August
After three fairly comfortable wins against Championship clubs in pre-season friendlies City met Leicester at Wembley in the Community Shield and I was very pleased I did not go to Wembley for once. It was not the best of games and City were without many of their star players. Only keeper Steffen was the one to really shine. He made several good saves while at the other end ex City Kasper S hardly had to make a save. Some of the youngsters did not look too out of place and Mahrez who had played in all the pre season games looked really tired at the end of the game.
The player we were all looking forward to seeing was new signing Jack Grealish. He did have some minutes late in the game and showed some nice touches. Hopefully he will start against Spurs. Rather worrying are the injuries to Foden and De Bruyne and we also have seen nothing of Ederson! With the late arrivals of Walker ,Stone and Sterling what the team will be for the first league game is a mystery.
Who is coming to take the place of Aguero is another question. Kane from Spurs looks the best bet and his transfer cost will beat the top price paid for Grealish so it looks like some players will depart for a few bob!
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The opening game at Spurs was disappointing but with several key players missing I was not all that surprised. At least Grealish seemed to fit in well and we did see an improvement when De Bruyne came on for the last twenty minutes. Hopefully he will be fit to start in the Norwich match. Alas Phil Foden will still be absent with injury.
I will be absent too! For the first time in many many years I have not renewed my season ticket - this is due to my age -over 91 and medical reasons.
The Kane transfer continues to be a problem and now Lewandowski is a possible alternative target. He is a great goal scorer but is a little older than Kane.
Sorry to hear about the news that Denis Law has been diagnosed with dementia. He joined City twice - the first was in 1960 and I saw his debut against West Ham U - he scored in a 3-1 win. I also saw him play against City for United and once for Torino in 1961. After several seasons with United he came back to City in 1973
The image on the right was taken at the last game at Maine Road and Denis is giving me a thumbs up as he was arriving at the ground!
After the poor result at Spurs City came back with a bang - easily defeating Norwich City five nil at home. Although still without some of their star players City dominated the game and star player on the day was Jesus who played on the right wing. He had several assists with his crosses and looks like an interesting option for Pep.
Grealish got his first goal for City albeit a bit fortunate and Laporte too got on the score sheet. Ederson had little to do giving Walker and Cancelo plenty of opportunities to attack. Overall a splendid display and pity I was not there but at least I did not get wet!
Who needs Ronaldo! City moved to top of the table - for a few hours!- after thrashing Arsenal five nil. The sky blues are only the third team in the Premier League to have scored ten goals in their first two home games in a season.
Man -of -the-match and skipper for the day Gundogan scored number one with a header after just 7 minutes. Torres made it two and just before half time Jesus notched number three.
Arsenal had lost Xhaka for a red card following a foul on Cancelo and the ten men were outplayed for the rest of the game.
Rodri scored number 4 with a great shot from the edge of the penalty area and Torres got his second with a header from a cross by Mahrez.
Before City took over the game Ederson made one or two unusual errors but thankfully Arsenal failed to take advantage and ended up only having 19% possession and only one effort on goal and they go to bottom of the league.
It was the first time Pep had chosen a unchanged team for a long time - so no Kane and no Ronaldo but maybe a defender may be signed with the Mendy problem.
September
I am sure the events of September 11th 2001 will remain embedded in the memory of all who watched the incredible scenes on TV so it was not surprising that the one minute silence before the Birmingham game was impeccably observed.
The above image and notes are from my web page - citsep01.htm
You will see some pics of some of City's best players

After the tight win against Leicester with only Benardo Silva scoring it was back to goals and more goals at home against RB Leipzig in the Champions League. It was amazing that the visitors managed to get three goals so no doubt Pep will be dealing with that before the Southampton game. Anyway with De Bruyne at last returning to the team City going forward were excellent. The best goals came from Cancelo and Grealish on his Champions League debut. Cancelo's was from well outside the penalty area while Jack Grealish cut in from his dash down the left and cracked the ball past the keeper. Surely he will be one of City's best signings
It was City's 50th win in the Champions League in 91 games -the fastest English team. Real Madrid hold the record with 88.
Late in the game Phil Foden came on and Jesus another sub notched number six from close range.
Interesting that Mahrez became the latest penalty taker and his effort gave the keeper no chance. At the moment I think the biggest problem is at left back. We need to sign one in January.
Roll on Southampton five nil win !!!!??
Alas Pep forgot to tell the City players that you have to shoot to score goals so though City had plenty of opportunities to score they only managed one on target all game. VAR had a mixed day - saving a Walker red card and a penalty and then late in the game canceling a City goal for offside - someone's toe was offside! Was it the lack of a centre forward or would Southampton have blocked his efforts -they came to defend in depth with the odd break - Ederson had little to do and Jack Grealish was easily City's best player on the day. It is not often that a City game is one of the last games on 'Match-of-the-Day'!

Just heard that Jimmy Greaves has passed away aged 81. I saw him play for Spurs against City many times and for England too.
The pic on the left shows Greaves scoring against City on Dec 9th 1967 . City won this famous snow game 4-1. The City team was - Mulhearn: Book, Pardoe: Doyle, Heslop, Oakes: Lee, Bell, Summerbee, Young and Coleman.
Spurs - Jennings: Kinnear, Knowles: Mullery, Hoy, McKay: Saul, Greaves, Gilzean, Venables, Jones.
About 35,000 were at Maine Road that cold day.
It's Carabao Cup time again and City with ten changes and five debutantes had a bit of a shock when Wycombe took the lead but it was not long before the sky blues hit back and it ended with a very comfortable win 6-1. With vital games to come and injuries it was not a surprise to see four youngsters in the back four and they did not let the side down.
After De Bruyne leveled the scores Mahrez put City ahead and just before half time a short corner came to Phil Foden and he cracked the ball past the keeper from well outside the penalty area. He also had 2 assists as well so it was great to see him back to his best after a long absence with injury. He fed the ball to Torres to make it 4-1 and after Mahrez had scored his second with only a minute or so to go sub Cole Palmer took the ball from the half way line and ended his run with an excellent goal - his first for City - he will remember that.
An outstanding City display overcame Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. It was a game of two halves - Chelsea just defended in the first 45 minutes City having almost 70% of possession and alas Chelsea just blocked everything despite the efforts of Foden and Grealish. Ederson hardly had to touch the ball. It was difficult to realize that Chelsea were at home!
However shortly after the start of the second half City took a short corner and the ball eventually came to Jesus who turned and despite being surrounded by defenders he shot for goal and luckily for City the ball was deflected by a Chelsea player and ended up in the net.
Chelsea then had to change their game and the City defence did really well to keep a clean sheet. Dias and Cancelo played on top form. Bernardo Silva too had a good game working his socks off all over the park. Rodri too was back to form in front of the back four. The only player to make the odd bad pass was De Bruyne - I'm sure he is saving his very best for PSG and Liverpool!
With Chelsea having to attack in the second half it gave City more chances to score and Grealish had one good shot brilliantly saved ..Other good efforts were blocked so it might have been more than one nil. City were excellent going forward and relentless in getting the ball back if they lost it. It was Pep's 221st win at the club and it beat Les McDowall's record of 220 in 592 games. Pep has done it in 303
I actually saw Les McDowall play for City in the very first ever City game I saw at Maine Road in 1943 against Blackpool in the war cup. Some bloke called Matthews played in that game too!. I later watched many of the games when he was manager.
Not quite the result we were hoping for in Paris alas. It might have been so different had City not hit the bar from close range twice in a few seconds. Sterling and Bernardo Silva were the culprits. There were a few other chances as well as City often had good periods of play but good defending and some excellent saves from their keeper kept PSG in the lead after their early goal. The home side were quick on the break and with forwards like Neymar, Mbappe and Messi to contend with the City defence were often under pressure and it was game over when Messi scored on 75 minutes.
Rodri continued his good form but Grealish often failed to get the better of the right back and I still think we need a centre forward as Sterling in for Jesus failed to make an impression. De Bruyne made some good passes but too often we gave the ball away with too many misplaced simple passes
City will have to raise their game for Anfield and I think both Jesus and Foden will start.
Yet another game of two halves. Goalless in the first half despite City being on top. Bernardo had a great dribble and De Bruyne headed over a Foden cross. Foden had one effort saved and Milner got a yellow card for bringing him down.
However the match changed a lot in the second half. Liverpool went ahead on 59 minutes through Mane after help from Salah but ten minutes later good work by Jesus gave Foden a chance and he cracked in a great shot from a narrow angle to level the scores. On 74 minutes Milner brought down Benardo and should have had a another yellow which would have left Liverpool with ten men but all City got was a free kick. A bad decision by the referee.
Then to make matters worse Liverpool went ahead two minutes later with a wonderful solo effort by Salah - a moment of brilliance to follow their lucky escape. Milner was soon to be subbed.
Five minutes later City hit back when De Bruyne who had not been on his very top form shot from the edge of the penalty area and the ball was deflected by Matip into the net to make it two all.
Then we had the block of the season! Ederson missed a cross for once and Fabinho had the goal at his mercy but Rodri flew in from outer space and blocked his shot - brilliant stuff!
What a second half - 2 good teams with Salah and Foden the stars. For once Grealish did not have the best of games and was subbed by Sterling. I think we are still missing a centre forward.as often there is nobody there to crack in a goal. Roll on January and a signing!
The Anfield Battle 2-2
Well City did not do all that well against Hungary at Wembley though Foden did help John Stones get his goal from the free kick he took. Sterling missed a couple of chances and Grealish was fouled a few times and did not enjoy being subbed. Walker was not at his best and made a few errors that Hungary failed to make the best of. City had five players playing for England - not quite the record though.
Good job Puskas was not playing for Hungary! I saw him score 4 for Real Madrid at Hampden Park back in 1960 when Real Madrid beat Eintracht 7-3 in the European Cup Final. He was brilliant
Well it was back to business again after the international break and several changes were made for the Burnley game.
In came Steffen, Stones and Ake and with Jesus late back from Brazil Sterling was given a start. No doubt you will have read his recent remarks about not getting enough games!
Alas it was not City at their very best and we had to settle for a couple of goals instead of the usual five against Burnley!
After just 12 minutes a very good passing movement ended with Foden having a good shot saved by the keeper but he failed to hold the ball and Bernardo Silva was on hand to tap the ball into the net. A good start but alas Sterling failed to make the most of a couple of chances. Burnley too had a couple of good chances but failed to score.
City managed a second goal with just twenty minutes to go when Kevin De Bruyne cracked home a beauty from the edge of the area. Mahrez shot over the bar when well placed so the sky blues had to settle for the three points and just two goals. Bernardo Silva played really well but both Foden and De Bruyne were a little off their best.
Grealish was on the bench for 90 minutes which was a bit of a surprise. However at the start of added time on came Palmer for Bernardo and unbelievably right after the game he rushed over the bridge to the Academy ground and played for the under 23's against Leicester and scored a hat-trick in the five nil win - amazing !
I just knew we were going to get five goals somewhere!!
A terrific display by City put paid to FC Bruges The sky blues made several changes from the Burnley win and took over this game from the first whistle. We were a bit frustrated when two city goals were disallowed for close offside decisions. Then De Bruyne missed a good chance and we had to wait until the 30th minute for a great Foden pass from the deep found Cancelo who slipped the ball through the keepers legs to give City the lead. Then just before half time Mahrez was brought down in the penalty area and taking the spot kick himself he sent the keeper the wrong way to make it two nil.It might have been even more as Mahrez had a shot saved and De Bruyne shot over the bar.
City added a third on 52 minutes when De Bruyne put Walker through in a great move and Walker made no mistake so both fullbacks had scored! Three nil up City made their first subs and on came Cole Palmer and he had only been on for a few minutes before he smacked in number four with his left foot from the edge of the area. It was his first Champions League goal.
A partial disaster then struck when Bruges actually scored a goal but with 84 minutes played Fernandinho- another sub- passed to Mahrez who scored his second goal and number five for City. It could have been even more but City have to save a few more for Brighton! Ederson had to make a couple of good saves and both fullbacks were excellent. Foden did well all over the pitch and it was great to see Cole Palmer get twenty odd minutes and a bonus with his goal.
Sorry for delay no internet for a couple of days!
Quite an interesting match with City making two changes - Jesus and Gundogan coming in - and without the resting De Bruyne City dominated the first half. Brighton were lucky in the 10th minute when Dunk hooked the ball off the line from a Jesus effort but it was only a short break for the home side as three minutes later an error by keeper Sanchez gave Bernardo a chance and Gundogan scored from close range to give City the lead.
A quick counter attack by the sky blues ended with Foden scoring from a pass by Grealish and a few minutes later Foden got his second when he deflected a Jesus shot. He nearly got his third but Sanchez saved well and at the other end Ederson made a good save so at half time City were three nil up.
If we were expecting to carry on scoring in the second half we were in for a shock because Brighton suddenly remembered how to attack properly and Ederson actually had to make more saves. Alas with ten minutes to go Ederson was penalized near the goal-line and a penalty was given despite a possible offside in the build-up to the Brighton attack. So the home side got a goal back though Ederson almost saved the penalty.
City had hardly attacked in the second half but in the final moments of added time Mahrez - on for Jesus- took a pass from Foden and smashed the ball home to make it 4-1.
Phil Foden was man-of-the-match scoring two of his 8 shots and Bernardo too did well.. It was really strange to see the change in the Brighton display. It looked like City were going to notch another five plus then Brighton suddenly decided to make a game of it. The Mahrez finale has helped the goal difference as City moved to second place behind Chelsea.

