Nicolas Otamendi

WATCH: Man City scores five times in first 18 minutes

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What a start. Emphasize it, bold it, underline it.

Manchester City scored five goals in the first 18 minutes of play on Saturday at the Etihad Stadium, relegating Watford to also-ran status before the match was a quarter finished.

[ STREAM: Man City v. Watford ]

It took 54 seconds for De Bruyne to assist David Silva with an outstanding opener, but Gerard Deulofeu nearly answered when he danced around Nicolas Otamendi to force a conceded corner out of Ederson.

Silva, marked for Inter Miami in a mid-week report, was the finisher for the 55th time in his Premier League career and 72nd for his club.

Ben Foster then gave away a useless penalty when he slapped a through ball out of bounds before felling Riyad Mahrez for an easy penalty. Aguero stepped to the spot calm as you like and dispatched the No. 2 to the scoreboard.

That was hardly the end to Watford’s woes, as Mahrez dazzled with a dribble through the heart of the field to earn a free kick atop the 18. There was only one destination, given the series of events. 3-0.

Bernardo Silva then got in on the act, when Otamendi nodded a De Bruyne corner to the back post for a prone finish and 4-0.

Not to be outdone, Otamendi was back post for a finish of his own, giving City its fifth goal off an Aguero assist.

Man City midfield controls Shakhtar in Ukraine

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Manchester City got its UEFA Champions League run off to a convincing start, easing some nerves from the weekend with a 3-0 defeat of Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan set each other up for goals, Gabriel Jesus also scored, and Fernandinho partnered with Nicolas Otamendi at center back to earn the clean sheet.


Three things we learned

1. Midfield runs the match: Center backs aren’t all that vital if the ball never gets to them, and Ilkay Gundogan and Rodri were exceptional (even with the latter taking an early yellow card). Rodri completed every single one of his 82 passes in helping City control the park, departing with less than a quarter-hour to play. Pep Guardiola had a lot of love for Gundogan’s day.

2. De Bruyne dangerous on an off day: Kevin De Bruyne just couldn’t find that final ball, constantly in dangerous areas but unable to execute that moment. Credited with three key passes including th, his shooting was the glaring difference between 3-0 and 5-0.

3. Shakhtar shows creative flair: Taison and Marlos both showed a knack for taking on defenders, each credited with four dribbles on the day. It was Shakhtar’s best chance to break down a disciplined City, and the closest the hosts came to succeeding on the day.

Man of the Match: Rodri


A Kevin De Bruyne free kick provided an early threat, but Rodri’s header was a bit off and unable to open the scoring in Ukraine.

Shakhtar then had a nice spell of possession, but City was up to the task. Rodri led a chance in the other direction and sent a ball back De Bruyne for a header, which was wide like the first.

Mahrez put City ahead on a rebound after Ilkay Gundogan took a Gabriel Jesus feed and pushed the ball off the post.

The Algerian didn’t need a post to return the favor, sending a delightful pass into the path of Gundogan for a smooth finish an 2-0.

De Bruyne finally got his assist when he took care of a bounding ball to Jesus for a chop into the goal.

Guardiola: Man City must ‘learn’ and ‘carry on’ after loss to Norwich

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It’s what everyone least expected: Norwich City walking out victors in their match against defending champions Manchester City at Carrow Road on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays | Three things we learned]

But it happened, and even Pep Guardiola, who has very little experience of floundering against underdogs, had to come to terms with the hard reality that his team was outplayed in their 3-2 loss to a recently-promoted side in what could well be the upset of the year. From the BBC:

“Congrats to Norwich. The first goal was from a set-piece and the second on the counter so credit to them. It is what it is. We have to learn from this and carry on.

“Our passing was not bad. We created chances but we could not score them today. They are a really good team with good players with quality, we saw that in the Championship last year, they were clinical today.”

Perhaps a bigger pill to swallow for the two-time Premier League winning manager is the fact that his side are five points behind league-leaders Liverpool, who comfortably ahead of the pack, show no signs of wear and tear. Ultimately, it’s losses like Saturday night’s that will have Guardiola and Co. on the outside looking in for the majority of the long season ahead.
There is enough blame to go around at Man City. In the 50th minute, Nicolas Otamendi coughed up the ball inside the box for an easy, game-winning goal for the Canaries. Guardiola’s side also struggled to create clear-cut chances in the attacking third, despite dominating the stats sheet. Overall, it was an underwhelming night from a side that lives and breathes success under the 48-year-old.

“We did not have urgency in the final third that we normally have,” Guardiola added. “In football you can’t always avoid mistakes. I don’t know how many shots we had or how many they had, but football is about goals and about what you do in the boxes.”

It’s only September – there is plenty of time for Man City and Guardiola to figure things out, obviously.

