Ihenacho looking dapper as Man City unveils New Suits

Super Eagles forward Kelechi Ihenacho was looking more like a ready bridegroom as Manchester City unveiled new club suits designed by DSQUARED2.
The 21 year old was not only smart in the new suits but could pass for young man set for the Altar with his new bride.

Manchester City may arguably play the best football in the Premier League and now they will perhaps look the most stylish off the field as well.

The Etihad Stadium outfit unveiled a new club suit on Monday, which is exclusively designed by renowned fashion brand DSQUARED2.

City and DSQUARED2, an Italian brand, announced their multi-year partnership in October last year. Since then, DSQUARED2 have dressed the club’s players and coaching staff in their pre-match outfits for away Champions League matches.

To celebrate the arrival of City’s new suit, the founders and designers, Dean and Dan Caten said: ‘We wanted the players to feel as confident in this suit as they do when they pull on their team jersey.

City hit the headlines back in October last year when they jetted off to Barcelona for their Champions League match in eye-catching double denim outfits, made by international fashion house DSQUARED2.

They were all dressed the same in casual travelling attire as they were pictured arriving at Manchester Airport ahead of their flight to Barcelona.

Two Things Iheanacho Must Do To Get Back Into My Squad – Guardiola

Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola has listed two things Kelechi Iheanacho must do to force himself back into the Manchester City team.

The Super Eagles forward has only started three Premier League matches this season under the Spaniard, and with Brazilian striker, Gabriel Jesus, set to arrive in January, his chances will be further limited.
With Guardiola opting for a lone-striker system, Sergio Aguero is his first choice.
When asked what would have to happen to get Iheanacho more first team opportunities, Guardiola said: “Change the coach maybe! (first)
“Of course he deserves to play, but there are many, many others who deserve to play too.
“Our job is so uncomfortable for these kind of decisions.
“Normally when these guys don’t train good, when they are not nice guys with his team-mates, it doesn’t matter, but that is not the case with Kele.
“My advice is keep going, keep fighting, (second) sooner or later everything is coming back, and of course he’s going to have his minutes.
“Until now he played good, but in the big teams sometimes that happens. You can play just 11 players and that’s all.”

Iheanacho’s Chances at City Slim – Guardiola

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has stated that young striker Kelechi Iheancho must have to make improvements to get a slot in his team.

This is just as Barcelona and Tottenham are said to be monitoring the situation with a view of making a move for the Super Eagles striker. He has started only three Premier League games under Guardiola. With £27m Brazilian international Gabriel Jesus set to arrive in January, his opportunities will be limited further.

Leading scorer Sergio Aguero is at the top of the pecking order, with Guardiola preferring to play with a lone striker.

When asked what would have to happen to get the 20-year-old more first team opportunities, Guardiola said: “Change the coach maybe!

“Of course he deserves to play, but there are many, many others who deserve to play too.

“Our job is so uncomfortable for these kind of decisions.

“Normally when these guys don’t train good, when they are not nice guys with his team-mates, it doesn’t matter, but that is not the case with Kele.

“My advice is keep going, keep fighting, sooner or later everything is coming back, and of course he’s going to have his minutes,” he said.

“Until now he played good, but in the big teams sometimes that happens. You can play just 11 players and that’s all.”

Barcelona scouts are on the look out for Iheanacho. There is also an interest from Tottenham Hotspur.

Guardiola Could Return to Barcelona – Bartomeu

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu says Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola could work for the club again.

Bartomeu spoke to the Telegraph about a potential future return for Guardiola. “You never know,” he said. “There are so many people who were at the club, went, came back again.

You never know but right now he is concentrating on City. “I think he has a three-year contract?”

Manchester United vs Man City to Be Refereed By Mike Dean

Mike Dean has been appointed as the referee for the midweek EFL Cup fixture between Manchester United and Manchester City.

The 48-year-old will be overseeing his third Manchester derby, his last being in 2013 as City defeated United 2-1 at Old Trafford with goals from James Milner and Sergio Aguero.

Dean has shown 38 yellow cards thus far in the 2016-17 Premier League season, whilst the one red card he has dished out was to United loanee Adnan Januzaj in Sunderland’s defeat to Tottenham.

The Merseysider was the man in the middle as United defeated Leicester City 4-1 in the league back in September, while he awarded two penalties during City’s 4-1 victory over Stoke on August 20.

