Premier League: Manchester City v Brighton

Pep Guardiola enjoyed the luxury of rotating some of his top players in a comfortable win over Birmingham City in the FA Cup at the weekend, but should welcome the likes of Ederson, Raheem Sterling and John Stones back to the starting XI.

Sterling was nursing a slight knock when Birmingham were swept aside, but should make it for the visit of Graham Potter’s Brighton, who Guardiola said were a “joy to watch” in his press conference on Tuesday.

Whether or not Brighton fans would agree or not is debatable, with the club sitting 17th in the table after almost a third of the season, with their possession-based approach clearly not leading to enough results so far.

One of their main issues has been scoring goals, and they struggled again in the FA Cup, needing a 90th minute strike from Solly March against Newport County, before edging a nervy penalty shootout to progress to the fourth round.

Neal Maupay has scored two in his last three Premier League games though, and has declared this week that his confidence is back after a 649-minute goal drought. He’s likely to play in the absence of Danny Welbeck against the league’s most in-form defensive partnership of John Stones and Ruben Dias, fresh from a clean sheet against Manchester United in the Carabao Cup semi-final last week.

Adam Lallana, Tariq Lamptey and Aaron Connolly will all miss the game through injury, while Alireza Jahanbaksh will be assessed closer to kick-off. Polish midfielder Jakub Moder has joined the squad after spending the first half of the season on loan at Lech Poznan, and could make the bench.

Guardiola is without Sergio Aguero once again for the visit of the Seagulls, as he continues to isolate after being in contact with a COVID-positive person recently. Eric Garcia is in the same situation as the Argentine striker, while Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake are both injured.

As this is City’s game in hand left over from the start of the season, a win will see them close the gap on Liverpool to a single point and go above Leicester City in the top four. Brighton need the points to move further away from the relegation zone, having played two games fewer than Fulham, who are three points below them.

Manchester City take on Brighton on Wednesday, January 13th. Kick-off is at 6pm.

Premier League: Manchester City 2-0 Newcastle United

Gundogan put Pep Guardiola’s side ahead on a wet Boxing Day night after fine work from Raheem Sterling with 14 minutes gone at the Etihad Stadium.

Torres added the second early in the second half and Bernardo Silva struck the post as City, who face a trip to Everton on Monday, eased to victory.

Both sides were without key players following positive Covid-19 tests, with City’s Gabriel Jesus and Kyle Walker following Newcastle pair Allan Saint-Maximin and Jamaal Lascelles into self-isolation.

Not surprisingly, it was star-studded City who coped with the absences better. Again manager Pep Guardiola saw no need to rush record goalscorer, Sergio Aguero, into his starting line-up, naming the Argentinian on the bench as he eases back into action after knee trouble.

Steve Bruce tried to shake his Newcastle side up after their Carabao Cup quarter-final loss to Brentford. Federico Fernandez, Fabian Schar, Joelinton and Matt Ritchie came in while Callum Wilson was on the bench and Jonjo Shelvey was left out altogether.

With the win, Pep Guardiola’s side climb to 5th in the league table on Monday night whilst Steve Bruce’s Newcastle remain just shy of mid-table in 12th.

Manchester City seal vital 1-0 Premier League win at Southampton

Pep Guardiola’s side were unable to match Liverpool’s seven goal haul at Selhurst Park but Raheem Sterling first half strike proved enough to secure a key three points.

Neither side created much in a frantic opening but City’s first real attack handed Sterling the perfect chance to blast home.

Bernardo Silva’s pounced on a loose ball in midfield, he fed in Kevin De Bruyne, and the Belgian drilled cross was emphatically tucked home by Sterling.

But the Saints refused to be knocked by that setback as Danny Ings came within inches of finding an equaliser.

Theo Walcott’s pace took him away from two challenges and hang a cross into the box with Ings nodding agonisingly wide.

But the hosts intensity inevitably dropped off after the break, with Ings forced off through injury, and Ferran Torres fizzing an effort just wide.

However with just a single goal in it heading in to the final 15 minutes it was still open season on the south coast.

City defender John Stones produced an outrageous block to deny Che Adams before Alex McCarthy produced a world class stop from Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez blazed over in added time.

Full Time at the St. Mary’s Stadium it’s Southampton Manchester City

Kevin De Bruyne inspires Manchester City to 2-0 Premier League win over Fulham

City put five past Burnley last weekend and they were unlucky not to beat that total after completing outclassing Scott Parker’s struggling visitors.