Burnley 2-0
Bruges 5-1
Brighton 4-1
West Ham U 0-0
As expected City made 9 changes from the Brighton win with only Walker and Gundogan keeping their places. Good to see the return of Stones and the inclusion of Palmer. However despite City having most of the ball City failed to score and the game went to penalties at full time. West Ham keeper Areola made some very good saves and there were a few bad misses. De Bruyne is still well off his best.
Foden took the first penalty for City and shot just wide so West Ham had that vital lead and though subs Jesus and Grealish and Cancelo scored for the sky blues from the spot Benrahma's final kick ended City's quest for the Carabao Cup.
So City lost to a team in the Carabao Cup for the first time in 1,827 days!!!! We can concentrate on the Premier League title now!
Crystal Palace 0-2
Another 9 changes did not prevent this home disaster against Palace. A bad error by Laporte near the half way line gave the visitors a chance and Zaha took advantage to score and give them the lead after just 6 minutes. It was the first Premier League goal City had conceded this season at home! Though City had a fair amount of possession alas they could not score and in added time before the break Laporte brought down Zaha and got a red card. It was a touch and go decision by referee Marriner. We thought City had leveled the scores when Jesus took a pass from Foden and scored but alas the dreaded VAR
spotted that Foden's toe was offside in the build-up so the goal was ruled out. The ten men could not break the organized Palace defence in the second half and they added a second goal just before the end. I am sure many of you will remember the Townsend goal that Palace scored in their 3-2 win in December 2018 - www.rtfract.com/citdec18c.htm - and guess who the ref was that day - yes Marriner!
Patrick Viera must have been quite pleased with the result. One very worrying factor at the moment is the form of Kevin De Bruyne. He is well off his best form and without David Silva City are not so creative as they used to be. Are De Bruyne's problems more than injury I wonder. The attack are not clicking and I think Stones will come back into the team. I just wish we still had Vincent Kompany to take charge on the pitch.
Bruges 4-1
Well City players scored five goals again - the only slight problem was that one of them was an own goal by Stones - not that he knew much about it! City made just three changes from the last match and for the first 15 minutes they dominated the game and Cancelo hit the post on 14 minutes after a good pass by Grealish. A minute later Foden had the easy task of scoring from a Cancelo cross. Two minutes later the visitors leveled the scores with a bizarre goal when a cross was sliced by Bernardo into the face of John Stones and into the net. One all - surely not. Bruges were looking a bit dangerous and City were making the odd passing error. No doubt Pep had a few words at half time and ten minutes after the restart Cancelo crossed to an unmarked Mahrez who easily headed home to give City the lead. City continued to dominate and on 67 minutes on came Sterling for Mahrez and Jesus for Grealish.It was not long before City made it 3-1 Sterling scoring from a Gundogan cross with a simple finish. It was his first goal since August so I bet he was pleased about that.
Later De Bruyne came on for Bernardo and Zinchenko for Walker and Palmer for Foden. In added time Jesus made it 4-1 with yet another assist from Cancelo. Palmer nearly scored too in City's ninth consecutive home Champions League win.
With PSG only drawing away at Leipzig City are now top of the group.
Sad to hear that Aguero is out for several months with a heart problem.
Man U 2-0
Yet another win at Old Trafford by City - this time by two goals to nil. The team from the Salford area barely troubled the sky blues and but for some good saves by De Gea City could have been four up at least by half time. City then kept the ball in the second half with Ederson rarely touching the ball. City dominated possession their movement on and off the ball being of top quality.
The first half started with City well on top and Bernardo shot over the bar on 4 minutes. After a Maguire header went over the bar too at a free kick City scored at the other end. A great cross by Cancelo surprised the United defence and Bailly sliced the ball past De Gea to give City the lead. If he had missed it two City players were waiting to score.
On 25 minutes we had a shock when Ronaldo shot at goal but Ederson saved well. A few minutes later De Gea saved an effort by De Bruyne and a shot from Foden hit the post. He also saved from Jesus and Cancelo and we almost had another own goal on the half hour but De Gea managed to save with his foot following a Foden cross.
II was almost half time when a great cross from Cancelo was brilliantly put into the net by Benardo- all-over-the-pitch- Silva to make it two nil. It only took 20 odd passes for this goal! United had been outclassed and but for De Gea it could have been at least four at the interval.
City were a little less attack minded in the second half keeping possession well as they were so superior than United. City should have had a penalty when Jesus was brought down but a corner was given. Foden hit the post with one effort and Stones had a near miss but alas no more goals to improve the goal difference.
Pep Made no changes which was not surprising as the team were playing so well with full control of the game.
Cancelo was excellent with both Bernardo and Foden having good games. De Bruyne is not 100% and he needs a bit more luck with his passing. One strange thing was the inclusion of 2 keepers on the bench ( Steffen and Carson) - perhaps Pep was going to move Ederson to centre forward if we were five up!
Watching Stockport County's incredible 5-3 win in the FA Cup brought back some memories of Edgeiley Park. I first went there in 1944 to see County beat City 4-1! Les McDowall who later was manager at Maine Road was playing at left half. It was several years later for my next visit and then there used to be two games on Christmas Day. I would go to Edgeley Park in the morning and then dash back to Didsbury for lunch before cycling to Maine Road to watch either City or United ( Old Trafford had been bombed) in the afternoon..
My last visit was in Oct 1961 when I refereed a FA Cup 2nd replay between Hyde United and Stalybridge Celtic
Everton 3-0
City kept in touch with the League leaders with an easy three nil win over Everton. The game will be remembered for two special events - a magnificent pass and a wonderful goal from well outside the area - more later.
Although without De Bruyne and Grealish City bossed the early stages but we had an early worry when Foden a doubtful starter was injured but he recovered quickly and on 27 minutes put in a good cross that Sterling failed to head properly. Shortly after a header by Gundogan hit the bar and two minutes later a shot by Palmer was saved by the keeper and following up Sterling failed to make the best of the chance.
On 32 minutes Sterling made the news again when he appeared to be brought down just inside the penalty area and the ref gave a penalty. Alas VAR struck again and not even a free kick was given!
However just before half time a wonderful pass by Cancelo with the inside of his foot found Sterling who scored from close range. Well done Cancelo for the pass and well done to Sterling to start the City scoring.
Early in the second half Laporte got a yellow card for a foul on Townsend ( I still remember his goal against City for Crystal Palace in 2018). On 54 minutes Benardo Silva got a kick on his foot in the area but again no penalty!
However we soon got a second goal when Rodri picked up a clearance and from 25 yards out he cracked the ball past Pickford. It was a stunner and a well deserved award for his display in the game.
Mahrez came on for Foden ( no doubt to rest him for PSG) and Axe for Laporte. With five minutes to go a Palmer pass/drive was deflected to Bernardo Silva who scored to make it three nil.
A few minutes later we saw the debut of James McAtee and we witnessed some excellent ball skill and a shot in the final minutes from him.
Overall another excellent display from City with Rodri excellent and Sterling having a good game causing lots of problems for the Everton defence.
PSG 2-1
Jesus saves us! We knew it was not going to be easy especially when De Bruyne, Foden and Grealish were absent through injury and illness but City fought back after going a goal down to win and top their A group table. It was a tough match with City although having more of the ball they had the difficult job of stopping Neymar, Mbappe and Messi.
There was not much between the two sides in the first 20 minutes though Mahrez did have a chance that was well blocked.On 27 minutes Zinchenko had a shot blocked and on 31 minutes we actually saw Benardo cross with his right foot! The nearest City got was when Gundogan hit the post a minute later. However just before half time PSG missed a good chance so it was 0-0 at the break.
Disaster struck 4 minutes into the second half when a good PSG move ended with Mbappe shooting through Ederson's legs to give the visitors the lead. A certain player called Messi played a big part in the move!
A few minutes later Pep brought on Jesus for Zinchenko and that improved things as PSG were begriming to get more dangerous. On 62 minutes a great pass by Rodri found Walker and his excellent cross found Sterling who scored from close range. City were level and it was Sterling's third goal on the run .Is he getting back to his old form??
Ten minutes later Neymar shot wide and just three minutes later Gundogan passed to Mahrez and his cross was taken by Benardo and handed to Jesus and City had done the business and it had been an excellent show by City. PSG are no easy team to beat so full marks to the sky blues.



