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ESPN: City hopes in the balance

Sunday’s draw with Arsenal and the implications it may have in this final week of the season dominate today’s City-related news and views.

That our hopes of qualifying for the Champions League are out of our hands now is a recurring theme, but there’s also a snippet of transfer news and success for a promising youngster out on loan.

The 2-2 with the Gunners was not how Manuel Pellegrini wanted to sign off at Etihad Stadium, something Richard Jolly picks up on for ESPN.

“Pellegrini's last game at the Etihad Stadium ended with boos at the final whistle. Manchester City were dissatisfied. They may be displaced from the Champions League. A 2-2 draw with Arsenal saw them lose control of their destiny.

“They require either West Ham or Bournemouth to take points off Manchester United. Otherwise, a side who had faced Real Madrid at the Bernabeu four days earlier will not compete with the European elite next season.”

Goal.com reflect on the situation that means that even a win at Swansea next Sunday may not be good enough when it comes to finishing in the top four. 

“The City fans had turned up at the Etihad Stadium hoping for one last show of defiance from the players, and the chance to celebrate the Pellegrini era, but left disappointed.

“The desire to see the City players simply give a good account of themselves quickly faded when the seriousness of the situation dawned: the chance of a top-four finish is now in Manchester United's hands.”

It was an entertaining match, but as the Daily Mail’s Ian Ladyman points out, one that left both sides with so much still unresolved.

“On a day when the hangovers were no doubt still pounding in Leicester, this was an afternoon for these two teams to consider the embarrassment of reduced circumstances.

“An exciting game this may have been – there were three very good goals – it was nevertheless one to illustrate the enduring flaws of Manchester City and Arsenal. Neither deserved to lose, neither were good enough or reliable enough to win. It sums up their seasons, their recent pasts.

“A draw was no good for either team. The beneficiaries were Manchester United who suddenly and unexpectedly find Champions League qualification in their own hands.”

One club definitely in the Champions League next season is Celtic, who wrapped up the Scottish Premiership thanks to two goals from on-loan City winger Patrick Roberts. The 19-year-old is keen to play in Europe’s elite competition one way or another, and speaking to the Evening Times, who describe him as "superb" since his arrival on loan in January, he says: 

“It’s a big ambition of mine and Celtic haven’t been there for the last couple of years. To get back there would be great for the club and unbelievable for me.

“To perform well in that as well as the league and the cups is what I want from a good season."

And there’s even a bit of transfer gossip, with the Mail re-visiting City’s alleged interest in “wonderkid” Reece Oxford of West Ham.

“West Ham have offered wonderkid Reece Oxford a new deal to fend off Manchester City.

“Sportsmail revealed City's interest in the teenager last week and Hammers boss Slaven Bilic is desperate to the keep hold of the 17-year-old.

”England's elite sides will all be keen if Oxford is available, City, Arsenal and Manchester United among them.”

You can expect plenty more of that kind of thing as the season winds down, and we’ll bring it you right here. See you on Tuesday!

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City’s hopes of UEFA Champions League qualification are out of their hands following a 2-2 draw with Arsenal.

In what was Manuel Pellegrini’s final game in charge at the Etihad Stadium, his side were unfortunate not to claim all three points following a much-improved performance against the Gunners.