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Monday, Sep 01st

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Barcelona desperate to land Ozil, offer Fabregas and Song in exchange

Arsenal could witness two of their old heroes back in the red and white at the Emirates as Barcelona have reportedly ear marked Mesut Ozil as their marquee summer signing and the Catalans are ready to dump Cesc Fabregas and Alex Song back to the Gunners. Fabregas has become a vital member of the Bacra setup but has never set the Nou Camp on-fire, a failure which has prompted Fabregas to dream of taking up Football 101 with Arsene Wenger once again.

Man United line-up summer deal for Cristiano Ronaldo

David Moyes has spent the entire season chasing lost causes but this time seems cocksure that he will be able to bring the Prodigal Son back to Old Trafford to boost his beleaguered side. The dream strike trio of Van Persie, Rooney and Ronaldo will terrorize Premier League defenders and will surely result in the league title heading straight back to Old Trafford next season.

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An industrious effort from Arsenal saw the Gunners come from behind to pick up a creditable draw against a strong Manchester City side at the Emirates in the late kickoff on Saturday. Crystal Palace's shock win against Chelsea earlier in the day had given Arsenal's title aspirations a bit of a wake up call, but the Gunners were decidedly second best in the first half with Manchester City comfortably going into the break 1-0 ahead thanks to David Silva's stab home from point blank range.

Arsenal played much better in the second half and Mathieu Flamini, scorer of a heartbreaking own goal in midweek against Swansea, turned from villain to hero as he drew the Gunners level finishing smartly from Lukas Podolski's cross. The German international had perhaps Arsenal's best chance to win the game but was denied by the legs of Joe Hart.

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This Saturday’s Premier League clash between Arsenal and Manchester City will see the coming together of two sides with mirror opposite fortunes. While the blue half of Manchester makes steady progress in its climb to the top, the Gunners can only weep and wonder at what could have been.

This Monday’s stalemate with Swansea has effectively extinguished whatever flickering hope Arsene Wenger might have harboured of being the best in England. His team had been flying high and flying proud, until they travelled to the Etihad Stadium last December, where a 6-3 reality check brought them back to ground and started the fall which has since metamorphosed into a plunge.

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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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