City v Liverpool

Oh dear, where do I begin with this preview. This is a team we really don’t want to be playing after a confidence sapping non performance in Southern France. They will have had a full week to prepare, we will probably have two days, last game before an international break, we always lose these. Sagna has spoken of how we’ll put it right against Liverpool, ha ha you have to laugh don’t you it happens every time we’ve suffered a setback, and yes we never give anybody the backlash. Trash talk all the time I’m afraid.

Liverpool’s high press game on Sunday will kill us I feel as we’re running on empty at present, and they should win at a canter. Yaya, Zab, Navas, Fernando, Iheanacho, Nolito could all feature as I think Pep will try and freshen the squad up a bit. Anyway it won’t make a scrap of difference to the final score. City 0 Liverpool 2.

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64 thoughts on “City v Liverpool”

  1. I can’t find much positive to say at the moment. Even if we go 2-0 up by some chance, there are always a couple of goals in us to be conceded. I suppose I should be consistent and say 3-1 to City and by gum, I will.

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  2. I don’t think Pep will tweak it that much. I think part of the problem of that atrocious first half was down to the players being caught in two minds of whether to commit to attack or be pragmatic after conceding the early goal. I think Sane, Silva, Sterling, & Aguero keep their place, with KDB dropping deep beside Fernandinho as he did in the second half. I can perhaps see Pep slightly tweaking the backline, with Clichy giving way to Delph who will come inside to the mf when City attack, much like we Alaba & Lahm do for Bayern.
    I realize the back four are getting a lot the blame for the cl exit but I actually think the mf & attack have a lot to answer for as well, particularly as they failed to press aggressively in the first half. It also didn’t help that Aguero and KDB were well below par. I’d also would actually criticize Sane as well. For all his speed and trickery, he is often quilty of giving the ball away carelessly, as well as making poor decisions of when to shoot or pass, his decision to try and beat Subasic from a ridiculous angle after getting behind was absolutely criminal, especially as he had options in the box. Bottomline I think Pep will give most of the guys who started in Monaco a chance at redemption and I think we will see a response as the players know they let themselves down.

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  3. There is always the opportunity to gain redemption in football and this is it.
    While the beautiful game that Pep believes is a joy to watch we lack the anger at times,an anger that manifests itself in footballing terms not the one that results in red cards. Liverpool are feeling “cocky” at the moment knowing as everybody in football knows that we cannot cope with the so called “high press” and will be “down” after the Monaco debacle. Fortune favours the brave so they say.

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  4. Sorry guys but we’ve never ever given a side this supposed backlash that we always hear about after a poor result. Liverpool will start at a tempo we can’t live with go three up within thirty mins, then we decide to start in the second half claw two goals back and miss several other chances to equalise. Too little too late again. We’re far too predictable.

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    1. Or there’s the alternative scenario, a bit like what happened against Chelsea. We start high tempo ourselves make lots of chances, fail to take them and go in 0-0 at half time. In the second half, Liverpool score with their first and second chances of the game at which point our heads go down and we eventually lose 3-0.

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  5. Bunch of pessimists….. If you were to go on a Liverpool fan-site you’d find an endless slew of angst and how they really don’t want to be going away to City when they’re playing so shit. I think both teams will be tentative and lacking in confidence (ours from Wednesday, theirs from the last 2 months). But the difference is that we seem to have some resilience in the League and if we were to go a goal down I’d back to come back at them. If we score first I think they’ll start to look back on their recent league form and get more jittery.

    I do the think the time has to given KDB a week on the beach. He’s just not been at it for a while now and without him we can have Dinho and Yaya, Sterling, Sane, Silva and Serg. Good game to try Vinny one more time – he hates Liverpool – just so long as we have Ota and Kolarov available to replace him after his hammy goes on 23 mins.

