Sky Blues back in the news – CRYSTAL PALACE 0 MAN CITY 2

Happy Monday has arrived courtesy of Blue Sunday and yet another seismic shift in this, the most enthralling ever struggle, for Premier League supremacy.

With less than a handful of games to go it seems any side labelled as title favourites suddenly develops a case of the shakes – the tectonic plates of the PL moving beneath their feet.

Shaking all over - Crystal Palace cheerleaders reflect the shifting fortunes of the PL title contenders. Courtesy @MCFC

Shaking all over – Crystal Palace cheerleaders reflect the shifting fortunes of the PL title contenders. Courtesy @MCFC

Having been written off, vilified and then virtually ignored in recent days, those shallow media types and vulture-like bookies now have the temerity to resurrect Manchester City as the team who, once again have the mantle of  ‘…it’s their title to lose’.

From Moyes to Giggs, Rodgers to Mourinho, ‘liddle old Citeh’ could barely warrant the odd paragraph last week.

Outrageous - The Independent 'newspaper' published this sickening editorial homage to Manure on Saturday.

Outrageous – The Independent ‘newspaper’ published this sickening editorial homage to Manure on Saturday.

Certain insidious elements of the press were infinitely more interested in going giddy over Ryan’s privates – well, his inner most private thoughts – to be more precise, and the brave new dawn of the ‘Giggs Era’.

Stepping out - Manuel Pellegrini is suddenly back in the spotlight with City poised to take over at the top of the table. Courtesy @MCFC

Stepping out – Manuel Pellegrini is suddenly back in the spotlight with City poised to take over at the top of the table. Courtesy @MCFC

If it wasn’t the amateur dramatics of the The Theatre of Screams and the ghastly Glazers doing the dirty on Wee Davey, it was the right royal Rodgering going on over at Anfield, with plans well advanced for the crowning of King Brendan and Stevie Geeeeee’s investiture as Prince of Scouseland.

Nobody much cared for a team that cost a zillion quid and who had only the Capital One Cup to show for it. Manchester City had ‘blown it…’ and had ‘…only themselves to blame’ according to the detractors.

Any premature exhilaration at the Etihad would be most unwise but, having thought they’d shot their bolt, City are suddenly back in control of their destiny.

Heading to the top - Edin Dzeko opened the scoring. Courtesy @MCFC

Heading to the top – Edin Dzeko opened the scoring. Courtesy @MCFC

Chelsea’s Reserves & Youth Combination XI did what City couldn’t, or what Manuel Pellegrini wouldn’t, by parking a rather large bus at Anfield and releasing the handbrake twice!

With more twists than an Alton Tower’s white knuckle rollercoaster ride, Chelsea turned the title race upside down and inside out, handing an unlikely advantage to City.

Love him or loathe him, Jose Mourinho, deserves to be acknowledged as a tactical genius, in a week that saw him shut-out Spain’s champions-elect, and then repeat it with the English equivalents.

In a clash of football philosophies, Mourinho did what it took to get the job done and emerged with a 2-0 win over Rodgers’ previously rampant Reds.

Bosnian fire - Dzeko was fully committed to City's cause at Selhurst Park. Courtesy @MCFC

Bosnian fire – Dzeko was fully committed to City’s cause at Selhurst Park. Courtesy @MCFC

Pellegrini stuck to his principles and sought to fight fire with fire at Anfield and came a cropper, albeit with an abundance of mitigating circumstances.

Mourinho can, at times be a repugnant reptile and an outrageous hypocrite. Be that as it may, he is undoubtedly a winner and it’s clear to see why the Chelsea fans love their leader.

Pellegrini is the polar opposite, genteel, polite, a statesman, much respected by those that know him and work under his tutelage.

But, when the odds are stacked high against you, nobody instigates a siege mentality and inspires blind, unswerving loyalty quite like the monster that is Mourinho.

Fight 'till the end - Zaba issued his rallying cry before City's win at Palace. Courtesy @MCFC

Fight ’till the end – Zaba issued his rallying cry before City’s win at Palace. Courtesy @MCFC

On this isolated occasion it served the purposes of the suave, sophisticate from Santiago to have the snide, sneering  snake from Setubal set loose on a common prey.

City’s subsequent victory over Crystal Palace – by the same scoreline – means  Pellegrini is 270 minutes away from confounding his legion of  critics, by winning his first league title outside of South America.

His team drew inspiration out of Africa, as Yaya Toure, returning from injury, turned in a truly world class showing with an assist and a goal of equal distinction.