West Ham U 2-1
Snow, snow and more snow hit the Etihad Stadium as City kept up their league record against West Ham winning 2-1 and keeping up the pressure on Chelsea.
Walker who was having his 200th game for City shot just wide on 7 mins then ten minutes later Laporte hit the post with a header from a corner by Gundogan. Then a few minutes later Gundogan himself had a shot saved.
On the half hour Laporte got booked for a foul but there was a better moment a minute or so later when Gundogan put City ahead.with a tap in from a Mahrez cross despite the heavy snow fall. It was a great pass by Cancelo to find Mahrez.
4 minutes later Jesus had a good effort cleared off the line following a good pass from Mahrez and just before half time Mahrez himself hit the post with a good effort so City were one up at half time which was extended to allow City staff to clear the pitch of snow. They did a great job and one could see green again!.
On 56 minutes a shot by Jesus was saved by Cresswell in the centre of the goal and was injured by hitting the post. Sterling shot over on 68 minutes and City were defending well but ten minutes later Rice had a shot from outside the box and Ederson saved thank goodness so was it going to stay one nil?
With three minutes to go on came Fernandinho for Sterling and following a corner 3 minutes later Fernandinho got the ball from Jesus and slotted the ball home - his first since October 2018!
With seconds to go in added time just when it looked City would win by two goals Lanzini hooked the ball from outside the box and scored. However it was a tough win for City but well deserved with Gundogan having a very good game.
I remember a game back in December 1967 when City beat Spurs 4-1 at Maine Road when snow attacked the pitch
The image I shot shows Mike Doyle heading clear. I hope his relation Tommy now on loan in Germany will be back soon and doing such a good job his granddad did.
More old City stuff HERE
Aston Villa 2-1
Despite the presence of Royalty and the absence of De Bruyne, Foden, Stones, Walker, Grealish and Gundogan City continued their Wednesday win record - 16th consecutive win! It was a tough game but remembered for two vital brilliant goals by Dias and Bernardo Silva. It was Pep's 150th win in the Premier League.
City started with a blast and Cancelo had a shot saved in the first minute and then Rodri had another effort saved a couple of minutes later. City were dominating and Villa hardly got out of their own half. On 28 minutes Sterling crossed to the edge of the penalty area and Dias became City's 17th different scorer this season with a low shot that found the net and the sky blues were a goal up.
Villa started to get more of the play and won quite a few free kicks and City were coping with Villa attacks. On 42 minutes we had the goal of the season as City defended well in their own penalty area and Fernandinho cleared with a good long pass to Jesus who then crossed wonderfully to the onrushing Bernardo who then hit the pass first time with his left foot past the keeper to put City two up. A brilliant goal helped by the perfectly weighted pass by Jesus.
Villa struck back early in the second half when Watkins scored and then the City defence had a lot more to do. The back 4 of Cancelo, Dias ,Ake and Zinchenko and a good save by Ederson helped City to a tough win.
Ex Villa player Grealish came on in the last few minutes to both applause and boos. Foden was the only other senior outfield player on the bench.
Watford 3-1
Yet another excellent display by City took the sky blues to the top of the league thanks also to a West Ham win over Chelsea. City made several changes from the Villa game with Walker, Gundogan, Foden, Grealish and Laporte returning.
It could have been all over by half time with City having umpteen chances to score.It started after 3 minutes at a corner when Pedro headed the ball off the line from a Laporte header. However a minute later a great cross by Foden was headed into the net by Sterling who almost got a second 4 minutes later when the keeper saved from him. Grealish had a good chance but shot right at the keeper.
We had a shock on 17 minutes when Watford actually had a chance but Ederson trying for his 100th clean sheet saved a shot from Dennis .Grealish had another effort deflected as City went back onto attack and several more chances were missed before Benardo Silva made it two nil after 31 minutes. After a Gundogan shot was saved Benardo drifted past several defenders and scored. A magical goal as the referee let play go on after a bad foul by Rose on Grealish earlier in the move. Are we going to beat the 8 nil win in Sept 2019 -pics HERE .Well maybe if we had taken those early chances!
So it was just two nil at half time after City had dominated so much with their good passing, creativity and recovery speed.
Early in the second half Sterling had a shot saved then Foden had a shot tipped onto the post and out for a corner.
City got a beak on 61 minutes when Sterling gave Gundogan the ball and he shot well over the bar. Fortunately a minute or so later Benardo Silva bangs a great left footer into the top corner to make it three nil and game over.
On come De Bruyne and Mahrez ( what a bench!) and then alas Ederson fails to reach the 100 clean sheets when a shot from Hernandez hits the post and following up he scores past Ederson to give the Watford fans some consolation. So now City have to score more goals to improve the goal difference compared with major rivals Chelsea and Liverpool. No doubt the buses from Wolverhampton will be on their way to block the goal next weekend!!
RB Leipsig 1-2
This was not City at all. Pep had made 7 changes from the Watford win and it is very rare that City's best player was the reserve keeper Zack Steffen! It looked a pretty strong team with youngsters on the bench.
The first ten minutes was even with no shots then RB started to cause a few problems and Steffen had to make some good saves. Grealish shot over the bar on 22 minutes but then we had a disaster when the home side went ahead a minute or so later. There was a VAR check for offside but alas City were one down. It could have been worse on 39 minutes but Steffen made a brilliant reaction save from a header from close range. A few minutes later Foden had a shot saved but his passing generally had not been all that great and he was subbed by Sterling at half time.
Early in the second half De Bruyne had a lame shot at a free kick saved but just when City were starting to improve the home side scored a second goal on a break after Stones had lost the ball. Two minutes later we had a good penalty shout but a corner was given. However on 76 minutes Zinchenko put in a good cross and Mahrez scored with a header to make it 2-1. Alas worse was to follow as Walker was given a red card on 81 minutes for a stupid foul. De Bruyne did try a longish shot but it went just wide and City made 2 final changes - Palmer for De Bruyne and Dias for Ake but alas a fan less stadium saw City losing but at least they finished top of their group.
Wolves 1-0
What a bizarre game - a few records for City players - one of the quickest two yellows for one player - 30 seconds - and only a good save by Ederson stopping Wolves from nicking a point.
It was pretty well all City with Wolves playing a defensive game rarely coming into City's half. They blocked many shots in the first half with City failing to create any easy chances. On 28 minutes two Wolves players collided and had to have a lot of treatment.
Just before half time Jimenez got sent off for two yellow cards - 30 seconds apart! The first was a foul on Rodri then when a quick free kick was taken he stopped the pass - amazing !
Against the ten men of Wolves City started with attack after attack and their best attempt was a header by Gundogan but alas Coady headed clear with the keeper beaten. However on 63 minutes Bernardo crossed and the ball hit the arm/shoulder of Moutinho and the ref awarded a penalty. VAR took several minutes to agree with the decision. Sterling took the kick and calmly slotted the ball down the middle as the keeper dived to the side.It was his 100th Premier League goal (314 games)
Later Foden and De Bruyne came on and there were several City chances but the score remained at one nil. We were in two minutes of added time when Ederson had to make an excellent save from a header by Kilman from a cross. So now Ederson has 100 clean sheets and as he had little to do all game he was on the ball for that save.
Wolves are a difficult team to beat as they have a well organized defence. So City remain top of the league.
Leeds 7-0!
An early Christmas present for Pep and City fans as Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden were back to their best as City thrashed Leeds U 7-0. It was an excellent display by all City players with the work rate, passing, movement and finishing being of a very high standard. I was expecting a better performance by Leeds who had won at the Etihad last season. It was a shame we did not score another goal to equal the 8 nil win over Watford in 2019 -pics HERE . It would also bring us a little nearer the Liverpool goal difference!
The avalanche started in the second minute when Grealish cut in and actually shot! Then 4 minutes later Benardo Silva missed an open goal - however Foden made up for that by scoring number one a minute later. He followed up a save by the keeper and a defender on the line might have blocked it but his feet got mixed up! It was City's 500th goal under Pep.
City continued to dominate and on 12 minutes we had another gift when Grealish actually scored with his head from a cross by Mahrez following a corner. Ten minutes later De Bruyne had an effort saved but he soon did better 4 minutes later when he took a pass from the excellent Rodri and cracked the ball past the keeper and it was three nil.
City tried to make it more before half time with two shots by Foden - one going just wide and another being saved.
Pep made a change at half time Gundogan coming on for Benardo who deserved a break.
Early in the second half Mahrez made it 4 nil with a shot that was deflected past young keeper Meslier. City then made a second change bringing on Fernandinho for the very good Rodri. I noticed that when Dias when ready to block a rare attack kept both arms behind his back - no hand ball there then!
On 60 minutes Foden scored again but alas VAR said he was offside - just! We did not have to wait too long for the next goal and what a goal it was. De Bruyne took a pass from Gundogan and blasted the ball past the keeper from well outside the area. Five nil and more to come. With Kevan back to from will we reach double figures!!!!!! He has now scored more Premier League goals from outside the penalty area than any other player - 20 since his debut in 2015.
A minute later there was a rare event -Ederson had to make a save! Then Ake came on for Dias to give him a break.
On 73 minutes John Stones who was enjoying his game at right back actually scored when a header by Laporte was saved and the rebound came to Stones who scored at a second attempt and now it was six nil
A few minutes later City won a corner which was taken by Foden and guess who - Ake headed in to make it 7 nil.
Alas we failed to score more despite efforts by Foden and De Bruyne that went over the bar . At least we are now only two goals down on Liverpool's goal difference.
The draw for the Champions League took place on Monday and eventually we discovered we would play Sporting Lisbon and not Villarreal in the next round. We last played Sporting Lisbon in March 2012- pics HERE
Another bit of news was the retirement of Sergio Aguero a player we shall never forget at City.
Newcastle U 4-0
Top of the Premier League and a new record of 34 wins in a calendar year and oh yes a 4 nil win at Newcastle for City. The sky blues were not at their very best despite taking the lead after just 4 minutes, It was an early Xmas present by the keeper who presented City with a corner. Following the corner a great cross by Cancelo was headed in by Dias.
We had to wait until the 26th minute for number two. An excellent run by Cancelo who changed direction to beat defenders ended with him cracking the ball past the keeper. A little later Rodri and Bernardo got yellow cards and Dias had to leave the field as he had some blood on his forehead.Good job Dracula was not playing!
Was Ederson lucky not to have conceded a penalty when his dive ended with Fraser falling? Nothing was given!
Perhaps Fraser should have jumped over the fallen Ederson! He had already lost possession and perhaps it was a deliberate fall to claim a penalty!
Six minutes into the second half Dubravka made a very good save from a header by Jesus and Sterling failed to score from a couple of chances.
However City made it three nil when good cross by Zinchenko was hit first time past the keeper. VAR checked for offside but the goal stood.
Fernandinho came on for Rodri and Stones for Dias and Palmer for Mahrez.. Ederson did not have a great deal to do but on 77 minutes he made a great defensive diving header and three minutes later he had to make a good save from a Wilson header.
City completed the scoring when Cancelo passed to Jesus who then crossed to Sterling to score from close range.
Leicester City 6-3
What a game! Did City declare at half time with a comfortable lead! It all started in the 5th minute when De Bruyne just inside the penalty area banged in a great shot with his left foot to give City the lead. Fernandinho started the move with a good pass and Kevin finished it. A brilliant start! The naughty boys were on the bench so they could only sit and watch as the sky blues took Leicester apart. The second goal came as a result of VAR ( hurrah for once). At a corner Laporte was brought down by Tielemans and at first no penalty was given but eventually the referee pointed to the spot and Mahrez cracked the ball into the top corner to make it two nil after 14 minutes. 4 minutes later Ederson had some work to do saving a free kick from Maddison but we did not have to wait too long for City's third goal. A cross by Cancelo was parried out by Kasper Schmeichel and there was Gundogan to slot the ball home.
A couple of minutes later the ever dangerous Sterling was tripped by Tielemans in the penalty area and Sterling himself took the kick smashing the ball into the net for number 4. That was the 22nd time he had won a penalty - a record!
City continued to attack getting quite a few corners but could not add to the score. Bernardo did give Sterling a good chance to score but Kasper S made a very good save and so at half time we wondered whether another 4 5 or 6 could be added !
The second half began fairly quietly and then we had a shock! Leicester actually scored! I thought Pep would have banned the possibility but no - ex City player Iheanacho inter passed with Maddison and the latter player beat Ederson to make it 4-1. Surely just a minor blemish - oh no 4 minutes later Iheanacho helped Lookman to a second Leicester goal. What is happening! Surely it can't get worse. Oh yes it can - on 65 minutes Ederson made a good save from Maddison pushing the ball onto the bar and it fell to the feet of Iheanacho who poked it into the net - 4-3 -unbelievable!!!
City then woke up and at a corner a very good header by Laporte made its way into the top corner and the sky blues were back in business - 5-3.
On 71 minutes one of the bad boys Foden came on for Kevin just after Ederson had to make a good save. Thank goodness City made the points really safe with three minutes to go when Sterling made it 6-3 following a corner. Phew! What a match. City have now scored 112 goals this year and should make it more with the Brentford game to come.
Brentford 1-0
City have ended the year top of the league well in front of Chelsea and Liverpool but if City fans expected another load of goals they were in for a disappointment. Pep included the 'bad boys' in the team and the first ten minutes was without shots and danger in either penalty area. Then suddenly on 12 minutes Ederson was called into action saving well and then 2 minutes later making an even better save as Dias deflected a shot and then Cancelo had to save on the line. Just when home fans were raising their hopes a minute or so later De Bruyne made a great through pass to Foden who volleyed past the keeper to put City one up. Oh no - VAR entered the fray to check offside but luckily a defenders back foot saved the day for City and Foden notched his 5th goal.
There were lots of free kicks but despite the bad temper on both sides they were no yellow cards!
In the second half Foden was back in action heading just wide before scoring with his head but that was disallowed for offside. De Bruyne hit the post with one good effort but City could not add to their score though a Laporte header from a Kevin free kick was disallowed for -guess what - offside!
Pep made no changes so we hope Rodri and Walker are fit for the Arsenal match. City now have the record for the most wins (36) and away wins (19 ) in a single calendar year.
A young Kasper Schmeichel saves from manager Kevin Keegan at the end of training at Carrington in 2005.
As well as taking a few pics I was also the ball boy recovering the odd one that went wide!
More HERE
The vital win by Kasper Schmeichel over Liverpool reminding me of a day many years ago at Carrington
Arsenal 2-1

