Part 2
Part1
December 2023
Spurs 3-3 home Dec 3
Pep made 3 changes from the last game. As expected Ederson returned to goal - out went Grealish and Lewis.
City won an early corner after 2 minutes but the header by Akanji went wide. A minute later City won another corner and Doku had a shot saved. Alas from the corner Spurs broke and Son Heung-Min dashed down the right wing chased by Doku who could not match his speed and Son shot past Ederson to give Spurs a surprise lead - disaster !!!!!
City hit back and on 9 minutes a free kick taken by Alvarez ended up hitting the knee of Son and going into his own goal !!! One all thank goodness!
So Son has scored at both ends!!
Foden had a shot blocked on 12 minutes and shortly after Haaland missed a sitter when he shot wide from a pass from Benardo. Unbelievable!!!
Both Spurs and City won a few corners as the game went wild with attacks.
On 29 minutes Doku hit the post with a good effort following a break and then 2 minutes later a very good City passing movement ended with Alvarez passing to Foden who scored to make it 2-1 to City - at last!!!!
On 34 minutes Porro was fouled by Rodri who was booked and he will now miss the Villa game for his 5 cautions!
A minute later Alvarez hit the post with a shot and then Haaland shot over the bar - not his day at the moment.
On 37 minutes Udogie got a yellow card for a foul on Foden and a few minutes later Doku had a shot blocked. There were three minutes added but no change to the score so City led 2-1 at half time.
Early in the second half the Spurs keeper made an error and in the end he had to save from Benardo. On 51 minutes City made a change. On came Grealish for Doku who must have been injured. A minute later Ederson had to save a long range shot. On 60 minutes Grealish got booked for kicking the ball away following a hand ball I think he will miss the Villa game too now. Hope Doku is OK!!!
On 69 minutes disaster struck!! A left footed shot by Celso beat Ederson and it was 2-2.
The City defence were not good at the moment and Spurs were having more of the ball.
On 73 minutes Lewis came on for Foden and Porro got a yellow for a foul on Grealish. After Rodri and Gvardiol shot wide City went ahead again. A pass from Haaland found Grealish who scored a goal - yes it was Grealish! 3-2 to City .
Gvardiol got a yellow card for a bad foul and then City made more changes - Ake replaced Gvardiol - Kovacic replaced Alvarez.
Then disaster struck again on 90 minutes. A cross from Johnson was headed past Ederson by Kulusevski - 3-3 and it was the final score after ten minutes of added time.
Two points lost by City who now go to Villa on Wednesday without Rodri and Grealish.
For the neutral it would have been a good game to watch with attack after attack by both sides but City fans will be worried about the defence letting in so many goals now.
Did the last minute decision by referee Hooper affect the result??!!
City cleared an attack and Rodri passed to Haaland who was fouled but managed to put the ball forward to Grealish who had a run at goal. Initially the ref waved play on but then he changed his mind and blew for a free kick to City. City players went mad as there was a good chance Grealish might have scored his second goal of the season and City would have had three points!



Home
City
Aston Villa 0-1 away Dec 7
City made 2 changes from the Spurs draw - Rodri was suspended so Stones came back and with Doku injured Lewis came into the team.
City had an early warning after just 3 minutes when a Digne shot went into the side netting. Then 2 minutes later Ederson had to save from Bailey.
On 7 minutes Ederson had to make a good save from Torres. Then after City had hardly got into Villa's half their keeper had to make two good saves from Haaland.
With Villa dominating play it was no surprise that Ederson had to make a good save from Bailey. Villa continued to attack and a silly foul by Walker ended with a header by Konsa going over the bar.
On the half hour an error by Gvardiol led to a cross by Digne to Bailey who shot over the bar. Shortly after there was a delay when Digne was injured
Then after a poor pass Villa got yet another chance but thank goodness the effort by Luiz went over the bar. Just before half time Stones got a yellow card for a foul and then Villa did get the ball in the net but the ball had gone over the line during the move so no goal.
That must have been the worst first half by City for ages. Villa were leading 13 -2 on shots and had dominated play with little or no creative play by City.
We are missing Rodri and De Bruyne and without a proper winger there was no danger to Villa down the wings.
There was a better start to the second half by City as they actually made several attacks and had possession for a minute or so!
On 52 minutes Lewis who had not been at his best was given a yellow card for a foul.Then another City poor pass led to yet another Villa chance but thank goodness the shot was blocked.
On 63 minutes Villa had a very good chance but McGinn shot just wide.
Then City made two changes - Kovacic came on for Lewis who had not been at his best and Nunes was on for Alvarez. Villa were leading 16-2 on shots and on 73 minutes Oscar Bobb came on for Foden.
A minute or so later disaster struck. Tielemans passed to Bailey who shot from just outside the box and the ball was deflected off Dias past Ederson to give Villa the lead.
Villa had a couple of shots blocked as they continued to attack while City did little to worry the Villa defence and on 96 minutes Villa moved above City in the table. It was their 14th home win in a row and their 22 shots was the highest Pep has had to cope with since his arrival at City. Normally City control the game - not today!
So City's run of 4 league games without a win will be a concern so will we see some transfers in January!!!!! ????

Luton Town 2-1 away Dec10th
Pep made 4 changes from the Villa disaster. There was no Akanji, Lewis , Stones and surprise surprise no Haaland. Apparently he has problems with his toe!!!!
So Alvarez was up front and hoped for support from Rodri and Grealish. Rodri was back thank goodness.
City had an early attack and and a Foden shot was saved and the ball ran to Benardo who shot wide. On ten minutes Alvarez won free kick for a foul but nothing came of it and though City were having most of the play shots were few. Rodri did put one in on 19 minutes but the keeper saved. Then Gvardiol had a shot blocked. On 27 minutes Foden took a pass from Rodri and had a go but the keeper saved. Two minutes later Alvarez had a shot but it went wide. On 33 minutes Ederson had to make a save - his first of the game - from an effort by Townsend.
On 40 minutes Walker took a pass from Foden but his effort went well wide and high!!
Then disaster struck !!! - with seconds to go a cross by Townsend was met with a good header by Adebayo who out jumped the City defenders to put Luton a goal up.
City were soon on the attack in the second half and Rodri shot wide from a cross from Walker. Then a foul on Foden just outside the penalty area gave Alvarez a chance but his shot was deflected for a corner.
On 61 minutes Walker was fouled but the ref waved play on and after Rodri collided with a player the ball ran to Benardo who struck a great shot into the goal to level the scores -at last.
Just a few minutes later City scored again. Alvarez dashed into the box and passed to Grealish who scored yet again!. So City were in front at last and deserved to be with all the pressure they had shown.
City then made some changes. First John Stones came on for Gvardiol and Ake making his 100th games for City moved to left back. Later Nunes replaced Kovacic and Akanji replaced Foden. City managed to hold off the Luton attacks and at last we had three points again to end the 4 Premier league game winless run.
Crvena Zvezda 3-2 away Champions league Red Star Belgrade Dec 13th
Pep only made 9 changes from the Luton win!!! It was a big night for Micah Hamilton making his senior debut. He had been at City since he was 9 and was a ball-boy.
Only Grealish and Kovacic stayed from the last game. The team today - Ortega, Lewis, Stones, Akanji, Gomez, Phillips, Kovacic, Nunes, Bobb, Grealish, Hamilton.
It was not the best of starts to a game with a series of free kicks mainly to City with Bobb, Phillips, Lewis and Grealish being fouled. Grealish had to have some treatment. Then on 19 minutes Nunes passed to Hamilton who dashed down the right wing beating defenders and then cracked the ball past the keeper to give City the lead. It was an excellent goal and what an effort by Hamilton making his debut. Pep would have been very pleased.
On 26 minutes City had an escape when Kosta had a good chance but his shot went wide. However City were dominating play and following a corner Kovacic and Bobb had efforts blocked. At the other end Ortega had to make a save from Olayinka. A minute later following a free kick a cross by Hamilton just failed to meet the feet of Bobb!
Just before half time Grealish was fouled and Spajic got a yellow card and Foden replaced the injured Grealish at half time.
Early in the second half Hamilton had another go at goal but it went just wide.
Then Nunes tried an overhead shot at goal but was injured in the attempt!
On 50 minutes Ortega had to make two good saves the first being an instigative one handed save.
Red Star were having more of the play and Phillips got a yellow card for a foul. On 60 minutes Kovacic had a shot blocked. However a minute or so later Oscar Bobb took a pass from Lewis and scored an excellent goal for City placing a left foot shot past the keeper to make it two nil - game over - well not quite!
On 65 minutes Nunes was fouled and yet another yellow card this time to Mijhailovic.
On 75 minutes Kovacic was replaced by Susoha - his debut
Alas we had a shock a minute later when the home side actually scored!!!
A quick break and bang In-Beam took a pass from Bukari and shot past Ortega to make it 2-1 to City. Three minutes later a shot by Foden went just wide and then Benardo came on for Nunes.
On 84 minutes Hamilton now on the left was brought down in the penalty area and Phillips took the penalty kick and scored sending the keeper the wrong way. I think that was his first goal for City. 3-1 - surely game over!
Ake then came on for Stones. As the game went into injury time Red Star managed a second goal - a header by Katai at a corner.
So City reached the Champions League last 16 with a 100% record. We also had several excellent debut's and goals by youngsters.

Crystal Palace 2-2 home Dec 16th
As expected Pep made 9 changes from the Red Star game but only one from the Luton win. No sign of Haaland yet and Doku still off with injury.
City made an early attack but Grealish was offside. Then after 5 minutes Henderson made a good save from a header by Alvarez from a cross by Walker. Following the corner Rodri had a shot blocked.and then from the second corner an effort by Dias went wide. He had another attempt a minute or so later but that went wide too.
Nearly all City now and Rodri had a couple of shots but alas no goals yet.
On 22 minutes Foden was fouled and two minutes later he had his revenge when he put a delightful pass to Grealish who used his right foot to shoot past Henderson to give City the lead. One nil at last!!!
On 29 minutes Gvardiol broke through the middle like a centre forward and shot but Henderson saved. A few minutes later an Ake header went wide from a cross from Benardo.
After Palace made a change following an injury to Ward Gvardiol had another effort saved and then Henderson had to save from Lewis. On 40 minutes Anderson got a yellow card for a foul on Ake. Following the free kick Foden had a chance but it went just wide.
Two minutes later Palace had a break and Ederson brought down Mateta just outside the area and got a yellow card. From the free kick Olise shot over the bar. There were five added minutes before half time. It had not been the best of first halves with only a one goal lead.
Five minutes into the second half Grealish was fouled and from the free kick Alvarez scored but alas Rodri was caught by VAR to be offside blocking the view of the keeper so no goal. However two minutes later Lewis scored for City to make it two nil. It was his first goal for City and despite the commotion in the Palace penalty area VAR said it was Ok so Lewis could really smile!
On 58 minutes a header by Gvardiol was saved and Henderson was busy again a few minutes later making a good save from Benardo.
Just when Pep was thinking of making changes disaster struck. Schlupp dashed down the left wing managed to beat Dias crossed and there was Mateta beating Ake and scoring from close range, 2-1 to City
On 87 minutes Benardo had a shot saved and when just 4 minutes were added.
We thought that was that but oh no another Palace attack in added time ended with Foden fouling Mateta in the box and a penalty was given . Olise sent Ederson the wrong was and Palace were level. Terrible - another two points lost.
Ederson did not have one of his best games and Pep will have to sort out some problems in defence and creativity. We need Haaland and De Bruyne as soon as possible.
Now City are off to Saudi Arabia leaving the Eagles to be flying very high!