Man City Is Guardiola’s Biggest Challenge – Puyol

The former Barcelona captain believes the Spaniard will “change football in England” and that he isn’t afraid to play direct football despite a penchant for a passing style

Former Barcelona captain Carles Puyol believes Pep Guardiola has taken on his greatest challenge in the Manchester City job.

Puyol enjoyed four successful seasons under Guardiola at Camp Nou, winning three LaLiga titles and the Champions League in 2009 and 2011.

Guardiola then went on to enjoy further success with Bayern Munich, lifting the Bundesliga trophy in each of his three seasons, although glory on the European stage eluded him.


Now at City, Guardiola has made a strong start to his tenure, winning his first 10 matches in all competitions before a 3-3 Champions League draw at Celtic preceded a 2-0 loss at title rivals Tottenham.

After dominating in Spain and Germany, Puyol says Guardiola has his work cut out to repeat the feat in the Premier League but backed his former coach to oversee a cultural change in English football.

“It’s the biggest challenge for Guardiola but I think he will change football in England,” he said.

“A lot of people say football is different in England to other countries but the way Guardiola works and puts pressure on his players will change football here a bit.

“His biggest challenge is to change the direct style of football. Now in England the football is more direct, with big centre-backs. I couldn’t play there because I’m too small.

“Guardiola wants to start playing from the back with intelligent play from the goalkeeper. It doesn’t mean he won’t play long like against Manchester United when they scored a goal with three touches, but it’s the whole style. He is based on ball possession and playing from the back.

“I have seen his influence on the team very quickly. He is doing very well, he has very clear ideas which he tries to transmit to the players. He is the best coach I ever worked with and I’m pleased to see him in England.

“There are a lot of coaches worse than him. He puts a lot of pressure on the players but the players feel free under Guardiola. It’s tough but I understand football like that, I enjoy it.

“Guardiola thinks everyone can improve and play at a higher level – and every player improves with him. It also motivates the players to improve.”

Iniesta Tips Man City To Compete For Champions League Glory

Andres Iniesta expects Manchester City to be challenging for Champions League glory under Pep Guardiola.

Iniesta remains a fulcrum of the era of success Guardiola set in motion in 2008-09 at Barcelona, where the Catalan giants beat Manchester United in the Champions League final to complete a sensational treble.

Guardiola had the better of his latest clash with United in the Premier League on Saturday, as City made it six wins from as many competitive fixtures under his stewardship in a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford.

Next up are Borussia Monchengladbach in Champions League Group C – a section City also share with Barca and Celtic.

“When the group was drawn it was inevitable that much would be made about Pep returning to Barcelona again – but that is not what this group is about,” Iniesta told said.

“It is a group with four very strong teams – and it would be disrespectful to make it all about Pep and Barcelona.

“What Pep has done for the club will always be remembered, but he is the coach of Manchester City now – and I believe with their quality and Pep’s leadership they will be a club that will be challenging for the Champions League this season.”


Paul Pogba To Wear New Adidas Boots For The Manchester Derby

Paul Pogba will be donning some brand spanking new boots for the Manchester derby this Saturday.

Both United and City have made a perfect start to the league and meet for the first time this season on the weekend.

And Adidas have marked the occasion by providing the Frenchman with a snake-skinned inspired boot, or for the purist ‘Adidas ACE16 + Purecontrol Viper Pack.’

Check out the images below courtesy of Adidas:

Adidas outlined the finer details of their newest boots. He hope you like technical jargon;

“The ACE 16+ PURECONTROL Viper Pack version offers a Primeknit upper and NON STOP GRIP (NSG) technology, delivering an unrivaled surface for close ball control, while the X 16+PURECHAOS Viper Pack version features a state-of- the-art PURECUT SOCK SYSTEM, covering the boot laces to give players the ultimate fit.”

Manchester City Leave Star Out Of Champions League Squad

If Manchester City thought that Yaya Toure and his agent kicked up a fuss when they forgot to buy him a birthday cake then they’re about to receive a barrage of abuse for leaving the Ivorian out of their Champions League squad.

The big midfielder was always expected to be doomed when City announced the signing of Guardiola as their new manager back in January but so far the former Barcelona midfielder has stuck around the Etihad. Still though now he’s around he might have expected some football.

