Tag Archives: Man City

Paint the town blue: Amazing pictures as 100,000 turn out for City’s Premier League trophy parade

“I’m still in a bit of shock, we all are,” said James Milner

Blue moon rising: players and fans celebrate in style

Blue moon rising: players and fans celebrate in style

Ecstatic Manchester City players hailed their fans yesterday for turning out to celebrate – and for their backing throughout the season.

Around 100,000 lined the streets for the ­champions’ victory parade and City keeper Joe Hart said: “Sunday was an ­incredible day but the support we’ve seen here on the streets almost matches it. The fans are brilliant.

“I’m just going to enjoy today as much as I can and then we’ll begin again next season.

Gareth Barry added: “Days like these are why we came to City and it’s just fantastic. Our fans have always been amazing and they’re showing it here today. I’ve memories I’ll treasure for the rest of my career.”

Vincent Kompany lifts the trophy for the second time in two days

Vincent Kompany lifts the trophy for the second time in two days

James Milner was also overwhelmed – and yet to come to terms with being a title-winner.

“I’m still in a bit of shock, we all are,” he said.

“It’s still hard to believe we were 2-1 down going into injury time so it’s going to take a while to sink in.”

Boss Roberto Mancini had the final word: “I love our supporters – they’re incredible and that’s who we won it for.”

‘RIP Fergie’: Watch video of Carlos Tevez’s controversial banner held up during Manchester City bus parade

General view of Manchester City fans gathering in Albert Square before the parade

General view of Manchester City fans gathering in Albert Square before the parade

Manchester City fans wear shirts displaying the messages "Champions" and "Noisy Neighbour" as they look on in front of Manchester Town Hall

Manchester City fans wear shirts displaying the messages “Champions” and “Noisy Neighbour” as they look on in front of Manchester Town Hall

Fans gather as players and staff of Manchester City prepare to parade the English Premier League Trophy through the city centre from an open-top bus

Fans gather as players and staff of Manchester City prepare to parade the English Premier League Trophy through the city centre from an open-top bus

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[mirror.co.uk]


Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United: Blue Moon rises to the top of the table

Vincent Kompany’s header settles titanic derby to hand title advantage to Mancini’s men

Manchester City's Vincent Kompany scores & celebrates

Manchester City's Vincent Kompany scores & celebrates

The blue moon has risen. The new order is upon us.

And as the Achilles Heel that Sir Alex Ferguson has refused to acknowledge all season brought about United’s downfall and City’s triumph last night, there could be no Old Trafford complaints.

Fergie’s faith in David De Gea has been steadfast but when it mattered more than ever, the Spaniard capsized United’s title ship.

Deep into first half stoppage time as David Silva prepared to deliver a corner, De Gea was so obsessed with Carlos Tevez that, when Vincent Kompany lost marker Chris Smalling, the Spanish keeper was powerless to prevent the City skipper scoring the one goal that surpassed, in meaning, all six City claimed in October.

Driven on by the remarkable Yaya Toure, the side that was written off by most, including Roberto Mancini just a few weeks ago, are now just two games, 13 days, from ending the 34-year wait and being crowned the best in the country.

Of course, it is not done and dusted yet. Not by a long chalk.

Yet United did not have a shot worthy of the name. Only the most red-eyed of watchers could deny City deserved their victory, are rightly top of the pile, justifiably masters of their own destiny.

It was always likely to be nervous and twitchy but while Ferguson’s selection of Park Ji-Sung in a five-man midfield, with Rooney alone up front, might have ceded the advantage, City initially struggled to take it.

A dodgy punch by Joe Hart from Nani’s deflected cross inside 70 seconds only added to the palpable tension, City relieved that Michael Carrick’s drive thumped into Kompany.

Slowly, though, City were able to get Samir Nasri, Silva, Sergio Aguero and Tevez into the game, sniping runs that asked more serious questions of Rio Ferdinand and Co and Yaya Toure and Gareth Barry took more of a grip.

