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  1. David Silva has stated that he will "always be grateful" to Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola after the premature birth of son Mateo. Silva's son was born extremely premature in December 2017 and spent five months in hospital before being allowed to go home in May. The midfielder missed games around the same period to be with his newborn son and partner. But with Mateo now at home and doing well, Silva has thanked Guardiola for his understanding during a difficult period, with his son present during Sunday's 6-1 win against Huddersfield in which the Spaniard scored a free kick. "Firstly, he [Guardiola] has been amazing with me," Silva told Laura Woods ahead of Manchester City's game against Wolves, live on Sky Sports Premier League on Saturday. "With everything that happened to me, he gave me a lot of freedom, so I'll always be grateful to him. "Secondly, inside the pitch, he makes things easier for you. He sees everything before it actually happens and that, as a player, helps a lot. "It was very special [having Mateo at the Huddersfield]; the best moment of my life. "When it all happened, I was only thinking about everything going well and I wished I could have him one day with me at the stadium, and it finally happened." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  2. Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has admitted that being without his World Cup stars during the club's pre-season tour has not been easy. The Spaniard is currently without 15 of the 16 of the players who competed at Russia 2018, with only Bernardo Silva currently in the squad. "That is not the easiest situation for any manager, not just for me," said Guardiola, speaking ahead of City's International Champions Cup match against Bayern Munich in Miami on Sunday. "I would prefer to be all together but I think for [Bayern Munich manager] Niko Kovac or for the other managers it's the same, the calendar is the calendar and we will have to adapt. "We would prefer for players to come back as soon as possible but it is not possible." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  3. Yaya Toure has accused his former manager Pep Guardiola of “having problems with Africans wherever he goes” and doing everything he could to “spoil” the Ivorian’s final season with Manchester City. The 35-year-old has been coached twice by Guardiola during his career, firstly at Barcelona where he was sold to City by the Spaniard, before spending two seasons under him at the Etihad. Toure has now departed Man City following the expiry of his contract, although he barely played during the title-winning campaign. In an interview with France Football magazine, Toure suggested the reason Guardiola treated him differently may have been because he is African. “He was cruel with me. Do you believe that Barcelona could have done that with (Andres) Iniesta? I even started wondering to myself whether it was about my colour," Toure said. “I'm not the first person to talk about his different ways of treating people. I know some other people at Barca who have also wondered about that. Maybe it's the case that we Africans aren't always treated by certain people in the same way that they treat others. “When you see that he's had problems with Africans wherever he's been in the past, you wonder. When the day comes that he picks a team featuring five Africans - and not naturalised Africans - I promise I will send him a cake!” “Pep likes to dominate and wants to have his obedient players kissing his hands. I don't like that kind of relationship. I respect my coach but that's not for me. “He took away my chance to say goodbye to City, a club with wonderful fans. I would have liked to leave in the same way that Iniesta and (Gianluigi) Buffon did, but Pep stopped that.” Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  4. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has been given a two-match ban, one of which is suspended for one season, for improper conduct following his dismissal in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool in April. The 47-year-old was sent off at half-time in the quarter-final second leg at Etihad Stadium on 10 April for complaining about a decision, and he will miss one match next season, with a second game deferred for a year. Former Barcelona boss Guardiola said he "did not insult" referee Mateu Lahoz when protesting that a disallowed goal shortly before half-time should have stood. City were leading 1-0 - but trailing 3-1 on aggregate - when Leroy Sane was adjudged offside despite firing in after the ball deflected into his path off Liverpool midfielder James Milner's knee. Liverpool, meanwhile, were fined 30,000 euros (£25,450) over crowd incidents during the quarter-finals and semi-finals. Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  5. Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has stressed that their summer recruitment will be crucial in order to avoid compromising their "winning formula". After Pep Guardiola, who signed a new three-year deal on Thursday, led City to a record-breaking Premier League and EFL Cup-double this season, Al Mubarak insists the club will not rest on their success. "In terms of improving the squad, we have had a lot of learning in the past. Today, we have a superbly high-quality squad," Al Mubarak told City TV. "You don't get to 100 points without a full, high-quality squad, which is what we have. Any additions have to improve the squad. "This is my biggest learning from the years of chairing this club. When winning, bringing in new players is a very important decision because you have a winning formula that has just won. "Whatever you can add, it has to be a decision that you don't take very lightly at all. You have to bring in players that will strengthen, improve and add competition into the squad - that is key. "We have real experiences, real learnings from how we managed our seasons following the last two times we won the league. "We have worked very hard over the last couple of years to build this squad - not only just for this season but for many seasons to come. This is a young squad. "Many of our most talented players are under the age of 26. Mine and the management's expectation, and certainly Pep's, is that this team will continue to improve. "We have a manager in Pep that is relentless. There is not going to be any contentment here or any relaxation - that I can assure you. "I have no doubt that this summer we are going to come back, be hungry, more aggressive and we are going to continue to improve." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  6. Pep Guardiola has committed his future to Manchester City by signing a new three-year deal at the Etihad Stadium. The Spaniard, whose new contract expires in 2021, had one year left to run on his previous deal which he signed upon arrival from Bayern Munich in June 2016. Reflecting on the contract extension, Guardiola said: “I am so happy and excited. It’s a pleasure to be able to work here. I enjoy working with our players every day and we will try to do our best together in the coming years. "As a manager, you have to feel good to be with the players – and I feel good. I will focus on the desire of my players to become a better team and every day that’s what I will try to do – to improve on the pitch and improve our players. "We have a young squad with an average age of 23 and we want to keep taking steps forward and maintain the levels we’ve achieved this season.” The club’s chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak added: “We are delighted to announce the extension of Pep’s contract through to 2021. "In his two seasons with us, he has fostered an incredible spirit within the squad and significantly contributed to our progress both on and off the field. "In doing so he has embodied the passion and commitment we all have for the club.” Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  7. Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson has signed a two-year contract extension with the club which will take him to 2025. The 24-year-old signed a six-year deal when he joined from Benfica last summer and, having enjoyed a superb season, has agreed to further extend his tenure. Ederson missed just two Premier League games as Pep Guardiola's charges romped to the title by a record margin and hit triple figures for points. "I'm delighted to sign my new contract," the Brazil international told the Man City website. "It means that the club is happy with my work, they trust me, and I hope to meet their expectations on the pitch and bring a lot of joy to the fans. "I want to win everything we can! All of the competitions, but for me the Champions League is without a doubt a very special competition for us, and it is my dream to win it in Manchester City's shirt." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  8. Pep Guardiola has claimed that, while he is manager of Manchester City, John Stones will not be sold. The England defender has not featured for the Premier League champions since the beginning of March after picking up an abductor injury on international duty. In addition, the arrival of club record signing Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao has added to the competition within the Man City back line. However, the Citizens moved to play down reports earlier this week that Stones could leave this summer and Guardiola reiterated the sentiments when asked about the player's future. "I don't know how people believe we're going to sell John Stones," Guardiola told reporters. "He is a young player, an international English player. He's a huge part of the reason why we won the title. "I don't know how long I will be here in Manchester, but as long as I'm here, John Stones will be with us. When he is injured and comes back, injured and comes back, injured and comes back, sometimes it's not easy. "I'm sorry for the guys who announce we're going to want to sell him. I'm sorry – they lie. I'm not going to comment on the transfers when it's fake news." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  9. Since the award was established in the 1993/94 season, the Premier League Manager of the Season award has been dominated by the manager whose team has won the title. In fact, only four managers have won the award without winning the Premier League trophy in the same season. This season, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is arguably the top contender for winning the award. Although Manchester City were one of the favourites to win the EPL at the beginning of the season, the Spaniard has done this playing his brand of football which was previously seen at former clubs Barcelona and Bayern Munich. His exciting and attractive style of football has lit up the Premier League, whilst proving critics wrong who suggested his style could not work in England. City were crowned champions last week with five games still to play. This had led to many