Silva eyeing up silverware

Midfielder Bernardo Silva is eager to win more silverware in the future, having signed a contract extension with Manchester City which runs until the summer of 2025.

The 24-year-old Portugal international joined the Citizens in the summer of 2017 and has since scored 18 goals in 93 appearances in all competitions, helping City to win the Premier League title last season.

He has also enjoyed success in the League Cup both this season and last and is determined to add to his medal tally in the coming campaigns.

He told his club's official website: "It's an honour to extend my deal with Manchester City. This club offers everything a player needs to fulfil their ambitions and there's nowhere else I want to be.

"As soon as I heard City wanted me to stay longer, my mind was made up. I love the club, the manager, the players and the fans.

"The style of football we play here excites me and I am determined to win more trophies. City gives me the best chance of doing that."

City are back in action at teatime on Saturday when they head to South Wales to take on Swansea City in an FA Cup quarter-final tie.

The men from Manchester are unbeaten in their last 13 meetings with the Swans and have won the last five matches between the two sides.

The Citizens can be backed at 1/7 to win the game in 90 minutes and are 11/2 to secure a 2-0 victory in normal time, with Pep Guardiola's side 4/5 to go all the way and lift the FA Cup this season.

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Silva makes City quadruple claim

Bernardo Silva firmly believes that Manchester City can target the quadruple this season with key players returning from injury.

The 24-year-old Portugal international moved to the Etihad Stadium from Monaco in summer 2017 and made 53 appearances in all competitions last term as City won the Premier League and Carabao Cup.

Silva is on course to match that number of outings this term as Pep Guardiola's men look to defend last season's titles and add the FA Cup and Champions League to them.

Guardiola claimed it was "impossible" for his side to win the quadruple earlier in the week, but Silva insists that City can target success on four fronts as the squad is now almost at full strength.

David Silva, Fernandinho, Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan are back in action after spells out, while longer term injury victim Kevin De Bruyne is also now back in the fold.

Left-back Benjamin Mendy is expected to return from knee surgery in the near future, along with goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, with Vincent Kompany potentially ready to make his comeback against Huddersfield this weekend.

City sit four points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool in the table, have booked their place in next month's Carabao Cup final after their 9-0 semi-final first leg win against Burton Albion.

They will face Burnley on home soil in round four of the FA Cup later this month and have a two-legged Champions League last-16 tie against German Bundesliga side Schalke from mid-February.

Looking ahead, Silva said: "It feels like we have all the squad, which is important because we need all of them.

"It is good finally to be back together.

"Of course until this moment of the season we have had so many injured players, we never played with the whole squad. To have almost the whole squad available is fantastic for us and it is very good to try and go for all the competitions."

City are 50/1 to win the Premier League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Champions League this season, while they are available at 2/1 to emulate last season's league and League Cup double.

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Silva demands good reaction

Bernardo Silva is desperate for Manchester City to return to winning ways when they play Southampton at St Mary's on Sunday.

City have suffered back-to-back defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester City this week and also lost at Chelsea earlier this month.

Pep Guardiola's team are third heading into this weekend's fixtures and are 7/4 to win the title this season while Liverpool can be backed at 8/11.

Liverpool, who have seven more points than Manchester City at the halfway point of the campaign, visit the Etihad on Thursday.

Midfielder Silva said: "The last days were not good for us, to lose two games in a row. Especially in this important part of the season, it is never good.

"Now (we have) to check what we have been doing wrong, try to improve those areas and start winning games as fast as possible.

"Seven points starts to be a lot and we have to admit we are not in a good moment and try to come back. We need a good reaction from all the lads, that is what we will try to do at Southampton."

Fernandinho may once again miss out because of a thigh problem while Fabian Delph is suspended after being sent off on Boxing Day at Leicester.

Hasenhuttl expects City response

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl expects his side to have to put in a 'perfect performance' to get anything from their meeting with Manchester City.