Not one of the best City football performances but the winning goal in added time proved decisive in this tough game against an in form Arsenal.It was City's 11th successive Premier League win and put them eleven points ahead in the race for the Premier League trophy.
City made several changes and it was good to see Rodri back in the team. Walker was on the bench but so sign of Foden. Several youngsters were also on the bench.City had an early chance on 4 minutes when Jesus headed wide from a cross by Die Bruyne. On ten minutes we had a bad moment when Ederson appeared to bring down Odegaard but VAR said no penalty as Ederson had just managed to play the ball and I thought the Arsenal player dived a second later than the impact.
On 13 minutes Dias missed with a header at a corner and a couple of minutes later Ederson had to make a save at the other end. City were not finding it easy and on the half hour they went ahead. A good Arsenal move ended with Saka taking a pass from Ttierney and shooting past Ederson.
The second half started with Martinelli shooting just wide of goal but a few minutes later Bernardo Silva dashing down the wing was brought down by Xhaka and VAR awarded City a penalty. Xhaka got a yellow card and Mahrez did the job of scoring from the spot. It got worse for Arsenal when Gabriel got two yellow cards in a few minutes. So Arsenal were down to ten men - surely City should score some goals now! Between the two cautions City had an amazing escape when Laporte and Ederson failed to agree on a defensive decision and Laporte headed towards an empty goal. Luckily Ake made an amazing clearance clearing the ball just before all of it had crossed the line and then Martinelli failed to make the most of his clearance and City fans breathed again.
Gundogan came on for Jesus and City began to get more of the play but missed several chances. It looked like City were going to be denied a winner. However three minutes into the 6 mins added time Rodri got the winner following a free kick that Arsenal failed to clear. His over enthusiastic celebrations got him a yellow card after taking his shirt off!
A tough win and full marks to Cancelo for turning out for City after his facial injuries received during a recent robbery at his home.