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  6. With regard to the Pep debate – I don’t think he’s entirely blameless, but I’m not convinced he’s a fraud either. This is certainly the weakest of the 3 squads he’s inherited. The age profile isn’t great, some of the players simply aren’t good enough and there are psychological flaws in the squad as a whole – not enough leaders, not enough ruthless winners, and element of an inferiority complex and a touch of laziness. How much of this is Guardiola’s fault? He didn’t buy most of the squad. Where I suspect he IS culpable, is that his belief in his ability, his philosophy and his track record has lead to an over confidence (arrogance?) that he could achieve great things with these players, despite their short-comings. Maybe he wanted to prove that he could? How many of us thought that Kolorov would, should even, have been out of the door last summer? Yet Pep has tried to turn him from a decidedly average full-back into a top class centre back. If he’d been 23 it may have been an experiment worth trying but a bit late now. But that’s Pep for you. Another Phillip Lahm in the making ? Well, not really, as it’s turned out……

    Maybe this self belief lead Pep not to push for more signings last summer when the true City watchers were well aware of where the squad needed strengthening. Well Pep mi amigo, the chickens have come home to roost now. You can’t depend on this squad of players and his reactions during the game and his comments post match show that he now knows it. A watershed moment in the history of the club and I expect a quite ruthless cull in the summer, including some surprises, as he and the club ensure there will never be a repeat. I’m convinced he will get it right and he’ll be given the resources so to do. It’s a shame it won’t include Vincent, Zaba, Yaya and others who have served the club well but there we are.

    On the subject of Sunday’s game, how can you possible predict it when it could be anything from a 3-0 victory to a 4-0 defeat? Which Manchester City will take to the field? Which Manchester City will be playing 85 minutes later? As ever, the great unpredictables!

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    1. “Pep” had plenty of time to bring at least one or two players in RB , why he didn’t is a question only he can answer. I like “Pep” he has made mistakes,and I am sure he will be the first to admit so when the dust has settled on an underachieving season.
      Strange isn’t it RB how at the start of the season when myself and others were saying that he may need time the players that are now being readied for the cull were winning six games on the bounce and being tipped to win everything in sight. I think it must also be taken into account that for different reasons we have been deprived of three match changing players for most of the season.
      As for predicting football results is there any team that is predictable this season( just maybe apart from the pensioners?). As an ex-bookie it really is a mugs game but this is Liverpool at the Etihad not Real Madrid at the Bernabeau and I do think we can win it although I would bet against a 3-0 win or a 4-0 defeat.

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      1. The turning point for the season was probably the Celtic game when our flaws were laid bare for all to see and exploited by all that were able.

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      2. I feel you Steve. I think the reason Pep didn’t make a move for a rb or lb is that traditional fullbacks who motor up and down the flanks don’t really suit his system as he likes them tuck in the midfield. He was quoted as saying if he could he would play with 10 mf’s and a gk. Alaba, Lahm & are exceptions to traditional fullbacks as they have the skillset and intelligence of a midfielder. I’m not surprised he experimented with Fernandinho in a lb position and I won’t be surprised at all if he tries the same with Delph at some point. In fact I think over the summer he will continue to look to sign cb’s & versatile mf’s he thinks can play at fb as well. If that’s the case I think he should look to the Bundesliga at either Benidikt Howedes of Schalke or Matthias Ginter of Dortmund as both are comfortable playing as cb’s or fb’s. Howedes for me is an underrated player who can play any position across the back, has excellent technical skill, is very good in the air, and excellent in the tackle and surprisingly fast. I’d be fine with Pep making a move for Dani Alves as a stopgap solution as he knows Pep’s systems and would be a good mentor for Maffeo, who I definitely think will be called back from Girona (I know some of my fellow citizens are upset that Maffeo & some other talented youngsters were sent out on loan, but I think that might be some man-management on Peps behalf because some the old guard could not exactly be sent out on loan given their wages until they are out of contract and I think, or hope he is trying to maintain good relationship and respect with the old guard). That’s my theory and I am sticking to it…

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  7. Things definitely turned after that first Celtic game Steve. It’s as though the players all together thought ‘ shit we’re not that good afterall’ and belief drained in an instant. Results were poor after.

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    1. I think it was the first time we watched as they were trying to play it out from the back that the crowd was actively encouraging their forwards to pressure Bravo or whoever had the ball. Three mistakes cost us three goals and the confidence drained out of the players

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  8. Swansea in the League Cup before that Celtic game. They pressured us and although it was a second strong team we had, they showed the flaws in the style we adopted. Celtic and then Spurs are better teams and made it count.

    We know the players were never good enough however I’m actually prepared to turn a blind eye and accept that Pep didn’t get his first two choice defenders last summer and the guys, with the exception of that first half, are trying. As someone said, maybe this one step back to go forward two next year.

    The next three games will tell us whether we go back anymore steps first. I’m keeping the faith though.