Not that either keeper was really tested in the opening spell, the highlights of which were a sliding Ferdinand clearance after Tevez briefly escaped down the right and Kompany’s soft booking for making contact with Rooney after the ball had gone.

City’s first shot took 25 minutes to come, Rooney’s attempted clearance ballooning high into the air with Joleon Lescott flicking back into the danger area but Aguero blazing high and wide of David De Gea’s goal.

Rooney was starting to get irritated as City, Nasri to the fore, threatened.

Aguero, twisting inside the box, could not find sufficient purchase on his shot after Nasri teased the ball in from the right before Pablo Zabaleta, who walked through Patrice Evra, swung a weak left foot as the ball was set to fall onto Aguero’s right.

Rooney retrieved Nani’s deep cross but there was nobody there to apply the finishing touch before Park smashed a clever short-corner move miles too high.

And then, in stoppage time, the red line was breached.

Nasri’s cross was turned behind. Silva swung in the corner, De Gea stayed on his line and with Chris Smalling caught under the ball, Kompany’s header ripped into the back of the net to send the Etihad into meltdown.

United, struggling all game down their left as Nasri and Zabaleta linked, needed to change things.

But while Hart fumbled a speculative Nani shot, City were more poised in possession, more potent in attack.

Nasri, fed by Barry, turned to shoot wide before Ferguson acted, though sending Danny Welbeck on for Park before the hour seemed an admission of a tactical and strategic error.

At least, for the first time, Rooney had company against Kompany yet United lacked any precision in their final ball and City remained in charge, De Gea kicking away Toure’s left-wing cross.

Mancini hooked Tevez, sending on Nigel De Jong to reinforce midfield, another bulwark against a late siege although Toure, a force of nature, was twice so close after trademark runs and 25-yarders that fizzed past the frame of the goal.

De Jong’s foul on Welbeck saw Fergie and Mancini going toe to toe, hammer and tongs, with fourth official Mike Jones intervening between the pair before each was dragged away.

City kept coming, De Gea foiling Gael Clichy, Nasri denied as he tried to walk the ball in.

Not even five minutes of “Fergie time” could alter this one. City are within touching distance of glory.

A Manchester City fan enjoys the pre match atmosphere with a Manchester United fan prior to the Barclays Premier League match

A Manchester City fan enjoys the pre match atmosphere with a Manchester United fan prior to the Barclays Premier League match

Vincent Kompany (C) scores the first goal for Manchester City

Vincent Kompany (C) scores the first goal for Manchester City

Man City's Vincent Kompany scores their first goal

Man City's Vincent Kompany scores their first goal

Diego Maradona watches the action during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United

Diego Maradona watches the action during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United

Wayne Rooney lies on the floor holding his ankle

Wayne Rooney lies on the floor holding his ankle

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[mirror.co.uk]


The Madchester derby! Watch the Top 20 moments from great City vs United clashes

From beautiful goals to horrific tackles, re-live the best moments from past Manchester derbies in our video special

20 amazing Manchester derby moments

20 amazing Manchester derby moments

All eyes will be on Old Trafford this weekend for the Manchester derby, with City looking to consolidate their position above cross-town rivals United at the top of the Premier League table.

The atmosphere will be electric, and the players usually deliver on the pitch, too. Here’s our rundown of the top 20 Manchester derby moments…

20) September 14 1985 was a bad day for the Blue half of Manchester. A suspiciously large number of United fans managed to grab tickets in the City end – you can see them being led to safety in this clip – and Billy McNeill’s newly-promoted side were hammered on the way back down.

19) The events of the final Maine Road meeting of the sides, on 9/11/2002, are commemorated in the splendid poem which begins: “Derby day, the scores were level. Then the Goat was fed by Neville”

18) Newly promoted to the Premier League officials list, George-out-of-George-And-Mildred lookalike Alan Wiley made a name for himself in a 1995 FA Cup derby when, with City deservedly leading 1-0 just before halftime, he turned the game with possibly the worst refereeing decision ever seen at Old Trafford. Which, to be fair, is saying something.