critics believing Pep deserves the award. But does City’s sheer dominance of the league automatically mean Pep should be awarded it, or is somebody else more worthy? One of the biggest surprises this season has been Burnley FC. Their manager, Sean Dyche, is in his fifth year with the club. During that time Dyche won promotion to the Premier League after a four-year absence. Burnley’s spell in the top flight would initially only last one season as the club were later relegated. However, to Burnley’s credit, the club would keep their faith in their manager as Dyche would later sign a contract extension. This decision would later be rewarded as Dyche guided Burnley to the top flight for a second time in the 2015/16 season. This time Burnley would finish in 16th place and survive the drop. At the beginning of this season, the realistic expectation of most Burnley fans would have been of staying in the Premier League for another season. Whilst most of the big clubs invested handsomely in the summer - Manchester City in particular having a NET spend of around 138 million, Burnley’s was a much more modest 15 million. However, with both clever investment and Dyche learning from previous experiences, Burnley have been one of the Premier League’s surprise packages this season who are now on the brink of European qualification. They currently sit in 7th position with 53 points. Only a late collapse would see Burnley miss out on playing in Europe next season. In addition to this, Dyche has improved the form of many of his players, giving them the platform to shine at Turf Moor. This has even led to players being called up to play for their respective nations – Nick Pope and James Tarkowski for example being called up to the England squad. In an era where the sacking of a football manager is part of the modern game, Burnley have proved that sticking with their manager can lead to amazing results. In doing so, Dyche has defied expectations and critics alike. Should Dyche be awarded the Manager of the Season award, or should the overall dominance from Manchester City mean that Guardiola deserves this award instead? Or maybe another manager deserves this award even more? Share your thoughts about this feature article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  10. There is no denying Pep Guardiola was a fantastic midfielder back in his playing days, being often lauded as one of the most talented players to ever come through the Barcelona youth team. But how does this midfield maestro rank in terms of a manager? Does he deserve to be known as Fraudiola or is he generally a world class coach? His trophy cabinet certainly speaks volumes, winning 22 trophies at three different clubs and looking set to add a Premier League title with runaway leaders Manchester City to bring his total to 23 trophies since his managerial career began in 2008. He was also known as the youngest ever manager to win the UEFA Champions League in his first season as Barcelona manager. In 2008, he succeeded Frank Rijkaard as manager of Barcelona spending 4 seasons at the Catalan Giants most notably winning 3 consecutive La Liga Titles in his first 3 seasons as manager. He also went on to win the Champions League, Copa Del Rey, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup twice. He was also a three-time winner of the Supercopa de Espana. However, he failed to deliver a fourth consecutive La Liga title in his final season as Barcelona manager and was also knocked out of the Champions League in the semi-final to eventual winners Chelsea. Following a year out of management he was unveiled as manager of Bayern Munich, who had just won the Champions League the season before and would go on to manage them for 3 seasons winning seven trophies during his time in Germany including three successive Bundesliga titles and two domestic doubles with the DFP-Pokal and the Bundesliga. However, he never won the Champions League with the German Giants ending their run of making it to the Champions League Final which they did the previous two seasons before being appointed as manager. In 2016, Pep Guardiola decided that it was time for a change of scenery and also a new challenge which he took in the form of Manchester City. His first season didn't go as he would have planned, failing to win a single trophy for the first time ever in his career, and also finishing third in the league, also a first in his career - failing to finish in the top two. His second season, on the other hand, seems to be going just a little bit better than his first having already won the EFL Cup and seemingly running away with the Premier League. During the middle of the season people were expecting Pep and City to deliver, they looked set to complete this and win the Quadruple. However, this was ended firstly by League One Wigan Athletic in a shock 1-0 defeat during their FA Cup tie but they still remained on course to complete a Treble until they were eliminated 5-1 on aggregate to Liverpool in the Champions League quarter final. In my opinion, he has had success handed to him taken over at already successful clubs in Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Now, at Manchester City, especially after the first season, he has found that he has a challenge on his hands to gain success nothing in which he has experienced as a manager of Barca and Bayern who are both dominant forces in the league respectively. Brian Clough, Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho all experienced challenges but transformed those clubs from mediocre league team on to competing at the highest level within Europe’s elite. Mourinho with Porto, UEFA Cup & Champions League in successive seasons. Chelsea, successive Premier League titles with a record breaking 95 points in his first season. Fergie with Manchester United, breaking Liverpool’s most top-flight titles record by dominating the Premier League era. And Cloughie transforming Nottingham Forest from a Second Division outfit to Back to Back European Champions in 4 seasons. Can Pep Guardiola be mentioned alongside these World Class Managers or is the name "Fraudiola" justified? Share your thoughts about this feature article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  11. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has been charged with improper conduct by UEFA and being sent to the stands in the Champions League defeat to Liverpool. The European governing body has also charged the Reds after fireworks were set off and objects thrown inside the Etihad Stadium. Guardiola was sent to the stands after confronting referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz on the pitch at half-time during the quarter-final second-leg 2-1 defeat. The Spaniard was unhappy with the official's decision to rule out a legitimate second goal for his side, as Leroy Sane was adjudged to have scored from an offside position, despite the ball coming off opposition midfielder James Milner before he prodded home. The improper conduct charge against Guardiola is for communicating with the bench during the second half. Article 69 of UEFA's disciplinary regulations states that any manager or coach who is sent off may not communicate "directly or indirectly with the team's players and/or technical staff during the match". Liverpool were already facing four UEFA charges over the setting off of fireworks, throwing of objects, acts of damage and crowd disturbances after City's team bus was attacked at Anfield prior to the first-leg on 5 April. That case will also be heard on 31 May. Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  12. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola thinks his side must play the "perfect game" on Tuesday to overturn a 3-0 deficit in their Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool. The Citizens go into the second leg after back-to-back defeats by the Reds and derby rivals Manchester United in what Guardiola described as a "tough" week. "The only way to play good football is to be positive," the Spaniard told BBC Sport. "To go through you have to make the perfect game, create chances and concede few chances. The chances we receive, we have to defend well. "We have 90 minutes and anything can happen. All we are going to do is try. "We have 90 minutes plus extra time and what we have shown this year - even in the last game - is we can create a lot of chances in the last few minutes. "If we are not able to cope with (back-to-back defeats) psychologically, it will be a good lesson for the future. It is a test. Football, like life, is a challenge." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  13. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has acknowledged that he must fix vulnerabilities in his teams when it comes to conceding goals in quick succession. The Citizens let a 2-0 half-time lead against Manchester United collapse to lose 3-2 and miss out on the chance to seal the Premier League title against their big rivals. Man City's 16-minute collapse followed three Liverpool goals in the space of 19 first-half minutes at Anfield last Wednesday, leaving City 3-0 down at the halfway point of their Champions League quarter-final. "I thought many times about that. I dropped a lot of Champions League games in 10 or 15 minutes and I think about that," Guardiola told reporters. He recalled how a Lionel Messi-inspired Barcelona took apart his Bayern Munich late in the first leg of a 2015 semi-final: "Barcelona, 0-0 after 77 minutes; 90, 3-0. It's happened many times. "Maybe it is my fault. I have to think about it but I feel that when you dominate and create chances you are closer to winning the games. "I think this season showed that with the numbers we have done in terms of goals and - when the team is stable - the chances we concede. "I think we are the best with these type of players. We concede few. But it is impossible when the opponents arrive four times and score three goals. No system can sustain that. It's so complicated." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  14. Pep Guardiola has suggested that Manchester City did well against Liverpool in their Champions League quarter-final first leg despite the one-sided result. The Premier League champions-elect were beaten 3-0 by the Reds at Anfield, with Mohamed Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane firing the hosts into a three-goal lead by the 31-minute mark. Despite the heavy defeat at Anfield, Guardiola claims that his charges had control of much of the game and is adamant that a comeback could still be on the cards in the second leg at the Etihad. "We showed up from the begining, we started with enormous personality but they scored a goal," he told BT Sport. "We continued to play but they scored two more goals. It is tough. They had 10-15 minutes in the first half when they were better. "In the second half we tried everything but we couldn't find a goal. The first two goals, we had control of the game but they scored. I don't have too many regrets or