There is no getting away from the fact that Manchester City dropped the baton last night by drawing with Sunderland. The players let the pressure get to them and, as the manager admitted, the hangover from the result against Liverpool was weighing on their minds.
Manchester City have got to be clear favourites for the Premier League title now, having overcome the potential hazard of a trip to Old Trafford. United were left dazed and confused by a dazzling display by City, which was sparked by an early goal by in form striker Edin Dzeko.
As great as it is to see Manchester City with a powerful team fighting to become Premier League champions and also doing well in the Champions League, the fact that our neighbours Man United have slumped since David Moyes took over from Ol’ Red Nose and are in danger of missing out on Europe altogether makes it so much sweeter.
For the first time in the Premier League era, Manchester City head to Old Trafford as strong favourites to turn over fierce local rivals United. But David Moyes and his players will be boosted by their win at West Ham and City cannot afford to let them get another morale boosting result.
Manchester City have been handed a double injury boost ahead of this weekend’s Capital One Cup final against Sunderland. Both the talismanic striker Sergio Aguero and centre back Matija Nastasic have a good chance of being available for the trip to Wembley, as reported by Sky Sports, but Manuel Pellegrini has a big decision to make about whether to play them.
After a stirring performance but a bad result against Barcelona left Manchester City teetering on the brink of a Champions League exit, Stoke City will be hoping to take advantage of any tiredness or mental hangover. But former City boss Mark Hughes has warned his players to expect nothing of the sort.
It was gutting to see things go wrong for Manchester City last night, especially the late Barcelona goal scored by Dani Alves that makes a turnaround at the Nou Camp so much more difficult. But what was just as painful, for me, was to see Manuel Pellegrini blame it all on the Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson.
First of all, I hope and assume that Manchester City will take zero notice of the latest pearl of wisdom to come from Jose Mourinho, suggesting that the current Barcelona team are the worst they have had in years. They may have had a little dip in form in the last few months, but Messi was struggling with injury and they are now back and firing on all cylinders.
This is the big one for Manchester City. Tomorrow evening will see Manuel Pellegrini’s impressive City side face possibly the biggest challenge yet for a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. It is certainly the tie of the round, with Barcelona having staked a claim in thew last decade to being the best football team ever.
Jose Mourinho seems to be obsessed with Manchester City at the minute. You would think he had enough to do with the running of his own club Chelsea, but it seems like he is spending a lot of time on City’s affairs, because every time he talks to the media he has something to say about Manchester City.