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Manchester City

50-50 Challenge: City vs. Arsenal

Premier League
 By David Mooney

Manchester City can have no excuses for their limp FA Cup exit

Championship side Middlesbrough produced a shock 2-0 win over Premier League champions Manchester City in the FA Cup.
Man City boss Manuel Pellegrini insists his side's loss to Middlesbrough wasn't due to the trip to Abu Dhabi.

There's something about Middlesbrough that will send a chill down the spine of many a Manchester City fan.

Whether it was their surprising 3-0 win over Arsenal in 2001 that pretty much put the death knell on City's Premier League survival chances, or their 1-0 win at Eastlands -- achieved without having a shot on target -- in 2003, or them pipping City to a UEFA Cup place in 2005, or the 8-1 drubbing they inflicted in 2008, there's just something about them and the trend continued with their 2-0...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

Man City rebuilding project needs to start now, as veterans start to creak

ESPN FC's Craig Burley and Alexis Nunes talk Manchester City and the club's plans to address an ageing squad.
Manchester City midfielder Fernando says the absence of teammate Yaya Toure, who is away for the Africa Cup of Nations, is affecting the club.

Wednesday's grainy telecast images of a pained Frank Lampard limping to the sidelines in Abu Dhabi begged the question of precisely why Manchester City were playing a far-flung friendly during such a jam-packed month of matches.

Their opponents, SV Hamburg, at least had the explanation of being on a mid-season Bundesliga break. City lost 2-0 to Arsenal on Sunday and have an FA Cup tie with Middlesbrough on Saturday before a week of build-up to a Chelsea trip next weekend that has potential to help...

 By Simon Curtis

Spectre of Middlesbrough looms for Manchester City ahead of FA Cup clash

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini says he is expecting a serious challenge from Championship side Middlesbrough.

Prior to the Premier League's thud and bluster, Manchester City and Middlesbrough were keen partners in the waltz of the wasted, the foxtrot of the forgotten.

Well used to looking in at the party through heavily misted windows, the two clubs came to epitomise a bedraggled form of abject football failure. As City's seemingly unstoppable rise to the European summit has picked up pace, Boro have continued to be mired in a backwater of ineptitude and bad luck.

Recent stirrings under the cosmopolitan...

 By David Mooney

Manchester City failing with the same old corner routine

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol and Craig Burley both are in agreement with Yaya Toure's importance to Manchester City in the middle of the park.

The award of a corner for their side has never particularly buoyed Manchester City fans. It's fair to say the Blues have never seemed to take more than a passing interest in being dangerous from flag-kicks, though there can't have been many seasons when the club was worse at them than it has been this campaign.

A frustrated groan used to rumble around the stadium when Joey Barton stepped up to cross the ball in from the quadrant. That was because he'd raise one hand in the air to show he was planning...

 By Simon Curtis

Manchester City must overcome three challenges to get back into title race

The ESPN FC crew review Week 22 in the Premier League, with Vincent Kompany under the spotlight for his poor performance against Arsenal.

Suddenly the air feels thin, the space feels tight and restricted, and all those pairs of piercing eyes seem to be looking this way. Manchester City are coasting gently toward the crunch. With three games that will define the season, there are three major issues to get to grips with before it is too late.

As City's pampered stars enjoy a few days of warm weather training in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, the fans are left with the cold wind of reality biting around them. Last weekend's 2-0 defeat...

 By Nick Miller

Vincent Kompany's shaky form highlights Man City's defensive worries

A big weekend in the Premier League featured Louis van Gaal's younger look-alike, Alan Pardew's continued honeymoon with Crystal Palace and Arsenal's revenge at the Etihad.
Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud got revenge for the Gunners against Manchester City with a 2-0 win at the Etihad Stadium.
The ESPN FC crew react to Arsenal's 2-0 win over Manchester City in which Shaka Hislop believed Vincent Kompany's defensive error opened up the match, while Alejandro Moreno was quite pleased by the play of Francis Coquelin in the centre of midfield.
The ESPN FC crew review Week 22 in the Premier League, with Vincent Kompany under the spotlight for his poor performance against Arsenal.
Arsenal defeated Manchester City 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium, while Andy Carroll and West Ham sealed a comfortable 3-0 win over Hull City.

Arsenal have received plenty of praise for their 2-0 win over Manchester City on Sunday, and rightly so. Arsene Wenger's side played with purpose, organisation and mental fortitude, things that have flickered in their recent past but rarely stayed on brightly enough in games such as this, games that might convince everyone that they are realistic title-challengers. Arsenal were simply better than City.

If we were to follow our old friend narrative, then the roles were reversed on Sunday. In a game...