Pep Guardiola

Yaya was sold by Pep to City when the pair were at the Camp Nou so perhaps his omission isn’t that big a surprise but after he didn’t get a move in the summer it seemed he might play some part in the sky blues season but clearly not. Here’s the full squad:


Claudio Bravo, Willy Caballero


Bacary Sagna, Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta, Aleksandar Kolarov, Gael Clichy, John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi


Fernando, Raheem Sterling, Ilkay Gundogan, Jesus Navas, Kevin De Bruyne, Fabian Delph, Leroy Sane, David Silva, Fernandinho


Nolito, Sergio Aguero, Kelechi Iheanacho

Yaya Toure

The move by the former Bayern Munich manager will likely speed up the process of Toure leaving the Manchester club with a move to China or the MLS likely once their transfer windows open later in the season, after all no one else can afford his ridiculous wages.

Time for Toure to buy himself some cake and find a nice spot on the sofa!


Via – The Sport Bible

Guardiola: Hart Can Go If He Wants

The Manchester City boss says his goalkeeper has not made a transfer request, but admits he would not stand in his way if he wanted to leave

Pep Guardiola says he will allow Joe Hart to leave Manchester City this summer if the goalkeeper asks for a move.

Hart has found himself on the sidelines so far this season, with Willy Caballero preferred in goal for the games against Sunderland and Steaua Bucharest.

Goal understands City will soon clinch the signing of Barcelona’s Claudio Bravo, and that Hart is keen to leave after a difficult start to life under the new manager.

And Guardiola says he would allow the England No.1 to go if he came and requested a transfer, although he did insist he will improve if he decides to stay.

“Yes of course,” he said at a press conference. “I want happiness for the players, I dont want them to stay here if they don’t want to stay.

“All the players here have a contract, if they decide they are going to stay they are going to stay. But they know the situation when I spoke with them. The situation, I spoke individually with them, so they know exactly what the situation is.

“I don’t know if the players are not happy here, or if they want to stay. They decide the future because they have the contract. If they want to stay, they will stay. We will fight together to achieve, if they want to leave because they prefer to play every game… but I’m not speaking about Joe, speaking about all the players at the club.

“There is no doubt about that.”

Guardiola spoke at length about the Hart situation, explaining why he has been left out of the opening games and how he can improve in the future, but in highlighting that he was brought to the Etihad Stadium to deploy his vaunted gameplan, it is yet another clear sign that the England No.1 just does not fit into his plans.

“I was clear with what I was looking for. I am here at Manchester City because they contacted me to play the way I like, the way I grew up from 13-14 years old, and I am here to try to convince the players.

“Up until the 31st of this month everything is open with the people who are coming and the people who are leaving.

“In September I will know exactly which people are going to live together, fight together, enjoy together, to discuss together all the situations that are going to happen during the season.

“Maybe Joe will stay here and be a player who will fight with the other goalkeepers to convince me to play [him]. It’s simple like that. He knows from the beginning what I feel and what is the situation.

“After that I know he may be staying, he may be leaving, the same case for other players. That’s what it is.
“Nothing has changed.”

Although Hart’s chances of winning his place back would appear especially slim if Bravo completes his move as expected, and the Guardiola has suggested he simply is not suitable, the Catalan admits it is possible that he can stay and improve, citing the example of Eric Abidal.

“I said to him in the first moment: If he stays, he’s going to improve,” he added.

“He’s going to understand what we want, what we want from our goalkeeper. I met a lot of players at the beginning who had their problems – I’m not talking about the goalkeepers – they had their problems at the beginning, but after one month, two months, six months, one year, they became one of the best players in that position. That can happen.

“But when Willy played those two games, right now, in that situation, [it is because] he is better. Today. But that doesn’t mean it [can’t change] in the future. They have to decide if they want to stay or if they want to leave. If he wants to stay here I want to help him, after every week I am going to decide.

“An example: I met Abidal, the left-back from Barcelona, and in the beginning, the way we played, he had a problem. And at the end, he became the best left central defender in Europe, in my opinion. Fast, intelligent, strong in the air, in the build-up he was a masterclass.

“But he took time, in the beginning he was not the best, as we demanded. We demand of a central defender and goalkeeper that they have to play. They don’t only have to defend. They have to defend, and they have to play. And the goalkeeper, the first thing they are looking for, is to be safe, to keep the ball. For me it’s the most important thing, but after, it’s to play with the ball, they have to help us to create a good build-up. That’s why I’m here.

