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What the Media Says

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City's crucial weekend

TITLE FIGHT: Manuel Pellegrini at Arsenal

TITLE FIGHT: Manuel Pellegrini at Arsenal

City face a tough battle for an automatic Champions League berth.

Much depends on the results of United and West Ham who meet next week – if either or both drop points in their remaining games, City should claim fourth at least, though that would mean having a qualifying game to make the group stages..

The Daily Mail assess the situation: “Leicester, as champions, are already guaranteed their spot among the top seeds in next season's Champions League, while Tottenham are guaranteed at least fourth place.

“Arsenal, currently third, face fourth placed Manchester City this weekend, after Manuel Pellegrini's side saw their Champions League hopes ended by Real Madrid on Wednesday.

“Defeat for City could see them caught by either Manchester United or West Ham in the race for fourth, while a win would see them move ahead of Arsenal into third on goal difference. 

“If Liverpool do win the Europa League final, they will join the teams that finish in the top three of the Premier League - who all qualify automatically - and possibly the team who finish fourth, who will have to play a qualification tie to be sure of their place, in the group stage.”

Meanwhile, the fallout from Wednesday’s Champions League exit continues with Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale saying he expected City to throw the kitchen sink at his team in the latter stages of the game.

The Independent report: “But despite having over seventy minutes to score a crucial away goal in the Bernabeu, City failed to register a single shot on target, forcing manager Manuel Pellegrini to defend his team’s cautious approach to the game.

“With City playing in their first Champions League semi-final, however, Bale claims that their lack of experience on the big stage contributed to their inability to test Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas

‘At 1-0, City always had a chance,’ Bale said. ‘If they had thrown everything at us and we had gone down the other end and then nicked another goal, then it’s game set and match
‘I guess you could say they could have thrown a little bit more at us, but they didn’t.’”

Finally, ahead of the Gunners’ visit, both teams will be without their key centre-half with, as expected, Vincent Kompany’s campaign ended in the Bernabeu.

The Independent write: “Vincent Kompany will miss Manchester City’s final two Premier League games after being told he faces up to a month on the sidelines with the groin injury sustained in the Champions League defeat against Real Madrid.

“The City captain, who lasted just six minutes of the 1-0 semi-final second-leg loss in the Spanish capital, is expected to be fit to lead Belgium in Euro 2016, however.”

The IB Times add: “Arsenal have been handed a fresh injury blow ahead of their final two games of the season after Per Mertesacker picked up a hamstring injury during the Gunners' 1-0 win over Norwich City last Saturday. 

“The German defender's summer vacation will start earlier than expected after Arsene Wenger ruled him out for the rest of the season.

‘From the squad that played against Norwich last Saturday, we have lost Per Mertesacker. Per is out for the remaining two matches with a hamstring injury. Everyone else from last week's squad is fit and available for selection,’ Wenger said, as quoted by Arsenal's official site.”

That’s all for this Friday’s round-up…




What the Media Says

Telegraph: City will rue Madrid display

Match Report

City's Champions League dream ends

City’s Champions League dream is over.

The Blues went down to a first-half own goal from Fernando but rarely threatened to find the precious away goal that sees Real Madrid triumph 1-0 on aggregate.