Great view - Zaba watches as Yaya makes it 2-0. Courtesy @MCFC

Great view – Zaba watches as Yaya makes it 2-0. Courtesy @MCFC

The term ‘world class’ is all too freely bandied around, but the Ivorian meets every credible criteria. When Yaya wants to play he is quite simply unstoppable, with a potent blend of power and precision, strength and subtlety.

His lofted pass from 30 yards out, was headed home by a fired-up Edin Dzeko in the fourth minute and City never looked back.

Billed as a match where Tony Pulis would settle old scores with his City nemesis, the Palace manager was unable to take the fight to City’s men in black as the visitors totally dominated the game.

Angling for goal - Yaya's 23rd goal of the season set the seal on the win. Courtesy @MCFC

Angling for goal – Yaya’s 23rd goal of the season set the seal on the win. Courtesy @MCFC

As time wore on, the only real surprise was the margin of victory. In the end it was limited to just Dzeko’s strike and the culmination of a Yaya initiated and executed, 70-yard run and passing movement with Edin and Samir Nasri.

The marauding Ivorian took the ball from within City’s half and played two one-twos, before sweeping home his 23rd goal of the season just before half-time.

City were by far the better side and Palace, striving for a sixth consecutive league win, posed a minimal threat to Joe Hart, who kept his first clean sheet in half-a-dozen attempts.

Sharpening up - Sergio is in good shape to help City to a second PL title. Courtesy @MCFC

Sharpening up – Sergio is in good shape to help City to a second PL title. Courtesy @MCFC

Jason Puncheon forced a fine Hart save early in the second half – one of only two strikes on target – as City dominated.

It was an accomplished, rather than spectacular display from an assertive City, clearly buoyed by news of Liverpool’s demise.

The team’s hunger for victory was in synch with the 2,500 travelling fans’ raw passion and the prospect of a second PL title in three years.

Dzeko Dozen - Edin hit his 12th league goal of the campaign. Courtesy @MCFC

Dzeko Dozen – Edin hit his 12th league goal of the campaign. Courtesy @MCFC

Dzeko was at his best with a highly energised display, just as he had been in the 3-0 Manchester derby win. When he cranks up the gears the Bosnian is a real asset, reflected by his 23 goals in all competitions.

Man of the Match Yaya – laughingly described by TV pundit Didi Hamann as a liability – banked 66 precious playing minutes before being withdrawn.

His presence and level of performance at Goodison Park this Saturday, will be pivotal in determining City’s PL fate.

World Class - Yaya would be in any World XI on this season's form. Courtesy @MCFC

World Class – Yaya would be in any World XI on this season’s form. Courtesy @MCFC

In the absence of David Silva and Jesus Navas, City were undoubtedly missing  guile and speed, but they more than compensated with solidity and composure.

Javi Garcia seems to finally have come of age in his preferred holding midfielder role, whereas Martin Demichelis seems to be outperforming Vincent Kompany in recent matches!

The euphoria of the unlikely windfall from the red half of Merseyside is tempered by the prospect of having to overcome the blue side of Liverpool, and registering an away win over Everton.

Battling - James Milner was integral to City's win. Courtesy @MCFC

Battling – James Milner was integral to City’s win. Courtesy @MCFC

So often in recent times – ironically under the man held up to ridicule at Old Trafford, David Moyes – City have come unstuck against the Toffees.

Ask any City fan who is the club’s biggest bogey team and, nine times out of 10, they cough up Everton as the answer.

It’s imperative that City don’t choke again in the menacing Merseyside atmosphere, especially reserved for visiting Mancunian teams, be they red or sky blue.

In a season where the unexpected has become the norm, Everton is undoubtedly the biggest remaining hurdle for City to overcome.

Chelsea and Liverpool don’t play until the Sunday and Monday, so it gives Pellegrini an opportunity to heap pressure on Mourinho and Rodgers.

Mine's a double - Will Manuel be celebrating a PL & FLC triumph on May 11th? Courtesy @MCFC

Mine’s a double – Will Manuel be celebrating a PL & FLC triumph on May 11th? Courtesy @MCFC

With a massively superior goal difference to Chelsea (+15) and a healthy (+8) over Liverpool, City have to bank the points first and then see if they need to rely on the goals ‘for’ and ‘against’ columns to get them over the line…as they did in May 2012.

It was a volatile Italian vintage in the shape of Roberto Mancini that saw the job through two years ago. It remains to be seen if a smooth Chilean can delight the sky blue palate in a similar fashion.

Please don’t bottle it Pellegrini!



