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Man City star Bacary Sagna put through his paces by teen hopeful

Manchester City star Bacary Sagna was put through an extra training session as he helped launch new state-of-the-art football facilities close to the club’s Etihad Stadium.

Sagna joined defender Paula Radtke from Manchester City Women’s Football Club and James Horsfield and Angus Gunn from the EDS side, to officially open a £350,000 multi-use football pitch which will be used by students at neighbouring Connell College and young people from the surrounding area.

Teenager Mark Lucas, from Newall Green High School, was handed the honour of hosting the training session.

Mike Hall reports.

Wenger: 'I believe that Pellegrini is of super-competence'

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Patrick Vieira has the credentials to become a successful manager. But the Gunners boss thinks Manchester City already have a man of "super" calibre in their top job in Manuel Pellegrini.

Vieira, one of Wenger's most influential former Gunners captains, is currently the manager of City's elite development squad. Recent speculation over Pellegrini's future has seen the Frenchman mentioned as a potential successor to the Chilean at the Etihad Stadium.

Arsene Wenger Credit: PA Images

"I believe like many other players he has the intelligence and the competence to do this job, but I believe that Pellegrini is of super-competence and super-quality as well - so if you want me to interfere in that, I am not ready to do it."

– Arsene Wenger

Pellegrini's position has come under scrutiny as City have collapsed in the Barclays Premier League title race in the second half of the season.

The defending champions were joint top in January but are now fourth after a dismal three months in which they also went out of the Champions League and FA Cup.

A host of names have been linked with Pellegrini's job-also including Pep Guardiola, Diego Simeone, Jurgen Klopp, Carlo Ancelotti and Rafael Benitez - but City have given no indication they are considering a change.

Police investigate City fan's chant about Munich air disaster

Credit: PA

Police are investigating after video footage was posted online appearing to show Manchester City fans chanting about the Munich air crash.

The footage shows supporters taunting United fans outside Old Trafford just yards from a memorial to those who died in the tragedy.

It appears to have been shot on Sunday after City’s 4-2 defeat in the Manchester Derby.

The Manchester Evening News reports that the chants included sick references to the 1958 air disaster which killed 23 people including a number of United players.

Police have launched an investigation. They say a handful of City Fans were also ejected from the stadium for making offensive gestures.

During Sunday’s derby match, a handful of people were ejected by the stewards for making offensive gestures and remarks relating to the Munich air disaster.

Greater Manchester Police and the two clubs will now be examining video evidence from the fixture to see whether further action is necessary.

– A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police told the Manchester Evening News

The news comes four years after Manchester City paid tribute to those killed by laying a wreath at the crash site in Germany.

We are currently liaising with Greater Manchester Police with regard to the behaviour of a small number of Manchester City fans at the game.

We operate zero tolerance policy with regard to incidents of this kind, and the club will work with GMP to assist with their queries and deal appropriately with anyone found to have committed an offence of this nature.

– A spokeswoman for Manchester United told the Manchester Evening News


Looking ahead to the Manchester derby - some famous past meetings

Michael Owen celebrates his winner in 2009 Credit: PA Pictures

Manchester City will aim to pick up the pieces after their morale-sapping defeat at Crystal Palace on Monday and claim a win over rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Here's a look at some recent memorable meetings between the two Manchester giants:

Manchester United 4 Manchester City 3 - Premier League, September 20, 2009

Michael Owen scored a dramatic late winner in a thrilling derby at Old Trafford. City had come from behind to level on three occasions throughout the match, including in the 90th minute when Craig Bellamy thought he had ensured City took a share of the spoils. It was not to be, however, as Owen slotted in the winning goal after six minutes of stoppage time.

Manchester City 1 Manchester United 0 - FA Cup, April 16, 2011

After failing to win either of the season's league encounters, City managed to defeat their bitter rivals at Wembley in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. The match was a cagey affair before Yaya Toure scored the winning goal after 52 minutes. City went on to win the cup, defeating Stoke in the final.