complaints. Nobody believes but we have another game. "They had two attacks and scored two goals. That was tough but for the rest of the game we were so, so good. We had to score a goal but they defended more. We have to accept it and now we have United at home and then Liverpool at home. We see what happens. Of course it is difficult but we believe." Pep Guardiola also criticised the security arrangements which led to the City team bus being attacked by Liverpool fans ahead of kickoff and left the vehicle unable to be used for the return journey back to Manchester. "Yesterday you explained, I am new here, that it is going to happen," he said. "Normally when the police know it is going to happen, they tried to avoid it from happening. "So I did not expect that from the Liverpool side, their people. One year ago something happened in Dortmund so we come here to play football and I don't understand this kind of situation. "The bus is destroyed but I did not expect a prestigious club like Liverpool doing this kind of thing. It is not Liverpool, it is the people, but hopefully it does not happen again." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  15. Pep Guardiola has revealed that Sergio Aguero is likely to be on the bench for Manchester City's Champions League quarter-final first leg against Liverpool. The Argentine has not played for City since the 1-0 win over Chelsea on March 4 after suffering a knee injury in training. Guardiola is pleased to see his player's fitness improving but he will nonetheless not be risked from the start at Anfield on Wednesday. "We will see about Sergio, still he didn't train," said Guardiola. "Hopefully he is much better. On Monday we will see and in these situations, it is day by day. "I hope he can help us. Maybe not in the beginning but maybe the bench. After that we have Manchester United and then Liverpool in the second leg. Maybe we have to change the system and have six strikers to win the game."We need Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Lukas Nmecha - everybody. "Liverpool is not one game, it is 180 minutes. We need a good performance for the second leg." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  16. Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal appears to have ended his feud with Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho, but remains critical of executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward. The Dutchman spent two seasons at Old Trafford but was sacked just days after winning the FA Cup in 2016, something which has irked the veteran coach. Van Gaal accused Mourinho's team of playing "boring football" following their 2-1 defeat to Manchester City in December and also criticised the Portuguese for his treatment of Bastian Schweinsteiger. However, the 66-year-old seems to have done a U-turn on Mourinho, and reserved his ire for the club's board instead. "I am not disappointed with Jose Mourinho," he told Bild. "Every coach wants to train Manchester United, it's one of the biggest clubs in the world. "I think Jose wanted that, too, and although he was able to do so in 13th place, he had a chance on a fantastic team like Chelsea. I was in fourth place! I still do not blame him. "What I find wrong is when a CEO says we're totally happy with you, do not believe the press. Then you win the FA Cup and still be fired." Van Gaal went on to describe Pep Guardiola as England’s most accomplished manager after turning Manchester City into a ‘machine’ this season. "Pep Guardiola is for me currently the best coach of the Premier League," he said. "Pep made City a machine. He shows a football that I would have liked to play at Manchester United. "But he has better players for it. For me, the process would have taken longer. Unfortunately, I did not get the time." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  17. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has claimed that the England national team would benefit from more players going abroad during their careers. The Three Lions have not had a non-UK based player in a squad for a major tournament since David Beckham and Owen Hargreaves at the 2006 World Cup. Guardiola cited Spain's international success with Premier League players, and told BBC Sport: "When they came back into the national team, they were stronger. They were better. "They did very good things that helped Spanish football. Could that benefit the England team? I think that's true. "I think it's a good experience to move to another country and see different realities to your own." The 47-year-old also thinks the Premier League 2 competition, for Under-23 players, needs to be stronger. "I think the Premier League is a wealthy league and maybe the English players prefer to stay," Guardiola added. "For me, the most important thing is to make the second-team league stronger. Without that, it will be tough for the English national teams. That is my personal view." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  18. Pep Guardiola has acknowledged that Manchester City were "really, really poor" as Basel condemned them to their first home defeat in 15 months on Wednesday. The Premier League leaders were beaten 2-1 by the Swiss giants in their second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie. It was not enough to prevent City progressing to the quarter-finals on the back of a 5-2 aggregate success but Guardiola, who made six changes, was frustrated with his side's lack of urgency. Guardiola told Sky Sports: "From tomorrow we will be happy to be in the quarter-finals for the second time at this club. We are new in that position, so of course, we are so happy for that. "The first half was quite good but in the second half we forgot to attack, we forgot to play. We just passed the ball. "Passing the ball means passing to move the opponents and attack. To pass for itself is nothing. The second half was really, really poor. We just passed for ourselves and that is not football." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  19. Pep Guardiola has confirmed that he will once again wear a yellow ribbon on the touchline when Manchester City face Basel in the Champions League on Wednesday. The Spaniard accepted a FA charge on Monday for doing the same thing during his team's recent 1-0 FA Cup defeat to Wigan. The ribbon, which Guardiola said in November he wore in support of politicians imprisoned his native Catalonia, is banned during matches by the FA due to its status as a political symbol. It is permitted by UEFA, however, and, wearing the ribbon during his pre-match news conference, Guardiola said: "The FA have rules. They apply them, I accept them. I have to. That doesn't mean I have to agree." Asked if he would wear the ribbon as City attempt to see out their 4-0 lead against their Swiss opponents this midweek, he added: "Yes. "I said from the beginning that if the FA considered I shouldn't wear the ribbon I would accept it but the fact I wear it or not doesn't mean anything. "The yellow ribbon is always going to be there, even if you see it or not, and I wear it in press conferences and post-match. "It doesn't matter and the situation doesn't change. There are still people in prison and in jail in an unfair way. " Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  20. Just four days after the two sides collided in the final of the EFL Cup, they meet again in the Premier League for another high-profile - yet somehow anti-climactic given how much higher the stakes were at the weekend - clash. The Gunners were humbled 3-0 by the Citizens as Pep Guardiola lifted his first trophy in England, while for Arsene Wenger, the wait for the League Cup continues. However, that's in the past now, and in the league, Man City will be hoping to maintain their hefty cushion at the top of the table, while the Gunners are just desperate to claw back some points in the increasingly futile chase for the top four. How will Thursday night's game at the Emirates Stadium pan out? Football Manics takes a closer look. Head to head Manchester City have won only one of their last 32 top-flight away matches against Arsenal, with 11 draws and 20 defeats in that equation. However, Pep Guardiola's side could do the league double over Arsene Wenger's charges for the first time since 1975-76. In addition, they could become the first team to beat Arsenal three times in the same season since Chelsea in 2005-06. Standings and form Arsenal currently sit sixth in the table on 45 points, a whopping eight points behind Chelsea (although the Gunners do have a game in hand). The North Londoners have won just twice in their last seven Premier League fixtures, and claimed just one win from their eight league games this season against the other teams in the top six of the table. In addition, they have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine Premier League matches - they last went 10 without a shutout back in February 2002. On the other hand, Arsenal have made the Emirates Stadium a bit of a fortress - only City and Manchester United have earned more points at home than the Gunners' total of 32 this season. As for Man City, they have lost just one of their last 35 Premier League games, winning 29 and drawing five, and with such superb form they sit 13 points clear at the top of the table. Their tally of 72 points from 27 games is the most by an English top-flight side at this stage of the season - if they win this game, it will match Arsenal's 75-point tally from the end of last season. On the flip side, they could remain winless in four consecutive league away fixtures for the first time since a run of six in a row under Manuel Pellegrini from September to December 2015. Team news Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal will miss the clash after sustaining a back injury in Sunday's EFL Cup final and could be out for a number of games. Wenger has no other fresh injury concerns and can recall January signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who was cup-tied at Wembley having turned out in the competition for Manchester United. Man City, meanwhile, are set to be without Raheem Sterling and Fernandinho for Thursday's trip. Sterling is again doubtful after missing two games with a muscular problem while Fernandinho is out with a hamstring strain. Left-back Fabian Delph serves the second match of a three-game suspension while Benjamin Mendy remains a long-term absentee. Prediction One would have thought Arsenal would have won the cup game and Man City the league game, given the Gunners' penchant for excelling in the one-off games, but such is City's dominance that Wenger and his boys were left with their tails between their legs. Now the two sides will lock horns again in a game that, should the visitors win, will put them 16 points clear with just 30 points to play for - for all intents and purposes, it'll be City's title - so they will give that game even more effort and energy than they gave the EFL Cup final. And Arsenal, can they regroup? I don't