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Swindon 4-1 - FA Cup
Despite Pep and 7 first team players unable to be there because of the virus City put out a pretty strong side for this FA Cup game. Steffen,Walker, Gundogan and Palmer came in for Ederson, Laporte, Sterling and Mahrez and no doubt the team bus managed to negotiate the infamous Swindon magic roundabout.
After just 4 minutes Bernardo took a pass from Cancelo but shot just over the bar. We had to wait another ten minutes before City took the lead. Following good work by Palmer - Bernado Silva scored from close range. City added to their score following a defensive error. Swindon were trying playing the ball out at goal;l kicks (just like City) but alas a defender handed the ball to Jesus who made in two nil on 28 minutes.
On 32 minutes Steffen gifted Swindon with a chance but Mckirdy failed to score and City were a bit lucky. Walker made a good block from a dangerous cross and at half time it remained two nil despite Cancelo shooting just wide from 25 yards out on 44 minutes.
Palmer got things going again shooting just wide on 53 minutes however 6 minutes later De Bruyne was brought down and Gundogan took a great free kick rounding the defensive wall and into the net for number three. Game over or was it!
Two minutes later Jesus won a penalty but alas in trying to fool the keeper his shot was easily saved so City lost the chance to finish the game. Then Rodri got a yellow card for a silly push and McAtee came on for De Bruyne. City piled on the pressure and 2 Gundogan efforts were saved before Palmer just shot over the bar. However the home crowd had something to shout about on 78 minutes when McKirdy beat Steffen at the near ;post to make it 3-1.
However man-of-the-match Cole Palmer finished things off by scoring a glorious goal from a narrow angle on 84 minutes.This 19 year old will be a regular soon now that Torres has departed and with Mahrez away in Africa I am sure Pep thinks he has a good future.
The last time I watched Swindon play was in January 2002 when City beat them 2-0 in the FA Cup. Team that day was - Nash, Edghill, Horlock. Dunne. Howey. Ritchie. Benarbia, Berkovic. Wanchope, Huckerby, Wright-Phillips.
The City scorers were Wanchope and Horlock - pics HERE
I also saw then in 1965 when they beat City 2-1 - Mike Summerbee was playing for Swindon and he scored. The crowd was only 8015 at Maine Road - a record low!
Chelsea 1- 0
A wonderful goal by Kevin De Bruyne won this tough game against Chelsea and it put City 13 points ahead of second placed Chelsea. It was City's 12th consecutive league win and it puts them in a strong position to win the title.
Pep had chosen a strong side with the return of Foden, Grealish and Sterling though it was a bit of a surprise to see Dias on the bench with Stones coming back from injury.
There was a possible chance for City on 13 minutes when at a corner Stones headed at goal -but alas straight at the keeper. Chelsea were having to defend well with their back three keeping City at bay. De Bruyne did have a shot saved on 23 minutes but the best chance came on 39 minutes. De Bruyne passed to Grealish who had only the keeper to beat but alas his shot was just deflected off the leg of the keeper for a corner. A few minutes later Kevin shot wide so it was goalless at half time.
After Sterling just failed to reach a De Bruyne cross Chelsea actually got into our half and Ederson had to make a good save from Lukaku.
We saw several dangerous crosses into the Chelsea box but alas no centre forward there for City! We did have a penalty shout on 53 minutes but Walker was offside before the incident. Foden was chasing all over the ground and City were pressing very well and getting corners and free kicks but Chelsea were holding out despite a Kevin free kick saved and a shot from Sterling that went just wide.
Then on 70 minutes came that special moment when Kevin De Bruyne got a pass from Cancelo and took the ball forward before blasting the ball into the net with his right foot from outside the area. It was a magnificent goal and well deserved.
Sterling played well and is getting back to his best form but Grealish is not playing at the level we expected considering his transfer fee! Ederson once again kept a clean sheet but Chelsea hardly gave him anything to do.
Southampton 1-1
Not the best of results for City as they dropped their first points since last October. It was the end of a 12 game run of wins. We knew it was not going to be easy as the Saints had taken a point off us at the Etihad but alas the goal post foiled the City attack several times.
City had an early blow when right back Walker-Phillips scored an excellent goal for the home side after just 7 minutes. After a couple of poor crosses by Sterling and Cancelo Southampton scored again but luckily for City VAR said Broja was offside. 5 minutes later Grealish failed to beat the keeper and then Sterling who was not having one of his best games shot over. His day got worse on 37 minutes when he missed a sitter. Foden had done well and crossed to the unmarked Sterling who only had the keeper to beat but his shot was awful and at half time City were a goal down.
City improved in the second half and Jesus came on for Sterling on 60 minutes and 4 minutes later he was fouled and De Bruyne took the free kick which was headed home by Laporte to level the scores. City also hit the post three times De Bruyne, Rodri and Jesus being the unlucky players. There were a couple more VAR's - a possible penalty shout for City - just ouside the area - and a possible red card for Armstrong when he fouled Laporte but it stayed as a yellow. It was only an average display by City with Cancelo below his best and Sterling well below his best. We now have a break - hope City don't have a meeting at number 10!
Fulham 4-1 FA Cup
What a start - 3 goals in the first 12 minutes. After the winter break this was a bit of a surprise especially when Fulham broke after just 4 minutes and Carvalho scored. Two minutes later Mahrez crossed and Gundogan somehow flicked the ball home first time to level the scores. On 12 minutes De Bruyne whipped in a corner and Stones at the near post headed past the keeper to give City the lead. Wow this pretty strong City side are going to be on top form to win this game. Fulham are a good side and look likely to be promoted to the Premiership at the end of the season. They just don't sit there and defend. Anyway there were no more goals in the first half and no doubt Pep had some words for the City players at the interval.
City started the second half more positively and a good run by Grealish ended with him being brought down in the box and it was an easy penalty decision by the ref. Mahrez who had missed a penalty while playing recently for Algeria in the Africa Cup took the kick and cracked the ball into the net to make it three one.
He added a fourth goal 4 minutes later when City broke and De Bruyne crossed to Mahrez. His shot was slightly deflected and beat the keeper and then it was game over. With the game won City made five changes giving some playing minutes for Delap and McAtee. Other players coming on were Zinchenko, Sterling, and Benardo Silva. In the end a solid performance by the sky blues and round 5 coming up.
Brentford 2-0
Not the best of games to remember as Brentford defended in depth with five at the back and both City goals came as a result of late Christmas presents by the visitors. City were not at their very best and we had a surprise when Stones was at right back with Walker on the bench.
City had most of the early possession but no chances and we had to wait until 13 minutes for the first City corner! On 22 minutes Brentford broke and Ederson had to make a save. Then Cancelo broke down the left but his cross went straight to the keeper and a few minutes later he had a half chance but shot over the bar. Then Sterling shot over the bar and when Foden was brought down an effort by Laporte went just wide. However on 38 minutes Sterling attacked down the left and just near the goal line he was brought down for an unnecessary penalty. Apparently Sterling has won more penalties than anyone else in the Premiership -he has 23 now two ahead of Vardy! Mahrez took the penalty and belted the ball into the top left corner to give City the lead. It was his 8th goal in 7 games.
Just before half time Stones slipped and let in Henry but Ederson saved and was injured in the situation that developed. Fortunately he recovered and was able to continue. So at half time City had a one goal lead and we hoped for more.
Just after the interval Cancelo shot just wide following a corner and then on 54 minutes he had a brilliant run beating several players before shooting right at the keeper. Two minutes later Benardo who was not at his very best had a shot saved easily and then Stones was injured but was able to continue. On 66 minutes Grealish came on for Mahrez - obviously saving him for a hat-trick against Norwich! Two minutes later we had a gift. Brentford keeper Raya passed the ball out to Sterling by mistake and although he managed to save Sterling's shot the ball ran out to De Bruyne who shot into the empty goal and it was two nil. Wow what an error!
Gundogan then came on for Foden who had a fairly quiet game for once. Rodri had a good shot from distance well saved but no more goals and with Brentford having such a deep compact defence policy it was not easy.
So City go 12 points ahead of Liverpool and hope that Kasper S can keep a clean sheet against Liverpool tonight
Norwich C 4-0
A hat-trick by Sterling was the highlight of an easy four nil win over Norwich City at Carrow Road. City made several changes from the Brentford win. Walker returned and Ake and Zinchenko came in to the defence. As there was a Champions League game on Tuesday De Bruyne was on the bench and in came Gundogan. Fernandiho was in for Rodri in front of the back four. The front three were top scorer Mahrez, Foden and Sterling. No sign of Grealish - interesting after recent pics!
City were early on the attack and Benardo hit the post - the ball rebounding to the keeper on 5 minutes and on 11 minutes a strong cross by Gundogan was just missed by Foden. 6 minutes later Norwich almost scored. After the ball hit the post Fernandinho brilliantly cleared the rebound under pressure.
However on the half hour City took the lead. A cross by Walker reached Sterling after a defender failed to control the ball. Sterling cut in - switched to his right foot and curled the ball into the far top corner - a great shot. City had a couple more half chances before half time so we had to be content with that one goal lead.
There was a great start to the second half by City. Foden managed to get the ball over the line following a Gundogan corner. It was a tight situation and a defender cleared the ball but good old VAR sent a message to the ref's phone and City were two up.
On 60 minutes Ederson actually had to make a save but Norwich attacks were rare. 9 minutes later it was game over when at a corner Diaz headed the ball to an unmarked Sterling who headed into the net to make it three nil.
On came the youngsters with McAtee on for Benardo and Delap for Foden and there was a Premiership debut for Kayky a young Brazilian forward and he came on for Mahrez.
With a minute to go Delap was brought down in the area and Sterling took the penalty kick. His shot was saved by ex City keeper Gunn diving to his left. The ball came out and Sterling was there to shoot home with his left foot to complete the 'perfect' hat-trick - right foot - header- left foot ! It was his 7th career hat-trick.
Yes it certainly was a 'sterling' performance by City and one step nearer winning the league title once again.
Sporting Lisbon 5- 0
What a result in this first leg in Portugal. A brilliant performance by City ended with a five goal lead and pretty certain qualification to the next round of the Champions League. As expected City made five changes from the Norwich win - Stones, Rodrigo, Cancelo, Laporte and De Bruyne returning to the line-up. Again no sign of Grealish! However there was a City player in the opponents team - Pedro Porro who is on loan to them.
There was a good start for City when Mahrez scored after a good complex movement but the City cheers were put on hold when offside in the build up started a VAR time out. Eventually Kevin De Bruyne's toe was calculated as being onside so the goal stood and City were ahead after just 7 minutes.
A minute or so later City almost went two up but a header by Stones went just wide. But we did not have to wait too long to cheer again. On 17 minutes a great goal by Benardo Silva made it two nil. A cross by Mahrez was headed down by Dias and Benardo half volleyed it into the net. Terrific technique and a well earned goal.
Poor defending allowed a Mahrez cross to reach Foden who was able to score number three from close range. City were playing really well It got even better just before half time when a cross by Cancelo went to Sterling who then cut the ball back to Benardo and he hit it first time. The ball was slightly deflected and ended up in the back of the net to make it four nil - game over! In added time De Bruyne tried a shot but it sailed over the bar.
We thought Benardo had got his hat-trick when he headed in a pass from De Bruyne but alas he was offside according to VAR. However we did not have to wait too long for another City goal. On 58 minutes Sterling took a pass from Benardo and he curled the ball into the far top corner - just like one of his goals against Norwich. It was his 127th goal for City
Then with City five ahead on came the subs - Zinchenko for Stones - Gundogan for Foden.
City continued their excellent football but no more goals. There were three more subs - Fernandinho came on for Rodri - Ake for Laporte - Delap for Benardo.