Urawa Red Diamonds 3-0 away in Jeddah
Club World Cup Dec 19th
City made 4 changes from the Palace draw - in came Stones, Akanji, Kovacic and Nunes and rested were Alvarez, Lewis, Dias and Gvardiol. So today there was an invisible centre forward!
City started with their usual inter passing by defenders and we had to wait until the 8th minutes before we saw a shot by Rodri from well outside the area go just wide. Then a bad back pass by Stones almost caused a disaster!
We had to wait until the 14th minute for another City effort - a Grealish shot was blocked and then an effort by Benardo went a bit too high. A few minutes later Benardo had another go and this was saved. It was pretty well all City so it was not good news when Akanji was booked for a foul on 24 minutes. 3 minutes later Foden had a shot blocked and then Rodri had an effort deflected for a corner. On the half hour Nunes had a couple of efforts - the first a header which missed and the shot was saved.
On 35 minutes we had a surprise - Grealish actually went down the wing instead of cutting back which he normally did!!! A minute later Foden had a shot saved and then Nunes had an effort saved. All City as the Japanese team defended in bulk hardly leaving their own half.
Then just after an extra minute was announced Nunes dashed down the right wing crossed the ball and lo and behold Hoibraten put the cross into his own net and City were one up.
What a bit of luck - just before half time.
Early in the second half Urawa had a chance after a poor City pass but the effort was blocked and it was soon down the other end as City tried to add to the score. After Foden gave Benardo a chance which went well wide a great through pass by Walker to Kovacic led to the mid-fielder charging down the middle and cracking the ball past the keeper to make it two nil. A very good goal by City and well deserved.
Five minutes later Nunes should have scored with a header from a Grealish cross but alas the ball went wide.
However we did not have to wait too long for the next goal. Benardo scored after a shot from Nunes had been blocked. So on 58 minutes City were three up and it was time for umpteen changes!!!!
Bobb came on for Benardo, Alvarez for Foden and Gvardiol for Akanji.
Both Bobb and Alvarez had chances but their shots failed to find the net and a little later City made two final changes - Gomez for Stones and Phillips for Rodri .
Urawa had a bit more of the play as City eased off the pressure now they were three up and Nunes got a yellow card on 83 minutes for a foul.
So now City play Fluminense on Friday evening in the Final of this World Cup. I am sure the Brazilian Champions are going to be better than the Japanese ones so City will have to be at their very best to win.

Fluminense 4-0 away in Jeddah
Club World Cup Final Dec 22nd
Pep made three changes from the semi-final bringing back Alvarez, Dias and Lewis for Nunes, Akanji and Kovacic. So it was a pretty strong team but we did not expect what happened in the opening minute.
Ake took a shot from distance after getting an early Xmas present from Marcelo and the shot rebounded off the post to the diving chest of Alvarez and into the net to give City the lead after just 45 seconds!! Unbelievable!!! What a start.
We saw early hints that the Fluminense defenders liked to pass out of defensive situations. They did have some attacks and a shot by Keno went over the bar. Then City had an escape when on 15 minutes Cano broke through and Ederson brought him down in the penalty area but luckily for City Cano was offside so Ederson was very fortunate as VAR said that it was his toe was offside!!!.
After Walker had a shot blocked on 21 minutes Grealish won a free kick and Alvarez had an effort blocked.
On 26 minutes Foden took a pass from Rodri and his shot or cross was deflected into the net by Nino. City were two up and dominating play.
A few minutes later Ederson made a poor pass but nothing came of the error.
Following a cooling break ( the temp over 80 deg F ) Foden had a shot but alas it went wide and a little later he had another shot blocked.
Five minutes before half time Ederson made a good save at a corner but the player was offside so we went to the interval with City leading two nil.
Early in the second half both Benardo and Foden had efforts saved. On 51 minutes Grealish won a free kick and their keeper had a make yet another save from Foden.
5 minutes later Lewis was fouled and Marcelo got a yellow card. Fluminense made several changes and for City Kovacic came on for Lewis.
At a City corner Stones headed over the bar and 5 minutes later Ederson made an excellent decision cutting out a dangerous cross.
Then we had a bad moment. Rodri was badly fouled and Alexander was booked.
On 72 minutes City scored number three. Foden scored - putting a cross by Alvarez into the net - game over!!! Shortly after Akanji came on for the injured Rodri. He is so important for City we hope it was not a bad injury.
Then Stones was replaced by Gvardiol and on 78 minutes Ederson had to make a save and shortly after City made 2 final changes - Bobb for Foden and Nunes for Ake. Not the best of welcomes for Nunes as he was badly fouled by Kennedy who got a yellow card. Fortunately he was OK and he got his revenge shortly after when he passed to Alvarez who got his second goal and number four for City.
The Polish referee used his common sense and added little time to the game. Foden and Alvarez were good for the sky blues.
So City won the FIFA Club World Cup for the first time and are the first English club to win 5 trophies in a calendar year.



Everton 3-1 away Dec 27th
Pep made two changes from the big win in Jeddah - Akanji and Nunes came in for Lewis and Dias. The latter was not on the bench due to illness. No sign of Haaland or Kevin yet.
Everton were first on the attack but a header went for a goal kick. Then a few minutes later City had two chances but efforts by Alvarez and Foden were saved and blocked. On 7 minutes Foden was brought down and following a corner a shot by Walker was diverted for another corner.
After 12 minutes a shot by Foden went wide and high and 2 minutes later Nunes had a good chance but shot right at the keeper who pushed the ball out and following up Alvarez had a shot saved for a corner. A few minutes later Rodri had an effort blocked. Then an effort by Grealish was saved and then Benardo shot over.
Just when we thought City must score we had a disaster! A defensive pass to Benardo was not collected properly and shortly after Harrison scored from close range to give Everton the lead.
On 32 minutes Rodri shot high and wide from well outside the area. At the other end following a corner Ederson made a good save from Harrison. Then we had another disaster when a through pass was chased by Stones and although Beto was offside no flag was raised and Stones was injured in trying to tackle Beto. Eventually the flag went up for offside but too late as Stones had to go off and he was subbed by Gvardiol just before half time.
I hope his injury is not too bad. One day this stupid change in the law is going to cost an even worse injury like a broken leg!
So the home side had lead at half time and City were going to have to improve a lot to win.
Shortly after the restart a Rodri shot from distance went wide. However on 52 minutes City won a corner and after Benardo passed to Foden the Manchester City forward shot from well outside the penalty area and the ball ended up in the net to make it one all - brilliant - a great shot by Foden.
Now it was game on and a couple of minutes later Foden had another effort just missing the goal. City were now dominating and after Grealish was fouled and Gomes getting a caution the free kick taken by Alvarez was saved.
However minutes later a shot by Ake was blocked by the hand of Onana and a penalty was given. Who was going to take it - where is Yaya Toure when you want him!
Alvarez took the kick shooting down the middle and beating Pickford to make it 2-1 to City - at last City were ahead! Pickford got a yellow card for trying to put Alvarez off - silly boy!
Everton made some changes and Kovacic came on for Nunes.
The home side did try to score but it was City who scored a third when an error by Pickford ended with Benardo seeing an open goal curled a great shot from distance into the net to make it 3-1 and game over - at last.
Foden almost made it 4 but the post saved Everton and City moved back into the top 4 with a game in hand. Foden was easily man-of-the-match and it was his 4th goal against Everton.


Sheff United 2-0 home Dec 30th
Pep made 2 changes from the Everton win - Kovacic came in for Nunes and Gvardiol for Stones. The really good news was that Kevin De Bruyne was on the bench.
City had an early chance on 3 minutes when Alvarez shot just wide but despite Sheffield defending in depth on 14 minutes City scored. A pass from Akanji to Foden started the move. Foden was tackled but he managed to get the ball to Rodri who dashed ahead and shot past the keeper from the edge of the penalty area. An excellent goal and just what City wanted against a very defensive side.
A couple of minutes later a header by Alvarez from a cross by Benardo just went wide. Then on 21 minutes Foden put a great through ball to Benardo but his shot from a difficult angle was saved for a corner.
On 38 minutes it looked like Benardo was fouled but the ref said play on and Pep got a yellow card for moaning about the tackle.
On 41 minutes City had a lucky escape when a cross by Bogle went to Osula and Akanji was quick to block his shot. From the corner Ederson had to save a header so City kept their one goal lead.
Just before half time Kovacic got a yellow card for a foul and from a corner conceded by Walker Ederson had to save a header. In added time Rodri had an effort from outside the box which went wide so City were just one goal up at half time.
Rodri had a shot in the first minute of the second half but his effort went wide. A few minutes later City won a corner but a header by Ake went wide. On 51 minutes City made a change. Grealish was subbed by Bobb. After the burglary at the Cheshire home of Grealish it was not surprising that he had been not at his best.
With Sheffield filling the penalty areas with defenders it was difficult for City to create chances but then on 54 minutes Foden tried to score but his effort was blocked and then Alvarez shot over the bar. It was all City now but we needed that second goal and on 61 minutes it came.
Oscar Bobb passed to Foden who crossed he ball to Alvarez who beat two defenders to shoot into the net and City were two up - game over - i hope !!
There was another huge cheer when Kevin De Bruyne started to warm up on the touch line. We then had some changes. For City Dias replaced Kovacic and Lewis was on for Walker.
City did have some half chances but did not add to the score so City had their first clean sheet in league games for a while. Apparently City made 938 passes - it did not beat the record though - 942 - set up by City in April 2018 when City beat Swansea City 5-0 - pics HERE
2023 was a good year for City - winning 5 major trophies and winning 25 out of 28 games at home without a defeat.


Huddesfield Town 5-0 FA Cup Jan7th
City Made 5 changes from the Sheffield U win. As expected Ortega replaced Ederson in goal. Rested were Walker, Ake, Rodri and Benardo Silva. Both Doku and De Bruyne were on the bench but no Haaland yet. Gvardiol was in front of the back four.
Huddesfield who played in black had the first attack but then City took over with pass after pass after pass!
City won a corner on 5 minutes and a minute later Alvarez had a shot saved.
On 13 minutes Akanji was fouled and Matos got a yellow card. Akanji had to have treatment and after Bobb had a shot blocked following a City corner Akanji was subbed by Nunes.
City had 81% of possession but Huddesfield filled their final third with 9 players so the sky blues were finding it difficult to create chances.
On 28 minutes Foden had an effort outside of the box blocked and a minute or so later his deflected shot was saved. He was determined to score and on 33 minutes he did what was required. A City attack down the left ended with Alvarez ending the short pass sequence by passing to Foden who cracked the ball into the net from a very narrow angle - City one up - at last!!
Four minutes later and it was two nil. Some inter passing by Nunes and Foden ended with Lewis getting the ball to Alvarez who made no mistake with his left foot. An excellent goal and at last their dominance had paid off.
On 39 minutes Gomez hurt his face in a clash but he was able to carry on and we had an extra 7 added minutes to see Dias miss with one effort and Alvarez have a shot blocked.
There were no changes at half time but there were lots of cheers when De Bruyne was warming up. Two minutes into the second half Bobb had a shot blocked and a few minutes later he had another effort which went just wide.
On 57 minutes came the moment we were all waiting for. On came Kevin De Bruyne for Alvarez after being out for 4 months and Doku for Grealish. Doku had been out for 5 weeks.
A minute later Bobb tried to cross and the ball flew into the net deflected by Jackson who got the credit for an own goal! City were three up and game definitely over!
On 60 minutes Huddesfield should have scored when Thomas beat Dias and broke through with only Ortega Moreno to beat but the City keeper saved.
5 minutes later City won a couple of corners and from the second one the ball ran to Kovacic who passed to Foden on the edge of the box and his left footed shot whizzed into the net to make it four nil.
A few minutes later De Bruyne had a shot but alas it missed!!
On 74 minutes Kevin made up for his miss by passing to Doku who cracked the ball into the net to make it City 5 Huddesfield 0 - game well over now.
City then made two more changes - Hamilton replaced Foden and Wright replaced Kovacic .
Many City fans were shouting for City to score ten goals like they did in November 7th 1987. White, Stewart and Adcock scored hat-tricks!!!
However City were limited to just five today with Phil Foden having a great game and we welcomed back Kevin De Bruyne and Doku.