think they will, I think they will be like rabbits in the headlights and will probably crumble once again, giving Arsenal Fan TV a load more views in the process given the meltdown that will ensue. Score prediction: Arsenal 1-5 Man City Share your thoughts about this preview feature article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  21. Manchester City have won their first trophy under Pep Guardiola as they thrashed Arsenal 3-0 in Sunday's EFL Cup final at Wembley. Sergio Aguero took advantage of poor defending by Shkodran Mustafi to connect with Claudio Bravo's goal kick and lob Gunners custodian David Ospina for the opener just 18 minutes into the match. In the second half, Vincent Kompany stuck a foot out to divert Ilkay Gundogan's shot into the net to double their lead, and David Silva added the third when he smashed home from Danilo's pass. How did the various pundits, players and the managers of both teams react to the result? Football Manics takes a closer look as both camps spoke to the press. Pep Guardiola, Man City manager (Sky Sports): "It's important. We're so happy, and a big congratulations to all of Manchester City, and our fans. This trophy is for Manchester City and not for me. "The first half we were not good, there were a lot of mistakes, in the second half we played with a lot more courage and personality - we were outstanding. "It was so important to win this one, because we played 10 v 11 for 45 minutes [against Wigan] so it wasn't easy. "But now we concentrate on the Premier League, where we will try to win the rest of our games, and the Champions League, too." Vincent Kompany, Man City captain (Sky Sports): "It was a difficult game, but as much space there was for us and Arsenal, we did well and controlled the space and I am proud of the team. Winning 3-0 at Wembley is a massive result against any opponent. "Before the game, I thought I was going to score. I came close during the game so there was some luck on the day, but also self-belief. "I have been in the game for 15 years and I have been training well and supporting the lads when I don’t play. When I get the call I want to do the job." Sergio Aguero, Man City forward (Sky Sports): "For me and for the team it is always a special trophy. We are happy and I am very happy. We were better than them and now we have to focus on the next game and think about the Premier League. “For me there was no foul (for the opening goal), a bit of a touch. I am happy because it was a goal.” Kevin De Bruyne, Man City midfielder (Sky Sports): "Obviously last time I missed the final through injury, but I'm very happy we won it, we deserved to win. Now we go onto Thursday. "We have had a good season already, and now we need to keep going. We have this one in the bag and now we have to maintain the same focus in the Premier League and the Champions League. "The potential for this club is amazing, and the way we play is probably one of the best in the world." Kyle Walker, Man City defender (Sky Sports): "It's been a long time coming for me and I'm glad to get my first trophy. "I was nervous coming into it, without a trophy win here before, but thankfully we've come out on top today. "We needed to kill the game early and Sergio Aguero's goal did that for us. "We didn't have the best of seasons last year, so it was important for us to get this trophy under our belts." Arsene Wenger, Arsenal boss (Sky Sports): "I felt the game, we had the first good chance, a very easy one that we missed. After that we made a big mistake for their first goal. But we controlled them pretty well in the first half, but they came out in the second half, and we were unlucky because the second goal was offside. But congratulations to Man City, they deserve the win. "You have to accept being criticized when you lose games. But I believe we have to recover quickly. We got to the final, we lost, so now we have to focus on the next Premier League game. "When you lose 3-0 of course you have to look at defending better, but I still feel like for large periods we defended well, but we lost concentration sometimes and against good teams you pay for it. "It's not the application that was missed it was the concentration at key periods that was missed. The second goal was a big goal in this game and for me, it was 100 per cent offside. "We analyse all the games in a very mathematical way, we didn't give too many chances away, but we gave away easy chances, and didn't create enough for ourselves." Ian Wright, former Arsenal striker (BBC Sport): "Against Manchester City it was always going to be a tough ask. They have been magnificent all season, but it was disappointing the way Arsenal played. "There was a lack of fight, lack of determination. It’s a final and players were walking. You don’t want to see the team you support in a final put in such an insipid performance. "You look at Aubameyang, and you feel like though he’s a great goal scorer, I have not seen many chances created for him. "He’s not a player who gets millions of touches, he runs in behind off the shoulder of the defender. We've seen he can score if he gets the chance. "But Arsenal don’t work hard to win the ball, keep the ball and play it into the player who cost us nearly £60m." Teddy Sheringham, former England striker (BBC Sport): "I've lost a couple of finals in my time, and it's a tough place to be when you lose. If you're coming to Wembley you want to enjoy it, and the only way to do that is to win it. "I said before the game if Arsenal were going