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  9. I think above all else, we are a ‘confidence team’. At the start of the season confidence was high, the results came. The Swansea performance was not great but resulted in a win, the confidence our good run gave us carried us through. The Celtic game (Celtic, by the way, not Barca, either of the Madrid clubs or Bayern Munich) showed our flaws and the confidence drained out of the team. There then followed other disappointing performances and results until we refound our mojo against weaker opposition and could then put together a bit of form. Suddenly that confidence can disappear – e.g. second half at Goodison, first ten minutes at Leicester and we again look quite poor (that’s right, I said poor – much worse than ‘below par’.) Why do we always struggle against the same opponents? Why do we underperform in Europe? It’s a confidence thing. This is why I have some concerns about tomorrow – low confidence after Wednesday AND against a team we traditionally struggle against.

    As ever, the first goal will be absolutely crucial. If we get it, it can transform our performance. If they do………….

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    1. Agree RB, but i think we already know how we will start the game. Slow, slow, slow is my guess with Liverpool players on to us from the first second. Can’t see them giving us a sniff tomorrow, but please prove me wrong City.

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  10. Confidence is at the heart and soul of Peps ideology. Closing down, hoofing the ball up to the big striker,dead ball situations,harassing the opposition can and are used by many teams but will only get a team so far. The close passing “tik a tak”game requires players of a certain skill and confidence level and also players that can get back to retain possession,players that we don’t have enough of. Maybe next season?

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    1. ….and Mourinho complains about his club’s fixtures!! Which clown organised that date and arranging for us to play Liverpool directly after the Monaco game?

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  11. I don’t actually think we have been playing shit. We played complete and utter shit for 45-minutes on Wednesday but we should remember our form had been very good since the Everton fiasco. I am very nervous about what might happen but am going to trust them to do the business tomorrow. So it’s a Sterling inspired 2-0 for me.

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  12. Bad feelings abound, today. I have no expectation other than a torrid afternoon and zero points. We never seem to be able to beat this lot, apart from the odd freak result. Another of our many bogey teams. Please prove me wrong, you Blue boys.

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  13. I like the playing out from the back starting with Bravo,it does get the nerves a jangling and can get us in the s..t,but it can also take 3-4 opposition players out of the equation if we counter attack quickly enough, which I can see happening against Liverpool.

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  14. Not sure this is the right game to continue the Fernandinho as right-back experiment. Not confident, but it’s City so anything could happen

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  15. Sergio, Sergio Sergio wtf are you doing?, what has happened to you?. Yes he got the equaliser but he’s also missing far too many chances, ones he should be burying. That’s my only real gripe today, because i thought we’d be absolutely done in from Weds night but our energy levels were excellent today, matched a fresh Liverpool all the way. Disappointed we didn’t win, but i expected worse today so it’s a bit of a bonus i guess.

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  16. Poor Michael Oliver. I’m sending him a corset to help straighten him up. Blind as well as bent though, quite a combination. I lost count at three penalties denied us and one that even Gary Neville thought was only 50/50 given against us. We missed three nailed on chances too and what with Cab’s good saves keeping us in the game, I will have to say that I settled for the point in the end as it denies Liverpool two more.

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    1. Well Tony, just listening to five live and the sport headline was Man City lose more ground on leaders Chelsea. Not Liverpool of course, just City. Twats!.

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  17. Mr Oliver didn’t given the Otamendi on Mane penalty shout, which looked a stronger claim than the one he did give. Still not in the Clattenburg/Taylor league for giving dreadful decisions against City imo.

    Over the course of the ninety minutes, Liverpool had the better chances and Willy kept us in the game. Pep seemed to have settled for a point with the Fernando for Sane substitution. Not a bad game for the neutral and any rival for next season’s Chimps League places.

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    1. I think Niall Quinn called that one right when he said that mane got entangled in Otamendi’s legs more than it being a deliberate foul. I don’t know about them having the better chances. Willy made three good saves, whereas ours were two glaring misses and three fairly clear penalty appeals. Anyway, like Pep I settled for a point too.

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  18. Michael Oliver is either useless or bent. He sent off Smalling in the derby, but “missed” two nailed on and one likely penalty AND bottled out of another straight red in the same game. Last year he “missed” the Aguero penalty in the League Cup Final and today he was his normal sh*t self. If he isn’t a cheat, then he is so bad that he shouldn’t be allowed to ref in the top tier again. At least we didn’t lose, but we are back to our one-goal-per-20-efforts strike rate again. Frustrating.