Spurs 2-3
Not the best of results for City in the battle for the Premiership. The sky blues were not at their best with some poor passing which gave Spurs a chance to break and with Kane up front they were able to take advantage of poor defending by City.
There was a disastrous start for City when after just 5 minutes Son beat the offside trap and passed to Kulusevski who scored easily. Then City had more of the play and almost scored after 20 minutes when a curler from Gundogan hit the far post. A little later Cancelo shot wide but on 33 minutes City leveled the scores. Sterling whipped in a cross cum shot which LLoris failed to hold and the ball ran to Gundogan who made no mistake and the score remained one all at half time.
On 52 minutes City almost scored following a corner by De Bruyne and Diaz deflected the ball into space but alas no centre forward there to score!
Ederson then had to save from Son. On 59 minutes Son crossed to Kane and he swept the ball into the net and Spurs were ahead once again! He nearly scored again 5 minutes later but Ederson made a brilliant save with his leg. A little later it was Lloris's turn to make a good save - pushing a good effort by Gundogan for a corner.
On 68 minutes Mahrez came on for Sterling just before Kane scored again but luckily for City VAR spotted offside so it remained 2-1 for Spurs.
On 90 minutes a Benardo Silva cross was blocked by Romero's hand but nothing was given - it looked a solid penalty - then VAR said it was a penalty so it was Mahrez who took the kick and scored to make it two all. It was City's 100th goal in all competitions this season.
Just when we thought we were getting a point on 95 minutes Kane scored the winner with a header. What a blow - our first loss at home since last October 0-2 against Crystal Palace. The battle for the Premiership is open again!
Against a packed Spurs defence City failed to take advantage of the 72% possession and our defence were not at their best in dealing with counter attacks - Diaz and Laporte were really well off form.
Were City still a little tired after their trip to Portugal!
Everton 1-0
Not the best performance by City against a tough Everton side who defended well and caused a few problems in the City half in the first 45 minutes when the sky blues were well below their best. It took Foden to take advantage of a defensive error to score the only goal and a VAR decision that prevented Everton from getting a penalty for a hand ball by Rodri.
It was good to see both teams coming on showing Ukraine colours and Stones replaced Walker at right back. Both Jesus and Grealish returned to the bench..We were hoping for a better result than the Spurs game but the first half was pretty poor with City's first effort coming on 29 minutes when De Bruyne's effort was easily saved. A little later Richarlison had a shot saved by Ederson then a Benardo shot was almost a back pass to Pickford. This was not going to be a walk-over for City so Pep is going to have a serious chat at the break.
Thank goodness we saw some improvement in the second half - ten minutes in and Foden had an effort saved and then Stones had a good shot well saved on 64 minutes. A few minutes later Pickford made two brilliant saves - the first was from De Bruyne and then he saved the rebound lashed in by Benardo Silva. Two minutes later Foden headed over the bar and then came the changes we were waiting for - Jesus and Mahrez were on for Sterling and Gundogan.
On 82 minutes came the vital moment - Benardo Silva crossed and the two centre halves failed to clear leaving Phil Foden the chance to put the ball into the net and City were ahead - miracle!
Three minutes later Rodri appeared to handle the ball when it bounced up - play continued for a few seconds before the referee chatted to VAR and luckily for City the result was no penalty. Wow that was a debatable decision as the ball hit near the shoulder. City then held out for the added time to keep 6 points ahead of Liverpool.
Phew that was close - very close!!
Peterborough 2-0 FA Cup
Although City knew this was not going to be an easy game on a far from perfect pitch City made six changes bringing in Ake, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Mahrez, Grealish and Jesus. To show solidarity with the Ukraine Zinchenko was made skipper for the match.
Jesus almost caught out the keeper in the opening moments but this was followed by a terrible cross by Mahrez due to the poor pitch!.It was all City in the opening 15 minutes with corner after corner.
Ake got a yellow card for a bad tackle on 16 minutes. The Posh were blocking everything making it difficult for City to test their keeper. On the half hour a very good City passing movement ended with Grealish shooting over the bar.
Before half time a Gundogan header went wide from a Mahrez cross and just before the interval Ake was injured but seemed OK. However at half time Stones and Laporte came on for Ake and Diaz - no doubt with the forthcoming game against some team from Salford in mind!
After Foden had made a great defensive effort by sprinting back to tackle on 48 minutes he then crossed the ball ten minutes later to Mahrez who scored that vital first goal. At last City were ahead and then 7 minutes later Foden in the City half made a long brilliant pass to Grealish who showed first excellent ball control and then shot into the net to make it two nil - game over! It was his first ever goal in the FA Cup.
Peterborough did not give up and Ederson had to make a good save from Marriot on 71 minutes. Not the easiest of wins for City.
Man United 4-1
The second half saw the complete demolition of this team from Salford. It was a terrific display by City as they moved six points ahead of Liverpool in the battle for the Premiership.
It was a great start by City as after just 5 minutes De Bruyne took a pass from Benardo Silva and shot past De Gea. It was his 50th Premier League goal. However that good feeling did not last too long as United had the temerity to level the scores on 22 minutes when Sancho shot into the far corner. Walker had been distracted by a run of Fernandes and Sancho managed to beat Ederson who had saved an effort by Fred earlier.
However City came back quickly and a Foden header landed on the bar and Grealish had a shot blocked. A few minutes later Foden made a good run and when his shot was well saved by De Gea the ball ran free to Silva who had an effort blocked but it was third time lucky for City as Kevin De Bruyne banged in his second goal of the day and City were ahead 2-1. Both Foden and Mahrez had shots saved before half time.
City started the second half much better with several attempts just failing to add to the score. Maguire got a yellow card for a bad foul on De Bruyne who was about to break into the United half. Then the reds brought on Rashford and Lingard but soon after City got a corner and De Bruyne fooled the United defence by changing his normal cross into a longer wider one and it went to the feet of Mahrez who half volleyed it into the net to make it 3-1 - game over!
The sky blues continued to dominate the game with almost 100% possession and the City fans celebrated with the poznan. Gundogan came on for De Bruyne on 80 minutes and on 90 minutes Gundogan passed to Mahrez and he scored past De Gea but alas the flag went up for offside. However VAR stepped in and discovered that a defenders boot had put Mahrez onside so the goal stood and it was 4-1 - demolition complete! A great display by City especially in the second half. It might have been even more but for some good saves by De Gea. Cancelo attacked well and had one effort well saved . Grealish too did well and Foden chased all over the park and caused lots of problems. Benardo worked hard too while De Bruyne and Mahrez who shared the goals were outstanding.
Sporting Lisbon 0-0
With City winning the first leg five nil Pep made six changes resting several key players. City gave 19 year old Egan-Riley a debut at right back and Fernandinho made his 100th Champions League appearance. It was certainly not a match to remember. We had to wait until the 23rd minute for the very first shot - Foden's effort being saved. City did attack but there was a lack of creativity and no more shots until one by Sterling which was also saved. So the first half ended goalless with Sporting rarely trying to reduce the arrears.
We did get a surprise at the start of the second half when a cross from Zinchenko gave Mahrez a chance of a run and Jesus scored from his final pass but alas good old VAR discovered he was offside so it was still nil nil. Ten minutes later after Jesus had another effort saved Ederson finally had to do something saving easily from a couple of poor efforts on the City goal. Then we had a bit of a surprise when third choice keeper Carson came on for Ederson after 73 minutes. A few minutes later Carson has to make a good save from Paulinho and appeared to be injured but fortunately he was Ok and able to carry on. On 84 minutes Mbete came on for Laporte and before the final whistle Stones headed over at a corner and Sterling shot wide. City's best player on the night was 36 year old Fernandinho who bossed the midfield. Sterling failed to take advantage of his selection and failed to impress. With a five goal advantage Pep was able to give some time to reserves and youngsters and thus avoiding any more first team injuries.
Crystal Palace 0-0
Two goalless draws on the trot! Unbelievable! When are we going to score a goal! There were some bad misses by City players. I knew it was not going to be easy against such a well organized side managed by a certain Patrick Viera but although City dominated the game on the break Palace were dangerous losing the ball in midfield was going to be a chance of a break for the home side.
We had the first shot in the7th minute when Mahrez shot wide and a minute or so later Laporte lost the ball and luckily for City the Palace break came to nothing. On 14 minutes a good effort by De Bruyne was partially saved by the keeper and Silva following up missed a golden chance to put City in the lead. 4 minutes later Stones had a shot deflected and then on 27 minutes following a corner Cancelo hit the post - City's 18th post hitting this season! When the ball came out there was Laporte shooting over the bar. City continued to put on the pressure but efforts by Mahrez ,Foden and Rodri were blocked by the 100 man defence ( well it seemed like it). City did have a let-off when Zaha missed an effort after Laporte had lost the ball. Mahrez went close with a good shot just before half time.
In the second half Grealish got a yellow for a bad foul just before Kevin hit the post and Mahrez had a shot saved.
On 70 minutes a good cross by Grealish was missed by Silva and later Ederson actually had to make a save - from Zaha! On 90 minutes De Bruyne took a free kick for a foul on Walker and Laporte failed to make the most of a header.
There seemed to be a lack of creativity and determination by City and even with a few minutes to go they were still being 'patient' in their play. Pep made no substitutions and there were no outstanding City players on the day. The Palace keeper had a good game and made some excellent saves but some of the those misses by City players might effect the league table if the sky blues continue with this lack of scoring! The lack of a centre forward was very noticeable today.
Southampton 4-1 FA Cup
City's excellent win at Southampton gets them a FA Cup Semi-final match at Wembley against Liverpool. For the Southampton game City made 4 changes - Steffen in for Ederson, Gundogan for Benardo Silva, Jesus for Mahrez and Sterling for Foden. After the last two games without goals changes were inevitable.
After early pressure City had an escape when Armstrong hit the post on 9 minutes. However 2 minutes later Sterling took advantage of a defensive error to take a pass from Jesus and score giving City the vital lead. A few minutes later Jesus shot over the bar and a little later he was back in our penalty area defending! Grealish was playing more central as a secret centre forward.He did hit the post when it might have been easier to score. On 35 minutes on a City break Rodri had a shot deflected for a corner. Just when we thought we would be ahead at half time disaster struck. Right at the end of the 2 added minutes Laporte deflected a cross into his own goal. So it was one all at the interval.
After several early scrambles De Bruyne shot over the bar and a minute or so later when Grealish lost the ball Steffen had to make a save. Shortly after Jesus made a run into the penalty area and was brought down by Salisu and it was so obvious a foul no VAR was necessary. Kevin De Bruyne took the kick and scored shooting low to the left. 2-1 to City on 62 minutes.
Then Pep made two key changes bringing on Foden for Jesus and Mahrez for Grealish.
On 72 minutes Steffen had to make a good save so it was not game over yet. Then three minutes later Foden scored a brilliant goal. Taking a pass from De Bruyne he cracked the ball with his left foot into the far top corner - a wonderful effort.
Now it was game over and it certainly was a few minutes later when Mahrez finished off a good move involving Cancelo and Gundogan shooting past the keeper to make it 4-1. On came Zinchenko, Fernandinho and Axe for Cancelo, Rodri and Laporte. The excellent second half performance was just too good for the home side so Wembley here we come -yet again!
Burnley 2-0
City made three changes from the FA Cup game Ederson, Foden and Ake coming in for Steffen, Jesus and Stones. With Liverpool beating Watford earlier City needed those three points to regain their position at the top of the league. So it was excellent that the sky blues took an early lead. After just 5 minutes good work by Rodri and Sterling gave De Bruyne a chance and he cracked the ball past Pope . It was his 12th goal of the season in his 200th Premier league game.
Pope then had to save from Rodri on 8 minutes with City well on top. Having shot wide on 16minutes Gundogan made it two nil 8 minutes later.Some really good football ended with Sterling crossing to Gundogan who notched his 34th Premier League goal - making him the top German scorer in the Premier League.
So at half time it was two nil and we needed more goals to improve the goal difference.
Early in the second half Rodri took a pass from Grealish but shot just wide. Then Pope had to save from Gundogan and Walker as City continued to attack. Burnley actually got into our half when a long kick by Pope caused a problem and a penalty was called for but no way would it have been given.
On 64 minutes Jesus came on for Foden and he soon had a chance from a cross from Sterling but he shot over the bar.
Then Ederson actually had to make a save - from Rodriguez - it was their first shot on target!
On 78 minutes Benardo Silva came on for Kevin De Bruyne but despite more City attacks they could not add to the score.
Sterling continued his good England form with his excellent display and he made two assists while Kevin is getting back to his best form too and he is cracking in some good goals.