A couple of pics of my original Huddesfield programme from 1987
Newcastle U 3-2 away Jan 13th
Pep made 6 changes from the cup game against Huddesfield - in came Ederson, Walker, Ake, Doku, Benardo and Rodri. KDB was on the bench but no sign of Haaland yet.
There was a disaster for City in the first minute - a break by Newcastle saw Isak offside but no flag went up and he went on to collide with Ederson who ended up injured. After a delay Ederson continued but a minute or so later Ake passed back to him and he failed to collect it safely and Newcastle luckily for City missed a chance to take the lead. So Ederson was not fit enough to continue and on came Ortega Moreno to play in goal.
On 13 minutes a Foden cross won a corner for City and after a Newcastle break and a shot that was blocked Benardo shot over the bar. After 20 minutes Guimaraes got a yellow card for a foul on Kovacic and five minutes later we saw a great City goal. A run down the right wing by Walker ended with him crossing to Benardo who brilliantly scored by back heeling the ball past the keeper to give City the lead. It was his right foot too!!! A brilliant goal to set City off.
On 29 minutes Foden shot just wide and a minute later a shot from Benardo was well saved.
Oh surprise surprise offside's are being flagged early now!!!
Just after the half hour Alvarez had a shot saved but then disaster struck. A Newcastle break ended with Isak taking a pass from Guimaraes and shooting past Ortega to level the scores.
A couple of minutes later disaster struck again. Yet another fast break and Newcastle went into the lead when Gordon scored to make it 2-1. Oh dear where are the defenders on a break!!!
Another break saw Ortega make an important save from isak and in added time Rodri got a yellow card.
City won a couple of corners early in the second half and on 51 minutes Rodri won a free kick and the free kick taken by Alvarez was well saved in the top corner. 4 minutes later Benardo got a yellow card for a silly foul.
City increased the pressure and Foden had a shot saved. He had another go a few minutes later but his effort was well wide and high.
There were signs that KDB was getting ready to come on and both Alvarez and Doku had efforts saved and blocked.On 68 minutes Kovacic had a shot saved and then Rodri was fouled on the edge of the penalty area and on came De Bruyne to take the free kick. He replaced Benardo Silva.
Alas his free kick was blocked. He was soon in action again. On 74 minutes following a free kick taken by Rodri in the City half Kevin De Bruyne took a right footed shot from outside the penalty area right into the bottom corner of the goal to level the scores - brilliant stuff!!!!!
On 80 minutes Foden shot from distance was saved and shortly after on came Oscar Bobb replacing Doku
City piled on the pressure winning several corners and then in the first minute of added time De Bruyne made a long high pass to Bobb who dashed into the goal box and brilliantly took the pass and scored from close range to win the game for City. His technique was excellent and it was a goal he will never forget. The win moves City within 2 points of Liverpool at the top of the league.
City had a better second half and the introduction of KDB made a huge difference. Rodri too had a good game.


Spurs 1-0 away Jan 26th FA Cup R4
Pep gave a start to Oscar Bobb who had played so well in the last game. No sign of Haaland yet but De Bruyne was on the bench. Stones, Grealish and Doku were also on the bench so the team was Ortega, Walker, Dias, Ake, Gvardiol, Rodri, Kovacic, Benardo, Foden, Bobb and Alvarez.
With City's poor record away to Spurs in recent years and their inability to score a goal we were hoping today would be different and hopes were high after a good start.
On 5 minutes a shot from Foden was deflected to Bobb who put the ball over the line to give City the lead but alas the flag had gone up for offside and VAR decided that Bobb's toe was offside so alas no goal.
City continued to attack and after a shot from Walker went high and wide both Benardo and Kovacic had shots blocked. On 14 minutes Spurs actually won a corner which was cleared. The home side put a bit of pressure on City and won some free kicks and on 23 minutes Ortega made a good save cutting out a cross from Johnson. On 26 minutes Kovacic had an effort blocked.
On 32 minutes we had a break as one of the refereeing staff had to have some work done on his radio signal - perhaps he had lost listening to 5 Live!!!!!!!
After 39 minutes Walker did well in defence and two minutes later City attacked on a break and several efforts were blocked ending with Bobb wining a corner . On 45 minutes Bobb crossed to Foden but alas his shot went wide and we had 6 added minutes.
City then won a couple more corners and just before half time a defensive throw-in by a Spurs payer was taken almost 10 yards up the pitch. Referees don't seem to bother now where throw-ins are taken from.
So goalless at half time with City having most possession but not many shots.
Early in the second half Ortega had to make a save from Johnson and a few minutes later Kovacic got a yellow card. Three minutes later it was Udogie's turn to get a yellow card for a foul on Benardo.
On 65 minutes came the moment we had been waiting for - On came Kevin De Bruyne for Alvarez and Doku replaced Bobb.
Five minutes later Dias got a yellow card for a foul. After Spurs made a couple of changes City were back on attack and on 80 minutes a shot by De Bruyne went just wide and then a minute later Benardo shot right at the keeper who saved easily.
On 83 minutes brilliant work by Walker prevented Spurs from getting a chance and a minute later Gvardiol was fouled but he got a yellow card for pushing his attacker.
On 86 minutes Doku had a chance but his shot was saved and then Benardo had a chance but his shot went wide and high.
A minute or so later City won a corner winch was taken by De Bruyne. The keeper failed to catch the ball and there was Ake on the spot to shoot into the net from close range.
A memorable moment as City had scored away at Tottenham's new ground.
However Vicario the Spurs keeper felt he had been fouled by Dias when the ball came in but dear old VAR said the goal was good and City were ahead with only minutes to go and Vicario got a yellow for his moaning!.
City then went into their short corner routine to kill time before the final whistle went with City actually winning at Spurs and scoring a goal there for the first time for ages.
Not the most exciting of games but the City defence did well to keep a clean sheet with Ake the star and with the return of Haaland soon we hope there will be more shots and goals!


Burnley 3-1 home Jan 31
As expected City made 6 changes from the Spurs win. It was good to see De Bruyne start and on the bench was Haaland - so would he come on later on?
Unlike some earlier Premier League games City failed to score in the first minute! However an early cross by Foden gave the Burnley keeper a problem on 3 minutes and on 6 minutes Nunes was fouled and the free kick taken by De Bruyne was deflected for a corner. On 12 minutes Burnley won a corner which was cleared. City were soon back on attack and on 16 minutes Foden passed to Nunes who tried to cross but failed the first time but he recovered and managed to cross to a waiting Alvarez who headed home to give City the lead. It was his 14th of the season and on his birthday too.
There was better to come. On 21 minutes De Bruyne was brought down and Ekdal got a yellow card. Instead of blasting the ball into the net from the free kick Kevin did a plan B and pushed the ball forward to Alvarez who cracked the ball past the keeper to give City a two goal lead and a second birthday present! A brilliant free kick no doubt as a result of a training ground discussion.
Burnley tried to make a comeback and won 2 corners and Berge shot wide of the far post. On 27 minutes Nunes who was having a good game had a shot saved
City were in control having 78 % possession and there was a near miss by Gvardiol. Then Doku was fouled and the free kick was saved. Just before half time Foster had a chance for Burnley but missed and nothing much happened in the added two minutes so City led two nil at the interval.
Pep must have spoken to the players about quick goals from the start as City made it three nil in the first minute of the second half. De Bruyne passed to Foden who dashed down the wing and passed to Rodri who hit it first time past Trafford.
On 51 minutes Foden had a shot blocked and then at the other end Amdouni shot over the bar on a break by Burnley. There were lots of cheers to see Haaland warming up On 59 minutes Burnley mode 3 changes and soon after Ederson had an easy save to make.
After De Bruyne shot well over the bar on came Haaland for Kevin. Rodri took over as captain.
Shortly after City won a corner but the header by Gvardiol went wide, On 75 minutes there was a slight delay following a foul and the incident ended with yellow cards to Ederson and Roberts and a minute later Grealish was on for Foden. On 78 minutes Doku went on a run but his final pass was wrong - he should have passed to Haaland. and a few minutes later he was booked with a yellow card for a foul. Then Haaland almost got in a shot but his left foot failed to control the ball so the chance was lost. 3 minutes later he went up for a header from a cross by Nunes but a corner was the result.
Then City made more changes - Kovacic replaced Rodri and Gomez came on for Alvarez
Five minutes of added time started and low and behold Burnley scored. Fofana dashed down the wing and crossed and Al Dakhil scored from vary close range. No doubt their fans enjoyed the consolation goal.
Well done to Alvarez scoring two on his birthday. Nunes had a good game too covering a lot of ground. De Bruyne and Foden are on form too so some tough choices for Pep now with most players fit.


Brentford 3-1 away Feb 5th
City made 4 changes from the Burnley win. The big news was that Haaland was starting. Would he score 5 6 or 7 !!!!!!
We had a difficult situation in the second minute when a short pass in defence went astray but it ended with a Brentford corner which was headed clear. On 7 minutes Haaland had a shot blocked and three minutes later Alvarez had a go but his shot was saved. City continued to boss the game and on 14 minutes Alvarez had a shot well saved and following the corner Walker had a go from well outside the area and that was saved too. There was an incident involving Dias and defenders at a corner but no yellow cards.
On 19 minutes Gvardiol shot well over the bar and a minute later disaster struck. The Brentford keeper Flekken took a long goal kick and the City defence who should have realized what he was capable of failed to stop Maupay who outran defenders and shot past Ederson to give Brentford the lead. You cannot be offside from a goal kick so Brentford took advantage of this.
On 23 minutes Haaland had a good chance but his shot was saved by the on form Flekken.
A minute later Alvarez had a header saved and then Gvardiol had an effort saved.
On the half hour Rodri was badly fouled and a yellow card was given to Maupay. A long throw caused a bit of trouble for City and after a shot by Toney was blocked Dias conceded a corner.
Just before half time both Foden and De Bruyne had shots saved. 3 minutes were added and just before the whistle went for half time a cross from De Bruyne was poorly headed out by a defender right to Foden who scored to level the scores - great goal by Phil.
There was even better events to come! 8 minutes after the restart Kevin De Bruyne crossed a great ball to a waiting Foden who headed down past Flekken to give City the lead. A great pass and an excellent header.
On 57 minutes both De Bruyne and Alvarez had efforts saved and a few minutes later Rodri had a shot but it went right at the keeper. Brentford did have some chances but the City defence were able to block their efforts . After Toney shot over the bar City made it 3-1. Haaland passed to Foden who beat 3 defenders and scored his hat-trick - his second - his first was in Oct 2022 in a 6-3 win against United.
Doku came on for Benardo and later Kovacic was on for Haaland. There was not a great deal of action in the last twenty minutes and the comfortable win moves City into 2nd place 2 points behind Liverpool with a game in hand!
Foden was the man-of-the-match and De Bruyne had a good game too. Haaland failed to score alas. Maybe he is saving them for the Everton game!!!

