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Friday, Aug 22nd

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The season just got worse for Manchester United and David Moyes. Their stuttering season has endured another low with a 3-0 home derby loss. It could have been worse had it not been for some poor finishing by City in the first half. United seemed to be still in the locker room when Edin Dzeko scored after a free run-in from David Silva after just 44 seconds! Though United settled down and had spells of good football till half time, City were culprits of not finishing off some good moves. The second half started on a similar note and in the 56th minute Dzeko doubled City’s lead. United never looked in the game and Yaya Toure completed the rout in the dying minutes of the game.

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Manchester City continued to reel in Premier League pacesetters Chelsea with a thumping 3-0 derby win over Manchester United at Old Trafford. Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko was the star of the show for the Citizens as he grabbed a derby day brace, including netting the first goal in just 44 seconds after Samir Nasri was unfortunate to see his effort come back off the near post.

Manchester City were largely dominant in the first half and guilty of not taking their chances, but it took Dzeko just 11 minutes in the second half to end the game as a contest before Yaya Toure scored his mandatory goal late in the contest to add some much deserved gloss to the scoreline.

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Arsenal’s contract rebel right-back Bacary Sagna is in favour of making a move to the Gunners’ Premier League rivals Manchester City at the end of the season, reports the Daily Star. He could join his former Arsenal rebel teammates and French compatriots in Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy, who left for greener pastures to the cash-rich club, at the Etihad next season.

The 31-year old, who only has a few months remaining on his current deal with Arsenal, is frustrated at being offered only a 2 year extension of his 60,000 pounds per week deal at the Emirates despite having stayed loyal to the club for 7 long years since joining from Auxerre in 2007.

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The home team is struggling to maintain a semblance of momentum and clutching to the last straws to keep its faltering season alive. The visitors are on a catch-up mission and want to make their games in hand count over the leaders Chelsea. Add to it the incentive of derby bragging rights; you have the perfect recipe for a Manchester derby. This midweek will witness another blockbuster derby clash with the ‘noisy neighbours’ Manchester City visiting Old Trafford, the home of their more illustrious opponents Manchester United.

United have given themselves a lifeline by advancing to the Quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League. However, any joy was short lived as they were drawn to meet the European powerhouses and hot favorites Bayern Munich. With even the most ardent of United fans dreading this draw, it would be nothing short of a miracle for United to progress further. That places greater emphasis on their league engagements to salvage pride and make one last-ditch effort to gain automatic entry to Champions League next season.

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As the season nears the end, things are getting interesting in English Premier League. After many years, it is really tight at the top as well as the bottom of the table. More than 3 teams have a realistic chance of winning the title and there are more than 6 sides which are chasing the glory of staying in the league.

This weekend’s set of matches have thrown some important pointers. Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool, Everton, Manchester United, Tottenham were all in action and the games didn’t disappoint the neutrals. So what did the weekend action tell us?

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With their hopes of a quadruple shattered in the space of a week, Manchester City returned to the bread and butter of the Premier League to set forth on the last leg of games in their battle with Chelsea. Points in the bag are always better than games in hand and City cancelled out the first of their three games in hand by seeing off Hull City 2-0 despite being down to 10-men since the 10th minute. Vincent Kompany’s harsh sending off early in the game seemed to only inspire City, who were inspired by David Silva’s brilliance to move within six points of leaders Chelsea.  The diminutive Spaniard scored a screamer four minutes after Kompany’s sending off to put the away side in the lead and then provided the assist to Edin Dzeko in the 90th minute to seal the points.

Sergio Aguero’s absence meant that Dzeko got a call-up to the starting line-up, forming the focal point for Samir Nasi, Yaya Toure and Silva. Martin Demichelis and Kompany were restored in the middle after Joleon Lescott’s horror show at the Nou Camp in mid-week. Steve Bruce started with his two best forwards as Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic led the line for the Tigers. A strong midfield of Tom Huddlestone, Jake Livermore, David Meyler and Ahmed Elmohamady gave Hull enough strength to keep the ball against City.

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Manchester City star Yaya Toure is not amused with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho’s mind games this season and feels that the Portuguese should not be making derogatory statements about other teams. The Ivorian was quoted in the Daily Mirror as saying, "He is a coach and he must give respect a little bit. He is always talking about everyone and that is not the correct way. That is why Barcelona always beat Real Madrid when Mourinho was here. I think he talks more than before, perhaps because the English press likes it."

One can expect Mourinho to hit back at Yaya Toure soon, as he usually insists on having the last word in War of the Words.

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