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Wednesday 11th March 2020   
KO 19:30
  City v Arsenal
The Etihad
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1 Liverpool 28 44 79
2 Man City 28 37 57
3 Leicester 28 26 50
4 Chelsea 29 12 48

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Manchester United 2 Manchester City 0  United Embarrass City
Sunday 8th March 2020 : Stuart Bell for GYKO at Old Trafford

Manchester United have a first league double for a decade over Manchester City in a further sign that the faith shown by the board in Ole Gunnar Solskjær is being repaid. United made their crosstown rivals appear the tamest City side brought here during Pep Guardiola’s four years in charge on a day Ederson will wish to forget for being directly culpable for Anthony Martial’s opener and Scott McTominay’s late second. United were simply more dangerous than their strangely toothless opponents and were deserving victors in this 182nd derby that ended as a third win over City in all competitions this season, leading to the kind of jubilant scenes not witnessed at Old Trafford in recent memory.

“Probably not [heard it like this for a while],” Solskjær said. “The connection between the fans and the team: that means a lot to me. I know what these fans, what these players want to do.” United remain in fifth, firmly in the hunt for a Champions League berth, while making it 10 matches unbeaten. City, though, will be dethroned as champions and Liverpool crowned before the Merseysiders play again if Guardiola’s side lose their next two matches, against Arsenal and Burnley.

Solskjær fielded a 3-4-1-2 that showed seven changes from Thursday’s FA Cup victory at Derby. Guardiola’s familiar 4-1-4-1 had one fewer adjustment, the headline being that Kevin De Bruyne’s sore shoulder meant he was excluded, as Phil Foden became the youngest Englishman to start this fixture for City for 12 years.

Solskjær spoke of having to press and this is how his team began: Nicolás Otamendi, Ederson and Oleksandr Zinchenko all being hassled by United’s excellent front three – Anthony Martial, Daniel James and Bruno Fernandes.

In what was a vibrant atmosphere City claimed two corners – each off Brandon Williams, the second deriving from a clearing header. This pointed to a passage of City dominance in which Martial had to clear from under David de Gea’s bar, the goalkeeper having previously kept the scores level with a sharp save. This came when Sergio Agüero raced along the right with Luke Shaw in attendance. The No 10 turned and found Foden and he switched the ball left to Raheem Sterling. A dip of the shoulders and the forward was clear – his shot was heading in De Gea’s left-hand corner before he steered it wide.

United were in danger of being engulfed by the blue wave. Foden probed and saw a Harry Maguire clearance rebound off him for a goal-kick. From this, though, the home side finally broke clear, Bruno Fernandes hit James early, and he ran through, though his attempt was too close to Ederson.

This quick-release tactic came close to bearing fruit the next time United threatened. This time Williams hit Martial, though after an instant bring-down his shot was blocked. James was next to utilise speed: the jet-heeled wide man turned Otamendi inside and out along the right and drew the foul. Fernandes hit the wall from the free-kick, Fred nutmegged Zinchenko, and United were now posing all the questions. One of these had Martial outmanoeuvring Fernandinho and cutting in from the left but a tame shot made easy work for Ederson.

The goalkeeper, though, was about to commit his first howler. Fernandes won and took a free-kick on the left, after being kicked by Ilkay Gündogan. The German was then doubly at fault as he and Agüero allowed Martial to glide in and volley Fernandes’s dinked delivery. This went straight at Ederson yet in a butterfingers moment he allowed the ball to squeeze under his hands at the near post.

City were now being punched open at will. Aaron Wan-Bissaka had become a buccaneering right-back, terrorising the visitors along his flank. Fernandes, Martial, Fred and James joined him in a free-for-all that had Guardiola’s men in damage-limitation mode, desperate to reach the break.

They did, still at 1-0 – perhaps fortunately as during the half’s closing exchanges Otamendi looked to have brought down Fred for a penalty. VAR did not intervene and instead Mike Dean, the referee, booked the midfielder. “Penalty, clear penalty,” was Solskjær’s verdict.

What City had missed was the usual power to bewitch their opponent from midfield. At the second-half’s start they found their range. Raheem Sterling slipped in Agüero and he finished but this was ruled offside. Ederson, though, still slumbered. A João Cancelo back-pass was mis-controlled and with Martial thundering in the keeper only just recovered.

City claimed a corner on the right and from 25 yards Foden’s shot was tipped over for another from the same quadrant. This came to nothing and Guardiola swapped Agüero and Bernardo Silva for Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez, the Catalan’s frantic body language telling the tale of his team: an odd lack of poise and skill when required.

Instead another James burst left Otamendi resembling a statue and Ederson had to repel a blistering effort. And while from here City probed along both flanks, forcing corners, now came the second Ederson calamity: a throw out in the 96th minute went straight to McTominay and the substitute found the empty net from 40 yards out.