Everton 2-0 home Feb 10th
Pep made 4 changes from the Brentford win - In came Stones, Akanji, Nunes and Doku. On the bench were De Bruyne, Walker, Bernardo and Gvardiol. With a midweek game coming up it was important to rest some players.
City had an early corner after 2 minutes but the ball was cleared. 5 minutes later Everton had a good chance but Ederson managed to save and was injured in the incident. There were several minutes delay while he was treated and luckily he was OK.
On 14 minutes a poor pass gave Everton a chance but they failed to take advantage of it so City went back on attack and both Alvarez and Doku had shots blocked. Then Foden had an effort blocked by the well organized Everton defence. On 27 minutes a Doku run ended with a cross but alas it was just a bit too high for Haaland and a goal kick was the result.
City were on top but failed to cause any problems for Pickford in the Everton goal. Everton rarely came into the City half and their defensive organization had kept City at bay which would have pleased their manager Sean Dyche who was in the stand as he was suffering from a touchline ban!
There were three minutes added to the first half and after an Ake shot went wide an effort by Akanji was blocked by an arm but alas no penalty so it was goalless at the interval.
There was an early attack by Everton but the shot went wide - just like an effort by Alvarez at the other end. There was a delay when Godfrey was injured and on 54 minutes we had the first yellow card of the game when Foden was fouled. Gueye got the card!
Three minutes later came the City changes - at last -on came De Bruyne for Nunes and Walker for Akanji. Maybe we will get some chances now!!
Rodri did have a go from outside the box but his shot went well over the bar,
On 70 minutes a header by Dias was blocked and following another corner the ball ran to Haaland who hit the ball first time into the back of the net to give City the lead -at last!!!!!
A great effort by Haaland - his 15th league goal of the season and his first since late November
Five minutes later he had another go from outside the box but that was blocked. Then City made a change - on came Bernardo Silva for Alvarez
With 5 minutes to go a City break saw De Bruyne put in a good pass to Haaland who sped towards the Everton goal beat a defender and shot past Pickford to make it two nil and game over!
Grealish came on for Doku and City almost made it three when an effort by De Bruyne was just a little too high.
What a difference the bringing on of De Bruyne made. Haaland took his chances well so City went top of the league for a few hours!!
Rodri and Foden too had good games. So it's Denmark on Tuesday and Chelsea next Saturday.



FC Copenhagen 3-1 away Feb 13th Champions League
City made 4 changes from the Everton win. In came De Bruyne, Walker, Bernardo and Grealish so it was a pretty strong team for this first leg of the final 16 in the Champions League.
We had an early clue of things to come when Rodri was fouled in the first minute! A minute or so later a poor goal kick led to Ake crossing to De Bruyne but his header went wide. On 6 minutes Stones was fouled and from the free kick a header by Dias was saved. A minute later it was Grealish's turn to be fouled and De Bruyne had a shot blocked.
There was better news on ten minutes - Dias got the ball to Foden on the right wing and he passed to De Bruyne who passed the ball past the keeper into the far corner to give City the lead. A brilliant goal and well deserved as City were controlling the game.
However the foul earlier on Grealish caused an injury and after a short delay he went off and was subbed by Doku.
On 22 minutes a cross by Bernardo hit a defender and the ball hit the bar - nearly number two!
Then Foden had to have some treatment but he was able to continue. On the half hour Haaland shot over the bar and Doku had an effort blocked and Bernardo tried to score as City battered the home goal.
Then it was disaster time for City and in particular Ederson. The City keeper passed the ball out to Elyounoussi and after his shot was blocked Mattisson took advantage and curled the ball past Ederson from outside the box to level the scores. The home fans woke up and had something to shout about. What an error!
Just on half time City went back in front. helped by De Bruyne Bernardo Silva flicked the ball past the keeper to make it 2-1 . Bernardo is such a good player - must be one of our best signings!
After Rodri was fouled and the free kick cleared Copenhagen managed to get a corner and a header from Vavro went wide. At the other end De Bruyne put in a good shot but the keeper saved for a corner.
On 55 minutes De Bruyne was fouled but the free kick taken by Foden was saved in the top corner. On 60 minutes a low diving header by Ake cleared a rare home attack.
Shortly after Walked won a corner and Haaland could not beat the keeper with a header.
On 68 minutes a good effort by Doku was well saved and a few minutes later Haaland was fouled and Falk got a yellow card. Another yellow card was given to Diks for a bad foul on Bernardo a little later..
De Bruyne's free kick went just over the bar. Then a Haaland shot was blocked.
On 78 minutes Nunes came on for Bernardo and City continued to press with efforts by Nunes and Haaland blocked and saved.
Just before the final whistle Foden passed to De Bruyne who returned the pass and Phil Foden scored to make it 3-1. A vital goal with the second leg to come in early March.
An excellent display by City - the only worries are the injuries to Grealish and Bernardo Silva.



Chelsea 1-1 home Feb 17th
City put out a strong team against Chelsea with Doku coming in for the injured Grealish. Ederson, Walker, Akanji, Dias, Ake, Rodri, De Bruyne, Foden Alvarez, Doku and Haaland was the selection and on the Chelsea team were 2 players called Sterling and Palmer - where have I heard those names before!!!!!!
The rain was pouring down at the start and after just 2 minutes Haaland and Alvarez combined and a shot by Alvarez went wide.
After Foden and Doku were fouled a shot by Alvarez was blocked and a header by Dias saved.
On 12 minutes Haaland had a good opportunity from a cross by Alvarez but his header went wide. After a Rodri shot was blocked Chelsea won a corner and Dias headed clear.
On 22 minutes Ederson had to make a good save from Jackson following a break..
A couple of minutes later Alvarez had a chance following a corner but his effort went wide. City continued to attack and Doku had a shot saved on 33 minutes. Then De Bruyne was fouled by Caicedo who got a yellow card. The free kick was headed away and after a shot by Alvarez was blocked Chelsea broke and disaster struck. Jackson dashed into the City half passed to Sterling who beat Walker and scored to put Chelsea one up on 42 minutes.
City tried to get back before half time but efforts by Foden and Haaland failed to find the net.
No changes at the interval and 2 minutes after the start Caicedo who was on a yellow fouled Rodri and the free kick taken by De Bruyne was very near the top corner.
On 51 minutes Haaland missed a good chance getting the ball from Foden on a fast break.
Five minutes later and Ederson has to make a good save from Sterling and then Chilwell. Then Cole Palmer fouls Ake and gets a yellow card. Shortly after Petrovic got a yellow card for time wasting.
On 64 minutes Benardo Silva came on for Alvarez and shortly after Haaland had yet another effort saved. City were desperate now and shots by Benardo and Rodri were blocked.
On 78 minutes A cross by De Bruyne gave Haaland a very good chance but alas his header was high and wide.
After an effort by Benardo curled wide on 83 minutes a show by Walker was blocked but the ball ran to Rodri who smashed into the net via a deflection to level the scores. Wow thank heavens we can try for a win now!
Alas we had to be content with a draw despite the stats showing 70% possession 31-9 on shots 12-1 on corners.
If Haaland had taken the good chances he had City would have won easily but alas it was not to be and luckily we did not lose



Brentford 1-0 home Feb21st
Pep made three changes from the Chelsea draw. In came Stones, Benardo and Bobb - the latter making his first League start. To the bench went Doku, Ake and surprisingly De Bruyne.
Haaland needed to score tonight as Brentford is the only Premier side he has not scored against!
Haaland had a go at goal as early as the 2nd minute but it was from distance and right at the keeper. A few minutes later City won a corner and 2 efforts by Foden were blocked. On 9 minutes a header by Haaland from a cross by Benardo went wide.
On 16 minutes Brentford had a good chance when Wissa passed to Onyeka but the attack ended with an easy save by Ederson. A couple of minutes later Dias fouled Onyeka and at the free kick Toney shot just over the bar.
City were soon back on attack and after a corner Alvarez shot too high and a little later Rodri gave Alvarez another chance but his shot went just wide. On the half hour Bobb passed to Haaland but his shot went too high.
Brentford were defending well with umpteen players in the box making shots difficult for City. On 34 minutes a cross by Walker was met by the head of Benardo but alas the ball went wide.
A minute later a good shot from outside the box by Akanji was well saved by the keeper for a corner. Headers by Stones and Dias were blocked and saved and on 37 minutes a shot by Bobb was saved on the line by Ben Mee.
On 43 minutes Ederson had some work to do saving a header by Onyeka. Then just as the match went into added time Stones had a shot saved and then fouled Wissa and got a yellow card! Ben Mee got a card too - for kicking the ball away.So goalless at half time.
On 51 minutes Rodri had a go from outside the box but the ball went wide and a few minutes later he headed wide from a cross from Benardo. On 60 minutes Wissa got a yellow card for a foul on Dias. Doku came on for Bobb - only one change Pep!
On 68 minutes Dias was fouled again and this time it was Toney's turn for a yellow card.
City won a corner and Foden shot over the bar. Then came the moment we had been waiting for. City went on a break following a defensive free kick. Alvarez passed to Haaland who dashed towards the Brentford goal. Defender Ajer slipped to gave Haaland a bit more space and he went on to beat the keeper with his left foot and at last City had scored!!
City did score a little later but alas VAR said that Walkers' toe was offside so no goal!
On 82 minutes Walker got a yellow card for a foul on Maupay.
City tried to add to the score but good efforts by Haaland and Foden were saved. Just before the 90 minutes Kovacic came on for Alvarez. The added 6 minutes failed to give City any more goals so the sky blues moved to one point of Liverpool.



Bournemouth 1-0 away Feb24th

Pep made three changes - Nunes, Kovacic and Ake replaced Alvarez, Bobb and Walker. It was an odd team with several regular forwards being on the bench. Who was going to play where!!!!!
We had an early shock when in the first minute or so Haaland was seen defending!!!!
On 9 minutes a great pass by Foden gave Haaland a good chance but he shot wide. At the other end Ederson was forced to save a shot from Kerkez. The corner was caught by Ederson so he had some early work to do.
Then Foden was fouled in the City half as he was the City danger man. Foden had an effort saved by the keeper on 19 minutes as City put pressure on the home goal.5 minutes later a pass by Kovacic found Haaland who beat a defender and shot at goal. The keeper managed to save but there was Phil Foden to put the ball into the net. So City were one up - a vital goal.
City tried to add to the score but a shot from Rodri was blocked and Benardo shot just wide.
John Stones was all over the pitch and he was brought down by Cook who got a yellow card. The free kick by Foden went a bit too high. Then Rodri was fouled and Foden had yet another shot saved. Three minutes were added and the home side did have a few attacks but no goals so City led at half time.
On 51 minutes Kluivert had a shot which Ederson saved and at the other end Haaland had a shot blocked. A few minutes later Bournemouth had several chances but shots went wide.
City made a change on 63 minutes with Doku coming on for Nunes.
On 70 minutes Haaland was fouled and Senesi got a yellow card. Following the free kick Kovacic had a shot blocked and shortly after Ake had a header saved at a corner.
On 75 minutes Haaland had a half chance but the keeper saved and he was then subbed by Alvarez. On 84 minutes De Bruyne came on for Kovacic but alas he did not help City to score again so the game ended with City managing a one goal win. Not the best of games for City but three vital points. Best players for City were Foden and Stones. City have won all 14 Premier league games against Bournemouth - a record.