By David Walker



  1. April 28, 2014  8:55 am by Eileen Fullen Reply

    Still in Seventh Heaven you could tell early on in the game that YAYA looked really mean and keen. Excellent display (how the Tasmanian Devil beat YAYA beggars belief) but the fight isn't over yet and will need a valliant effort against Robertos Everton this weekend. Dreams do come TRUE / BELIEVE

    • April 28, 2014  10:20 am by David Walker Reply

      Let's hope so - Goodison Park awaits!

  2. April 28, 2014  8:57 am by Mole Rocks Reply

    As you mentioned, it was a very disciplined performance from City yesterday. All the players did their bit to keep Palace subdued.

    Saturdays game against Everton is a hurdle of Beechers Brook proportions, however all we can do is continue to believe.

    Yaya back in full flow will be vital to trying to secure the 3 points, which if achieved puts a nice bit of pressure on Liverpool and to a lesser degree Chelsea.

    Let the fun begin!

    • April 28, 2014  10:21 am by David Walker Reply

      Beat the Bogeymen of Everton and surely to goodness we can achieve two home wins? Who knows in this season of shocks.

  3. April 28, 2014  9:09 am by Fifthcolumnblue Reply

    Anyone heard the rumour about a certain Liverpool captain buying drinks for an entire bar to "celebrate winning the title" after our loss at Anfield?

    Wonder if he feels a bit silly now? Not as silly as the idiots selling these outside Anfield though:

    Hope City fans will have the good graces not to get carried away just yet - we've given ourselves a very good chance, but 3 cup finals are still to come!

    • April 28, 2014  10:23 am by David Walker Reply

      Bang on No 5 - no victory parades or on the pitch huddles. Motivate and focus off camera - it's business not theatre. Come On City 3 more wins.

  4. April 28, 2014  9:13 am by Susan richardson Reply

    Thanks for this uplifting prose of on this fine Monday morning. Keep believing! I love love love how the media choke when City deserve praise pure comedy gold yesterday. Yaya the 'liability' making them look total idiots. I would sooner have our gorgeous gentlemanly team than a team cheating wrestling diving biting whatever happens. Thought it was a nice touch from Pulis to shake hands with all our players, Manuel manners must be rubbing off. The least said about the Giggs fest the better but glad I'm in Somerset so I will miss the Norwich victory parade

    • April 28, 2014  10:27 am by David Walker Reply

      There are certain members of the media who should be immune from contributing to the City hate fest, particularly Jonathan Northcroft of the Sunday Times with whom I had some twitter interaction over the weekend. He has what many don't...a little thing called integrity @JNorthcroft well worth a follow.

  5. April 28, 2014  9:21 am by Pete Lynch Reply

    Oh what a perfect day, im glad i spent it blue!
    At what point will Pelligrini get any credit??

    • April 28, 2014  10:28 am by David Walker Reply

      Hopefully around 17.30hrs on May 11th ;-)

  6. April 28, 2014  9:28 am by Graham Ward Reply

    We took the opportunity presented to us perfectly, we've just got to repeat it three more times for a wonderful outcome.
    Everton, then Villa and West Ham, will be tough, but the finishing line is in sight. Timing is everything.

  7. April 28, 2014  9:31 am by GeorgeInIsrael Reply

    I was driving home from work when our game started and was listening to the commentary on the BBC World Service. The people next to me at the traffic light must have thought I was having a fit when Dzeko scored - I beat the sh*t out of the steering wheel and screamed "Yes, Yes, Yes!!"
    It is indeed ours to lose and the match against Everton is vital. If I remember correctly, a major cog in their team this year is Gareth Barry. Does the loan agreement allow him to play against us?
    As for the goal difference, we've done enough. If we win all our remaining games by just 1-0, then our goal difference will be +61. Liverpool's goal difference is currently +50. That means that if we win our games, they need to beat Palace and Newcastle by a combine score of 12-0, which i just don't see happening.

    • April 28, 2014  10:32 am by David Walker Reply

      GB cannot play against us which is a blessing, it's a shame he isn't still within our ranks. It's a case of so near and yet so far BUT if we can beat Everton we will have confidence and unstoppable momentum...oh hang on, isn't that what Liverpool had until Jose rode into town? We cannot take anything for granted but this is no time for excuses. There's a job to be done and MP and the team must get it done!

  8. April 28, 2014  10:09 am by blueyorkie Reply

    Just an awesome day where t all fell into place. However we must give the maximum for the last 3 and that means the team, management and us the fans. Don't get ahead of ourselves # TOGETHER

    • April 28, 2014  10:33 am by David Walker Reply

      Absobloominlutely if we blow it now there can be NO excuses!

  9. April 28, 2014  10:25 am by John Evans TT Reply

    "Snide, sneering snake from Setubal". Jolly good effort A+.