Atletico Madrid 1- 0
A tough game against a well organised defensive side ended with a moment of brilliance by Phil Foden who had just come on gave Kevin De Bruyne a difficult chance which he took so well to give City a vital lead in this two legged quarter final.
We were expecting the visitors to defend but despite massive City possession shots on goal were rare. On 7 minutes Cancelo won a free kick but this was cleared for a throw-in and 4 minutes later City got a corner but Laporte headed well over the bar. A minute later City did have a shout for a penalty for a foul on Benardo but nothing given.
On 20 minutes a corner ended with Gundogan shooting well over the bar Although City had over 70% possession the Atletico defence gave little away and though there was another shout for a penalty for a foul on De Bruyne there were no goals at half time.
Just after the break Griezmann did break away and they actually got a corner and Ederson had something to do. A little later City got a couple of free kicks and Sterling shot wide following the second one. After the visitors made three changes at 59 minutes City had a good chance at a corner but Laporte headed over the bar - if he had managed to head down it might have been a goal! Then City made three changes - Grealich for Gundogan, Jesus for Sterling and Foden for Mahrez. Both Sterling and Mahrez failed to make the impact they usually did. Just after Grealish had been fouled we had the great moment. Foden takes a pass from defence and beats a couple of players before sliding a terriific pass to De Bruyne who shoots past the keeper from the edge of the goal area - a difficult angle but a well placed shot. City had that vital goal but alas could not manage a second goal despite continuing to dominate the play.
Liverpool 2- 2
The result would have been different if only Mahrez would have shot low instead of trying to clip the ball over the keeper in the very last seconds of this gripping battle between the top two teams. This pulsating game ended in a draw so City remain one point ahead of Liverpool at the top of the league.
City made three changes from the win against Atletico Madrid - Foden, Walker and Jesus replacing Grealish, Ake and Mahrez. City had an early chance after just 4 minutes when an excellent cross by Jesus was met by Sterling but he failed to to beat the keeper. However a minute or so later a quick free kick went to Kevin De Bruyne and his shot was deflected via a defender and the post into the net to put City one up.
However City's joy was short lived as Jota equalized on 12 minutes. City hit back but efforts by Jesus and Rodri failed to find the back of the net! On 22 minutes we almost had a disaster when Ederson for once failed to control the ball from a back pass and the ball rolled towards the line. Fortunately he was able to recover and kick the ball away. Five minutes later Robertson got a yellow card for a bad foul on De Bruyne.
On 34 minutes Cancelo shot just wide - the ball deflected for a corner. On 36 minutes Cancel had much better luck when his wonderful cross field pass reached Jesus who had dashed forward. Jesus then clipped the ball over the keeper to score - an excellent goal - well conceived and carried out. 2-1 to City ! We should have made it 3-1 on 43 minutes when a cross by Foden was just missed by Sterling with only the keeper to beat. So it remained 2-1 at half time.
Disaster struck early in the second half. Mane took a pass from Salah and scored. I thought there might have been a possible offside in the build-up but no VAR alas. The fast pace continued and Ederson had to make a save. At the other end Jesus had a shot blocked and on 62 minutes Sterling actually scored and City had gone in front. Alas VAR struck and
it looked like Sterling's toe was offside so it was back to two all again. I felt that City were a bit too slow coming out out of defence and Liverpool were putting on the pressure. After a Jesus shot went wide Mahrez came on for Sterling who had not had the best of games. Later Grealish was on for Jesus and City put Liverpool under lots of pressure. A cross from Cancelo just went wide and a Mahrez free kick for a foul on De Bruyne was very near the top corner but alas just wide. There were four minutes of added time and in the final seconds Mahrez had a great chance but alas the ball went just over the bar so now City just have to win all their remaining games !
Atletico Madrid 0 - 0
City survived the battle against Atletico Madrid and now play Real Madrid in the semi-final. It was a different game from the first leg. Atletico put the City defence under lots of pressure and they responding well ensuring that Ederson had little to do.
After 9 minutes City got a corner and Stones headed over the bar - a shame really but at least we got a chance after being put under early pressure. On 12 minutes there was a bad foul on Phil Foden by Felipe. Foden had to have a head covering on for the rest of the game. It should have been a yellow card. However Felipe did get a yellow card 12 minutes later when he fouled De Bruyne. City were getting a bit more of the play and after a shot by De Bruyne was deflected for a corner there was a let-ff for Atletico when a shot from Gundogan hit the post.
On 35 minutes Ederson actually had to make a save and two minutes later Cancelo had a long range effort but it went well wide. At half time City were ahead on possession but Atletico started the second half with lots of power and the City defence had lots to do.
On 64 minutes De Bruyne who had been fouled a few times and had a quiet game so far was subbed by Sterling and alas two minutes later Walker was injured in a clash and though he came back on he was subbed by Axe on 73 minutes. Atletico continued to attack but the City defence did well and with ten minutes to go Benardo Silva was subbed by Fernandinho who was quickly fouled!
On 85 minutes John Stones made a wonderful block to stop Cunha beating Ederson. Atletico continued to attack and several efforts went close but then on 90 minutes Felipe got his second yellow for another foul on Foden. Then pandemonium started when the Atletico players surrounded the referee and eventually we ended up with almost 12 minutes of added time. Towards the end of added time Ederson had to make a couple of saves but City managed a clean sheet and go through to play another team from Madrid! I think City were still suffering from the hard game against Liverpool. The worry is the game at Wembley on Saturday with both Walker and De Bruyne doubtful through injury
Liverpool 2 - 3 FA Cup
A surprising game of two halves with Liverpool first going three up in the first half. Then City came back with a bang and almost leveled the scores in extra time.
It was a much changed City side following the battle in Spain. Steffen alas came in for Ederson and with Walker off injured Zinchenko came in and Axe moved to central defence in place of Laporte. Fernandinho was skipper replacing Rodri and we had Jesus, Foden Sterling and Grealish up front. Kevin De Bruyne was on the bench as was Mahrez.
After just three minutes Grealish had a shot which was blocked and then Liverpool put on the pressure forcing a corner after 8 minutes. The height and ability of Konate enabled him to head past Steffen to put Liverpool ahead. Perhaps Ederson might have saved it! City replied with a corner at the other end but little could be seen with all the red smoke from a flare that had been set off. Then real disaster struck 8 minutes later. A simple back pass by Stones to the keeper ended with Steffen failing to control the ball and Mane pounced on the error to easily score and it was two nil to Liverpool.It was a terrible error and it brought into question the City tactic of using the keeper so much when defending.
Even Ederson has been seen to make the odd error! Anyway it was a gift to Liverpool who were strolling to victory as City were hardly in the game at all with a lack of creativity and hardly a good move or key pass.
Just before half time it really looked like game over. A good Liverpool move ended with Mane volleying a first time shot into the bottom corner to make it three nil. Perhaps Ederson would have saved that too!
I bet Pep had something to say at half time and so it was as City started with more punch. A minute or so after the restart Fernandinho made a good pass to Jesus who crossed to a waiting Grealish who whacked the ball home to reduce the arrears. It was a different City in the second half. Both Fernandinho and Mane got yellow cards for different fouls on each other! Then Alisson had to save from Jesus pushing the ball for a corner which alas Foden over hit!
On 82 minutes City got a free kick for a foul on Jesus who was injured and was replaced by Mahrez. We thought Mahrez would take the free kick but alas Sterling put the ball well over the bar.
There was 4 minutes of added time and on 91 minutes Mahrez shot for goal and when the keeper pushed the ball out there was Benardo Silva on the ball to score and make it 2-3. City bombarded the Liverpool goal and alas Sterling failed to beat the keeper with a final effort. The midweek battle with Atletico had really tired several of the players who had retained their places and Foden in particular was well off his best.
Brighton 3-0
City made six changes from the Wembley loss. In came Ederson, Rodri, Gundogan, Mahrez, Laporte and De Bruyne for Steffen, Sterling, Jesus, Grealish, Fernandinho and Zinchenko. The vital one was the return of Kevin De Bruyne for his 300th appearance for City. We knew it was not going to be easy as Brighton had won their last two games against Spurs and Arsenal..
After just a couple of minutes City won a corner but alas a Mahrez effort went well wide. Mahrez had a better chance on 16 minutes when the Brighton keeper 'passed' to him but instead of shooting first time he tried to get a better position and was tackled. Brighton were defending in depth and City would have to improve. On 26 minutes De Bruyne shot just wide and two minutes later Sanchez saved well from Benardo and Gundogan had a shot blocked.
After 40 minutes Brighton actually got a corner! Just on half time Diaz came on for Ake who seemed to have a problem.
Shortly after the break City won a couple of corners and then following a couple of blocked efforts Gundogan passed to De Bruyne who dashed forward from the half way line beating several defenders and passed to Mahrez who thanks to a deflection beat the keeper to score and put City ahead at last!
On 61 minutes De Bruyne had a shot saved but a few minutes later following a corner Foden shot from at least 25 yards and a deflection again beat the keeper and City were two up. It was Foden's 5th goal against Brighton - his most against any side!
City continued to put pressure on the Brighton defence but there was some concern when Zinchenko came on for Stones who appeared to be injured. However a few minutes later City notched their third goal when De Bruyne flicked the ball to Benardo Silva who scored with a curler to make it three nil. . Kevin then went off for a rest subbed by Jesus - game over!
Watford 5-1

As expected City had a comfortable win against Watford who look pretty certain to be relegated. It was no surprise to see six changes from the Brighton win either, In came Jesus , Sterling, Grealish, Zinchenko, Fernandinho and Diaz the latter making his first appearance since March.
We had a great start - on 4 minutes a move starting with Mahrez ended with Zinchenko putting in a low cross which was shot into the net by Jesus. One nil to City - excellent!
Watford then had to survive a couple of corners but they surprised City on a break and Zinchenko had to make a big recovery tackle on Dennis to save the day!
On 14 minutes Foster had to make a good save from Cancelo and it was all City now with six corners so far. Then we got our second goal. On 23 minutes De Bruyne put in a cross which was headed home by Jesus. Two nil to the sky blues.
Five minutes later we had a disaster when Watford actually scored a goal - Kamara on a break! I thought Ederson might have saved the shot.
City came back and three minutes later Jesus shot wide from the edge of the area following a corner but we did not have long to wait for another City goal. On 34 minutes Jesus passed to Rodri who cracked it past Foster from 18 yards to make it 3-1.
Both Sterling and Jesus had misses before the break and Cancelo got a yellow card for a foul on Cleverley.
There was an amazing start to the second half when City were awarded a penalty for a foul by Foster on Jesus. It took ages for VAR to confirm the decision and Jesus sent Foster the wrong way from the spot to get his very first hat-trick in the Premiership. 4-1 to City and game over! Then Jesus got his fourth goal of the game when he headed in a cross from De Bruyne following a great move involving Sterling and Grealish too. Let's hope he does not leave at the end of the season.
With the score on 5-1 it was time for some substitutions - Gundogan was on for De Bruyne, Ake for Laporte and Mahrez for Rodri. Well there is some game in Madrid next week! Foster had to make a good save to keep the score down and Watford missed a good chance at a free kick late on.
Yet another good display by City and they are the first team to win 15 consecutive games against the same team in Premier League history. So now we hope that Everton can get a point at Anfield!
Two bits of bad news - Liverpool managed to beat Everton 2-0 to keep just a point behind City and the sad news that Oldham Athletic who once were in the top league have been relegated from Division 2. They were founder members of the Premier League in 1992 but were relegated 2 years later.I first saw them in 1945 at Maine Road when both City and United beat them 3-2. I last saw them in January 2005 when they beat City 1-0 in the FA Cup at Boundary Park - pics HERE

Real Madrid 4-3
An amazing game with City going into the second leg of this Champions League semi final with a single goal lead. City made 4 changes from the Watford win. Stones, Foden, Benardo Silva and Mahrez returning.
We had an amazing start to the match. Mahrez came inside and crossed to a diving De Bruyne despite the attentions of a defender and the ball hit the back of the net and City were a goal up in under two minutes. Incredible!
It got even better on ten minutes when Foden did well on the left wing -passed to De Bruyne and his low cross reached Jesus who turned and shot past the keeper to give City a two goal lead - amazing !
It should have been three on 26 minutes when Mahrez shot into the side netting instead of passing to unmarked Foden. Pep was fuming on the touchline!
On 28 minutes Foden just missed scoring following a good pass by De Bruyne and then a couple of minutes later Zinchenko shot just wide. Then came a disaster. The ever dangerous Benzema scored a very good goal from a cross by Mendy. Shortly after Ederson had to make a save from Rodrygo and a header by Militao went over the bar from the corner. Then came another blow for City when Stones had to be subbed by Fernandinho. Obviously his previous injury had returned and with City's lack of right backs on came Fernandinho who normally would not be an obvious substitute!
Just before half time City got a free kick near the penalty area but De Bruyne's shot was blocked so at the break City led
2-1.
Two minutes into the second half City should have made it three! Mahrez broke and hit the post with a shot . Foden hit the rebound first time but alas his effort was blocked. Then Rodri has a go but his shot is blocked.
On 53 minutes Foden scored with a header from a cross by Fernandinho - yes - Fernandinho dashed down the right and put in a terrific cross. Three one to City but alas the score did not last for long as a couple of minutes later Vinicious dashed down the left wing and slotted the ball past Ederson to make it 3-2 . Oh dear no Walker on the pitch to catch him up!
On 67 minutes Zinchenko crossed and Laporte who had come forward had a chance but shot straight at the keeper.
Then on 73 minutes Zinchenko who was having a good game was fouled on the edge of the area but just before the referee blew for a free kick Benardo Silva managed to get the ball and fired into the net and it was 4-2 - Wonderful !
A few minutes later Mahrez had a chance but alas he shot just wide.
On 80 minutes disaster struck when a free kick taken by Kroos hit Laporte's arm which alas was too high and a penalty was given for hand ball! Benzema took the kick and with Ederson diving to his left Benzema clipped it down the middle to make it 4-3.
City continued to attack and Sterling came on for Jesus but alas no more goals for City and we go into the second leg with a one goal lead. An incredible match with De Bruyne, Foden ,Mahrez, Zinchenko and Jesus the best players. Benardo and Rodri were also pretty good. Ederson was not at his very best and the central defence was under a lot of pressure.


