean sheets in six of their eight league games this term – more than any other side – as Kevin de Bruyne netted for consecutive top-flight games for the first time since July 2020.

    The Clarets, who are on the longest winless run in England's top four tiers (11), are Bernardo Silva's favourite opponent, the Portugal international directly involved in seven goals in eight games.

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