 


Luton 6-2 away FA Cup R5 Feb27th
As expected Pep made 4 changes - Ortega came in for Ederson in goal, Walker was in for Dias, De Bruyne in for Foden and Grealish for Rodri .
After just three minutes Akanji passed the ball to Nunes who passed to De Bruyne and he crossed to Haaland who put the ball into the net and City were one up - what a start!
A few minutes later Luton tried to level the scores - a cross by Doughty led to an effort by Morris but but City blocked the shot. It was a very open play first ten minutes.
On 14 minutes Grealish was fouled and a few minutes later Haaland was brought down by Mengi.
However a minute or so later a long ball by City keeper Ortega found Haaland who exchanged passes with De Bruyne before Haaland made it two nil by firing a shot through the keepers legs. City two up inside 20 minutes - game over!!!!
On 23 minutes Grealish took a pass from Benardo but his shot went straight at the keeper.
A couple of minutes later Stones passed to Haaland but his shot was saved easily.
Then it was more City pressure and Nunes shot just over the bar after getting a pass from Benardo.
Then surprise surprise Luton got a corner but it was headed away and at the other end both Haaland and De Bruyne had shots well saved by Krul in the Luton goal. Luton did have a chance on 34 minutes but Woodrow's effort from outside the area went wide.
On 39 minutes Grealish was subbed by Doku. Not good news as he had been suffering for several minutes.
On 39 minutes a City break saw De Bruyne passing to Haaland who completed his hat-trick by clipping the ball past the keeper to make it three nil. It was Haaland's 8th hat-trick for City.
Just before half time disaster struck. It looked like game over but from outside the area a great shot by Clark found the top corner so Luton had struck back and at half time it was 3-1.
Early in the second half Stones gave Nunes a chance but his shot was saved.
On 51 minutes a poor pass by Ortega gave Luton a chance and Clark scored his second goal and City were only one in front - disaster.
However the sky blues hit back straight away and yet again De Bruyne found Haaland with a good pass and Haaland made no mistake to make it City (Haaland) 4 Luton 2.
A minute later Nunes had a go at goal but his shot was saved. It was not long before Haaland struck again. This time it was Benardo Silva who provided the pass for Haaland to notch his 5th goal of the game
Luton did try to reduce the score and Ortega had to make a couple of saves. After 72 minutes Doku had a shot saved and a minute later Stones who was having a good game passed to Kovacic who made it 6-2 and it really was game over!
City then made several changes -Alvarez for Haaland, Bobb for Stones, Lewis for Benardo and Gomez for Ake. Well we needed to rest a few players for the slaughter of United at the weekend!
City then spent the rest of the game keeping control and the ref did not add any added time.
Haaland back to form and De Bruyne were the stars of this excellent City performance.
Haaland was the first City player to score five in a match for the club.

Man U 3-1 home March 3rd
As expected Pep made 5 changes from the Luton game - bringing back Ederson, Dias, Rodri, Foden and Doku. It was the 192nd derby and with a strong team we expected City to win and get nearer to Liverpool.
City got a corner in the first minute but Foden's shot was blocked and the second corner was cleared. Then a cross by Benardo was headed over by Haaland. On 5 minutes a Doku effort was well wide. Then on 8 minutes disaster struck. A long ball by the United keeper got to Fernandes and he passed to Rashford who cracked the ball into the top corner via the crossbar from outside the area - 30 yards. It was an amazing goal and United were ahead - surely not! Unbelievable! Pep must have been shocked!
A few minutes later Dias gave away a corner which was cleared. Then at the other end after City won a couple of corners a shot by Foden was well saved for a corner which was caught by the keeper. On 15 minutes De Bruyne shot wide and then efforts by Foden and Benardo were blocked. Three minutes later Foden had a decent chance but his shot was saved. The corner was cleared yet again!
On 23 minutes we had a scare when Rashford had a chance but he shot wide following a break. However City were soon back at the other end and after Rodri had a shot blocked we had the first free kick when Foden was fouled by Lindelof.
Just after the half hour Haaland had a half chance but his header went over the bar. Then Rodri had a shot well saved for a corner but despite all the pressure City could not find the net.
Just on half time City should have scored. After Foden cracked in a shot which hit Mainoo on the head a minute later a headed pass by Foden went to Haaland right in front of goal and alas his poor volley effort went over the bar. What a miss! Pep was not happy!
Early in the second half after Foden had a shot blocked Doku had a shot saved.
Then we had the miracle! On 55 minutes Foden took a pass from Rodri and cut in. From outside the penalty area he lashed in a great shot with his left foot into the top corner to level the scores - what a great goal!!!!
Shortly afterwards Pep made a change bringing on Alvarez for Doku. On 67 minutes Haaland was brought down and Varane was booked. City were piling on the pressure and United made several changes. This failed to stop the sky blues and on 79 minutes Alvarez passed to Foden who shot past Onana to give City the lead. An excellent goal and well deserved - what a player. City were now 2-1 up and United panicked making two more changes.
City continued to attack and won several corners. The ref added 8 minutes and on 90 minutes De Bruyne had a shot from outside the box but it went just wide.
Then a minute into added time a defensive passing error gave Rodri the ball and he passed to Haaland who this time made no mistake from close range and City were 3-1 up - game over!!!!
On 95 minutes Pep brought on Bobb for Foden who had been fouled and injured. Hope it's not too bad as he is now a key player for City.
While Foden was easily - Man-of-the-Match both De Bruyne and Haaland were below their best. Hope they are back to form for the Liverpool game!
Rodri did well and Benardo covered all the pitch! Ederson had little to do but made one good tackle!
So just one point behind Liverpool now.


FC Copenhagen 3-1 home March 6th Champions League

As expected with the Liverpool game coming up at the weekend Pep made 7 changes - Only Ederson, Dias, Rodri and Haaland being on the team sheet. That left quite a strong bench!
After a lot of pressure City won a corner after 4 minutes. Alvarez took it and the ball flew to Akanji who hit it first time with his right foot past the keeper to give City the lead. What a cracker! City don't often score from corners so what a great start.
On 8 minutes Bobb won a corner after his shot was deflected and Rodri hit the bar with a header and the ball ran back to Alvarez who had taken the corner. He dashed in and cracked the ball into the net via the hands of the keeper who really should have saved. So City were two up inside ten minutes. Surely game over now!
On 12 minutes Kovacic was injured but was able to continue after a delay. City continued to attack with the odd break by the visitors. Rodri did concede a corner but Clem shot too high.
Haaland had a shot blocked as City continued to dominate. Then we had a disaster!
Copenhagen went on a fast break with some inter passing by Oskarsson and Elyounoussi ended with the latter shooting past Ederson to make it 2-1. This gave the visitors some hope and they gave the City defence some work to do.
On 40 minutes Alvarez had a shot blocked and a couple of minutes later Nunes was fouled but following the free kick Nunes was caught offside.The ref gave three added minutes and as I shouted for City to score a long pass by Rodri found Haaland who beat defenders and shot past the keeper to make it 3-1 and really game over.
At half time :Gomez came on for Rodri who is such a key player. Early in the second half a poor pass by Ederson gave the visitors a chance but Kovacic saved the day. Copenhagen made several changes but City remained in charge. On 63 minutes Nunes was fouled but City had an escape a few minutes later and Ederson had to make a great save. It might have been his first of the game!
Then Stones came on for Dias and the visitors made 2 more changes. On 72 minutes Nunes was injured and he was subbed by Hamilton. Ten minutes later Akanji was fouled and Cornelius got a yellow card.
On 88 minutes City made a final change Wright coming on for Haaland. So the outfield players who had played against United had been subbed.
There was one more booking - Mattsson for a foul on Lewis. Haaland has now scored 29 goals in all competitions - with 6 in the Champions league.

Liverpool 1-1 away March 10th
The only strange change in the much changed team was the inclusion of Akanji for Dias. However Dias had made some errors recently and Akanji was in top form so I suppose it was no big surprise.
Benardo presented Alvarez with an early half chance after just three minutes but his shot was saved. Five minutes later De Bruyne had a shot from outside the box and this was saved too.
City continued this fast start and Foden won a corner but this was cleared and then on 15 minutes Liverpool had a good chance when a cross by Diaz was met by Nunez but his header went wide.
Liverpool did get the ball into the net on 18 minutes but the flag was up for offside. Four minutes later City won a corner.
De Bruyne took it and unlike his normal corner kicks he cracked the ball down the goal line and there was John Stones to score his first goal of the season and City were one up - wonderful. It was obviously a pre-game tactical decision for this kind of corner.
On the half hour Liverpool had another chance when a header by Szoboszlai went just wide.
On 34 minutes Haaland won a corner which was cleared and then De Bruyne had a shot blocked four minutes later City had a great chance when Haaland went on a break from the half way line but his final shot was too easily saved. He should have done better despite the opposition.
On 41 minutes Diaz missed a good chance for Liverpool on a break. Just before half time Alvarez from distance shot well over the bar. Just before half time Rodri got a yellow card for foul and then Ederson had to save from Szoboszlai.
There was an early disaster for City very early in the second half. A really poor pass by Ake led to Ederson bringing down Nunez in the penalty area. Ederson got a yellow card and though he appeared to be injured he faced the penalty taken by MacAllister. The Liverpool player did not miss so the scores were level.
There was a delay for Ederson to have treatment and the situation ended with Ortega subbing Ederson.
On 57 minutes Foden had a shot saved and then Benardo got a yellow for a foul on Bradley.
Then Liverpool made a couple of changes - one of them being Salah - danger ahead!
On a fast beak Diaz had a good chance but missed - On thank goodness!
Liverpool were really putting on pressure and Ortega had to save from MacAllister. On 69 minutes Pep decided to make some changes. Kovacic replaced De Bruyne and Doku came on for Alvarez. I don't think De Bruyne was happy about the decision and had words with Pep. However his passing had not been good and it enabled Foden to work more in midfield.
On 72 minutes a cross was punched by Kelleher onto Foden and the ball hit the bar. It might have been Foden's hand so no goal would have been given.
On 88 minutes Doku hit the post with a shot and at the other end Ortega saved from Salah.
8 minutes were added to the battle but there were no more disasters for City so a point each and City were top for only 45 minutes!
No real stars for City today but Ortega played well and the main worry will be if Ederson will be fit for the Arsenal game. Stones and Rodri did their bit and it was a shame the error by Ake spoilt the day.