The Citizens have dropped seven points off the Premier League title pace following defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester City in their last two games, while the Saints picked up back-to-back wins over Arsenal and Huddersfield Town before losing out 2-1 to West Ham on Thursday evening.

However, Hasenhuttl is not expecting anything to come easy against the reigning champions of England when the two sides meet at St Mary's on Sunday afternoon.

The Austrian told reporters: "It's not normal for Manchester City to lose two times in a row. They also have a few injury problems, but there is so much quality in this squad.

"Maybe they lost a bit of self-confidence after being in the lead and losing two times, but we expect the most difficult challenge that is possible.

"If we want anything out of the game, then we need the perfect performance."

Saints can be backed at 9/2 to gain a draw against City, who are 1/3 to win the game and 1/1 to keep a clean sheet.

Meanwhile, Citizens forward Bernardo Silva has warned that he and his team-mates have to get back on track quickly so as not to lose even more ground to both leaders Liverpool and second-placed Tottenham Hotspur.

He added: "We are not playing as well as we want, we have to find an explanation. We have lost two games that we should not do if we are in a race for the title.

"It is mathematically possible – but we have to be almost perfect from now. We have to start winning games again, otherwise things will get complicated."

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Guardiola: City ‘lack confidence’

Pep Guardiola feels Manchester City are 'lacking confidence' following a 2-1 defeat at Leicester City, their second successive Premier League defeat.

The setback at the King Power Stadium means the champions have slipped to third spot in the table, now seven points behind unbeaten leaders Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp's men clinically dispatched Newcastle at Anfield with a 4-0 win on Boxing Day to stretch their lead, while Tottenham's 5-0 win over Bournemouth at Wembley was enough to hoist them a point clear of Man City in second place.

The champions grabbed a 14th-minute lead when they took advantage of poor defending from Leicester, Sergio Aguero releasing Bernardo Silva to score.

Marc Albrighton levelled within five minutes however and, while City eventually laid siege to the Foxes goal in the second half it was Ricardo Pereira that blasted the winner from 18-yards with just nine minutes remaining.

Fabian Delph was sent off late on as City were left to count the cost of a second defeat in five days – both games in which the scored first.

"It was a similar performance to the Crystal Palace game, we started well but conceded a goal the first time they arrived in our box. Mentally we are lacking confidence in that situation," said Guardiola afterwards.

"We have to accept it, we have to realise that we have to work harder and try to get immediately one good result and get our confidence back."

Man City are 1/3 to end 2018 with a win over Southampton at St Mary's on Sunday. Saints are 15/2 to win the game, with the draw priced at 4/1.

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Premier League: Champions Floored by Foxes and Fall to Third!

Leicester City 2-1 Manchester City

A brilliant late winner by Ricardo Pereira gave Leicester City a stunning victory over Manchester City as the champions fell to third place in the Premier League race.

us football fans have a brilliant second half of the season to look forward to, and this Manchester City team will be right there to the end. But Pep Guardiola’s men won’t have it all their own way.

The big pre-match news was that Kevin De Bruyne was fit to start his first game of the campaign. But even he couldn’t help City avoid back-to-back defeats, and with Liverpool and Spurs winning 4-0 and 5-0 respectively, the Boxing Day league table makes grim reading for Pep.

Highlights of the game

Manchester City bossed the early exchanges without much penetration, but they didn’t have to wait too long before they pierced the Foxes’ defence. It was an incisive move as Sergio Aguero collected the ball deep in the Leicester half and poked it through to Bernardo Silva who took a touch before sliding the ball past Kasper Schmeichel.

Bernardo Silva failed to carry Manchester City as they fell to 2-1 defeat at Leicester City in Premier League

Bernardo Silva celebrates with teammate Sergio Aguero after scoring the opening goal

It’s not so long ago that Sky Blues’ fans didn’t have to worry too much about Premier League 2018 updates, happy in the knowledge their team was almost unanimously agreed to be gliding to another title. But recent results left Pep’s team trailing Liverpool and just two points ahead of Spurs, and that unsettled one or two in the away end when the news came through that both were ahead.

