Media Watch: ‘City taking football to a new level’

There is much to discuss in Sunday morning’s media round-up.

From West Brom reaction to England Under-17s’ World Cup triumph; Yaya Toure’s wish to win the Champions League with City to a new contract for Kevin De Bruyne…?
It’s a packed edition today!
Let’s kick-off with the Blues’ historic triumph at the Hawthorns. Once again, the press were impressed!
The Express’ Harry Pratt reflected: “Seemingly able to score at will, this Manchester City side have now made the most prolific start to a season in Pep Guardiola history.
“That is one heck of a feat by the league leaders – given they have scored more goals in their opening 10 games of the campaign than Pep’s magnificent Barcelona machine managed back in 2009-10.
“The three strikes in a reasonably-comfortable stroll at the Hawthorns made it 35 goals to date – eclipsing the 34 banged in by Lionel Messi and co eight years ago.
“And City did it here without any help from their joint all time highest goalscorer.
“But while he must wait another day to secure his moment of glory, City’s march to their first title in four seasons continued with yet another away victory.”
Stuart Brennan of the Manchester Evening News hailed Leroy Sane’s display and the team’s game management, stating: “The Germany international has racked up an astonishing six goals and five assists in six games, including one of each in this game.
“That will please Guardiola, but what he will love more than anything was the way in which his team won this game, a contest that was never easy.
“Tony Pulis, as usual, set his team up to hold and frustrate the opposition, and while that can be dangerous – as he found out when Fernandinho’s brilliant pass set up Sane ‘s thumping finish – it also meant City had to find a new way of winning.

“Enter David Silva, a master of this type of situation.
“He simply kept the ball circulating, with Fernandinho a masterful accomplice as he snuffed any serious attempts by the home side.
“Last season, the Blues would have over-committed in pursuit of the killer third goal, but this time they kept the ball, worked the defence and took full advantage as the Baggies became tired and ragged around the edges.
“The third goal was straight out of that textbook.
“That maturity of waiting, trusting your possession game and then delivering the killer thrust, was missing last season.
“And that is why Guardiola’s team are so much better-equipped to win the title this time.”
Alan Shearer echoed the sentiments, claiming City are taking the game ‘to a new level.’
Quoted on Match of the Day, the former Newcastle star raved: “We’re seeing something very special.
“They are taking the game to a new level. They’ve scored 35 goals after ten games. Even in 2011 under Roberto Mancini, they had 26.
“They broke a record [against West Brom]. It was the first time since Opta began in 2003 that a team recorded 844 completed passes.
“That’s what we’re seeing and what we’re enjoying seeing.
“It must be a joy to play in [that team] – particularly for the forwards with the way they create chances. It must be a brilliant team to play in.”
Soccer Saturday’s Charlie Nicholas also purred: “At times, they were breathtakingly good. Leroy Sane produced a stunning performance again.

“Pep Guardiola brought Raheem Sterling on and he scored to make it 3-1. It was a stunning goal.
“It started on the left with slow build-up – one touch, two touch football with everybody in midfield involved.
“It was eventually released on the right-hand side; then squared across the box by Kyle Walker for Sterling for an easy tap-in. It’s the beautiful game. It truly is.”
In other news, ahead of City’s midweek Champions League fixture with Napoli, Yaya Toure has expressed his longing to lift the European trophy with the Blues.
As the Daily Star report, the Ivorian declared: “I want the Champions League again – so badly.
“I have won everything in England with City – and now I want something that is really special for the fans and the club.
“I have been lucky enough to win some important trophies for my clubs and also Ivory Coast.
“But the Champions League is special. To be happy, I really need to win it again.”
Elsewhere, unsurprisingly – and rightly so! – several media outlets, including ESPN, are celebrating England Under-17s’ World Cup success.
City had three youngsters feature in the sensational 5-2 triumph over Spain – goalkeeper Curtis Anderson, captain Joel Latibeaudiere and two-goal hero (and Golden Ball winner) Phil Foden.
On the latter’s scintillating display, Debayan Sen scribed: “Like a raging tempest, he not only blew Spain away, he carried his team along with him.
“Foden stood tall in a field filled with 22 of the most talented players in the world aged 17 and under – not just for his tireless work on the front, but the never-say-die spirit he showed with his team trailing close to half-time.

Commentator John Helm, when speaking to ESPN about his five favourite players of the tournament, had said of the Man City prodigy that ‘every time he gets the ball, something happens’, and that was certainly the case on the day of the final.
“The roar of the crowd had simply gone to a ‘FODENNN! FODENNN!’ not unlike what was a common sound in Indian cricket stadiums when reaching out to one of their favourite cricketers Sachin Tendulkar.
“It’s difficult to remember the last time one player made a World Cup final the stage to beat an entire opposition almost single-handedly, and for that alone, Phil Foden remains one to watch for the future.”
Finally, there are a couple of snippets of transfer gossip, as Sports Lens report De Bruyne is set to be offered a new contract.
An article reads: “Kevin De Bruyne has been in sensational form this season and Manchester City are willing to reward him for his contributions with a bumper new deal.
“According to Daily Mirror, Manchester City are prepared to make him the best-paid player in the club’s history.
“Apparently, the Premier League giants are worried that the likes of Barcelona could be tempted to move for their key player and therefore they want the Belgian to commit his long-term future to the club. The La Liga giants were keen on signing an attacking midfielder in the summer.
“The Belgian has a contract until 2020 and the Premier League giants will be hoping to seal the extension soon.”
Meanwhile, the Daily Star insist Alexis Sanchez will not be heading to the Etihad Stadium in January.
Harry Howes reports: “Arsene Wenger was hoping to offload the 28-year-old in the winter to avoid losing him for free, but according to The Mirror, City will wait until the end of the season to make their move.
“Pep Guardiola tried to bring Sanchez to the Etihad during the summer but Arsenal pulled out at the last minute.
“The Gunners pulled the plug on a £60m deal on deadline day so Manchester City are getting their revenge by picking him up for free.”

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Elise Buckley

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