In the end there was to be no denying Manchester City, no excruciating stress to endure as Brighton & Hove Albion repelled the barrage whipped up by the visitors on the south coast and no nail-biting finale as City strained for a winner while news filtered through of Liverpool’s ascendancy on distant Merseyside. What tension that existed here had been lanced after a little over an hour. Everything thereafter was a celebration of the champions’ excellence. City know they have been challenged this year, stretched wonderfully by Liverpool’s startling progress. The mind-boggling tally of points collected by Jürgen Klopp’s side would have been enough to claim the championship in all but three of the previous 119 campaigns based on three points for a win and yet it was still not enough to overhaul Pep Guardiola’s team. They have won 198 points across two seasons, a staggering haul. Their 95th top-flight goal of the campaign, a free-kick whipped … [Read more...] about Manchester City pip Liverpool to title with crushing win at Brighton
Premier league title race
It is a measure of Manchester City’s divine attacking rhythm of the last few months that a goalless draw away from home against Crystal Palace will be hailed as a minor triumph for the Premier League title race, such as it is. Above all, this was a fine afternoon for Palace and for Roy Hodgson, whose team produced a performance of real energy and ambition, more than playing their part in a thrilling afternoon. Palace even managed to miss a penalty, Ederson saving Luka Milivojevic’s poor kick with two minutes left. Victory would perhaps have been an injustice given the ease with which Wilfried Zaha tumbled like broken reed under Raheem Sterling’s gentle challenge. More concerning for City fans was the sight of Kevin De Bruyne being carried off towards the end in real pain having been scythed down by a horrible challenge from Jason Puncheon, although he was said to be up and walking after the game. Earlier Gabriel Jesus had also limped off in obvious distress having … [Read more...] about Jesus and De Bruyne injured as Manchester City’s winning run ends at Palace
On 22 February 2014, I published a post on my blog. I titled it “Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race”. It read: “I’m no longer engaging with white people on the topic of race. Not all white people, just the vast majority who refuse to accept the existence of structural racism and its symptoms. I can no longer engage with the gulf of an emotional disconnect that white people display when a person of colour articulates their experience. You can see their eyes shut down and harden. It’s like treacle is poured into their ears, blocking up their ear canals. It’s like they can no longer hear us. “This emotional disconnect is the conclusion of living a life oblivious to the fact that their skin colour is the norm and all others deviate from it. “At best, white people have been taught not to mention that people of colour are “different” in case it offends us. They truly believe that the experiences of their life … [Read more...] about Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race
When the Premier League resumes at the weekend all eyes will be on Old Trafford to see whether Manchester United can become the first team to take points off Liverpool. On the face of it such an outcome seems unlikely, even if derbies often have a life of their own. United have been terrible in the last few weeks, leading to fevered speculation over Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s future and the wisdom of appointing him in the first place, while Liverpool have sailed on so serenely that Jürgen Klopp’s team building and tactics are now attracting more attention than Pep Guardiola’s at Manchester City. As a long-established football cliché would have it City are looking for a favour from United on Sunday, in which case they might be looking in entirely the wrong place. United are struggling to do themselves any favours at the moment, and after City’s second defeat of the season arrived at the hands of Wolves the defending champions have yet to prove they are … [Read more...] about Liverpool stride out of City’s shadow but can they win from the front?
The Carrow Road crowd will cherish this memory for years to come. Echoes of ’93 and all that bounded across the stadium as Norwich City – newly promoted, short of money and with eight first-team players out injured - took on, outplayed and beat the celebrated champions of England. The Canaries might just have put a cat among the pigeons in the title race. Manchester City are now five points behind Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table and given the tightest margin by which the title was decided last year – 11.7mm of ball by one account – that is not a meaningless total. On the other hand it is still September and there are many games to go but, beyond the points, Pep Guardiola will have seen enough in this match to worry him. City were not at their attacking best but their defending left a lot more to be desired. Norwich led from the 19th minute when Kenny McLean exploited a City weakness, getting across to the near post to score with a header from a … [Read more...] about Teemu Pukki strikes again to seal Norwich’s shock win over Man City