“And in the future, of course [Hart] can do that, but now in this moment, because Willy was in the whole pre-season, he was two or three weeks more than Joe because he was on holidays after the European Cup, and because I saw so many things, in those games I decided to play with Willy, but it doesn’t mean that Willy is going to play all the season, it doesn’t mean that Joe isn’t going to play.

“That I explained to Joe in China. I try to be clear with my players. I know Joe’s quality, I have a lot of respect, it’s not an easy decision for me to say now you don’t play, and I’ll play Willy, but I was clear what I’m looking for, to help us. We are not an academy where you have time. Here we have time, but not a lot of time. We won 5-0 at Bucharest and everybody says you are very good, but before you never know what is going to happen. Now in the big teams you don’t give me time to create something, people don’t have patience in that level, people have results now, immediately.

Manchester City Sign Sane

The 20-year-old winger has joined the Citizens from Schalke on a five-year deal for an initial fee believed to be in the region of £37m, which could rise to £42m based on add-ons

Manchester City have completed the signing of Schalke winger Leroy Sane on a five-year deal.

Sane had been linked with a number of clubs throughout the summer but has opted to move to the Citizens, with the Premier League club parting with a reported £37 million to secure the signature of the 20-year-old.

It is also understood that the deal could eventually rise to £42m due to add-ons.

Sane, who came through the youth ranks at Schalke, scored 13 goals in 57 senior appearances for the club and was also named in the Germany squad for Euro 2016.

And the young attacker has now revealed that he cannot wait to begin work under Pep Guardiola as the new Premier League season draws near.

“I feel really good, I’m happy to be here and happy that it has all worked out. Now I can settle here in Manchester and play for City,” he said.

“One of the reasons I decided to join City was Pep Guardiola; he convinced me to come here and that I can continue to progress. I know I will learn a lot under him and now I can take the next step in my career.

“I followed Pep at Barcelona and at Bayern where he achieved a lot and worked really well with young players.

“I think he can make me a more complete player. I think I will need a bit of time to start with because it’s another league and there’s a different style of play but I think I can adapt very quickly.”

Sane becomes Guardiola’s fifth signing of the summer, following the acquisitions of Ilkay Gundogan, Nolito, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Aaron Mooy, and the Catalan coach has lavished praise on his latest recruit.

“He is a special talent, and an exciting player that I think our supporters will enjoy watching,” he added.

“He has great technical ability, is comfortable on the ball and there is much to admire about the way he plays football. He is fast, enjoys creating chances for others, works hard for the team and scores goals, too. He also has a very positive attitude and will fit in well with our squad.

“At 20, he is still developing as a player but he is already a member of the German national side and I think he will be a fantastic asset to our Club. We are very happy he decided to join us.”

Manuel Pellegrini To Chelsea: ‘Chilean On Blues Managerial Wishlist This Summer’

Outgoing Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is likely to be linked with the Chelsea post in the coming weeks as the Blues search for a long-term successor to José Mourinho.

The Portuguese was sacked in December after a disastrous Premier League title defence saw Chelsea languish closer to a relegation struggle than the title race. Guus Hiddink is currently interim manager but the Dutchman has expressed little desire to take the position beyond the end of the current campaign.

Pellegrini can boast the third best win ratio in the Premier League era – behind just Mourinho and former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson – and offers clubs a brand of off-field tranquillity of which Mourinho is often incapable.

The Express speculate the Blues are considering an intriguing swoop for one of football’s elder statesmen next summer if a move for first-choice target Antonio Conte, the Italy manager, fails to materialise. 63-year-old Pellegrini is thought to be reluctant to retire when he leaves the Etihad this season and may be inclined to rival his former employers for honours in England.

Conte is preparing to lead the Italian national side to the European Championship in France this summer with bookies placing them as sixth-favourites at this early stage.

Elsewhere, Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew has revealed he will try to tempt out-of-contract captain John Terry into signing at Selhurst Park.

The 35-year-old announced following the 5-1 victory against MK Dons in the FA Cup fourth round that Chelsea have notified him they will not offer him a new contract.

Speaking ahead of his side’s encounter with Bournemouth on Tuesday night, Pardew said he has failed to lure the former England skipper to join him on several occasions.

“He always sniggers at the suggestion. Of course I will ask one more time. I’m sure I’ll bump into him again and ask the question.”

