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Media Watch

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How VAR could have made City’s start perfect

VAR, Leroy Sane, Phil Foden and Sutton United make up an eclectic media round-up this morning.

Let’s start with Sky Sport’s interesting feature on VAR and the 10 decisions that could have given the Premier League table an even more impressive look for City’s point of view.

The Blues top the table with 32 points from 36, but Sky believe had VAR been in play this season instead of next, that points tally could have been 36 and a 100% start to the campaign.

The Blues feature twice in borderline decisions that former referee Dermot Gallagher believes should have gone the champions’ way.

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They write: “Liverpool 0-0 Man City - Lovren gets away with Aguero challenge

“It was a goalless draw earlier this season when the Premier League's leading two teams met at Anfield - but it could have been different if VAR was in use. Early in the game, Sergio Aguero fell to the floor in the Liverpool penalty area under a challenge from Dejan Lovren - but no penalty was awarded.

‘I thought it was a penalty,’ Gallagher told Sky Sports News. ‘It's split a lot of people. But I don't think Lovren gets the ball.’

Sky also believe the draw with Wolves might have ended differently with VAR:

“Wolves 1-1 Man City - Boly's helping hand



“Newly-promoted Wolves picked up a surprising and hard-fought point against defending Premier League champions Manchester City in August - but there was a stroke of good fortune for their goal.

“Willy Boly turned the ball into the City net with his hand at the back post, while Wolves' Ruben Neves was also lucky not to give away a penalty for a clumsy challenge on David Silva. City boss Pep Guardiola will have felt hard done by.”

Ah, well - swings and roundabouts as they say and hopefully the Blues will shade a decision or two as the season evens out.

Moving on and Leroy Sane’s second goal of the international break wasn’t enough to prevent UEFA Nations League relegation for Germany.

Four Four Two report: “An upbeat Leroy Sane insists Germany are on the path to improvement despite their late collapse in the deflating 2-2 home draw with Netherlands.

“Joachim Low's side threw away a two-goal lead in the final five minutes to end their inaugural Nations League campaign without a victory..


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“Already relegated from League A, Germany's concession of two cheap goals spoiled Thomas Muller's 100th international appearance and was a cruel end to a match they had controlled for 85 minutes.

“Manchester City star Sane struck his second international goal shortly after Timo Werner's eighth-minute opener, but the hosts were left with a five-match competitive winless streak dating back to their forgettable World Cup.

READ: Sane's stunning start in stats

‘Of course, we all wanted to win the game. We were 2-0 up. It's a little bit disappointing," Sane said.

‘But everyone could see how we've improved and that we're looking to keep taking steps forward. The fans can see we have a plan and that we're capable of playing really good football.

‘Obviously we now need to keep going for the 90 minutes, to play strong and good football. Then everyone will see that we'll come back strong.

‘At the end it's annoying to have played a really good game and to draw.’


FOCUSED: David Silva



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Elsewhere, Sutton United will be City’s FA Youth Cup opponents in December.

It’s a tie both clubs will look forward to with the chances to meet competitively only possible in cup draws.

Sutton’s official website report: “Sutton’s Under 18s qualified for the third round of the FA Youth Cup, and the chance to host Manchester City, with a 2-1 win at Clevedon after extra time.

"U’s led at half time only for their hosts to equalise around the hour mark, but a goal eight minutes from the end of extra time was enough to book the plum third round tie, which is scheduled to be played in the week ending 15 December. Further details to follow when known.”

We’ll round off with a couple of snippets on two promising City youngsters.

First up, the Lancashire Evening Post report on Lukas Nmecha’s productive cameo for England Under-20s as they write: “Preston North End striker Lukas Nmecha made an immediate impact after coming off the bench for England’s Under 20s on Monday night.

"The Manchester City loanee set up the first goal for the Three Lions youngsters before scoring the second himself in the 2-0 win over Germany in Colchester. Nmecha entered the field in the 63rd minute before feeding Joe Willock for the first of the night three minutes later.

"The PNE man then got on score-sheet himself on in the 69th minute, converting Eddie Nketiah’s cross from close range for his first of the season.”

Finally, the Premier League’s official site carry a focus on City’s Phil Foden and how the youngster could slot nicely into the Blues’ starting XI when needed.

It reads: “Earlier this season Pep Guardiola described Foden as ‘already a great, great football player’. It is hard to disagree.

“The gifted 18-year-old attacking midfielder has long been earmarked as an exceptional talent and he looks at home whenever Manchester City's manager unleashes him in the first team.


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“Foden has been used sparingly in the Premier League so far in 2018/19.  He has come off the bench in six matches, with a 21-minute stint against Huddersfield Town his longest spell.

“Coming on late in matches when City are leading against tiring opponents, at moments when the game is stretched, has been a smart way to blood a player of Foden's type.

“He is skilful, mobile and imaginative, and so has been able to get on to the ball in great areas, when City have been in almost total control.

“This in part explains why his number of passes, at 68, exceeds the total minutes (65) he has played this term.”

We’ll be back tomorrow with more opinion, gossip and rumours.

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