Leeds U 4-0
City moved back to the top of the Premiership after an eventually comfortable win at Elland Road. With a pretty important game on wednesday in Madrid Pep rested several key players including De Bruyne, Mahrez and Benardo. It was not the easiest of wins against a very physical Leeds who are fighting possible relegation.
However Ederson was rarely troubled and City took the lead on 12 minutes. City got a free kick on the left wing which was taken by Phil Foden. He whipped the ball in and Rodri glanced the ball down into the corner of the goal and City were one up.
A minute later Grealish got a yellow card for trying to get the ball back after he lost it. Shortly after there was a clash of heads when Laporte was trying to head clear a cross. After a delay Laporte was able to continue. It was his 150th game for the sky blues.
On 37 minutes Cancelo played a great cross-field ball to Jesus but alas his weak shot is easily saved. In added time at the end of the first half there was a 50-50 head clash between Grealish and Dallas ending with the Leeds player being stretched off.
Early in the second half Sterling who had been dangerous missed a chance but a little later City won a corner which was taken by Foden. Dias headed the ball down and there was Ake to score from close range - two nil to City. A few minutes later Ake was subbed by Zinchenko. City really needed that third goal but an effort by Gundogan went near the top corner. City put on the pressure but several efforts were blocked.
On 78 minutes we got that vital third goal. On a City break Foden put a great through ball to Jesus who was just onside and he made no mistake banging the ball past Mesuer and it was game over!
Benardo came on for Foden and Fernandinho for Rodri.
With the ref about to blow the final whistle Sterling goes down shouting for a penalty but the ball is cleared by a defender right to Fernandinho who hammers a drive into the net from outside the penalty area. Four nil and the goal difference to Liverpool down to one! City did well and the defence managed yet another clean sheet. In fact City set a new club record of 16 away games unbeaten.
Real Madrid 1-3
Unbelievable! After it looked like City were going through to the final when the Mahrez goal had put them two goals up Real Madrid were able to equalize in added time and then in extra time a penalty settled the battle in Real's favor.
As expected City made several changes from the Leeds match and it was good to see Walker back.
After a quiet start we almost had a boxing match on 8 minutes. It did not last for long and in the end both Laporte and Modric got yellow cards.On 14 minutes De Bruyne takes a pass from Foden and shoots but the ball goes straight at the keeper. 5 minutes later Courtois is in action again - this time he has to make a good save from Benardo. A few minutes later an effort by Jesus goes wide and at the other end a foul by Rodri ends with a corner which is headed clear by Walker.Alas Walker was injured but he was back on after treatment. Five minutes before the break Foden has a shot saved. So at half time it is goalless.
On 49 minutes Jesus has a go from a narrow angle but straight at the keeper. Then on 65 minutes De Bruyne is badly fouled by Carvajal who gets a yellow card. a few minutes later Walker limps off and is subbed by Zinchenko. In addition Kevin De Bruyne who has not been at his best is subbed by Gundogan. How important will these changes mean!
On 74 minutes City broke and a good pass from Benardo found Mahrez who lashed the ball past Courtois to give City the lead -surely game over! It was a cracking goal and he was the first City player to score 7 goals in a single Champions League season. A few minutes later Grealish comes on for Jesus and later he is brought down by Militao who is yellow carded. With two minutes to go Grealish has a couple of good chances - one is brilliantly cleared off the line and the second goes just wide.
Alas just on time Rodrygo takes a pass from Benzema and scores from close range. One all - oh dear the ref has given 6 extra minutes -surely not that much!
In the first minute of added time Real Madrid scored again and it was Rodrygo again -this time with a header. Unbelievable! two goals in 2 minutes. So now we have to suffer extra time!
Disaster in the first three minutes - Dias brings down Benzema in the penalty area and Benzema takes the kick -sends Ederson the wrong way and Real Madrid win 3-1 and go through to play Liverpool in Paris in the final.
The only City player to give 100% was Benardo Silva - would City have done better had Walker been able to stay on and De Bruyne had been on the ball. We shall never know!
Now Pep has to get the players back to top level for the remaining League games starting with the home game against Newcastle U on Sunday.



First of all many thanks to Spurs who held Liverpool to a draw at Anfield on Saturday giving City a great chance to really get ahead in the title race. City made several changes with Foden, Mahrez and Benardo dropping to the bench. Walker was injured.
On 8 minutes City were lucky when Wood headed straight at Ederson from a cross. It was a good chance. A minute or so later at the other end Laporte had a chance following a corner but he shot too high from a pass from De Bruyne. Then shortly after Cancelo shot over from a Kevin cross.
However on 18 minutes City took the lead. A pass from Gundogan found Cancelo who passed with a header to Sterling who headed into the net from close range. One nil to City!
Newcastle did get the ball into the net 5 minutes later but it was disallowed for offside. Phew!
A minute or so later Cancelo had a shot well saved by the keeper as City put on the pressure.
They got their reward on 38 minutes. Gundogan took a shot following a corner and the keeper failed to hold the ball. After a Dias effort was blocked there was Laporte to crack the ball into the net - two nil and back to the top!
It was a bit of a surprise when we saw Fernandinho come on for Dias after half time.
On 60 minutes City won yet another corner and a great cross by De Bruyne was brilliantly headed home by Rodri at the near post. Three nil and game over!
Foden then came on for Jesus and this was followed by good efforts by Cancelo and Zinchenko. Ex City academy player Trippier came on for Newcastle. He went on to play for Burnley and Spurs. He was a regular in City reserve team but never really made the first team.
On 82 minutes Ederson had to make a good save from Wilson and with only a few minutes to go Laporte was replaced by Egan-Riley who was making his Premiership debut.
On 90 minutes Grealish went charging down the left wing and passed to Zinchenko who gave the ball to Foden who made no mistake and and it was four nil to City. Great stuff!
Surely that was it - oh no - Grealish did well again down the left - passed to Sterling who made it five nil. Terrific play by City.
Star of the game was Kevin De Bruyne who was back to his best form. Grealish too had a good game - probably his best for City so far. After the disappointment in Madrid it was good to see City get back on course . However a big worry was the injury to Dias and apparently we shall be without Stones Walker and Dias for the rest of the season.

Wolves 5-1

A wonderful display by Kevin De Bruyne destroyed any chance Wolves might have had in this vital game. Scoring a hat-trick - his first for City - in twenty odd minutes was incredible . He had scored one before in 2011 for Genk . Then adding a fourth and with a bit of luck it might have been five!! What a player - probably the best midfielder in the world.
Anyway City had Fernandinho in central defence in the absence of Walker, Dias and Stones.
Grealish, Mahrez and Jesus were on the bench.
We did not have to wait too long for the first goal. On 7 minutes a good pass by Benardo Silva found De Bruyne and he made no mistake with his left foot. It started with a good header by Zinchenko from a clearance by the Wolves keeper.
So one up so early - good stuff! We then had a mini disaster when Wolves scored 4 minutes later. On a quick break Dendoncker took a pass from Neto and netted. One all - we did not expect that.
However 5 minutes later after the Wolves keeper had partially saved from Sterling De Bruyne following up cracked the ball into the roof of the net to put City ahead again.
Then on 23 minutes De Bruyne took a 'pass' from Sterling ran into space on the edge of the penalty area and shot past the keeper with his left foot - again - to make it 3-1 and to complete his hat-trick.
On 27 minutes Rodri shot over the bar and 6 minutes later Zinchenko made a last ditch tackle that Wolves fans thought was a penalty. Cancelo had a go before half time but the ball went too high and wide and a shot from Kevin went wide just before the break.
Just after half time Sterling did get the ball in the net but he was offside. It was Pep's 350th City game so no doubt he wanted more goals and we got them! On 60 minutes a Foden cross came to De Bruyne and he banged in his fourth goal - this time with his right foot! Amazing ! What a player.
However a worrying moment came a few minutes earlier when Laporte was injured and after the fourth goal he was replaced by Ake.
On 67 minutes Foden hit the post with a good effort and a few minutes later a cross by him was missed by Sterling.
However Sterling did score on 83 minutes. The move started with a good kick from Ederson and ended with a tap-in for Sterling - 5-1 .
With only a minutes to go De Bruyne hit the post with a shot - what if that one had gone in! Scoring four for City was a record for him anyway. A great display by City yet again and now City need just 4 points from their final games against west Ham and Villa to win the title.
After days,weeks and months of chatter it has now been confirmed that Erling Haaland will join City from Borussia Dortmund next season. He only scored 85 goals in 88 games for Dortmund so he might get the odd one for City!

West Ham U 2-2

Definitely a game of two halves. It was a terrible first 45 minutes for City. Two nil down despite having more of the play
.I was reminded of my only other visit to West Ham back in May 1963 when City lost 6-1 and were relegated. More HERE
Poor defending gave the home side a couple of gift goals on breaks.
City had made 3 changes from the Wolves win with Grealish, Jesus and Mahrez coming in for Gundogan, Sterling and Foden.
City started OK and Rodri had a good effort deflected for a corner and then they should have had a penalty when Jesus was fouled but nothing given. Then the first disaster came on 24 minutes when Bowen scored following a through ball from Fornals. Just before half time Fabianski saved a free kick taken by De Bruyne for a foul on Grealish. Alas on a break Antonio passed to Bowen and he netted again - disaster! Both goals started with long kicks by Fabianski!
It is very rare that City are two goals down at the interval so we needed a lot of luck in the second half. We got a bit a few minutes after the restart. A headed clearance by West Ham reached Grealish who cracked the ball at goal from the edge of the box and luckily a defender deflected the ball over the keeper and into the goal 1-2 !
City were playing with more passion now and moved the ball more quickly. Benardo had an effort saved and this was followed by De Bruyne shooting over at a free kick.
City did have a few anxious moments when Fernandinho and Zinchenko passed to opponents! The injuries to Walker , Dias and Stones have made the City defence very fragile indeed and we need at least one good new defender this summer.
City won corner after corner and needed another bit of luck. On 69 minutes Mahrez took a free kick and it looked like the ball would go to the keeper but Coufal headed the ball into his own net and City were level - Incredible!
City put on the pressure and Rodri had a shot from well outside the box saved. Then on 82 minutes Jesus was brought down in the penalty area and VAR came in to help the referee give a penalty. Oh dear and it is Mahrez who is going to take it. He has not got he best of records when it comes to important penalties. Where is Ya Ya Toure when you need him! Well Fabianski saved the poor shot from Mahrez and is this miss going to give Liverpool a chance for the title. We will see next week when we play Aston Villa. We now need to win that game.
Mahrez has taken 27 penalties and missed 7 of them. Alas City's record of goals from the spot is not all that good.
City have been down two at half time 52 times and 51 of those were lost so I suppose we should be glad despite our terrible defence we got a point!
Alas De Bruyne did not have the same level of performance as he had in the last two games Even Ederson did not have the best of games for once but I am sure this was because of the back four in front of him! Pep once again made no substitutions. Both Jesus and Grealish did well in the second half and no doubt Foden will return for the Villa match.