Terry joined the Blues at the age of 14 and played 696 games for the club along the way to lifting four Premier League titles, five FA Cups and the Champions League with the Blues. He says he will look abroad for new employers, however, out of loyalty to Chelsea.

Van Gaal Welcomes Guardiola Arrival

The Manchester United boss is looking forward to renewing acquaintances with the Spaniard, who he worked with during his time in charge of Barcelona

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has welcomed Manchester City’s appointment of Pep Guardiola.

Van Gaal was Guardiola’s manager during their time together at Barcelona and made the former midfielder his captain at Camp Nou.

The Spaniard has since followed his old boss into management and enjoyed great success during his time in charge of both Barca and Bayern Munich.

His next challenge will see him replace Manuel Pellegrini at the Etihad Stadium next summer, where he will immediately become a rival of Van Gaal, though the Dutchman says he will be happy to see him.

He said: “He is my former captain so I am very pleased to see him. And I can speak Spanish so it is very convenient for me!”

Van Gaal was talking after United’s 3-0 win over Stoke City on Tuesday night, which came courtesy of goals from Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney.

‘De Bruyne Agreed Bayern Munich Move Before Manchester City Transfer’- Agent

The Belgian’s agent admits only the German champions’ refusal to meet Wolfsburg’s asking price stopped the midfielder from remaining in the Bundesliga

Kevin De Bruyne had agreed a deal to join Bayern Munich before ending up a Manchester City, according to the midfielder’s agent.

The Belgium international joined City at the end of August in a club-record move that cost upwards of £55 million, including add-ons.

But now De Bruyne’s representative, Patrick De Koster, reveals that the 24-year-old would have ended up at Pep Guardiola’s side if the German champions had paid the asking price.

“Kevin’s heart was beating for the Bundesliga, where he broke through at Bremen and became a star at Wolfsburg,” De Koster told Sport / Foot Magazine.

“I’m convinced he would have played for Bayern if they had been able to pay the asking price.

“We reached a personal agreement with Bayern after two meetings. The deal has collapsed on the asking price.

“I think that Bayern wanted to pay €50 million, but no more. In the end City won the race and Kevin is super happy with his move. He adapted fast on and off the pitch.”

“Kelechi Iheanacho Is More Than A Finisher” – Manchester City Coach Pellegrini

Manchester City and Nigerian youth prodigy,Kelechi Iheanacho scored one and gave two classic assist as city beat Crystal Palace 5-1.
The Nigerian youth prodigy has been receiving rave reviews from coach Pellegrini and city fans.

Manuel Pellegrini hailed new Blue hero Kelechi Iheanacho for his goalscoring full debut … but it was the two assists that really made the boss smile.

And the Engineer, usually reticent to lavish praise on individuals, especially young ones, said he had “no doubts” the Nigerian has a big future.

His performance evoked memories of Daniel Sturridge – and he has the same self-confident swagger,
on and off the field.

The 19-year-old grabbed the attention as the Blues cruised into the League Cup quarter-finals with a 5-1 thrashing of Crystal Palace to set up a home tie with Championship side Hull.

But for Pellegrini, the way he squared the ball for Kevin de Bruyne to score the second, and then expertly teed up Manu Garcia for his first City goal, meant much more.

“Kelechi for me is not just a finisher,” said Pellegrini. “He played very well. He must improve his control.

“But he always played with his head up so he made two important assists. He set up Kevin de Bruyne and after that, with more space, made a goal for Manu Garcia.
He can play behind the striker and arrive in the box to finish, as he did for his goal.

“It was very important for him to make a very good performance – he is a very good player.

Van Gaal Blasts Critics: I’m Sick Of Rooney Questions!

The Dutch coach is refusing to entertain any more questions about the Manchester United captain after his side fired blanks once again, this time in the Manchester derby

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal lashed out at critics for constantly discussing Wayne Rooney, saying he would not answer more questions about the striker because he is “sick of it”.

The Old Trafford side missed the opportunity to go top of the Premier League with a dull 0-0 draw against neighbours Manchester City, with an attack led by captain Rooney guilty of firing blanks.

However, his boss Van Gaal has had enough of the scrutiny being placed on the 30-year-old, and struck out at the England forward’s critics following the result.

“I have to talk every week about Rooney, why?” the Dutchman said to reporters.
“Write it down, it’s your opinion. I don’t give any more answers about Rooney because I’m sick of it.”