Solskjær punched the air and at the final whistle United’s support serenaded their manager with “Ole Ole Ole”. He and his men are certainly building the late-season momentum so badly missed last year when everything fell apart.

Manchester United (3-5-2): De Gea; Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw; Williams (Bailly 78), Wan-Bissaka, Matic, Fred, Fernandes (Ighalo 88); James, Martial (McTominay 78)
Subs not used: Greenwood, Mata, Romero, Tuanzebe

Manchester City: (4-3-3): Ederson; Cancelo, Otamendi, Fernandinho, Zinchenko (Mendy 77); B Silva (Mahrez 59), Rodri, Gundogan; Foden, Sterling, Aguero (Jesus 59)
Subs not used: Bravo, Garcia, Silva, Walker

Referee: Mike Dean        Attendance :

Sheffield Wednesday 0 Manchester City 1   City March On
Wednesday 4th March 2020 ;  Richard Wood for GYKO at Hillsbrough

For the umpteenth time in his glittering Manchester City career Sergio Agüero ensured the tale of this tie had a happy ending for the holders. His second-half winner took them into the quarter-finals and secured the striker a remarkable 254th goal for the club.

This puts City’s record goalscorer one ahead of Wayne Rooney’s all-time mark for Manchester United - in five fewer years - and is a 23rd of another standout season: the most in all competitions by any Premier League player. Guardiola made six changes from Sunday’s XI that claimed the Carabao Cup, though a team including Sergio Agüero, David Silva and Rodri remained formidable.

This was true particularly for a Sheffield Wednesday that had won only once in their last eight outings, Garry Monk’s side sitting in 12th in the Championship, eight points from a play-off position. The manager selected the 24-year-old Joe Wildsmith in goal for his first appearance since August 2018.

At kick-off, though, Wednesday would have seen some hope in the pairing of Nicolás Otamendi and John Stones in central defence for the first time since September: an indication of their vulnerability. Last week however City were schooling Real Madrid at the Bernabéu and they had won their last four games, so Dominic Iorfa allowing Agüero in early on was not what they needed, though the defender recovered and hustled the striker off the ball.

Better for the Owls was when a Riyad Mahrez corner became a Wednesday breakaway and Benjamin Mendy was forced to foul Fernando Forestieri. They did not capitalise from the free-kick – taken by their playmaker Barry Bannan – yet City had been rattled.

Hillsborough was far from full, perhaps in protest at Wednesday’s poor form. A pity as Monk’s men took the contest to their visitors when possible. The next burst from Jacob Murphy drew another foul, this time due to an Otamendi bodycheck.

City are relentless, of course. As the match moved towards the half-hour mark the familiar sight of the ball being relayed in and around Wednesday had them moving from their territory to near goal. Mahrez was set up and really should not have blasted over. Neither should Julian Börner have headed out for a City corner when the safety of Wildsmith’s hands beckoned He will have been relieved neither this nor a second mistake from the opposite left quadrant did not presage his team conceding.

A further scare came when Mahrez floated in a free-kick and Otamendi beat Wildsmith with a deft header but not the bar. City were moving closer though Agüero could still mis-control a standard ball in to him, and Stones later had to scurry to clear close to Claudio Bravo’s area. Missing was the devilish invention and spark of a high-end City display. As the interval approached Guardiola may have prepared instructions for his side to up concentration and tempo in the second half.

So far there had been only the odd threat to Wildsmith’s goal: a concern for Guardiola but not for Monk, who saw Stones’s stooping header bounce over just before the whistle for the break. A quickfire Bernardo Silva cross and Agüero shot immediately following half-time suggested Guardiola had reminded his side they are defending this trophy. But when the No 10 was caught offside moments later the manager threw his hands in a frustration that was threatening to become the tale of his team’s evening.

The sense was heightened when David Silva rolled the ball to Benjamin Mendy and Wildsmith’s fingertips pushed the ball on to the bar. Now, though, the left-back turned creator, threading a pass to Agüero for the marksman to break the deadlock, a pivot and shot that beat Wildsmith despite the keeper getting something on this.

From here the expectation was for City to strangle the contest with keep-ball play, while adding to the score. And though Otamendi had to be sharp to head an interception when Forestieri looked to run clear from halfway, those in the yellow and orange shirts did now toy with Wednesday.

If this was an unwanted kind of vindication for the sparse home support – announced as 20,900 – Stones would have doubled the lead if not for Wildsmith’s reflexes.

A sweeping sequence that took Mendy along the left and came close to setting up Agüero – again – was City in smooth gear. Stones falling into Bravo’s goal as Steven Fletcher threatened to equalise was not.

This had Wednesday fans raising the roof and Guardiola’s men in frantic mode. But it did not last and when Raheem Sterling came on for Agüero this was hardly encouragement for Monk’s men. By the end this was a job well done by City.