A few more were worried on 19 minutes when Leicester equalised with a brilliant counter-attack. James Maddison swept the ball out to Jamie Vardy on the left, and his cross was expertly headed back across goal and into the corner of the net by Marc Albrighton.

Kevin De Bruyne hit a 30-yard rocket straight at Schmeichel as the champions launched wave after wave of attack. The Foxes did have a chance to go ahead, but Vardy’s attempt was well saved by Ederson; the visitors’ keeper also kept out Maddison’s follow-up. Teams tend to up their game when the champions come to town, and Leicester were certainly doing just that.

Harry Maguire was working particularly hard and did brilliantly to head clear when Aymeric Laporte threatened early in the second half before he swept away a dangerous cross from Raheem Sterling. Manchester City ramped up the pressure and Leroy Sane twice came close, struggling to get his shot away when there was panic in the hosts’ penalty area; they failed to get onto the end of a De Bruyne centre in a sweeping move.

Guardiola played his hand with 20 minutes remaining, taking off De Bruyne and bringing on David Silva. The Sky Blues continued the press while Laporte ably patrolled the back when Leicester did make the occasional foray forward. That was until Ricardo Pereira popped up on 81 minutes to give the Foxes a shock lead with a stunning goal.

Ricardo Pereira’s goal completes the giant killing act as they defeat Manchester City in the recent Premier League clash

Ricardo Pereira celebrates scoring their second goal

Sane cleared a Leicester corner at the near post to Pereira around 25 yards out. And instead of lobbing the ball back into the mix, he fired a beauty through a forest of legs. The ball flew into the corner to send the King Power crowd delirious.

And it got a whole lot worse for one City player as Fabian Delph headed off for an early bath, a minute before the 90, after an ugly studs-up challenge on Pereira earned him a straight red.

Key Statistics

For all their 67 per cent possession, the Champions could only muster one more shot than Leicester, with 11 to ten, and they paid the ultimate price.

It was only the second time in 11 years that Manchester City lost on Boxing Day, and the first time the Foxes have avoided defeat since their promotion in 2014. Moreover, it ends a run of three consecutive defeats against the Sky Blues.

What’s next?

Having beaten Chelsea last week and now Manchester City, you’d think Leicester head coach Claude Puel will be safe for another week or so. The Foxes are at home to Cardiff City on Saturday then bring the New Year in with a trip to Europa-chasing rivals Everton.

The Premier League 2018 betting markets have taken a fascinating twist over the last few days as Pep Guardiola’s favourites have wobbled spectacularly. The Sky Blues head to the south coast to take on an improving Southampton, then on the 3rd January, they have a chance to peg back Liverpool when Jurgen Klopp brings his league leaders to the Etihad.

What a game that will be!

 

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Genesio expecting City onslaught

Lyon head coach Bruno Genesio believes his side will have to play at their absolute maximum to match Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday evening.

Les Gones are the only team to defeat the Citizens this season, having secured a shock 2-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium just over two months ago, when Maxwell Cornet and Nabil Fekir were their goalscorers.

However, Genesio expects City to be even harder to beat at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais on Tuesday evening.

He told reporters: "We are facing a team who are superior to us on paper, but as you saw in the first game we were able to win and we hope to do the same thing tomorrow.

"I will be telling my team they all need to be at 150 per cent."

Meanwhile, Genesio is anxiously waiting to see if forward Fekir is passed fit to play, with the France international being troubled by a groin injury.

He added: "We need all our players 100 per cent fit. Nabil Fekir is our captain, one of our most important players – he is indispensable to the team. We will see how he is feeling after training."

Meanwhile, City will be without Bernardo Silva, Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan for the game, with that trio joining long-term absentees Kevin De Bruyne and Benjamin Mendy on the sidelines.

The Citizens are 2/5 to secure victory on Tuesday evening, while they are 9/2 to earn a draw which would be enough to ensure qualification for the knockout phase of the tournament.

The men from Manchester, meanwhile, are 10/3 to go all the way and win the Champions League for the first time in their history.