The striker has endured a underwhelming start to the season in front of goal, netting only twice in nine Premier League outings so far.

Official: Manchester City Sign Otamendi

Manchester City have confirmed the signing of centre-back Nicolas Otamendi from Valencia on a five-year deal.

The Argentina international, previously targeted by Manchester United, moves to the Etihad Stadium for a fee in the region of €45 million (£31.7m).

“I am here to give my best, to fight game by game and push City to the highest peaks for as long as possible, and I wish we will be able to win several cups and titles,” Otamendi told the club’s official website.

“That’s the most important. To be here inside a club that looks so wonderful from the outside is a dream.”

Manuel Pellegrini added: “Nicolas Otamendi was arguably the best defender in La Liga last season and so naturally I’m delighted to have added a player of his quality.


“He is an established international for one of the best nations in world football and I have no doubt that he has the right mentality to fit into a squad where he will find many familiar faces, including Eliaquim and Fernando who he played alongside in Portugal.

“As a footballer, Nicolas has all of the qualities to be a success in the Premier League – he’s strong, he’s excellent in the tackle and he’s very good technically.

“I am sure he will become another Argentine player our fans will enjoy watching.”

More to follow…

Pellegrini Hails ‘Unbelievable’ Aguero After Chelsea Display

The Argentina international had the chance to score a hat-trick against the defending champions before the half-time whistle, according to his Sky Blues boss

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini praised striker Sergio Aguero following his side’s 3-0 win overChelsea, claiming the Argentinian could have scored “three or four” in the first half.

Following repeated attempts to get past the impressive Asmir Begovic, the former Atletico Madrid forward finally opened his account after half and hour before Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho netted two late goals to add gloss to a convincing victory.

Pellegrini’s side have moved to the top of the Premier League table and five points clear of champions Chelsea with the win and the boss was delighted with his striker’s performance.

“The first 45 minutes from Aguero were unbelievable,” the 61-year-old coach said. “It was just the three important saves from Begovic didn’t allow him to score three or four goals.

“[The result] was very satisfying because it’s not easy to beat the champions. Chelsea are the best team. They won the title last season and I think that the first 45 minutes we played deserved at least three goals.

“We played really well without conceding any chances for Chelsea to score and we created at least four clear chances.

“It was just Begovic had a great performance and we couldn’t score more goals.

“Second half we had maybe some restrictions by the yellow cards, but in our worst moments Chelsea didn’t have chances and finally we scored the two other goals that we deserved in the first half.”

However, Pellegrini is reluctant to claim the result sends a warning signal to any other would-be champions and played down the importance of the early-season victory.

“We are not sending a message to anybody, we are just playing the way we always try to,” he added.

“We have only played two games this season, but in both games we scored three goals and I think we have more concentration in defending, so that’s why we also have clean sheets in the two games.

“[But] nothing is significant until the end of the season.”

Mourinho: I knew Chelsea Were In Trouble After 10 Seconds

The Blues boss pinpointed Sergio Aguero’s early one-on-one with Asmir Begovic as the moment that he began to fear for his side after their humbling at the Etihad Stadium.

Jose Mourinho insists he knew Chelsea were in trouble just 10 seconds into their 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Premier League title rivals Manchester City.

Goals from Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho saw off the Blues as Manuel Pellegrini’s men made a powerful early-season statement in their bid to claim a third league title in five years.

But Chelsea might have been dead and buried by half-time; Aguero missed several clear chances in the first 45 minutes including one in the opening moments when he raced onto a David Silva pass and fired a low shot against the shin of an onrushing Asmir Begovic.

Mourinho afterwards revealed this was the point at which he feared for his side and voiced his frustration at their uncharacteristically slack defending.

“When the game started and 10 seconds later you have Aguero behind the defensive line and facing Begovic, immediately you get the notion that the start wasn’t good,” the Chelsea boss told reporters. “After that he made two or three saves because of that fragility.

“I was the first one to be disappointed. All week you are speaking about movements, directions of the game, mechanisms, Aguero’s runs and Aguero’s positions, the wingers coming inside, and after 10 seconds Aguero is in the face of Begovic. We were defensively poor in the first half.”

Mourinho also elaborated on his surprising decision to substitute captain John Terry for tactical reasons at half-time as Chelsea pushed for an equaliser.