Insane finish sees Man City win League Cup in penalties

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  • Man City wins sixth League Cup
  • Chelsea fails to put shot on target
  • Kepa refuses to sub off before PKs

After 120 minutes of scoreless play, the League Cup Final between Chelsea and Manchester City went down to penalty kicks.

A series of penalties with chaos embedded in them due to a bust-up between Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri and goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga after the latter refused to sub out of the match in extra time.

Raheem Sterling‘s penalty ultimately clinched Manchester City’s sixth League Cup.

[ MORE: Lineups, play-by-play, box score ]

The start was tame, save a Sergio Aguero shot that was stopped by Kepa Arrizabalaga but headed wide of the goal.

The play lived in Chelsea’s end, but the Blues dealt well with the danger en route to a pair of late free kicks. Nicolas Otamendi nearly turned one inside his own goal, and a corner on the last breath of the half was blocked by Oleksandr Zinchenko.

[ MORE: Man Utd-Liverpool recap | 3 Things from OT ]

Eden Hazard earned a breakaway early in the second half only to be caught and tackled by Otamendi.

Aguero had the ball in the goal but was offside in the 56th.

Hazard blazed down the left wing again in the 66th minute, meeting a Willian and long ball and cooking Vincent Kompany before cutting back for N'Golo Kante. The Frenchman flew his chance over the goal.

Chelsea kept coming. Willian set up Ross Barkley for a curling effort with a bit too much loft to threaten Ederson.

Antonio Rudiger was fortunate to see yellow after a pair of fouls helped Man City to a 73rd minute free kick, the latter a scissoring tackle of the ball.

Hazard cued up Pedro for a prime 76th minute chance, but the Spaniard chose to pass rather than shoot and Zinchenko cut it out.

Ederson stopped a whipped Willian free kick in stoppage time, and Chelsea had a corner kick to avoid extra time. City handled it well enough.

Extra time was tame into the second frame, when Sterling danced down the end line and Chelsea defended desperately to force just a corner kick.

A sloppy sequence in the 117th minute allowed Aguero a shot from 20 yard that Arrizabalaga dove to control.

Then, with penalty kicks looming and Arrizabalaga twice down injured, Maurizio Sarri went apopletic when the keeper refused to come off for Wily Caballero. The sub board was up, but Arrizabalaga wouldn’t leave!

To kicks.

Jorginho‘s tame first effort was saved by Ederson. The next shots were goals.

Arrizabalaga then guessed correctly on Sergio Aguero, but the Argentine’s shot went through his gloves. After Emerson finished for Chelsea, Arrizabalaga saved Leroy Sane’s hit.

Then David Luiz hammered the goal post.

Man City marvelous in 10-man comeback win (video)

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  • Bentaleb converts two PKs with VAR help
  • Otamendi sent off for second yellow
  • Sane unleashes late free kick equalizer
  • Sterling finds winner five minutes later.

Two goals in the five minutes gave 10-man Manchester City a memorable 3-2 win atSchalke on Wednesday in the first leg of the two sides’ UEFA Champions League Round of 16 encounter.

Leroy Sane’s vicious 85th minute free kick and Raheem Sterling‘s 90th minute finish helped offset Nicolas Otamendi’s 68th minute sending off at Veltins-Arena.

Sergio Aguero scored early for Man City, but Nabil Bentaleb converted a pair of penalty kicks to give Schalke a lead which would last for nearly 40 minutes.

The second leg is March 12 at the Etihad Stadium.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Man City was in the ascendancy from the start, but Schalke basically handed the visitors their opening goal.

Salif Sane was sleepy in his readiness for a goalkeeper pass, and David Silva made the steal. The Spaniard squared for an Aguero tap-in that was defended slightly better by VAR but stood for 1-0.

Another giveaway provided City with a break, but Raheem Sterling couldn’t manage a shot when played into the left of the box.

City attempted eight shots by the half-hour mark.

Daniel Caligiuri’s left-footed shot from outside the 18 took a turn off Nicolas Otamendi’s arm as the City defender bid to get his arm closer to his body, and VAR awarded a penalty in the 36th minute after a significant wait.

Bentaleb got Ederson going the wrong way for 1-1.

Fernandinho conceded another penalty in the 44th, but would it stand? This one, too, went the route of VAR, but the cameras did nothing. Bentaleb converted for 2-1.

And City went down a man in the 68th minute when Otamendi collected his second yellow card, this time for a foul when Guido Burgstaller cut past him.

American midfielder Weston McKennie was subbed into the match in the 78th minute after a busy night in the midfield.

That’s when City struck. First, Sane hit an impeccable hammer of a free kick home in the 85th minute before Sterling slotted into the far post on the edge of stoppage time.