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  19. Nobody can score goals for us except Sergio. It’s been a problem all season with poor contributions from Midfield and zero from our defenders. This missing chances will continue for the rest of the season I’m afraid, it’s as though there’s a betting school going on between the players as to who can miss the most.

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    1. I was praying that Sterling would pop up and grab a winner, particularly after Milner scored their goal. Problem is Sterling still seems to have a mental block when playing against Liverpool. He either tries too hard, over compensates by taking one touch too many or passes when he should shoot. The replay for their penalty actually showed that Otamendi touched the ball, so what was it given for – high foot? Every corner was again wasted and even free kicks in dangerous areas are going the way of corners

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  20. Just watched the MotD highlights and for they were reasonably accurate. They agreed that the shout for a pen by Mane was not a foul and that Milner who’s becoming a dirty little buggar I might add, did foul Sterling. In that move we were denied two penalties as Aguero was fouled too. They didn’t bother to look at the other Sterling penalty when Mingolet took him out or the first half one against Aguero, but both looked good shouts to me. In fairness, there’s looked more like a penalty having watched it again because although Clichy did get a high foot to the ball, his follow through was what did the damage. In the end I will still take the point, but Sterling must be wondering if he’ll ever be awarded a penalty

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  21. A definite penalty for the foul on Sterling, but we only seem to get those decisions against teams at the bottom. Otherwise the ref wasn’t too bad, although his linesman seemed to forget the offside rule for a couple of Liverpool moves in the second half.
    Some great chances for both teams, but not for the first time, the opposition keeper hardly made a save, In fact I can’t remember a season where City have dominated so many home games for so little reward.

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  22. Not too unhappy with that – I was fearing it could be much worse. At 1-0 down we looked like we could cave in for about 15 minutes but fortunately, with Pep’s change in line-up, we turned it around. My only real gripe was, once again, the number of missed chances. If we were clinical in front of goal, it would be us running away with the Premier League this season.

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  23. We sit in Colin Bell roughly level with the edge of the South Stand’s penalty area and yes, we were appalled at the linesman on our side who seemed (as Dave says above) to be totally bent with his offside decisions, flagging Sterling off a couple of times when he seemed on and letting them get away with murder on a couple of offside attacks. Then I watched it back and sadly, the guy got it right in the 4-5 contentious offsides. We all like to judge whether someone is offside, the ball’s gone out etc from 75 yards across the pitch but sometimes the linos do get it right.

    Btw, can someone bring a bazooka next time and take out that bloody spider-cam that seems to have appeared.

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  24. No mention of U****D until mid way through the second half, and only then to tell us they won, so not too bad on the parts of the commentators, who was despicably Jim Beglin….cause he’s impartial in every sense of the word….every sense…

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    1. That’s a good point. Im not sure what the process is however in real life (real life docos like Law & Order and Matlock etc) the defence will use other instances of the same nature and the relevant punishment to be decide, so if I was MCFC I would go in with the years and years of footage of all these other teams (U****d) doing the same thing and not being punished. For example, when Fernandinho got sent off vs Burnley for the two-footed challenge, I would appleaed and showed videos of both Rojo’s ‘tackles’ vs Everton and Palace and claimed that the standard punishment for a two-footed challenge is a yellow card. Put it back on the PL to either admit their referees are poor or that U****D get a free ride of they are scared of Mourinho.

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  25. It is not possible to compare situations because the officials will always drag out the old chestnut “interpretation of the laws” was the intent there? When Fellaini smashes his elbow into an opponents face he makes sure he is always looking away. Intent is the escape clause to cover a referees arse and give him the power to justify any stupid/bent decision. I interpreted Clichy’s foul for the penalty as a genuine if clumsy attempt to get the ball,which he did. Then we get into that more mysterious area of “yes it was a foul but was it enough to bring him down”. The Clichy foul, I would say no.
    At least three decisions have been so obviously wrong that even some neutrals have expressed sympathy. The Sterling penalty decision against Spurs,the Kyle Walker decision and Luiz foul in the Chelsea game,there may be others but the Luiz decision would have put a different complexion on the title race. I really don’t understand why we just accept it, would any other club? It’s bit like letting someone kick you up the arse and the apologizing in case they hurt their foot.
    It really doesn’t matter who we have as manager,how much we spend or how well we play if we sit back and footballing hierarchy shaft us.
    I see since Ranieri went Leicester are back on the “Beetroot Juice”. Will some accurate drug testing be used before they stun world football by winning the Chimps League with a rag bag of players that looked odds on to get relegated?