Newcastle U 2-0 home March 16th
FA Cup
City made 5 changes from the Liverpool game - major problem was the absence of De Bruyne with an injury. At least Foden can play more in midfield. Ortega continued in goal and Dias returned - Ortega, Walker, Akanji, Dias, Gvardiol, Rodri, Kovacic, Benardo, Foden, Doku, Haaland.
Doku was the first City player to win a free kick in the 2nd minute and a minute or so later Haaland was fouled and several City attacks broke down.
However on 12 minutes Benardo Silva took a shot with his right foot - yes - his right foot and the ball was deflected by the leg of Burn past the keeper into the net - City were one up! What an important goal - so early - just what we wanted!
On 15 minute a good pass by Kovacic almost finds Haaland but the keeper manages to grab the ball.
2 minutes later Haaland is fouled but play continues and after City lost the ball the ref booked Schar for the original foul on Haaland.
On 26 minutes Foden took a shot but alas it went high and wide into the stand.
A minute later Doku was fouled and Lacelles got a yellow card. On the half hour Foden did well and following a corner a header by Haaland went wide. A minute or so later an effort from Foden was blocked and the ball eventually came to Benardo who shot with his left foot - this time - and the ball was deflected by the head of Botman past the keeper into the net to make it two nil to City.
On 35 minutes Newcastle had a chance but the shot by Isak was well saved by Ortega.
Two minutes later at the other end Doku shot wide and then Foden shot wide from an angle. City tried to add more goals before half time but efforts by Doku and Haaland were blocked and a header by Dias was saved.
Two minutes into the second half Doku had a run and shot which was well saved. Ten minutes later Haaland just missed scoring with his effort from outside the box.
The rain was pouring down as Newcastle made 4 changes and on 63 minutes Haaland had a shot blocked. City were in control and on 76 minutes Bobb came on for Doku. Bobb gave Haaland a chance but his shot was blocked and on 87 minutes Alvarez came on for Haaland. Only three minutes were added and City went through to their 6th consecutive Semi-final. The game ended with Almiron getting a yellow card for a foul on Foden.
Akanji and Rodri had good games and full marks to Foden and Benardo.


Arsenal 0-0 home March 31st
With the International break over City were faced with an important game against Arsenal. Not good news were the injuries with England - so no Walker and Stones was on the bench. Ederson was still injured but the surprise was to see both Doku and Grealish on the bench. City needed to win and they do have a good record at home - unbeaten in their last 38 home games.
In the second minute it looked like Haaland had won a penalty but alas he was offside!
A minute later Benardo was fouled by Jesus. Then City won a corner which was cleared.
On 7 minutes Jesus shot wide following a cross by White. 8 minutes later at a City corner Ake had a close range header saved by the keeper. It would have been a goal had the ball gone a foot or so wider!
On 25 minutes it was Ortega's turn to make a save - from Havertz. Then City had a problem as Ake was injured and he was replaced by Lewis - Akanji moving into a more central position.
Just after the half hour Jesus shot wide following a break and then a few minutes later he had a shot blocked.
On 37 minutes a header by Haaland from a cross by Gvardiol went wide. Two minutes later Rodri headed wide from a cross by Akanji. Foden had an effort blocked just before half time.
It had been a pretty boring first half. City had 72% possession but hardly a shot on goal. Arsenal were defending in depth and City players were being quickly marked.
Two minutes into the second half Kovacic had a go from outside the penalty area but the ball just went wide.
On 51 minutes a Saka cross was dangerous and luckily for City no Arsenal players were near. A couple of fouls by Arsenal players followed but no yellow cards yet!
On 59 minutes Rodri had a shot blocked - then Foden was fouled.
Then Pep made two changes - Doku and Grealish came on for Foden and Kovacic.
On 66 minutes we had the first yellow card - Jesus for kicking the ball away!
4 minutes later Lewis was fouled by Rice but despite the City pressure with 20 minutes to go we only had one shot on target!!!!!
On 77 minutes Doku had a chance but shot high and wide! Two minutes later we had the second yellow card - Arsenal keeper Raya - for wasting time.
Doku had another chance a few minutes later but his effort went wide. Then at a City corner Haaland failed to make good contact and a header by Gvardiol at another corner went wide.
Just before he end there was a clash of heads involving Haaland but he soon recovered and he had another go in added time but alas no goals today at the Etihad.
Liverpool will be pleased at this result and they stay top.
No real stars for City today - Foden who had played two full games for England was not at his best and we still wait for another goal from Haaland. Not the best of City games with only one shot on target!



Aston Villa 4-1 home April 3rd
We had a shock when the City team was announced. Both Haaland and De Bruyne were on the bench as Pep made 4 changes from the Arsenal game. Both Doku and Grealish were in the team along with Alvarez. Stones was also on the bench and Ortega continued in goal. City had lost away to Villa in December so with them in 4th position it was not going to be easy.
In the opening minute Villa won a corner and a header went wide. Then at the other end Alvarez hit the side netting with an effort but had he scored it would have been ruled out for offside.
On 9 minutes Rodri had a shot from distance saved but he did better a minute or so later. He took a pass from Doku and shot past the keeper to put City in the lead. Was Doku offside??? VAR were called in and hurrah it was a goal!
City were playing three at the back leaving Lewis to roam the pitch. Villa took advantage of this and broke down the left wing. Rogers passed to Duran who managed to score from an angle past Ortega and level the scores. There was a Villa player in an offside position and in the old days the goal might well have been disallowed.
On 31 minutes Grealish was booked for a foul on Luiz. 6 minutes later a good City move ended with Alvarez having a shot saved. Then it was Luiz's turn to get booked for a foul on Grealish!
Alvarez took the free kick but the ball went too high. Then just before half time Foden was fouled by Luiz. The Villa played lined up to block the free kick and was it Alvarez to have another go - no - Foden fooled them by cracking the ball through the wall and into the goal to put City ahead again!!!! There were 4 added minutes and Alvarez went close twice so it ended 2-1 for City at the break.
There was work for the Villa keeper early in the second half as he had to save from Doku and Benardo. On 54 minutes Ortega made a couple of good saves to frustrate Villa.
The Foden struck - shortly after he had tried to dribble through the Villa defence Foden took a pass from Rodri and shot past the keeper via the post to make it 3-1. A great goal.
Villa then made three changes but that did not prevent Doku passing to Lewis who shot wide.
Then on 68 minutes Foden fell when trying to get through - picked himself up and cracked the ball into the top corner to complete his hat-trick and make it 4-1 to City - game over!!!
It wa a brilliant goal - his 21st of the season. City then made two changes - Rodri was subbed by Nunes and Kovacic came on for Benardo.
On 79 minutes Nunes had a go but his shot was too high and wide.
Pep then made 2 more changes - Gomez replaced Doku and Bobb came on for Foden.
On 89 minutes City had some half chances but efforts from Grealish and Alvarez were blocked and in added time a shot from Gomez hit the post.
So City won 4-1 and did not miss the absence of Haaland and De Bruyne who were rested.
Man-of-the-match was of course Phil Foden with his second hat-trick of the season. He is so good when he plays more central. There was also a fine display by Rodri who is so essential to City.




Crystal Place 4-2 away April 6th

Pep made 4 changes from the Villa win. As expected back came Haaland and De Bruyne. Stones returned to the defence and Bobb was on the right wing. After his amazing display against Villa Phil Foden was resting on the bench. He was joined there by Ederson back from injury.
There was an early free kick for City when Lewis was fouled by Hughes and then City got a corner but disaster struck a minute later. A Palace break ended with Wharton passing to Mateta who shot past Ortega the ball going in off the post. I'm sure Stones and Dias should have done better dealing with the break.
On 6 minutes following a corner Gvardiol headed over the bar. 4 minutes later Alvarez had a shot blocked and then Rodri had an effort saved.
On 13 minutes City struck - Grealish actually went down the wing - passed to De Bruyne who moved quickly to a better position and cracked the ball into the far top corner of the goal with his right foot. A wonderful goal - his 99th of his career.
On 18 minutes Ayew had a go from distance but the ball went well over the bar.
Then City should have gone ahead a minute later. De Bruyne put Haaland through with a great pass but alas Haaland had his weak effort saved.
City were on top winning several corners but no more goals. Just after the half hour Gvardiol had a shot blocked and Alvarez shot from distance but the ball went just wide. A few minutes later City had an escape when Rodri passed the ball back to the keeper not realizing that Mateta was near. Fortunately Ortega was quick to react and his foot skills saved the day.
There was a shout for a penalty when Gvardiol and Eze collided but the event ended with Gvardiol getting booked just before half time with the scores level.
Akanji came on for Gvardiol at half time. There was a great start to the second half.
A Grealish cross was headed by Anderson to Lewis who said thank you and shot into the net to give City the lead. It was his second Premier League goal - his first being against Crystal Palace in December.
On 53 minutes Alvarez had a shot blocked and then following a corner Grealish shot well wide.
City continued the pressure and they were rewarded on 66 minutes when Grealish passed to De Bruyne who then slipped the ball to Haaland who netted to make it 3-1. At last he has scored again!
Shortly after it got even better. Rodri passed to De Bruyne who netted his 100th goal for City and the score was 4-1 -game over!!!! The City fans did the Poznan
Then Pep made two changes - Kovacic and Nunes came on for Alvarez and Rodri.
Another City error let in Palace but Edouard failed to score but alas disaster struck on 86 minutes. Crystal Palace reduced the arrears - a cross from Schlupp was met by Edouard who scored from close range.
7 minutes were added and Pep took off De Bruyne and brought on Benardo for the final few minutes.
Apart from a few defensive errors it was a good display by City with a wonderful effort by back to his best De Bruyne. Grealish did well too actually going down the wing a couple of times!
I am sure Pep will be discussing the defence issues before the game in Madrid!

Real Madrid 3-3 away April 9th Champions League
There were 4 changes to the City team - Akanji, Foden, Benardo and Kovacic came in for Lewis, Bob, Alvarez and De Bruyne. Ortega remained in goal and De Bruyne was not well enough to play!
It only took 40 odd seconds for Grealish to win his first free kick and the player who fouled him - Tchouameni - got a yellow card!
It got even better because from the free kick Benardo scored for City. As the Madrid defenders were expecting a cross Benardo fooled the keeper and shot low into the net.What a start for City.
City continued to attack and on 7 minutes both Haaland and Grealish had shots saved and blocked.
We then had a double disaster! On 12 minutes a shot from distance by Camavinga was deflected by Dias into the City goal to level the scores. Then a minute or so later a break down the left wing ended with Rodrygo scoring to put Real Madrid in the lead. Could Ederson have done better i wonder.
On 19 minutes Ortega saved from Valverde and then on 26 minutes Vinicius Junior shot over the bar.
It was an end to end battle and on the half hour Kovacic was fouled and then Foden actually fouled Bellingham!
Two minutes later Ortega had to save from Rodrygo and at the other end Grealish had a shot blocked. Another fast break by Madrid ended with Rodrygo shooting wide.
On 37 minutes Akanji got a yellow card for a foul and then Foden shot wide. Just before half time Ortega had to save from Vinicius Junior.
So an action filled first half ended with Real Madrid ahead 2-1.
Early in the second half both Foden and Rodri were brought down and on 49 minutes Benardo gave Grealish a chance but he shot over the bar. Then Grealish was fouled but the free kick taken by Benardo was blocked.
On 53 minutes Bellingham shot wide and a minute later Haaland won a free kick. Grealish took the free kick and a header by Rodri went over the bar.
Then following a foul by Akanji a shot by Vinicius Junior went over the bar. A few minutes later efforts by Foden and Benardo were saved.
Following a miss by Valverde from outside the box at the other end City won a corner when Grealish went down the left. After Foden had a shot blocked Stones passed to him and this time he blasted the ball into the top corner of the goal to level the scores. A brilliant effort!!!!
A few minutes later Grealish passed to Gvardiol who moved to a better position and then he cracked the ball into the net with his right foot. What a surprise and City were ahead 3-2.
Real made changes bringing on Modric and Diaz.
After a number of corners at both ends disaster struck. a cross by Vinicius Junior was met by Valverde who hit the ball first time past Ortega to make it 3-3.
On 80 minutes a foul on Grealish led to a yellow card for Carvajal and minutes later Foden was injured and was subbed by Alvarez.
No more goals so the thrilling Quarter Final ended three each.
Foden and Stones were best for City. Rodri was not at his best and we did miss the speed of Walker at right back. Hope Foden is fit enough for a hat-trick against Luton!