“The point was not to take John out it was to bring [Kurt] Zouma in – I wanted my fastest player on the pitch, not on the bench,’ he added. “It was clear for me that Zouma has to play. I had to bring one out and I brought out my captain. He was on the bench and still my captain because the armband is just the armband.

“I can tell you that he was not dancing in the dressing-room, and I can tell you also that he was not having a bad reaction. He did what everybody does. The manager says ‘this guy comes in and that guy goes out’, and they all do the same. They wait for the team to go out, they shower and change and go back to the bench.

“My decision was proven right because we controlled the depth of the game and the counter-attack totally. But John is a player with my entire confidence for sure. With me, he was never substituted but with other managers he was not even selected. He was not playing or people thought his career at Chelsea was over.

“I don’t know if you ask many questions to [Rafa] Benitez, [Andre] Villas-Boas, [Roberto] Di Matteo, the ones who never played him. I’m the one you shouldn’t ask because I’m the one who played him every game, made him captain and recovered him from a difficult situation with other managers.

“I’m the one who has the right to look at the game and to say I want Zouma on.”

Liverpool Signs James Milner From Man City

Liverpool have agreed a deal to sign England midfielder James Milner from Manchester City on a free transfer after he agreed to around £150,000 a week.

The 29-year-old will join The Reds when his contract at the Etihad expires on 1 July, subject to passing a medical.

Milner won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and the League Cup during his five years at City.

He has won 53 England caps and scored eight goals for City last season.

More to follow…

5 Things To Expect In The UEFA Champions League This Week By Ifreke Inyang

Arsenal might come close
When Arsenal hit top gear and find fluidity in their game, their football is right up there. Like last weekend, when they battered West Ham, even without trying. I expect them to carry on against Monaco on Tuesday night. But it is looking a little too late for the Gunners. And the Ligue 1 side are a tough nut defensively – they have conceded just four goals in their last 17 matches.
City heading out

Manuel Pellegrini’s men were lazy and limp at Burnley last weekend. It appeared the season is over in their minds and they can’t wait to be on some random beach this summer. Elsewhere in Spain, Barcelona prepared for the second leg of their tie, with a comfortable 2-0 away win against Eibar. The signs are not looking good for Manchester City really.
Messi magic

Barca would have had one leg in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, if Lionel Messi converted his last-minute penalty at the Etihad. But they still lead 2-1 on aggregate and you would expect the little Argentine, to make up for that blip with a sterling performance. Of course, there is also the little matter of surpassing Ronaldo in the scoring charts.
Dortmund to overturn it

Jurgen Klopp’s men almost got a decent result in Italy, but were defeated because of silly defensive errors. With the return leg to be played at Signal Iduna Park, I expect the Bundesliga side to turn it around and progress to the quarter-finals of the competition.
Final eight confirmed

On Wednesday night, the last eight teams standing in the Champions League will be confirmed. Put a gun to my head and I will go for Monaco, Barcelona, Dortmund and Atletico to join PSG, Bayern, Real Madrid and Porto.

‘Ifreke Inyang tweets via @Ifreke

I Wish Manchester City, Arsenal Do Better Than Us – Mourinho

Jose Mourinho launched a passionate defence of his Chelsea team on Friday, two days after elimination from the Champions League in acrimonious circumstances by Paris Saint-Germain.

The Premier League leaders, who are at home to Southampton on Sunday, were knocked out on away goals after extra time despite the fact that PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic had been sent off as early as the 31st minute.

Jose Mourinho

Ibrahimovic accused Chelsea players of behaving like “babies” by crowding around the referee once the Swede had fouled Brazilian play-maker Oscar. The inference was that they had tried to influence the official, a tactic captain John Terry insisted afterwards was perfectly legitimate and that had also been employed by the opposition.

Mourinho, who claimed after the reverse fixture with Southampton, a 1-1 draw on December 28 last year, that there was a conspiracy amongst domestic referees to punish his side unfairly, was adamant that Chelsea were no more guilty of that than any other Premier League club.

“If my players surround the referee, we are charged,” he said. “We have to pay a fine and if we do that, the players pay the fine. At this moment we have eight months of competition, we have been charged once and we paid for that. It’s as simple as that.

“Go to the Premier League and see how many teams are charged. The only thing I know is Chelsea were charged once. It is my responsibility to train the players and help them cope with the pressure.