The hosts were right on their A-game from kick off at the Etihad as Raheem Sterling got the ball rolling inside the first five minutes.

Kevin De Bruyne’s perfect pass split the Fulham defence in two and Sterling raced on to calmly clip over the stranded Alphonse Areola.

The talismanic De Bruyne continued to the beating heart of City’s first half dominance, firstly forcing a smart stop from Areola before making it 2-0 on the half hour.

Sterling was caught by Joachim Anderson inside the box and the Belgian routinely tucked past Areola from the spot.

City clicked back into top gear after the break, with Fulham looking to batten down the hatches, as De Bruyne cracked another fine effort against the bar.

Parker’s side did show some signs of life in the final 20 as Ivan Cavaleiro forced a reaction stop from Ederson on the break.

But in reality, Guardiola’s side could and should have added to the lead in the closing minutes as Ruben Dias headed wide and Gabriel Jesus fired over.

Full Time at the Etihad Stadium it’s Manchester City 2 Fulham 0

Manchester City and Liverpool battle out 1-1 Premier League draw

Both sides showed plenty of desire to win this game, and based on the balance of chances, its likely to be City that will feel this was a missed opportunity.

The two teams showed plenty of hustle and bustle in the opening stages but a clinical edge was missing at both ends.

Klopp’s side just about edged the first 10 minutes and they were handed a deserved lead through star man Mo Salah.

Kyle Walker clumsily brought down Sadio Mane inside the box and the Egyptian kept his cool to tuck past Ederson from the spot.

City did look to impose themselves more and more following that setback as Raheem Sterling tested Alisson and Kevin De Bruyne began to pull the strings in midfield.

And that increase in City pressure was exactly what the hosts needed as Gabriel Jesus powered them level on the half hour.

De Bruyne fed the Brazilian inside the box and he cleverly spun away from Trent Alexander-Arnold and prodded past Alisson.

And with their tails up from City were awarded a controversial spot kick just before the break.

De Bruyne’s cross caught Joe Gomez on the arm and after consulting VAR, Craig Pawson pointed to the
spot.

The Belgian will have backed himself to give City a vital lead from 12 yards, but despite sending the Alisson the wrong way, his effort thudded back off the post.

The game continued at breakneck speed after the restart as Diogo Jota forced a stop from Ederson and Jesus nodded a brilliant chance wide.

But after such a hectic opening hour in Manchester, both sides began to run out of steam in the closing stages but Pep is likely to see this as two vital points dropped.

Full Time at the Etihad Stadium it’s Manchester City 1 Liverpool 1

Tributes pour in for former Man City defender

Malawi-born Wisten, who was a defender, joined City’s elite youth squads in 2016. The club confirmed his death in a statement posted on Twitter on Sunday.

Tributes to the teenager have been paid by City’s first-team players, with Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero paying their respects on social media.

The cause of Wisten’s death is unknown at this stage.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to support his family. Over $10,000 has already been raised.

The page description in part reads: “The most beautiful soul who was loved by many. Everyone who knew Jez would know that he had a smile that would light up the room.”

Rest in peace, Jeremy

West Ham secure 1-1 Premier League draw at home to Manchester City

Moyes’ team staged a dramatic recovery to draw 3-3 at Tottenham last weekend and they survive a late scare to snatch a draw in this one.

Neither side created much in a scrappy opening at the London Stadium before Michail Antonio ruthlessly put the Hammers in front on 18 minutes.

Vladimir Coufal whipped in a cross from the right and Antonio was too strong for Aymeric Laporte as volleyed past Ederson.

City struggled to respond to that setback with tame efforts from Riyad Mahrez and Sergio Aguero failing to test Lukasz Fabianski.

Pep Guardiola threw on Phil Foden at the break in an attempt to turn the tide and the England international produced an instant equaliser.

Joao Cancelo’s cross was just behind him but he showed brilliant calmness to tuck past Fabianski.

That tipped the balance in City’s favour as Guardiola brought on Kevin De Bruyne to try and turn the screw on West Ham.

Sterling was presented with a brilliant late late chance to win it but Fabianski stayed sharp to preserve a vital point.

FULL TIME AT THE LONDON STADIUM IT’S WEST HAM 1 MANCHESTER CITY 1

Manchester City clinch narrow 1-0 win over Arsenal

Raheem Sterling’s first half strike proved to be the difference between the two sides as Pep Guardiola got revenge for City’s FA Cup semi-final defeat in July.

City enjoyed the bulk of possession in the opening stages as Arsenal set their stall out to counter at pace.