Luton 5-1 home April13th

As expected Pep made 6 changes from the Real Madrid match. Ederson returned to goal and De Bruyne had recovered from his illness. Rodri was rested and it was good to see Walker and Ake on the bench after injury.
In the first minute De Bruyne passed to Haaland who tried to score and then Doku had a go from the rebound from the keeper and finally a shot by Haaland was deflected by Hashioka's face into the net for an own goal and City were one up.
What a start!!! On 9 minutes Gvardiol had a go at goal but the keeper saved for a corner.From the corner De Bruyne shot wide and high.
A few minutes later Nunes had a shot saved following a cross by Doku. After Luton got into the City half for a minute De Bruyne crossed to Haaland who shot high and wide.
City continued to dominate with efforts by Doku,De Bruyne and Haaland having shots blocked.
On 26 minutes Dias thought he would have a go from outside the penalty area but his effort was saved.
A minute later Nunes had a go but his shot hit the post and was cleared. We then had a mini disaster! Luton got a corner! Ederson was fouled so City were back on top!
City won several corners but no more goals for the sky blues. On 39 minutes De Bruyne had a shot from distance but it was blocked and then following a corner Gvardiol missed to the left. Just before half time De Bruyne got a yellow card for a foul stopping a break by Luton.
One goal advantage is not enough after so much domination. Luton defended in depth . City really need that second goal.
On 51 minutes Gvardiol had a shot blocked and a minute later Dias had a go but his effort went wide.
City piled on the pressure with efforts from Alvarez and De Bruyne. Then defender Dias had a shot which went just wide.
On 59 minutes Luton made a sub - taking off Townsend who had caused trouble for City when he scored for Crystal Palace in Dec 2018 helping them to break City's home record - pics here - citdec18c.htm
On 62 minutes City got yet another corner and following a short corner and passing by Alvarez and Doku the move ended with Alvarez crossing to Kovacic who volleyed the ball into the net with a great shot. At last a second goal for City.
A few minutes later City had an escape when a shot from Woodrow hit the bar.
After shots from Nunes and Doku were saved and blocked Doku went on a run and was brought down by Onyedinma in the penalty area and it was so obvious VAR did not have a say! Guess who was going to take the kick - Haaland of course and he sent the keeper the wrong way to make it City three Luton nil. It as his 20th league goal this season.
Pep then made two changes on 80 minutes taking off Haaland and De Bruyne and bringing on Bobb and Gomez.
A minute later disaster struck - a pass by Ederson to Nunes was not controlled and Ross Barkley scored to make it 3-1.
On 87 minutes Doku went on a dribble and beating two defenders he scored to make it 4-1 . A good individual goal.
As added time started Gomez had a shot blocked and Alvarez had one saved. Then a minute later Doku passed to Gvardiol who cracked the ball into the net to make it 5-1.
So City go top for a day with Arsenal and Liverpool playing on Sunday.
City as expected dominated with 37 shots 13 on target and 12 to 1 corners. Those extra goals in the second half may well be vital and we won with Rodri on the bench resting!

 



Real Madrid 1-1 home April 17th Champions League

City made 5 changes from the Luton game - bringing in Walker, Rodri, Foden, Benardo and Grealish. Stones, Ake, Doku and Kovacic were on the bench.
After a quiet start Gvardiol won a free kick on 6 minutes and then shortly after a cross by De Bruyne was saved. At the other end Madrid had a shot saved from an effort by Camavinga.
Then disaster struck - Bellingham passed to Vinicius and he crossed to Rodrygo who had his first shot saved by Ederson before the rebound ended in the net and Real Madrid were ahead one nil!!!
City came back at the other end after Benardo had a shot blocked and City won three corners. On 17 minutes Haaland headed a cross from Benardo wide and then 2 minutes later Haaland hit the post with another header. On 24 minutes Carvajal had a shot blocked and then Valverde shot wide.
Two minutes later De Bruyne had a good shot but alas the keeper saved well for a corner. Haaland had a header saved at the corner.
City continued the pressure but no goals. On 37 minutes Grealish was fouled and Carvajal was booked.
On 43 minutes a good cross by Foden ended with a City corner and in the added 2 minutes Foden shot wide following yet another corner.
Early in the second half Grealish cracked in a volley following a corner. Alas it went straight to the keeper. Then Foden had a shot saved. A minute later Grealish went left and won a corner which was cleared. On 57 minutes Akanji had a go but the ball went high and wide.
Real Madrid were defending in depth and making it difficult for City to create space for dangerous shots. On 58 minutes Grealish got a yellow card for a foul and a couple of minutes later it was Gvardiol's turn to get a yellow card for a foul on Bellingham. Then the ball hit the referee who was not injured.
After a shot by Grealish was saved on 70 minutes at the other end Ederson did well to grab a dangerous cross on a break. Then Doku came on for Grealish and a couple of minutes later Rodri passed to Doku and his cross came off Rudiger to De Bruyne who made no mistake shooting into the net to level the scores.
Two minutes later De Bruyne had another go but his effort went a little too high. .City continued to press but the scores were still level after 4 added minutes so extra time started.
Alvarez came on for Haaland who had not been anywhere near his best.
On 95 minutes Foden had a shot blocked and then Benardo had an effort blocked as City tried to get the winner. City made two more subs Stones for Akanji and Kovacic for De Bruyne - the latter change was surprising with possible penalties coming up!
Just before the end Alvarez had a shot saved and after one added minute it was time for penalties!
Alvarez scored the first for City to lead and then Modric had his shot saved by Ederson so City were one up. Then Benardo took a terrible penalty his effort went straight at the keeper with no power at all. Was it a miss kick !!!!!!
Bellingham then scored easily to make it one all.
Kovacic was next and his shot was saved too so Vazquez was next to score for Madrid and they led 2-1.
Foden was next for City and he did not miss so the scores were level 2-2.
Nacho made it 3-2 for Madrid and then we had a surprise because up came keeper Ederson to take the kick. He made no mistake shooting into the corner to level the scores at 3-3.
Alas Rudiger converted the penalty to make it 4-3 and City were out of the Champions League and farewell to a possible treble this season!
No real stars for City today against a well organized Real Madrid side.
I wondered whether City did any penalty kick training !!!!!!!


Chelsea 1-0 Wembley April 20th FA Cup Semi-Final
City made 4 changes from the Madrid game. In came Ortega, Ake, Alvarez and Stones. There was a strong bench but no Haaland. It was a fairly strong side so hopes were high.
An early Chelsea error almost let in City but a poor Grealish pass ended the City attack.
In the 2nd minute a foul on Ake gave City a free kick and shortly after City won two more free kicks when Akanji and Grealish were fouled.
On 7 minutes Ortega had to make a save from Jackson. Then Ake conceded a corner which was cleared.
After an error by Walker and a Ortega save from Palmer City had a chance at the other end but De Bruyne shot wide. Play was going from end to end but no goals.
On 26 minutes City got a corner and following this Foden was caught offside and a few minutes later De Bruyne had a difficult angle shot blocked.
On 34 minutes Benardo shot high and wide and then at the other end Ortega saved from Palmer. Grealish won a free kick a minute later and a few minutes later Foden won a free kick on the edge of the penalty area. Foden took the free kick but the ball went too high.
Just before half time Grealish was fouled by Caicedo who was booked. The City pressure ended with De Bruyne shooting over and just two minutes were added. Chelsea had the best chances in the first half but no goals from either side.
City made a change for the second half Dias coming on for Stones.
There was an early error by Ortega but Madueka shot over the bar thank goodness!
Then this was followed by two excellent saves by Ortega from Jackson. On 53 minutes Foden had a good shot saved. A minute later a foul by Grealish gave Palmer a chance from the free kick but thank goodness the ball just went through the wall and wide. Chelsea appealed for a penalty but VAR said no!
Then Alvarez got a yellow card following a foul by Dias!
On 59 minutes Grealish shoots but his effort is deflected for a corner. A few minutes later Grealish is injured and he is subbed by Doku.
Doku is soon in action and has a shot saved. Then De Bruyne has a go but misses.
Will we ever get a goal!!!!! On 70 minutes Doku wins a corner and then there is a delay for an injury to Gusto. Five minutes later Chelsea get a corner and Ortega was inured but seems OK.
After a miss by Palmer on 79 minutes Chelsea made some changes. On 81 minutes Alvarez wins a free kick but shortly after he shoots well wide. On 83 minutes Petrovic gets a yellow card as does Foden.
Shortly after Doku passed to De Bruyne who crossed to Benardo who cracked the ball into the net to give City the lead. At last a goal to City!!!
A few minutes later both De Bruyne and Fernandez got booked for a 'battle' Then both City and Chelsea made changes - Bobb coming on for Alvarez for City.
8 minutes were added so City had to defend well to keep them ahead.
City managed to hold onto their lead until the final whistle so now we are in the final against Man U or Coventry City. Probably the former but who knows!!!!!!!
Best City players to day were Ortega in goal and De Bruyne. Benardo made up for his penalty miss against Real Madrid by scoring the vital goal that put City in the FA Cup Final once more

Brighton 4-0 away April 25th
Pep made three changes from the Chelsea win - in came Ederson, Kovacic and Gvardiol for Ortega, Stones and Grealish. Haaland was still missing!
We had a shock start when Ederson had to make a save from Welbeck in the second minute! City had to be careful as Brighton looked dangerous on the break.
However on 13 minutes De Bruyne was fouled by Baleba and from the free kick taken by Foden Ake shot over the bar.
We did not have to wait too long for something better. On 16 minutes Walker crossed and De Bruyne headed a brilliant goal to put City ahead. He dived to head the ball into the top corner - stunning!!!
Brighton came back and won a corner. A header by Dunk was saved by Ederson.
A minute later Alvarez had a go but his effort went wide. Then De Bruyne had a shot deflected for a corner and Alvarez shot wide.
On 24 minutes Foden was fouled by Dunk just outside the area. Foden took the kick and cracked it at goal and the ball was slightly deflected past the keeper into the goal and City were two up - excellent!!!!
It did not take too long for number three. On 33 minutes a defensive error gave possession to Benardo who passed to Foden who scored once more. Three nil up
City were playing really well and we were hoping for more goals!!!
On 35 minutes Veltman got a yellow card for a foul. Before half time both De Bruyne and Alvarez had shots blocked and after the four added minutes the score remained at three nil
Brighton made two changes for the second half and they started brightly! Ederson had to make an early save and there were home shouts for a penalty but nothing given.
On 50 minutes Foden had an effort blocked. Then there was a delay when Dunk and Gvardiol had a collision! On 58 minutes Alvarez shot right at the keeper but he did better a minute or so later. Walker was involved with the keeper who saved and the ball ran to Alvarez who said thank you and scored to make it 4 nil.
It was not a surprise when Pep took off Foden and De Bruyne on 72 minutes and brought on Nunes and Grealish. Three minutes later after Welbeck shot wide he was subbed!
A few minutes later City made three changes - Doku replaced Benardo, Gomez replaced Rodri and Lewis replaced Walker. City then just kept possession to keep the score at four nil
De Bruyne and Foden were easily the best City players today in this convincing win at Brighton. Foden has now scored 51 Premier league goals.