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Guardiola confirms Silva absence

Manchester City will be without midfielder Bernardo Silva for the trip to West Ham on Saturday, while defender Benjamin Mendy is facing up to three months out of action.

Portugal international Silva is carrying a slight knock which will keep him on the sidelines for the trip to the London Stadium on Saturday, but he could be back in contention for the Champions League clash with Lyon on Tuesday evening.

Citizens head coach Pep Guardiola told reporters ahead of the showdown with the Hammers: "Bernardo Silva cannot play this weekend. The injury is not a big one, but he cannot play this weekend."

Meanwhile, of France international Mendy, who has undergone surgery on damage to his left knee, Guardiola added: "Benjamin Mendy will be out for 10-12 weeks."

Mendy missed a large part of last season with City after suffering anterior cruciate ligament damage in his right knee, with the 24-year-old having made just 19 appearances for the Citizens since his summer 2017 arrival from Monaco.

Minus Bernardo Silva and Mendy, City are 1/4 to win at the London Stadium and are 7/1 to claim a 2-0 victory, with the visitors 1/1 to keep a clean sheet.

Finally, Guardiola has also admitted that he could be tempted to sign a contract extension at the Etihad Stadium, having taken charge of City in the summer of 2016.

The Spaniard concluded: "I have said many times that I extended my contract and if it is going well I want to stay more years here.

"Everybody has dreams. Some you accomplish, some you don't – many things can happen. Maybe in the future I will change my mind (but) I am fully committed in my job here.

"I have a contract here and I don't deny if things are going well that I could extend my contract here."

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Bernardo omits United from title talk

Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva omitted rivals Manchester United from the teams he believes can challenge his side for the Premier League title.

Pep Guardiola's reigning champions lead the table on goal difference from Liverpool at the ten-game stage, while Chelsea are also unbeaten and just two points behind the leaders with Arsenal and Tottenham making up the top-five.

United sit down in eighth place and are nine points adrift of the leaders after their worst start to a Premier League season under Jose Mourinho.

Therefore, when quizzed about City's chances of retaining the title this term, United were notable by their absence from Bernardo's list of possible challengers.

The 24-year-old Portugal international said: "I think either Chelsea and Liverpool, they are very strong. Arsenal as well, even Tottenham. Even though they lost [1-0 to City on Monday], they're still contenders.

"I think it will be harder because last season nobody was expecting us to win as many games and to reach that level of points so this season the teams they know they have to do better to beat us.

"Of course it will be very hard, but we will work every game to get the three points and at the end of it try and celebrate winning one more Premier League."

City are 4/9 to win the title this season, take a break from the Premier League on Thursday when they host Fulham in the Carabao Cup at the Etihad Stadium.

The holders are 1/10 to win the tie and book a quarter-final place, while the Cottagers are priced at 33/1 and the draw is 10/1.

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Citizens show delights Guardiola

Head coach Pep Guardiola felt his side had given the best display he has seen in his time in charge of Manchester City as they won 3-0 at Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.

The Citizens, who opened their European campaign with a shock home loss to Lyon, eased to victory in Kharkiv thanks to goals from David Silva, Aymeric Laporte and Bernardo Silva, leaving Guardiola delighted with such a dominant performance.

He told reporters: "Our first half was the best we have played in the last three seasons, since I've been here. We were outstanding.

"We have recovered well from Lyon and now it's in our hands. We can control our destiny now, it was so important to get this result. After our defeat to Lyon we were under pressure.

"The team was good last season, even the previous season, the dressing room was always in the right position.

"We are together three seasons and we know each other much better. It's normal when you have three years together you are better than the first year."

Reigning champions and current table-toppers City return to Premier League action next Monday, when they face a major test as they visit Tottenham Hotspur.

The two sides are separated by just two points in the top-flight table, with both teams having won seven of their nine games to date.

The Citizens are 4/5 to win at Spurs and are 8/1 to do so by a 2-1 final scoreline, with the men from Manchester 4/7 to retain their Premier League title this season.

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