Manchester City extended their unbeaten start to the Premier League with an uneventful goalless draw at Stamford Bridge. The stalemate meant that Roberto Mancini’s side lost their position at the top of the table, but the champions have a chance to gain revenge with another round of Premier League fixtures during the week.
On Wednesday evening the Citizens have their second away game on the spin as they travel to Wigan. Roberto Martinez had hat-trick hero Jordi Gomez to thank for the weekend victory over Reading and they will need all the Spaniard’s magic here if they are to end a dreadful run against the champions.
Anyone looking at Wigan’s goal markets for the clash might be interested to hear that the Latics haven’t scored against City for five straight matches – or 450 minutes of action. They have also failed to find the back of the net against their next opponents in six of the past seven meetings.
Tuesday night will see Manchester City welcoming Dutch champions Ajax to the Etihad Stadium in the Champions League in what is a decisive encounter.
City, despite not yet hitting top gear this season, will be quietly confident of collecting all three points. Although they currently lie bottom of Group D with just one point, they know only a win will be good enough to keep their slim chances of qualification alive and should be fired up.
The Etihad has proved to be a fortress in European competition with Man City losing only once in 35 games (W25 D9 L1).
The Citizens faced a resilient side in West Ham on Sunday and the 0-0 stalemate was the first time since April that the Manchester club have failed to score in a game.
Although Ajax trounced Roberto Mancini’s side 3-1 at home last month, their recent away form does not make pleasant reading for their fans, having drawn four and lost one of their last five away games.
Ajax were beaten 2-0 at home this weekend in the league by third placed Vitesse Arnhem and it is likely that the hosts will also prove too strong for the Dutch team.
Manchester City needed an 87th minute winner from Edin Dzeko at Craven Cottage to spare their blushes on the weekend, although it was another game that Manchester City failed to keep a clean sheet in.
Roberto Mancini’s side returns to European action on Wednesday night looking to avenge their dramatic defeat in the Bernabeu. Borussia Dortmund are the visitors and they won’t want reminding about how strong City have been at home in Europe.
City are unbeaten in 17 successive home matches, but they have never played Dortmund before. The Premier League champions also boast of an impressive record against German opposition, with the side beating Bayern Munich 2-0 in the final group game of last season.
That was City’s third win when playing a German club for the fourth occasion, the other result finished all square.
Manchester City began their title defense with three points, but it was anything but plain sailing as Southampton gave the champions a real scare. Roberto Mancini’s side head to Anfield next where Brendan Rodgers desperately needs a result after the debacle at the Hawthorns.
The Kop will offer Rodgers their full support and the ground is sure to be rocking for City’s visit. Even at this early stage the pressure is on Rodgers and he knows he cannot afford to see his players have to face City with a man down like they did against West Brom.
City took four points from Liverpool in 2011/12, although the 1-1 draw on Merseyside extended their run without a win there to ten matches across all competitions. Mancini wasn’t helped when Mario Balotelli was given his marching orders in the league game at Anfield. That red card was the second successive league game that City have someone dismissed against Liverpool.
When finishing in the top two of the Championship last year, Southampton became only the eleventh side in English football history to gain promotion from the third tier to the top-flight in successive seasons. Manager Nigel Adkins deserves a huge amount of praise for the achievement, but it looks set to be a tough start to life back with the best as a trip to the Etihad beckons.
The Saints’ opening game of their last season in the Premier League (2003/04) ended with an away defeat and after the flying start City made in 2011/12, travelling fans from the South Coast will be expecting the worst. Roberto Mancini’s side opened up with a 4-0 victory over newly promoted Swansea last year before going on to win their first four fixtures, scoring 15 times.
Although Sergio Aguero didn’t find the back of the net in the Community Shield he scored a brace in the opener a year ago against Swansea. His first three competitive games in a City shirt brought a decent return of three goals.