    Maureen appeared on the Chelsea bench full chav gear (pious white track suit sans dark blue Gilet) looking, as my cockney mates would say 'A right one'. I watched early evening Sky News fully expecting to see his name added to the two John's (No! not Mikel or Terry) for beatification by Pope Francis.

    How come the most obvious (and suitable) candidate for Rag supremo is not featured as such in Her Majesties Press?

    Sunday was a stroll in the Selhurst Park with City, in spite of Pulis's pre-match pugilist posturing, never having to raise a sweat. Suited Yaya down to the ground and encouragingly (for me anyway) Aguero , got to play 77 minute at nearly his best. At least he should be fresh for the run in.

    • April 28, 2014  10:37 am by David Walker Reply

      Can I be Milk Monitor? Yaya simply has to be in the groove at Goodison and he'll energise those all around. I honestly thought the title had eluded us but this could yet be our time. Nothing will ever surpass the 'Aguerrrrrrrrrooooooo' moment, but as a collective effort, a title win in 2014 will have been a bigger achievement than in 2012. Back then we had a faltering United, but now we have a fired up Chelsea and a very capable Liverpool to see off. We can do it...we must.

      • April 28, 2014  6:36 pm by John Evans TT Reply

        No, we already have a milk monitor, but how about a silva star to go with the gold top.

        Whilst in collegiate mode, we should be thankful Brenda did not do her homework on Saturday! Had she looked at our games against the Chav's at the Etihad, she would have seen how MP eventually outsmarted Maureen by flooding midfield, so ensuring the Chelsea bus never left the depot. Instead of doing his revision Rogers (believing his own hype), went on the attack and the rest is history.

        Despite all the 'bigging up', Liverpool's squad is paper-thin and likely to be even skinnier next season once their man eating South American Capybara departs (ever so with 'moneyball'). IMO it is 'Me' (Stevie) not Suarez or Sturridge who's been their inspiration. On Sunday, to quote my favourite journalist; 'He was running on fumes'. His fatal error was that of a tired man.

        Hopefully City will take no tired men to Goodison!

  10. April 28, 2014  10:50 am by Gary Derbyshire Reply

    A great afternoon yesterday but although I am optimistic I can't get the thought of "Everton away" out of my head!! Having seen us get turned over for the past 2 seasons by them, I said I was never going there again! I was lying, of course and I'll be there on Saturday wTching through my fingers. As we go there having to win, I'm confident that we'll get the job done although I will be a trembling wreck come Saturday afternoon! #TrustOurMP. Just wanted to say with regards to the Scouse love in, I'm used to is being ignored by the media, but yesterday I finished work at 3pm, was in the pub for the last 10 mins of the Liverpool game then lapped up the city game. My better half picked me up at 6.30pm and I stuck Talksport on the radio, they were discussing united!! Sky sports news app had city's victory 7th in their Top Stories. I try to not let it bother me but it's glaringly obvious there's a conspiracy!

    • April 28, 2014  10:53 am by David Walker Reply

      If we can let our positive actions on the field of play do our talking, then that'll do for me. Cheers Gary CTWD

  11. April 28, 2014  11:20 am by carole Reply

    Did I detect a subtle change of tactics by Pellegrini v Palace? Scored 2, didn't go for the jugular, clearly pacing ourselves & conserving energy for the run-in...almost Mancini-esque.

    It always difficult again Everton at Goodison. But seem to remember that last season Yaya came down with a migraine a few hours before KO and it threw our plans into disarray. This time the big man will be key with Silva missing....lightning can;'t strike twice can it lol?

    • April 28, 2014  12:15 pm by David Walker Reply

      Maybe - just definitely maybe - this is a chance for fortune to favour City at Goodison. They are probably in a minority but some Everton fans are saying if they can't make 4th spot they'd rather City take the title over Liverpool. The Goodison crowd are always the 12th man & if they're not quite as vociferous as usual it can only help. They have key players absent & have looked jaded against Palace & Southampton, so who knows? Never ever easy!

  12. April 28, 2014  11:25 am by Richard Cooper Reply

    You thought it was yours, You thought was yours, was sung to more than a few scousers "passing through" Euston yesterday evening on their way home.
    What a day !
    It is always hard to see if you are lower down the stand at Selhurst and not 6 foot tall but with an already "pumped up" crowd waving arms singing and dancing the term restricted view takes on a new meaning.
    Super performances all round, and it was important to get that early goal and as soon as Ya Ya picked up the ball Mrs C said "goal 2 coming up" !
    I know we were rarely under any pressure but the second half seemed to last forever. As the guy in front said "I think my b----- watch has stopped.
    In that game it would be unfair to single out any one player but special praise for Ya Ya, Edin and Garcia.
    Even Mart was treated to his own version of the "old" Zabba song (the one before Zabba became a ------- Manc !
    A gutsy performance typified by Zabba who at the end came over with raised clenched fists - Would not expect anything less from the legend that is........
    Still a lot of work to do and am sure Everton, quite rightly, will want to "put on a show" in their last home game.
    Not thinking about it again until next Saturday !!!!