to have a chance today they all needed to be 9/10s, and I don't think any of Arsenal's players were more than a 5/10 today - no-one performed. "There's still a lot of football to be played for Arsenal, and they'll have to pick themselves up, because there's still two months of the season to play. That's what Arsene Wenger is there for, to pick them up. "Arsenal's fans will be more disappointed with the performance than the result." Share your thoughts about this match reaction feature article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  22. Pep Guardiola has admitted that he was eager to turn out at Arsenal under Arsene Wenger in his playing days but was turned down. Gunners boss Wenger revealed during the week that he was once visited by Guardiola at his home when he wanted to sign for the Gunners. Fast-forward to 2018 and Guardiola stands in Wenger's way as he bids to win his first trophy in English football as, Arsenal and Manchester City locking horns at Wembley in the EFL Cup final. Wenger, meanwhile, will seek to claim a trophy that has eluded him so far in his 22-year spell at the club. "I would have liked to have played for him," Guardiola revealed to Sky Sports. "I called him to make an interview and he invited me to his home, he was so kind. "I said my dream is to play in the Premier League and I would like to play with you and I feel I can help you. "Maybe it was a little bit arrogant but he had his squad and he said there was no space. "I understand completely but I would have liked to have played with him. It was not possible, so no problem at all." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  23. Pep Guardiola has hailed Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero after the Manchester City duo impressed in the club's 5-1 win over Leicester City on Saturday. Argentine striker Aguero scored four times in the thumping of the 2015-16 Premier League champions while Belgian midfielder De Bruyne provided three assists. Asked about De Bruyne's display, City boss Guardiola told Sky Sports: "He has everything. "Every game he has assists, passes, shots and goals…how he runs, fights, he can play on the wing, attacking midfield, holding midfield. "This season his performances; there are no words, so special." On Aguero, Guardiola said the striker is "an authentic legend of this club". "He has a special talent in the box, he is clinical, and scored the second one there, but the third one and fourth one are amazing. "We need his goals, that's why it's so good." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  24. Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has effectively conceded the Premier League title to Manchester City but remains eager to finish ahead of the chasing pack. The Red Devils fell to a 2-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday which left them 15 points behind their fierce rivals with only 13 games left. "It's important for us because we need points to be the first of the last," Mourinho said ahead of Saturday's game with Huddersfield. "We need to try to finish second - we have been in this position all season. First for a few weeks, but we have been second for the rest. "It has been better than last season in every aspect - points, position, number of goals, goals conceded - everything. "We have to try to stay there and it is not easy because there are some very good teams. Chelsea are the champions, Arsenal did well in the market, Liverpool are a great team and Tottenham are fantastic. "We are doing well with some negative moments. it's very important for us to do better than last season and win something and try to be stronger for next season." City boss Pep Guardiola thought otherwise, telling his press conference ahead of the Burnley game: "There are 13 games, 39 points to play for, we are 15 ahead. It's not over. "We have amazingly tough games left to play. For example, tomorrow. We cannot deny and everyone knows here in England how complicated it is playing at Burnley. "We have to go to Stoke City, Goodison Park. We have Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea to play. Definitely it is not over." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  25. Pep Guardiola has stressed that no football team - not even his Emirates-backed Manchester City side - can afford "22 top players". The Premier League leaders spent £215m on new players last summer and, according to a ranking by event organiser Soccerex, have more financial firepower than any other club in world football. Man City surprised many when they pulled out of negotiations to sign Alexis Sanchez, reportedly due to his salary demands being too high, and the former Arsenal forward went to Manchester United instead. "When you want to handle four competitions sometimes you have to be lucky with injuries," Guardiola told Sky Sports. "Otherwise you need 22 top players for every position. People don't believe this, but today 22 top players is too expensive to buy, even [for] City. "Their salaries we cannot pay. There are budgets for the transfers and we cannot pay. In the future, it may change but we haven't paid more than £80m-£100m for one player. We cannot pay that right now, it is the truth. "That's why we need the academy to fight. Of course, we spend a lot money but it is the same money as a lot of other teams. I can assure you we are not the only team in the world that spend money." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.

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