“The people that were out of the Champions League on Wednesday are the same people that won the League Cup and the same people that are going to win the Premier League. It is the same people.”

Mourinho also rounded on television pundits Jamie Carragher and Graeme Souness after the ex-Liverpool players had been highly critical of Chelsea’s performance and behaviour.

“Maybe because of diet and maybe the quality of the products we are eating, memories are getting shorter,” said. “Because when Jamie Carragher and Graeme Souness speak about it, it’s because they are having a problem for sure.

“Just to close the chapter on the Champions League, the game finished and I was in the tunnel. One by one – not just the players but the coaches and everybody from PSG – I shook their hands. I told them they deserved it. I wished them good luck for the future.

“This was the way we behave after a defeat. This is the example my players get after a defeat. I went to my dressing room, I put everybody together – not just the players – and because I am normally very calm and deserve to go home and reflect and think and speak without any doubt or emotion, this is what we did.

Manchester City Know Barcelona’s Weaknesses, Says David Villa

David Villa believes Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has the knowledge to expose Barcelona‘s weaknesses in their Champions League round of 16 tie.

The Catalans proved to be too strong in the knockout stages of last year’s edition of the competition, but the former Barcelona attacker – who now plays for City’s MLS sister club New York City FC – is expecting a tight battle.

“I think it will be a very close tie,” Villa told the official City website.

“City and Barcelona are two of the best clubs in the world with great players so I’m sure it will be a very good tie to watch. 

“I’m sure that Manuel Pellegrini and all his staff know Barcelona very well. When you face this kind of teams you have to make sure that you make it difficult for them and try to take advantage of their weaknesses.

“Barca are in very good form. They win games, they have closed the gap with Real Madrid and they won against Atletico – a very difficult team to beat – in Copa del Rey so they are in a good moment.

“I think they were also playing well before but they didn’t get the results. You always have more confidence when you win games.”

The first leg is scheduled to take place in Manchester on February 24, with the return at Camp Nou on March 18.

5 things We Learnt From Manchester City vs Arsenal By Ifreke Inyang

Wenger finally delivers a master class
Today is the day most Arsenal fans have been waiting for. When the Frenchman will tactically set up his men against a big team, to grab a result. Last season, the Gunners left themselves exposed and were hammered 6-3. Today, Wenger opted to control City and their waves of attack, while hitting them on fast breaks. It worked a great treat.

No Yaya, no party
The statistics are damning. When the big Ivorian doesn’t play, City hardly win. Gooners may be forgiven for feeling a tingle, as they saw Aguero and Silva on City’s team sheet, but at the end of the day, they missed the power and drive of Yaya Toure. Pellegrini must be praying for Cote d’Ivoire to exit the Africa Cup of Nations quickly.

Cazorla, the two-footed magician
What a time to hit form for the little Spaniard. The former Malaga man has been sensational for Arsenal in the past few games and he was magnificent today again. He expertly tucked away the penalty after Vincent Kompany fouled Nacho Monreal and then provided a pin=point free-kick for Olivier Giroud to seal the points in the second half. All that, with a certain Mesut Ozil watching from the bench.

What did you mean to say, Pellegrini?
So first, Pellegrini claims it was not a penalty. Then he turns around and says Kompany shouldn’t have barged into Monreal the way he did. I really don’t understand what the Chilean was on about. Whatever the case, Mike Dean – who Arsenal fans have been moaning about all week – pointed the spot.

It’s all going down at the Bridge
City’s next Premier League clash? Away to Chelsea. What a tasty tie this will be! Arsenal’s victory means the Premier League champions are now five points behind the Blues. They need to get a result against Jose Mourinho or else the title race might well and truly be over.

‘Ifreke Inyang tweets via @Ifreke

Views expressed are solely that of the author and do not represent the views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

Man City Would Be The Last European Club I Play For – Kun Aguero

Sergio Aguero has pledged his commitment to Manchester City.

The striker continues to be linked with Real Madrid.

“I want to be here and stick to the new contract I signed a few months ago,” he told City’s site.

“I want to keep winning things with the club and I want to stay at this level, scoring goals and having individual success. But the most important thing is to win titles. Ideally we would win one title every year.

“I want to be at City until my contract ends and then my plans are to go back to Argentina in the long term future. I want to be at this level while I am here and I want City to be the last team I play for in Europe.”