    • April 28, 2014  12:19 pm by David Walker Reply

      If we apply ourselves as a team to the task in hand we can overcome Everton. This is why players & managers are so well rewarded, so now they need to earn it.

      • April 28, 2014  5:25 pm by Richard Cooper Reply

        Correct David
        In life you agree a salary to fulfill a specific function be that £20k per annum or £1m per annum and it is your responsibility to perform that function 100%
        That applies to footballers, accountants, fork lift truck drivers etc etc
        The artice you included regarding Manu - Oh dear -
        An overloading of treacle and Tate & Lyle ! and why re-hash the references to Munich - If they let it go I will forget Nited fans singing "Where's your famous 28" in reference to Marc Viv Foe and chanting "Keano" when he walked off after ending Alfie Inge's career.
        Have a lot of time for Giggsy and think he fits in with my work ethic comments and perhaps if some of his team mates had applied the same young David would not be looking forward to his compensation.
        Don't lets sanctify players and managers for doing a job as I would hate te see St. Brenda on May 11th
        C'mon City and make sure it doesn' happen !

  13. April 28, 2014  6:19 pm by Simon Dear Reply

    I think it turned our way when we got that last minute equaliser against the Mackems ( sounds familiar Kolarov 2 years ago ) and then they went and beat Chelsea , but I didn't think they would get more than a point at Anfield and neither did the City team, you just saw the reaction to that result and how it has galvanised everyone , I think the break has done Yaya good , he looks refreshed and ready to win , let's hope Silva does the same but even without him we have to fancy Everton away this time , like Dzeko pointed out , they are a different side now, play better more open football that suits our style , we beat them comfortably at home this time round , another thing we have struggled to do , the key will be us taking the initiative as well as hoping Arsenal win tonight, I don't even think the usually ferocious Goodson crowd will want this half as much as usual, which is why tonight's result
    will make a huge difference to them .
    Now the door is open we must have the belief , the prowess , the desire to walk though it ... This is where Champions stand up and be counted , where everything is won and lost , these players have been here before I fully expect them to deliver next weekend . Enough said for now .
    Great read David ,already looking forward to the cavalry charged edition later in the week .

    • April 28, 2014  8:11 pm by David Walker Reply

      It's our Newcastle game of 2012. There are good grounds for optimism but this is time to put or shut up. We have been given a most unexpected opportunity and, even taking into account our abysmal history at Goodison, there can be no excuses.

  14. April 28, 2014  6:22 pm by Simon Dear Reply

    Ps Mourinho is an absolute big game tactical genius proved time and time again.

    • April 28, 2014  8:18 pm by David Walker Reply

      I had to laugh when a very sour Brenda was interviewed & he said it was easy to coach how to defend like Jose's teams. Made me wonder why Liverpool have conceded 46 goals this season?

  15. April 28, 2014  8:42 pm by Gil Reply

    A beautiful piece David, loaded with gems! Really entertaining and spot on!! Well done!!

    • April 29, 2014  7:57 am by David Walker Reply

      What can I say other than a big thankyou for your feedback.

  16. April 28, 2014  8:44 pm by DOUGLAS HENSHAW Reply

    What a weekend the door has reopened for us we just need to get over the line. Cant believe how arrogant & whine some Liverpool fans have been they need to get over themselves.

    • April 29, 2014  7:53 am by David Walker Reply

      How ironic if Everton want to help us in some small way because they're sick to death of the media love-in with Liverpool. If City let it slip again it would be indefensible.

  17. April 29, 2014  4:49 am by Simon Wilson Reply

    "Everton away"; time to get this one off our backs. The perfect time to do it! Then maybe next year, this year's C1 Cup aside, we can put Sunderland to bed as well.

    • April 29, 2014  7:54 am by David Walker Reply

      Sounds good Simon, really good. CTWD.

  18. April 29, 2014  4:56 pm by guy Burke Reply

    Hate to say i told you so but..... Of course City get no credit should they triumph again but who cares ? It at least shut the liver love in for a week and the sporting scousers fight Chelsea fans after the match !! All to play for as they say .

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