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  26. haven’t United had a similar charge for their behaviour at Stamford Bridge? The FA will be terrified of Mourinho claiming discrimination so see fit to charge us for this trivial protest. Sickening.

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    1. It seems to happen quite regularly now but we don’t care when it happens to non-top 6 teams. United and Chelsea got a bit more publicity for their fines than Stoke but it’s a standard thing. You don’t badger the ref and if you do, that’ll be £20K please. It’s all so stupid – when did a ref last say that they’d been swayed by a player’s eloquent arguments and were going to reverse their decision. The only thing players can ever do is to get a ref to consult his linesmen for clarification. The rest is just trying to add weight to the hard-done-by scales in the hope of an evener-upper decision and that just risks alienating the ref. Decision went against you, however wrong. Suck it up and move on.

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      1. I would suggest Geoff that the modern footballer has played so much football (We are scouting 3 year olds) that when an incident like that happens and the players complain en masse so vehemently there is a strong possibility that a mistake has been made and in this situation a group of players that have accepted some very poor decisions without getting out of control have every right to complain. We always expect passion and determination from our heroes and although complaining seldom affects the outcome it is a normal human reaction to a perceived injustice don’t you think?

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      2. Yes, unless there was abusive language being used, which didn’t look to be the case from what I could see. The players just seemed to be saying that Clichy got the ball. If the FA are going to charge clubs for their players standing and complaining to the referee every time a penalty is awarded, that’s fair enough but I can guarantee that next time it happens involving anyone else, no action will be taken. That’s not consistency, that’s conspiracy.

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  27. Yeah, Rooney harangues the ref every time he plays effing and blinding at him in the process. What gets done, absolutely fcuk all. This is where the total inconsistency of it all comes into play. Not being biased but scum should’ve been charged a heck of a lot more than they have.
    Another thing that’s baffling me is how certain outlets of the media, pundits alike are now saying it’s impossible for us to win the title playing Pep’s attacking brand of football. Much better to grind out 1-0 wins they say. Oh well watch us try that and get similar slagging off them again for our boring style of football. We can’t win can we?.

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  28. According some esteemed experts,Quinn,Souness included, whatever the penalty was given for,high foot a push.tackling from behind it was a correct one. Maybe Ollie realised he had not fulfilled his quota of anti City decisions and panicked.

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    1. The same Quinn who now says Pochettino is a better manager than Pep. These so called pundits are stealing a living and they bloody know it.

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  29. I’ve just been watching the highlights on the Club’s website and for Lallana’s howler I’m sure he’s offside when the ball’s played into the area although the player who pulls it back is okay. Even though he’s behind the ball when it’s pulled back shouldn’t the original offside be flagged?

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    1. I thought he looked offside too Tony, but they have confused me so much with the change in the rules, I assumed I was wrong. The linesman’s flag didn’t go up so I’m not convinced it wouldn’t have been given had ne not ballsed it up

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  30. Yes, I thought offside too but interestingly haven’t seen a replay where they put a line across the pitch to prove it one way or the other – you know, the kind they show to demonstrate that a City player was one inch offside……

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  31. You have all missed the small clause in the new offside rules: that any player further forward than the last defender shall be flagged offside, EXCEPT when the opponents are Manchester City.

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    1. Was that rule decided at the same meeting that changed the penalty ruling”Any player deemed to have been fouled in the penalty area shall be awarded a penalty kick,unless his name is Sergio Aguero or Raheem Sterling”.
      Wasn’t the offside rule created to prevent “Goal Hanging” whereby teams just hoofed the ball to a couple of blokes who spent the game standing next to the goalie?
      If so how does it benefit the game to disallow a goal because a linesman sees, or thinks he sees the tip of a players knee sticking out?

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  32. I see we are supposedly after a player called Donnarumma. Wasn’t Donnarumma the drummer with Donna Summer when she sang the theme tune for “Dumb and Dumber? (try saying that after five or six Yates Blobs) or am I getting conthfused.

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