Notts Forest 2-0 away April 28th
City made two changes from the Brighton win - Doku and Grealish came in for Foden and Kovacic. Haaland was on the bench but no Foden or Dias - both ill.
Notts Forest did not take too long to show their intentions! In the very first minute they attacked and Williams had an attempt blocked.
However City wanted play at the other end and following a corner Doku had a shot blocked. Then on 8 minutes De Bruyne had a shot saved for a corner. Then Forest won a free kick not far out and Benardo won the draw to lie down at the defensive wall. Thankfully the shot went over the bar from the free kick by Gibbs-White.
Shortly after Doku won a free kick and following a corner he shot just wide. A minute later Ederson had to make a save from Williams the ball going for a corner. At the corner there was a collision between Ederson and Boly. Ederson had to have some treatment and Ortega started to warm up.
On 22 minutes Grealish was fouled and De Bruyne's shot was blocked. Grealish seemed to be playing more midfield. 6 minutes later at the other end a header by Wood went wide.
On the half hour City won a corner - conceded by Williams who was injured. There was a slight delay before he went off and De Bruyne took the corner. In rushed Gvardiol and headed the ball into the net to give City the lead - great stuff!!!!
Forest then brought on Montiel for Williams so they were back to 11 again!
Just before half time Notts Forest had some good chances but they failed to find the net. At one of their corners Ederson made an error still suffering from his earlier injury so it was not a surprise when he was subbed at half time by Ortega.
Another change by City was Kovacic for Doku. City were lucky to be one up at half time as Forest had missed several easy chances.
There were more dangerous attacks by Forest at the start of the second half but City survived and then Grealish was injured and on 60 minutes came the moment we were waiting for. Grealish went off and on came Haaland - at last - he was back.
Three minutes later City had a break and Alvarez shot just over the bar. Then De Bruyne had a good effort well saved
On 70 minutes De Bruyne put a through ball to Haaland who went on a short run and brilliantly shot past the keeper to make it two nil. It was Haaland's 21st Premier League goal of the season.
Forest then made three changes and continued to attack City.
On 86 minutes Ortega had to make a good save from Hudson-Odoi and then with full time approaching City made two final changes bringing on Bobb for Alvarez and Nunes for De Bruyne.
City managed to survive 5 minutes of added time to keep pressure on Arsenal.
It was not the best of City displays. It's not often that despite City having 67% possession the home side had 14 shots to City's 11.
We missed Foden but at least Haaland is back!!!!!

Wolves 5-1 home April 4th
City made just three changes from the Notts Forest win. In came Foden, Haaland and Kovacic. Ederson had recovered from his injury in the last game so he remained in goal. It was a strong side and a strong bench too.
Ederson had some early action in the opening minute when he had to head the ball out for a throw-in to stop a break. The next action was 7 minutes later when Rodri shot well over the bar following a cross.
But we did not have long to wait for the first goal. On 9 minutes Benardo crossed and Gvardiol and Ait- Nouri met in the penalty area. It looked like the Wolves player prevented Gvardiol from shooting so the referee gave a penalty. It certainly was not an obvious foul so City were a bit fortunate. You will never guess who is going to take it !!! Yes up came Haaland to shoot into the left hand corner to make it one nil to City.
On 16 minutes De Bruyne had a go at goal but the ball went wide. Then a minute later Benardo crossed and a good header by Haaland was well saved by the keeper. Then City won a free kick when Rodri was fouled but Foden's kick went wide.
On 25 minutes a rare Wolves attack ended in Ederson having to catch the ball!
A minute later Foden had a good run but he lost possession near goal.
On 34 minutes City scored again. A cross by Rodri on the right was met by Haaland's head as he jumped high in the air ad the ball sped past the keeper into the goal - City 2-0 excellent.
Three minutes later City won a corner and Akanji was injured. Then Foden was fouled and Lemina got a yellow card.
Just before half time Haaland went on a run and when he got into the penalty area he was brought down by Semedo. The ref did not give a penalty straight away and VAR were called in. After a while the ref had to go to the monitor to check and it took ages for him to return to the pitch and give a penalty. Semedo got a yellow card for the foul and Haaland took the penalty. He blasted the ball into the same corner and the keeper could not save it so City went three nil ahead.
Just before half time Ake was injured
It was Haaland's 21st career hat-trick and his 9th for City.
On 49 minutes Foden had a shot saved and shortly after we had a disaster! A break by Wolves ended with a cross going to Hee-chan via the hand of Ederson and his first time shot made it 3-1.
However a minute later City struck again - a great pass by Foden found Haaland who beat a defender and scored to make it 4-1 . A very good goal.
City continued to press and Haaland had a shot blocked and then saved. Then at a corner Gvardiol shot too high. On 63 minutes De Bruyne was fouled and Traore got a yellow card. Then a minute or so later Gomes got a yellow card for a foul on Ake. Shortly after John Stones came on for Ake. On 69 minutes a Foden run and cross nearly ended with a spectacular goal by Haaland but alas he failed to connect properly.
After several failed attempts by Foden and Kovacic and a saved header by Haaland Pep decided on some changes. Nunes was on for De Bruyne,Grealish replaced Foden and Doku came on for Benardo.
A minute or so later Alvarez came on for Haaland who did not look too pleased when he left the pitch.
What a moment for Alvarez a minute later when he took a pass from Rodri and scored number 5 for City. It was his 100th game for City. So City continue to chase Arsenal and the game at Spurs in a week or so will be vital for the title!
It was so good to see Haaland back to form and overall a pretty good effort by the City players.

Fulham 4-0 away May11th
Only one change from the last win. Dias came in for Walker Akanji going to right back. A strong side but no sign of Grealish!
We had a bit of a shock in the first minute or so when Fulham won a corner! It was cleared.
The early City pressure was not 100% with several misplaced passes but it was quite warm!
However we did not have to wait too long for things to improve and on 12 minutes City attacked down the left with some inter passing and it ended with De Bruyne passing to Gvardiol who went inside and with his right foot shot past the keeper to give the sky blues the lead - terrific stuff! Apparently there were 19 passes in the buildup!
A few minutes later Haaland shot over and then Ake was injured and at a drinks break Walker came on for Ake. On 24 minutes a move started on the left by Gvardiol ended with Benardo having a shot but the keeper saved.
Three minutes later it was Foden's turn to keep the goalie busy with a shot from outside the box.
It was all City now with several blocked shots but just before half time following a corner Akanji missed a sitter so we only led one nil at half time.
Fulham made 2 changes at the interval. On 52 minutes Benardo had a shot saved by Leno for a corner. Then Haaland was fouled after taking a long pass from Ederson.
We had a shock on 57 minutes when Ederson had to make a save after a Fulham break.
A minute later De Bruyne had an effort saved but shortly after Benardo Silva was tackled on the edge of the area and the ball ran to Foden who cracked it past the keeper to make it two nil to City - his 25th of the season - magnificent!
Should have been three nil a minute or so later but Haaland missed a golden opportunity.
However on 70 minutes City won a corner and a cross by Benardo was met at the far post by Gvardiol who managed to get a foot to the ball and it went into the net. There was a VAR check for offside but the goal stood and City went three nil ahead - game over!
Doku then came on for De Bruyne - saving him for the Spurs game -
Diop got a yellow card for a bad foul on Haaland then Doku had a shot saved and it was not long before City made more subs. Alvarez for Haaland, Lewis for Kovacic and Bobb for Foden.
As full time approached Lewis was fouled and Robinson got a yellow card. Then Rodri had a go from outside the box but the ball went wide.
There were 7 added minutes and on 95 minutes Alvarez was brought down in the penalty area by Diop who already had a yellow so he was sent off and City had a penalty.
Who is going to take it . Well it was Alvarez who shot past the keeper to make it 4 nil.
Should Gvardiol have taken it to complete his hat trick??????
Never mind City go top for a few hours so come on United beat Arsenal!!!!!
Good work by City who played well with excellent efforts by Gvardiol and Rodri.
Foden, De Bruyne and Benardo also played well in this excellent team display.







Spurs H 2-0 away May14th

It was no surprise to see there was only one change from the last game. Walker who had come on for the injured Ake started at right back.
There were some early battles with De Bruyne being fouled in the centre circle on 4 minutes. Spurs were putting on early pressure and on 5 minutes Ederson had to make a good save from Bentancur following a cross by Johnson.
On 8 minutes a City attack down the right wing ended with De Bruyne shooting just wide but the flag had gone up for offside!
Five minutes later Walker has another dash down the right wing but his cross is deflected for a corner. City win a second corner but it is cleared.
Then Foden had a great chance. A defensive error by Hojbjerg gives the ball to Foden but alas Vicario makes a very good save so no goal alas!
On 16 minutes Spurs win a corner after a block by Gvardiol but it is cleared. Then Foden is injured in a tackle. Walker continued to drive down the wing but alas his cross failed to find a colleague.
So far City were not at their best and they would have to raise their game to win this one. Spurs were playing quite well and on 34 minutes won a corner off Ederson. A minute or so later Foden was badly fouled by Bentancur who got a yellow card.
Three minutes later Gvardiol who has been scoring goals recently tries to volley in a pass from Foden but the ball goes wide.
On 41 minutes Foden wins a free kick which De Bruyne takes but the ball ends up in the hands of the keeper. Just before half time a cross by Foden gets to Haaland and his shot is blocked and the ball runs to Benardo whose effort is blocked. In the end the flag goes up for offside against Foden!!!
So no goals at half time and City must improve to win this vital game.
No changes at the break and 2 minutes after the restart De Bruyne has a good shot well saved by Vicario diving to push it for a corner.
A minute later and Spurs make a break and Ederson has to save from Son.
Then came the moment we were waiting for. A long ball from Foden found Benardo and he passed to De Bruyne who crosses to a waiting Haaland who has just to tap the ball into the net and City were one up !!!!!!! At last a great goal and we were back on top of the league!
What a start to the second half. That was the first away goal City have scored against Spurs for over 5 years!!!
Then Spurs made a change - taking off Bentacur who already had a yellow card.
On 56 minutes De Bruyne is brought down and appears to be hurt. Sarr got a yellow card and it might have been red!
On 63 minutes Ederson is injured when Romero slid in to him. Romero got a yellow and it looks like Ederson may have to go off.
A few minutes later City made 2 changes - Doku came on for De Bruyne and Ortega came on for Ederson who appeared to be angry he was subbed.
On 70 minutes Ortega is soon in action making a save. A minute later Doku wins a corner with a cross then Akanji does well in defence. On 78 minutes Kulusevski has a chance at a corner but shoots well over the bar. Two minutes later Ortega has to make a good save from Kulusevski. Spurs then made 2 more changes but City were better this half keeping them at bay.
On 85 minutes Ortega had a make a great save when Spurs broke with Son following an error by Akanji on the half way line. This was his second magnificent save and he was becoming the hero of the day!
Just before full time a long ball from Foden found Doku on the right wing. He dashed into the penalty area and was brought down by Porro for a penalty.
No guesses as to who was going to take it!
Up came Haaland who cracked the ball into the top left hand corner to make it two nil to City and game over!!!!!
There were ten minutes added and City brought on Alvarez for Haaland after 4 minutes.
No more panics and City won this vital game two nil to go top. Ortega saved the day and deserves to start at the West Ham game on Sunday. So a win against West Ham will give City their 4th successive Premier league title.