Sheffield Wednesday : Wildsmith; Palmer, Iorfa, Borner (Lees 46), Murphy; Pelupessy, Bannan, Lee (Hunt 63), Fox; Da Cruz, Forestier (Fletcher 56)
Subs not used: Harris, Nuhiu, Dawson, Urhoghide.

Manchester City : Bravo; Cancelo, Stones, Otamendi, Mendy; B Silva, Rodri, D Silva; Mahrez, Aguero (Sterling 86), Jesus
Subs not used: Ederson, Gundogan, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Foden, Garcia.

Referee: Michael Oliver 6  Attendance : 20,900


Manchester City Fixtures & Results 2019/20


Date Kick Off Opponent Venue  Comp Result
Su 04/08/2019 15:00 Liverpool Wembley CS D 1-1+
Sa 10/08/2019 12:30 West Ham United A PL W 5-0
Sa 17/08/2019 17:30 Tottenham Hotspur H PL D  2-2
Su 25/08/2019 14:00 Bournemouth A PL W 3-1
Sa 31/08/2019 15:00 Brighton & Hove Albion H PL W 4-0
Sa 14/09/2019 17:30 Norwich City A PL L  3-2
We 18/09/2019 20:00 Shakhtar Donetsk A CL W 3-0
Sa 21/09/2019 15:00 Watford H PL W 8-0
Tu 24/09/2019 19:45 Preston North End A LC W 3-0
Sa 28/09/2019 17:30 Everton A PL W 3-1
Tu 01/10/2019 20:00 Dinamo Zagreb H CL W 2-0
Su 06/10/2019 14:00 Wolverhampton Wanderers H PL L  2-0
Su 20/10/2019 17:30 Crystal Palace A PL W 2-0
Tu 22/10/2019 20:00 Atalanta H CL W 5-1
Sa 26/10/2019 12:30 Aston Villa H PL W 3-0
Tu 29/10/2019 19:45 Southampton H LC W 3-1
Sa 02/11/2019 15:00 Southampton H PL W 2-1
We 06/11/2019 20:00 Atalanta A CL D 1-1
Su 10/11/2019 16:30 Liverpool A PL L 3-1
Sa 23/11/2019 17:30 Chelsea H PL W 2-1
Tu 26/11/2019 20:00 Shakhtar Donetsk H CL D 1-1
Sa 30/11/2019 12:30 Newcastle United A PL D 2-2
Tu 03/12/2019 20:15 Burnley A PL W 4-1
Sa 07/12/2019 17:30 Manchester United H PL L  2-1
We 11/12/2019 17:55 Dinamo Zagreb A CL W 4-1
Su 15/12/2019 16:30 Arsenal A PL W 3-0
We 18/12/2019 19:45 Oxford United A LC W 3-1
Sa 21/12/2019 17:30 Leicester City H PL W 3-1
Fr  27/12/2019 19:45 Wolverhampton Wanderers A PL L  3-2
Su 29/12/2019 18:00 Sheffield United H PL W 2-0
We 01/01/2020 17:30 Everton H PL W 2-1
Sa  04/01/2020 17:31 Port Vale H FAC r3 W 4-1
Tu  07/01/2020 20:00 Manchester United A LC SF 1L W 3-1
Su 12/01/2020 16:30 Aston Villa A PL W 6-1
Sa 18/01/2020 15:00 Crystal Palace H PL D  2-2
Tu 21/01/2020 19:30 Sheffield United A PL W 1-0
Su 26/01/2020 13:00 Fulham H FAC r4 W 4-0
We 29/01/2020 19:45 Manchester United H LC SF 2L  L0-1 $
Su 02/02/2020 16:30 Tottenham Hotspur A PL L  2-0
Su 09/02/2020 16:30 West Ham United H PL W 2-0
Sa 22/02/2020 17:30 Leicester City A PL W 1-0
We 26/02/2020 20:00 Real Madrid A CL r16 W 2-1
Su  01/03/2020 16:30 Aston Villa Wembley EFL Final W 2-1
We 04/02/2020 19:45 Sheffield Wednesday A FAC r5 W 1-0
Sa 07/03/2020 15:00 Manchester United A PL L  1-0
We 11/03/2020 19:30 Arsenal H PL  
Sa 14/03/2020 15:00 Burnley H PL  
Tu 17/03/2020 20:00 Real Madrid CL r16  
Sa 21/03/2020 19:00 Newcastle United A FAC r6  
TBC   Chelsea A PL  
Sa 04/04/2020 16:30 Liverpool H PL  
Sa 11/04/2020 15:00 Southampton A PL  
Sa 18/04/2020 15:00 Newcastle United H PL  
Sa 25/04/2020 15:00 Brighton & Hove Albion A PL  
Sa 02/05/2020 15:00 Bournemouth H PL  
Sa 09/05/2020 15:00 Watford A PL  
Su17/05/2020 14:00 Norwich City H PL  

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