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[mirror.co.uk]


Last chance: Mancini warns Balotelli to shape up or ship out

City manager is under pressure from senior players and the club’s Abu Dhabi owners over the friction caused by the controversial Italian striker

Player power: Senior City stars have tired of Mario Balotelli's antics this season

Player power: Senior City stars have tired of Mario Balotelli's antics this season

Player power has prompted Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini to warn Mario Balotelli that he must mend his ways or face being booted out of the Etihad.

Balotelli is once again available for selection for tomorrow night’s make-or-break Manchester derby with United after serving a ­three-match ban for his red card in the defeat at Arsenal.

And Sunday Mirror Sport understands that Balotelli has been left in no doubt by both his teammates and his manager that this is his last chance to save his City career.

Several senior City players have told Mancini that the Italian’s ­behaviour is causing friction in the dressing room. They feel that the Blues’ boss has indulged ­Balotelli to the point where it is damaging both the player and the team.

Mancini is also coming under pressure from City’s Abu Dhabi owners to get the 21-year-old to clean up his act.

He has now given Balotelli an ultimatum – and so far it seems to be working. Mancini said: “Maybe I am the only man in football who trusts Mario. But in this game I think, yes, you can trust him.

“Mario as usual is training well.

“In one game he can score two or three goals – this is the manager’s problem. Mario has apologised to me for the red card at Arsenal, yes. He has been training well.”

Mancini’s belief that the young Italian has learned some vital ­lessons is confirmed by another City insider who said: “There has been a noticeable change in ­Balotelli since his sending off at Arsenal.

“He has settled right down and seems to be focused on his job, which hasn’t always been the case since he came to the club.

“A number of players have made their feelings clear to both Balotelli and Roberto Mancini that they felt one player was being given too much freedom.

“It was beginning to cause ­problems in the dressing room and was also damaging Mancini ­because to some extent he has staked his reputation on Balotelli.” The striker began his penance by issuing an apology for his second red card of the season.

During his ban, he has watched Carlos Tevez strike up a devastating partnership with Sergio Aguero.

Balotelli has scored 17 goals this season, but some team-mates felt he wasn’t doing enough on the pitch to justify the special treatment being ­lavished on him.

The insider added: “All top players are given some ­concessions. That doesn’t cause any problems as long as they are delivering on the pitch. The feeling was that Balotelli was not doing enough to be considered a special case.”

Controversy has followed the former Inter Milan forward throughout his career. But the negative headlines have gone into overdrive since ­Mancini persuaded City to pay £24million 18 months ago for a player described as ­‘unmanageable’ by Jose Mourinho.

That has not gone down well in image-conscious Abu Dhabi. And some of City’s fans are beginning to give up on a maverick who is something of a cult hero because of his ability to go from the sublime to the ridiculous on and off the pitch.

Mancini will once again trust in the Tevez-Aguero axis for tomorrow night’s crunch derby. But Balotelli terrorised United in City’s 6-1 win at Old Trafford in October, scoring twice and will be ready to emerge from the substitutes’ bench if he is needed to make an impact.

[mirror.co.uk]


Squeaky bum time: Lose to City and blow the title, warns Fergie

United boss admits arch-rivals will probably go on to win the Premier League title if they beat his side at the Etihad Stadium on Monday

Red faced: Manchester United let a two goal lead against Everton slip to allow City back in the title race

Red faced: Manchester United let a two goal lead against Everton slip to allow City back in the title race

Sir Alex Ferguson has warned his players: “Lose to City and you have blown the title.”

The Manchester United boss has left his men in no doubt about the dire ­consequences that defeat in tomorrow night’s epic derby at the Etihad Stadium.

United lead City by three points, but Roberto Mancini’s men will go back to the summit courtesy of their superior goal difference if they win the 163rd meeting of the teams.

City have a tough run-in – with a trip to Champions League-chasing Newcastle followed by the visit of relegation-threatened QPR – while United entertain Swansea before finishing the campaign at Sunderland.

