City are through to the Capital One Cup quarter finals after beating Newcastle 2-0 tonight at St James’ Park. It wasn’t a vintage performance by a City team featuring many fringe players and some who have had fitness problems. Both Jovetić and Micah, who have been plagued by injuries, were substituted off with new problems, though neither looked in major discomfort.
City could have been 2-0 down at half-time, but improved in the second half and after the match ended 0-0, took control in extra time. Dzeko had been sulky and anonymous in regular time, but came to life when he set up Negredo for the opener, then finished off a great move involving Silva (who made a big difference after coming on) and Milner to wrap it up.
Newcastle: Krul, Debuchy, Haidara (Dummett 45, Ben Arfa 81), Anita, Williamson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Sissoko, Tioté, Cissé, Shola Ameobi (Cabaye 67), Gouffran
Subs not used: Remy, Elliot, Obertan, Sammy Ameobi
Manchester City: Pantilimon, Richards (Zabaleta 83), Kolarov, Rodwell (Silva 64), Boyata, Lescott, Navas, García, Dzeko, Jovetić (Negredo 10), Milner
Subs not used: Hart, Nasri, Fernandinho, Demichelis
Goals: Negredo 99, Dzeko 105
City have the easiest quarter final draw on paper after drawing the only team outside of the Premier League, Leicester City. This could be tricky, though, as Leicester will be at home and could be in “cup final” mode like so many underdogs are against City. They are 2nd in the Championship and sent Fulham packing from the Capital One Cup yesterday, so Pellegrini will have to be careful not to underestimate them with his team selection.
It will also be a big day for Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel who will face the club whose academy gave him his start in football. Kasper made 10 first team appearances for City in all competitions before leaving for Notts County in 2009.
UEFA’s disciplinary body today dished out their punishment to CSKA Moscow after racist taunts from their fans were aimed at Yaya Toure. CSKA will have to played their next Champions League home game against Bayern with one section of the stadium closed.
CSKA rarely sell out the Arena Khimki and even against City there were thousands of empty seats, which begs the question: how exactly are CSKA being punished?
If they’re charged with racism a second time they will face a fine and a full stadium closure for one game. Only if it happens a third time may the punishment really start to hurt, with a points deduction or exclusion from European competitions then considered.
City worked hard to get CSKA punished for the obscene monkey chants aimed at Yaya, but received very little help from people in Russia…
City are keeping tabs on Galatasaray and Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera (27) according to Turkish-Football.com with the player admitting his childhood dream was to play in the Premier League. Galatasaray president Ünal Aysal admitted that they could accept a high offer for a goalkeeper who has kept 32 clean sheets in 80 appearances for the Turkish giants.
Muslera is an impressive goalkeeper and his club value him in the region of £20million so he wouldn’t come cheap if City decided to raid the club now coached by Roberto Mancini. Expect him to be one of many keepers linked with City, though, if Joe Hart’s form doesn’t improve.
City have welcomed Swedish twins Jacob & Marcus Ejerblad, both 14, to Manchester for a trial. The teens from Sunnersta AIF will train with the U15s and could turn out against Newcastle this weekend. Jacob, a central defender, and Marcus, a midfielder, told the Swedish press that they are excited to have such an opportunity.
It wasn’t so long ago that City had twins from nearby Norway, Tom and Kim Skogsrud. Those two didn’t make the grade at City and moved to Rangers in Scotland before heading home to Norwegian second division side Sandefjord Fotball.
City are again on the back pages tomorrow, but Joe Hart has mercifully been given the day off. And rare as it may be, the Daily Star are spot on.
If you missed it earlier, we posted an exclusive teaser of City’s financial report that is due before the end of the year. Ferran Soriano and Tom Glick are doing an outstanding job on the financial side and expect City to break into the world’s top five money-making clubs soon.
Those “sugar daddy” jibes will soon become obsolete with City on course to become a self-sustaining juggernaut in the coming years.