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.