But with the Gunners struggling to cope as City went up through the gears Sterling tucked home brilliant opener.

Riyad Mahrez’s pass cut out three Arsenal defenders and after Bernd Leno could only parry Phil Foden’s effort, Sterling pounced on the rebound.

That gave the impetus to City and Leno had to be at his sharpest to deny Mahrez and Foden.

However, Arsenal worked hard to stay in the game before the break as new England international Bukayo Saka brought an instinctive stop from Ederson.

The Gunners looked to take advantage of City’s struggles to find a second after the restart as Nicolas Pepe tested Ederson.

Mikel Arteta’s side bossed the closing stages with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Granit Xhaka both testing Ederson but in the end the home side have enough to hold on for the win.

FULL TIME AT THE ETIHAD STADIUM IT’S MANCHESTER CITY 1 ARSENAL 0

Premier League: Manchester City vs Arsenal

When the two sides last met, it was Arteta’s Arsenal who came out on top, eliminating Manchester City from the FA Cup at the semi-final stage, before going on to lift the trophy at Wembley by beating Chelsea in the final.

And the Spaniard will be confident he can repeat the feat, given the two sides’ contrasting starts to the season. Arsenal are fourth, having won nine points from a possible 12, while City have only won one of their three games in the league, and sit 14th in the table at this early stage.

The Gunners will be boosted by the signing of Thomas Partey, who joined the club on deadline day from Atletico Madrid. The €45m signing may be involved in some capacity against City, who will be hoping to get back to winning ways after a loss to Leicester and a draw with Leeds United.

They still have problems up front though, as their two out-and-out centre forwards are both still struggling with injuries. Sergio Aguero has stepped up his recovery, and could make the squad, but Gabriel Jesus will miss out as he continues his recovery from an injury of his own.

Oleksandr Zinchenko is rated 50/50 after a spell out injured, but Raheem Sterling is expected to be fit after pulling out of the England squad with a tight hamstring last week. Kevin De Bruyne has also been ruled out after picking up an injury on international duty.

As for Arsenal, defenders Shkodran Mustafi, Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari are ruled out, while Gabriel Martinelli remains sidelined until close to the end of the year with a knee injury. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang suffered a sprained ankle recently but should shake it off to play.

Kieran Tierney was identified as a close contact of Scotland team mate Stuart Armstrong, who tested positive for COVID-19. Rules state that Tierney should self-isolate for 14 days as a precaution, but has also tested negative for the virus. Arteta is hoping for some clarification from the Premier League on the matter as it affects his participation.

Manchester City take on Arsenal at the Etihad on Saturday, October 17th. Kick-off is at 5.30pm.

Sterling pulls out of England camp

The Manchester City forward picked up a problem during Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Leeds, a game in which he gave his side the lead.

The 25-year-old’s strike at Elland Road meant he overtook City legend Shaun Goater in the club’s all-time leading goalscorer charts.

Sterling is believed to be suffering with a hamstring strain and the decision has been taken for him to pull out of Gareth Southgate’s England camp.

The Three Lions face Wales in a friendly on Thursday before UEFA Nations League matches against Belgium on Sunday and Denmark on Wednesday.

Leeds United snatch 1-1 draw at home to Manchester City

Pep Guardiola’s side dominated the first half with Raheem Sterling deservedly putting them ahead, but Marcelo Bielsa’s men proved their worth after the break to secure a vital point for the hosts

City were at their flowing best right from the start at Elland Road, as Kevin De Bruyne smashed an early free against the post.

The visitors pushed on from there as debutant Ruben Dias headed just wide, and Ferran Torres tested Illian Meslier.

With all one-way traffic against the under-siege hosts, City finally cracked their resistance on 17 minutes, as Sterling swerved past two tackles and fired home.

However, with City unable to find a second goal before the break, Leeds almost produced an equaliser as Ederson saved brilliantly from Luke Ayling.

Bielsa threw on Rodrigo just after the break, and the Spaniard wrestled Leeds back into the game on the hour.

Ederson made a mess of Stuart Dallas’ corner and the former Valencia striker reacted smartly to tap home his first Leeds goal.

Leeds’ equaliser shook the game into life in the closing stages, as Ederson redeemed himself with a brilliant stop from Rodrigo and Meslier denied Sterling.

But in the end neither side had enough to nick the win on a rainy night in Yorkshire.

FULL TIME AT ELLAND ROAD IT’S LEEDS UNITED 1 MANCHESTER CITY 1