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Media Watch

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ESPN: Could City sneak second?

With City games coming as thick and fast as Kevin De Bruyne assists and Sergio Aguero goals, there is plenty to peruse in the latest press write-ups.

The scribes are keen to put their finger on exactly what is going so right for Manuel Pellegrini's men at the moment, with the Champions League win over PSG followed up with the brilliant win at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge.

Journalist Rob Pollard believes a certain French centre-back is playing his part.

"It’s perhaps Eliaquim Mangala who best embodies City’s recent improvement most acutely," he reckons in his Bleacher Report column. "Mangala has emerged as a star after another season of inconsistency.

"Over the two Champions League quarter-final legs played against Paris Saint-Germain, he was one of the stars, using all of his considerable physical assets to contain Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani and Angel Di Maria, a frightening forward line on paper.

"Against Chelsea, he was superb. Not only was he quick, strong and athletic—all the things we know he can be—he was assured and measured, comfortable in possession and he expertly anticipated danger. It was another superb display, and there’s been a clear improvement since he got back into the side in mid-March.

Another player who you could file under 'unsung hero' is Brazilian midfielder Fernando, but midfield partner and compatriot Fernandinho knows his value.

MEN Sport's City report Stuart Brennan reflects: "After taming Paris St Germain and starring in City's wins over Bournemouth and West Brom, Fernando was handed a well-earned rest at Stamford Bridge.

"But his upturn in form has been a key feature for the Blues, and Fernandinho is delighted for his countryman and close pal.

"'I'm not just saying it because he is my friend, but I feel he has been City's most important player in the last few weeks,' said Fernandinho.

"'His performance has improved a lot. Sometimes when you don't score goals, or create chances for other players, no-one recognises the job you do.

"'But Fernando does a dark job. He does the work in the shadow that balances defence and attack, and we are now seeing the real Fernando – we are all excited about that.'"

Over to ESPN and Simon Curtis' take on City's situation, who believes Manuel Pellegrini's men could yet make life uncomfortable for Spurs in second place.

In both their recent title winning seasons of 2011-12 and 2013-14, City rounded off their league campaigns with six straight wins. The sumptuous dismantling of Chelsea on their own pitch last Saturday suggests Manuel Pellegrini's men are warming up to do the same again this year.

The 3-0 win was a third consecutive league victory, added to the draw and win against Paris St-Germain in the Champions League quarterfinals. All of this has come since the threadbare Manchester derby defeat, where the season looked to be coming to a premature and distressing end.

Five more wins in the remaining fixtures in the league would have City ending with eight consecutive victories. There is of course one rather significant difference -- it's too late. The surge comes so late this time around that they cannot realistically catch Leicester at the top. What they surely can do, however, is make it very uncomfortable for Tottenham and Arsenal, the two clubs challenging for second place.

To the transfer rumour mill, and there is more talk of City's interest in Juventus striker Alvaro Morata.

This one might take some unpicking though, as the Daily Star's Paul Hetherington explains: "But it’s a complicated deal as Real Madrid – City’s opponents in the semi-final of the Champions League – have a £20m buy-back agreement this summer.

"Madrid are keen to see him back at the Bernabeu as they view Morata’s true valuation as £30m.

"However, this creates a horse-trading situation, as both City and Real want Juve’s France midfielder, Paul Pogba, also 23.

"City might just be prepared to back off and avoid a bidding war with Real if the Madrid giants compromise on a fee with them for Spain striker Morata – an option if Morata returns to Real."

Let's finish the media round-up with a glance at Spanish sports paper Marca, who have a picture of City's star striker Sergio on top of their Real Madrid section under the headline 'Sir Aguero'.

The report reads: "Agüero is on a roll and the fans of Manchester City knows. When this happens, that in recent seasons has been at peak times for his constant injury problems, the team's results are always positive."

Let's hope we keep rolling!

First Team News

Aguero's magnificent seven

As Sergio Aguero struck home his seventh hat-trick for City in the 3-0 victory at Stamford Bridge, he edged closer still to a number of Club records.

A closer look at Sergio Aguero's scoring feats for City...

First Team News

Chelsea v City: Talking Points

There were plenty of talking points from Saturday's 3-0 win over Chelsea - we look at five of them in detail

Sergio Aguero, Samir Nasri and Kevin De Bruyne all impressed at Stamford Bridge.

First Team News

Pellegrini hails 'complete' City performance

Manager Manuel Pellegrini praised City’s ‘complete’ performance after Sergio Aguero’s stunning hat-trick sunk Chelsea.

The Argentine’s 97th, 98th and 99th City goals lit up a superb display from Pellegrini’s side, whose unbeaten run stretched to five games.