Media Watch

Media Watch: Gloves are on for Kyle!

Only one place to start this morning's round up and that is with the man of the moment, Kyle Walker.

There is also build-up to Sunday's clash with Liverpool which has also shifted up several gears - as expected - but we'll begin with, as Pep described him, "the squad's new keeper".


Daily Mail: He's a keeper!

Max Winters writes: “Ederson played the entire first half of the group game but didn't re-emerge from the dressing room at the interval. Bravo came on in his place but conceded just minutes later thanks to Mario Pasalic's powerful header.

“Things went from bad to worse for the Chilean though as he was controversially sent off 10 minutes from time for bringing down Ilicic.

READ: City DNA: When a TV celebrity sat on the first team bench

“Referee Aleksei Kulbakov had no hesitation in showing the red card although Bravo took an age to leave the field as VAR reviewed the incident.

“There was then another long delay before City were able to send on England defender Walker as a replacement goalkeeper, with Riyad Mahrez being sacrificed.

“He was immediately called into action too, grabbing hold of Ruslan Malinovskiy's powerful free kick at the second time of asking. The England defender also showed composure to catch a lofted cross before crashing down to the turf to waste time.

“Walker's antics ensured he made more saves than Ederson and Bravo combined in Wednesday night's match and he became the first Englishman to play in goal in the Champions League since Ben Hamer for Leicester in 2016.

“After the game, which finished 1-1, Walker admitted it was a mutual decision for the England international to don the gloves after Bravo's dismissal.

“He said: 'It was a bit of both. I try sometimes to wind up the goalkeepers in training by telling them to catch it and stuff but as I found out tonight, sometimes you need two touches.’

KYLE WALKER : Great week for the England star
KYLE WALKER : Great week for the England star

Forza Italia: Atalanta tactics made it hard says De Bruyne

Conor Clancy writes: “Atalanta’s man-to-man approach in the second half of their Champions League draw with Manchester City on Wednesday evening made life difficult for the English side.

“But City’s Kevin De Bruyne believes that the Premier League champions should have done more in the first half to kill the game off.

‘We had chances in the first half and if it got to two or three-nil then the game is over,” he told journalists in the mixed zone afterwards.

‘But we gave them the opportunity to come back. The second half was a little bit more difficult because they played man to man, so it’s difficult to create a lot.’


Independent: Who has the best midfield?

Mark Critchley writes: “Guardiola’s ‘number eights’ are given an entirely different brief. While Wijnaldum played around nine successful passes in the final third for every 90 minutes he played last year, Silva played 29. Henderson, Wijnaldum and Milner set up seven league goals combined, while De Bruyne already has nine assists to his name this season. Injury permitting, he will expect to surpass Thierry Henry’s Premier League record of 20 set during the 2002-03 campaign. He and Silva are far from City’s only sources of inspiration - assists are shared around in a fluid system, with the likes of Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero - but their priority is to create openings and craft opportunities for their team-mates.

“This is partly because of the advanced positions they occupy. De Bruyne and Silva are not traditional central midfielders but more like two No 10s who sit just outside the penalty area when City are in possession and occupy the half-spaces. These are the inside-left and inside-right channels, vertical lanes running the full length of the pitch parallel to the edge of the six-yard box and penalty area, where De Bruyne and Silva often find space and time to pick their way through an opposition defence.

De Bruyne has proved particularly deadly from these areas this year. Six of his nine assists have come from the inside-right channel, so too have the vast majority of his touches. He is capable of stepping back from a well-set defence and crossing for team-mates inside the penalty area - as for City’s first goal in the 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur in August - or he can drive in behind a defence and cut back from the by-line - as he did for their second. “He sees things others cannot see on the pitch, or even off the pitch,” Guardiola said of the Belgian recently. ‘He’s a special player.’

MIDFIELD GEMS : De Bruyne and Silva
MIDFIELD GEMS : De Bruyne and Silva Forget El Clasico

Joel Rabinowitz writes: “Sunday's clash between Liverpool and Manchester City is rightly being billed as a seismic event in the evolution of this season's Premier League title race, between two sides who have raised the bar beyond anything English football has seen before.

“In terms of traditional rivalries between historic institutions, Liverpool and Manchester United remains the most intense in the Premier League, while on a global scale Barcelona vs Real Madrid is of a similar calibre in its symbolic significance.

“But the dramatic demise of United since Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement and the relative lulls both the Spanish giants find themselves in – especially compared to the greatest sides of years gone by – means that these rivalries are founded more on tradition than they are on actual sporting quality of the very highest level right now.

“That may change again in the future, of course, but since the start of last season at least, Jürgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola's sides have been playing the best football on the planet. Here's why it's the biggest game in football today.”

That’s all for today – more weekend build-up tomorrow…

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