A double dose of ‘Battle of the Blues’ this weekend…

City clinched three points in Round One, courtesy of Gabriel Jesus’ late hit against Leicester… Now, who will emerge victorious in the Clash of the Heavyweights, as City host Chelsea in a potential FA Women’s Super League title decider…?

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Reaction: Leicester 0-1 City

Manchester Evening News: Man City sharpen for Real Madrid

Stuart Brennan: “Gabriel Jesus proved to be Manchester City’s away-day hero yet again as the Blues took a big step towards securing runners-up spot in the Premier League.

“Victory at the King Power Stadium - rarely a happy hunting ground for Pep Guardiola‘s Blues - gave them a seven-point gap to the Foxes.

“The City team looked like a full dress rehearsal for Wednesday’s trip to the Bernabeu, even though, in football terms, you can’t get two more different teams than Leicester and Real Madrid.

“The first half was all about City dominance of the ball, and Leicester’s ever-present ability to spring in behind the Blues.

“Jesus stepped up to win the game, but Mahrez gets most of the credit. He drove forward from his own half, scattering defenders before him and then timing his pass to perfection.

“Jesus thrashed his shot expertly past Schmeichel, and then had the obligatory wait while VAR checked for offside.”


Squawka: Mahrez puts in masterclass: Full player ratings as Man City tighten grip on second with Leicester win

Muhammad Butt: “An absolute masterclass from Mahrez on his old stomping ground.

“A joint team-high three shots, three tackles, and a massive (game-high) five chances created including the delightful game-winning assist for Gabriel Jesus.

Mahrez has low-key been one of Man City’s finest players this season and was unquestionably wearing that crown at the King Power.”

ESPN: Man City use Leicester as a tune-up for now all-important Champions League

Nick Miller: “This seemed like an ideal performance under the circumstances.

“They beat a theoretical rival by an ostensibly narrow margin but in reality with some comfort, while playing within themselves, and at the same time giving Aguero and Laporte some rest ahead of midweek.”

Previews: City v Chelsea Women

Man City Square: City v Chelsea – The Decider

David Crook: “The WSL sits on a knife edge with Manchester City Women leading Chelsea by a single point, although Chelsea have a game in hand.

“This is the most exciting WSL campaign for a number of years and Manchester City Women have a chance tomorrow to ensure the title is theirs to lose.

“Chelsea come to the CFA knowing a win will give them the edge and a chance to ease in front at the top of the League. Whichever side secures the win will have both the momentum and the points on the table.

“City have done well to get into this position in recent weeks thanks to some solid displays, but do they have enough to better what is considered by many, to be the best Women’s team in England?

“Against Arsenal, just a few weeks ago, City showed their title ambitions, with a battling performance. A repeat of that controlled and measured game play would go a long way to beating Chelsea.

“City will need to be at their best in this game to succeed. Much will come down to individual performances and how Alan Mahon sets up his City Women side.

“A win will also mean Steph Houghton becomes the first player in the WSL to reach 100 wins, although it is the points which will be the real prize.”

READ: Walsh | Let’s make a real statement

WATCH: FA Women’s Cup | City 10-0 Ipswich

TICKETS: City v Chelsea Women | Sun 23 Feb


Chelsea: Cuthbert – The Blues are ready for city battle

Erin Cuthbert: “In these games it is the small margins. When we beat Man City earlier in the season it was by one goal. We beat Arsenal more comfortably but before that we beat them by just one goal as well so it is small margins.

“We are looking for that every week - we do the analysis and we change our game slightly in terms of how we can hurt them. We know they are a good team but we’ve changed ourselves slightly, as we do every week.

“It’s business as usual. We prepare the same for Liverpool last week as we do for City this week.”


Manchester Evening News: The player Man City will rely on to help them succeed in the Champions League after Leicester City performance

Tyrone Marshall: ”Now City have Aymeric Laporte back in action and the defence has a resilience and robustness to it that has been lacking too often this season.

“City have kept five clean sheets in the seven games he’s started this season. That stat doesn’t tell the whole story of course, given he came off early here and in the win over Brighton when he suffered his knee injury, but he gives an indication that this side are just more comfortable with his presence at the back.

“So when City travel to Madrid for Wednesday night’s last-16 Champions League first leg Guardiola will be desperate to have Laporte in the side and despite coming off early against the Foxes he was confident he’d be ready to play a full 90 minutes.

“This is a tie that might be decided by fine margins, given Real hold a mightily impressive defensive record this season. With Laporte at the back City will be confident they can hold out themselves.”