Manchester United 3 Manchester City 2 - Community Shield, August 7, 2011

United managed to exact revenge on City for their FA Cup defeat with a stunning second-half comeback at Wembley. Joleon Lescott and Edin Dzeko had put City 2-0 in front at half-time, but United responded brilliantly after the break with goals from Chris Smalling and Nani just before the hour levelling things up. Then, in the 90th minute, Nani added his second of the game to secure the Shield for United.

Manchester United 1 Manchester City 6 - Premier League, October 23, 2011

City produced a brilliant display to completely dismantle their local title rivals. The first half had been close, with City leading narrowly thanks to a Mario Balotelli strike. However, it all changed in the second period once Jonny Evans had been sent off two minutes after the restart. United capitulated and goals from Balotelli, Sergio Aguero, David Silva and two from Dzeko ensured City thoroughly embarrassed their neighbours.

Balotelli nets his second in 2011 Credit: PA Pictures

Manchester City 1 Manchester United 0 - Premier League, April 30, 2012

This was arguably the most important Manchester derby in decades. The two clubs were battling it out for the Premier League title, with United going into the game three points ahead of City. The Sky Blues scored the winner on the stroke of half-time when captain Vincent Kompany nodded in from a corner. Victory moved City to the top of the Premier League on goal difference, having been eight points behind United just a month prior. City held their nerve and beat United to the league title come May.

Manchester City deny Simeone approach

Atletico Madrid's Argentinian head coach Diego Simeone. Credit: Press Association.

Manchester City have denied making an offer to, or being interested in, Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone.

With City looking set to go trophyless this season, there has been plenty of talk of late about the prospect of manager Manuel Pellegrini being replaced in the summer.

Simeone - who Atletico on Tuesday confirmed had signed a new contract with them through to 2020 - had been among those mentioned as a potential successor.

And on the latest edition of Sky Sports' Revista de La Liga programme, Spanish journalist Guillem Balague claimed the Argentinian would be staying on with his current employers despite having had a "huge offer" from City.

However, City sources have categorically denied to Press Association Sport that the club made a bid for Simeone's services or that they are interested in the 44-year-old.

Since Simeone took charge at Atletico in 2011, the trophies they have won include the Europa League and Primera Division, and they have also reached the Champions League final.

Chilean Pellegrini guided City to the Barclays Premier League title, victory in the Capital One Cup final and the club's first-ever participation in the Champions League knock-out rounds last season, his first term in the job.

Since then they have suffered a second successive last-16 exit in the continental competition, and in the Premier League - their last hope of silverware in 2014-15 - they are currently second, six points behind Chelsea, who have a game in hand.

Manuel Pellegrini, Manchester City. Credit: Press Association.
  1. Chris Hall, ITV News

What future for Manuel Pellegrini after City crash out of the Champions League?

Manuel Pellegrini has described Manchester City's exit from the Champions League as a disappointment and not a failure.

City were knocked out by Barcelona for the second successive season, losing 3-1 on aggregate.

Pellegrini says talks over his future at the club will be held at the end of the season.

The pressure's on to get back in the Premier League title race.

Chris Hall reports:

Kompany: City have a long way to go

A dejected Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany at last night's game. Credit: Press Association.

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany accepts the club still remain a long way short of fulfilling their European dreams.

The gap between City and the continent's best clubs was starkly illustrated on Wednesday as Barcelona dumped the English champions out of the Champions League with a commanding performance at the Nou Camp.

Thanks to the brilliance of Joe Hart, City at least kept the scoreline respectable - losing 1-0 for a 3-1 aggregate defeat - but they were distinctly second best to a Barca side inspired by the magnificent Lionel Messi.

City may have made considerable progress in the seven years since their Abu Dhabi takeover, but the journey still has a long way to go.

"The reality is they were a better team, there is no shame in admitting that. For me there is a big, big difference.

"I will just mention Bayern Munich and Barcelona, and then there are the rest of the teams, with Real Madrid probably in between.

"Ultimately we have always said our goal is to become as good as them, but it will take some time. They are really good.

"Bayern Munich and Barcelona are not just Champions League-winning teams, they are World Cup-winning teams as well. They have generations that have played together a long time. "Of course we want to make up the gap but you just have to be true to yourself. We have the ambition to be as good as they are one day, but it is not going to happen overnight."

– Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany.

City's exit meant that England will not have a representative in the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the second time in three seasons.

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