But Ferguson warned: “If City win they would probably go on to win it from there.

“Even though they’ve got to go to Newcastle I think they would have a great chance.

“If we won we’d be strong favourites. Even with a draw we’d be favourites. No doubt about that.

“Two games to go, one at home and one away, we’d have to be happy with that.

“One thing, though, we won’t be going to City just looking to make sure we don’t lose.”

United squandered the chance to maintain their five-point lead at the top last week when Everton fought back from 4-2 down to force a draw with two goals in the closing minutes.

Ferguson has shouldered his share of the blame in allowing City to blow the title race wide open by winning at Wolves.

UEFA president Michel Platini is planning to jet into Manchester to watch a game that has captured the imagination of the world.

Ferguson said: “Given the chances we created against Everton and the quality of our performance, we should have won comfortably.

“Maybe I should have brought on a couple of defenders just to see it off.

“I mean, there was only seven minutes to go and we were winning 4-2. Bloody hell, there you go.”

He added: “I always thought City would be our big challengers this year, particularly after the early-season programme they had.

“I mean, they didn’t really play anyone at the start of the season, and they got off to a flyer because of it.

“We had Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham in the first four or five games. We had a really tough start and because City had some good results that projected them forward.

“I always expected them to be there at the end after that.”

United came from 2-0 down to beat City in the Community Shield.

But the champions were humbled 6-1 at Old Trafford in October – equalling the biggest-ever scoreline in a Manchester derby.

Ferguson exacted some revenge by knocking the Blues out of the FA Cup, winning 3-2 at the Etihad in January, but only after the home side had come back from three goals down after having skipper Vincent Kompany sent off.

Ferguson said: “It doesn’t matter what has happened for the rest of the season.

“They’re undefeated at home and we have the best away record. It doesn’t matter. This is a one-off fame.

“The City crowd will be up for it. We expect them to be. But that’s not unusual for us.

“We’ve been to Anfield, the Emirates, places like that. The atmosphere will be just the same.

“I have to trust my players. We have enough experience, enough pace and enough good footballers with determination.

“We’ll be all right in that respect. A game of this nature can be decided by anything – and you only hope it isn’t decided by a bad decision.”

He added: “There is a focus on this game so it’s important that it is good. We’re representing the city all over the world.

“There’s 203 countries going to watch it. Even Michel Platini is coming to watch.

“That creates a certain occasion and we want to represent ourselves in the right way.

“It’s difficult to know how City will approach it.

“My feeling is that he will be cautious. It doesn’t matter, all I know is that we want to do well.”

[mirror.co.uk]


Man City WON’T sell Balotelli, insists agent ©

By MirrorFootball

Mario Balotelli has settled his differences with Roberto Mancini and could stay at Manchester City for another two years, according to his agent.

The controversial striker has been a distraction at the club ever since he arrived from Inter Milan in 2010 and Mancini appeared to finally lose his patience on Sunday when Balotelli was sent off in a 1-0 defeat at Arsenal.

The City boss said after the game he would “probably” sell the 21-year-old, and former club Inter, plus rival side AC Milan were linked with the player.

Exclusive: AC Milan and Inter set for £20m battle to take troubled Balotelli back to Italy

But today his agent Mino Raiola insisted the striker had patched things up with Mancini and would not be going anywhere – though he admits it did look bad at one point.

“I am in Manchester but not for any transfer business. I have talked with Mario and Mancini, there was a moment of tension but now the situation is calmer,” Raiola told Sky Italia TV.

“Mario has understood his errors, he is special in every way, sometimes he makes mistakes without meaning to. There is enormous pressure from the fans on Mario but Manchester City do not intend to sell him.

“He must grow here then in one or two years, we’ll see.

“He must stay here, it is not true he is unhappy. When he leaves England he will do it as a winner.”

Balotelli is under contract with City until June, 2015.

The Madness of Mario: Top 10 bonkers Balotelli moments

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