The Champions League group stage draw proved the big news of the day, as Pep Guardiola’s men were pitted against Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb and Atalanta in Group C.
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Thursday also marked the launch of our special 125 Anniversary Collection, as well as international call-ups, and England Women were in action against Tessa Wullaert’s Belgium.
Plus, there’s also build-up to Saturday’s Premier League clash against Brighton and Hove Albion…
Champions League reaction
Sam Wallace: “Manchester City and Shakhtar Donetsk meet for the third year in a row in the group stages.
“Last season it was 9-0 to City over the two games. It feels like this could be Pep Guardiola’s year - if the big decisions go his way.
“Atalanta finished third last season ahead of both AC Milan and Inter and will play their home games at the Milan clubs’ San Siro. Zagreb came through three rounds of qualifying and are unbeaten in 11 games this season.”
Lawrence Ostlere: “Manchester City secured a near-perfect Champions League draw with their most difficult challenge likely not to be opponents Atalanta, Dinamo Zagreb or even the tricky Shakhtar Donestk but the lengthy travel that comes with their soft Group C line-up.
“Journeys to Italy, Croatia and particularly Ukraine might push Pep Guardiola to rotate his side as he juggles European ambition with another Premier League title defence, but even then City should progress, comfortably so.”
Jeorge Bird: “It would be a major surprise if City don't finish top of their group.
“Given the quality of Guardiola's squad and their favourable draw, City should safely make it through to the knockout stages.
“The travel factor will be a cause for concern, but City should still be able to prevail.”
Sky Sports: Goater: Pep will focus on defence in CL
Shaun Goater: “City will go about their business in the right way. When you see City play against other teams and get a few goals, they don’t ease off – they keep going.
“More importantly, I think they’ll want to come out of the group stage having been able to concede very little. Last season in the group stages, City conceded six goals.
“We know they’re going to score goals but can they come out and concede less?”
The Manchester Evening News: Michael Owen makes Man City Champions League prediction
Michael Owen (via BT Sport): "I think City, I think it's their time. They've been building towards it for a long, long time and it's certainly their priority.
"Of course, the Premier League and the Champions League are everybody's priority but City now are desperate for that. Liverpool are desperate for the Premier League, I think City are desperate for the Champions League.
"I just think that when you watch them now, they are a team that you struggle to see getting built. They've got experience with their manager, they've got more and more of it with their team. I just think it's their season.
"I think City are improving in that way. I think they can keep clean sheets and the ease in which they score goals is just devastating."
View from the opposition
Júnior Moraes (Shakhtar Donetsk striker): "I'm a little upset about Manchester City. Now it's three years in a row [we have been drawn against them].
“We have a balanced group and good chances to qualify from it. City, of course, are a cut above the rest of the teams.”
Arijan Ademi (GNK Dinamo Zagreb captain): "Manchester City are a team from another world but we can play against Shakhtar and Atalanta and look for some victories.
“I think we have fair chance against these two teams and I strongly believe that Dinamo can advance from the group stage."
Brighton and Hove Albion: Potter praises 'game-changing' Guardiola
Graham Potter: "He’s [Pep Guardiola] somebody who’s had a massive influence on the game and everybody looks at him.
“I can’t think of any manager who’s had as much of an impact on the sport wherever he’s gone – you only have to look at his work with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and now Manchester City.
“Before he came to the Premier League it was a division where people said ‘anybody can beat anybody’ – he’s changed that over the last few years, nearly 200 points or so later, it’s not quite the same and that’s his influence without a doubt.
“I have huge respect for what they’ve done, I have of course come up against them last year with Swansea City but it’s a different team and environment in a different competition – we have a new challenge now.
“Their resilience is often overlooked because of the success they have, but it isn’t always about attractive football.
“They fight for everything in every game and every action, that’s a huge credit to them as a group.
“They’re leading the way in terms of how everyone should be, they’re the best in the country and every aspect of everything they do is at such a high level – it will be a really great test for us and it’s one we have to relish.”
125 Anniversary Collection
Owen Fulda: “Manchester City fans are thrilled with the special shirt released by the club to celebrate their 125th anniversary.
“The sky blue shirt forms part of an larger limited edition collection of Man City garments and accessories.
“Puma have gone to town with their collaborative efforts, including a pair of trainers, a cap, scarf and a football in the collection.
“The garments were released last night on the official website of the Premier League champions and some sizes are already sold out.
“Fans have taken to social media to praise the sleek design and the decision to pay tribute to the club's history.”
Stuart Hodge: “Celtic are looking to pip Manchester City to the signing of highly-rated Birmingham City youngster Mitchell Roberts.
“The 18-year-old has impressed for the Blues' under-18 and under-23 sides and models his game on England international John Stones.
“The teenager is contracted at St Andrews for the rest of the season and the club is expected to cash in on him before his deal expires, with the Hoops lining up a bid according to the Scottish Sun.”