Media Watch

Media Watch: Neville dissects title race

Media Watch: Neville dissects title race
Manchester City closed the gap on Liverpool at the top of the table to four points with a 3-0 win at Huddersfield on Sunday.

The game saw us score our 100th goal of the season after just 35 matches – and the press have been dissecting our performance, as well as the title race more generally. 

The Guardian’s Daniel Taylor says City were deserved winners at the John Smiths Stadium, despite a performance that fell well below our usual standards.

“For a team with Manchester City’s ambitions, Huddersfield were obliging opponents,” he writes. “Pep Guardiola’s men duly took advantage of a side whose toes seem tagged for the relegation morgue and, in the process, renewed their threat in a title race that still offers them all sorts of possibilities. The gap at the top of the table is back to four points and the message for Liverpool is loud and clear: it is going to be a heck of a job to shake off the current champions.

“Not that this was the most devastating performance to be seen from City this season. Indeed, they may reflect that on a better day it would have been a prime opportunity to add even more sheen to their outstanding goal difference in the top division. Yet it was difficult to be too critical when City were still capable of winning with something to spare despite a performance, by their standards, that seldom encroached above six out of 10.”

READ: Pep on half-time team talk

READ: Prolific City leave PSG, Barca and bayern in their wake

READ: Huddersfield 0-3 City | Match Report 

ESPN’s City correspondent, Jonathan Smith, singled out Danilo for praise, giving the Brazilian 8/10 in his player ratings.

Smith believes he is emerging as City’s first-choice left-back.

“Danilo, 8 -- The Brazilian loves to cut inside and shoot, and he provided the crucial breakthrough. He is starting to make the left-back spot his own.”

Gary Neville has discussed the race for the Premier League and says City need to get to the business end of the season level with Liverpool in order to really test their title credentials.

Speaking on the Gary Neville Podcast, the Sky Sports pundit said: "City will want to play on their experience and composure and it does count, but you've got to be in there, neck and neck, and City will want to make sure going into April and May, the last six or seven games, Liverpool are under the maximum pressure, which means level or just in front.

"Then Liverpool will have a lot of questions to answer."

The BBC’s Matt Bullin put together a stats analysis from the weekend – and much of his focus was on City reaching a century of goals for the season across all competitions.

“Danilo's deflected strike also meant Guardiola's side became the first side in the top five European leagues to reach a century of goals this term,” writes Bullin.

“To put that into context; their nearest rivals are Paris St-Germain with 90 goals, Barcelona have scored 78, while Premier League leaders Liverpool have netted a relatively meagre 65.”

And, finally, Tyrone Marshall, writing in the Manchester Evening News, believes Leroy Sane can go on to become a Premier League great. 

“Sane is well on his way to being one of the Premier League's great wingers and perhaps one of world football's best,” he writes. “In an era when the natural winger is a dying breed, often cutting in and linking play in different ways, the German is a throwback. A left-footer on the left whose starting position usually means he has chalk, or whatever they use to paint the lines these days, on his boots.

“It's remarkable to think that the summer and the start of the season bought a few questions over Sane. His exclusion from the Germany squad in the World Cup was a surprise and he was sent a message by Guardiola when he was left out of the City squad against Newcastle early in the campaign.

“He's responded in some style and on current form he's a winger with the world at his feet. It's now eight goals and nine assists in 15 Premier League starts this season and Sane is increasingly becoming one of City's most dangerous weapons.”

That’s all for this morning’s Media Watch – but stay with us throughout the day as we continue to bring you reaction to the win at Huddersfield and reaching 100 goals.