Tag Archives: Manchester

Ferdinand visits computer village in Ikeja, Lagos ..


Rio Ferdinand, a former Manchester United defender, has paid a surprise visit to the computer village, a popular ICT accessories market in Ikeja, Lagos state.

The ex-English football professional was in Nigeria on a three-day media tour and other series of events with Guinness, a beer brand that he represents.

On Friday, he had joined the likes of Davido, Kenya’s Sauti Sol, and Uganda’s Bebe Cool in the commercial city for the Pan-African Finale of the Guinness Night Football campaign.


However, what thrilled Lagos residents was when the 41-year-old ex-football star stormed Computer Village with his entourage, causing a stir among both shop owners and petty traders alike.

TheCable had earlier reported that Odion Ighalo, former Super Eagles striker, joined Manchester United on a six-month loan from Shanghai Shenhua, with an option to buy after the period.


Reacting to the development during his radio interview in Nigeria, Ferdinand said that what would be the difficulty for Ighalo is the challenge of transitioning in terms of football standard.

“I hope he does come good. Obviously, the difficulty is that he’s coming from a league that is trying to become a big-league and the quality is not the same as the premier league,” he said.


“Is he going to be as fit as we need him to be? Is he going to hit the ground running? Is it going to be easy for him to adjust, considering the difference in football standard?

“He hasn’t played this type of football in the premier league for two years now.


“So, it’s going to be interesting to see if his coming in is positive. From his record in English football, I think he’s just over one in going in every two games.

“What we needed in Man United is experience. You look upfront, we had Daniel James, played a handful of games and Mashall. There’s no experience there. You need some experience.

“He has that. He has a good pedigree in that sense. But there are still lots of question marks that remain. So, time will tell.”

Ferdinand is visiting the country for the third time. The football star had first visited in 2018 after Babatunde Fashola, the then-governor of Lagos, invited him to the commercial city.


#Newsworthy…

#NobleSport

Pogba attached with €60m nonsensical January transfer to Juventus

…Plus Emre Can

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has been ambitiously linked with a January return to former club Juventus in a deal that Italian newspaper Tuttosport claims could be quickly wrapped up for as little as €60m plus former Liverpool midfielder Emre Can.

It is a story that has already been widely repeated by various news outlets, but one that does not add up on a number of counts and is therefore difficult to believe holds much truth.

Tuttosport’s claim is that Pogba is ‘fed up’ of Manchester United and that he ‘dreams’ of returning to Juve, where he previously spent four years between 2012 and 2016.

It is alleged by the publication that United ‘could deal immediately’ if Juve were to make an offer worth €60m (£52m) plus Can. But given that Can is deemed by Transfermarkt to have a market value of little more than €30m, it puts the overall value of any such deal at less than €100m.

Compare that to the summer when rough estimates of Pogba’s price tag, should United even be willing to entertain offers, was in the region of €180m, around double.

Tuttosport’s story rests on the idea that United would be so desperate to get rid of Pogba, a player the sports daily describes as being like a ‘foreign body’ at Old Trafford, that they would be willing to accept a considerably unfavourable deal midway through the season.

Add to that Can’s Liverpool past and United’s need for a creative player rather than a more orthodox central midfielder and it all makes very little sense.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer declared in no uncertain terms as recently as Friday that Pogba ‘is not being sold in January’. The Frenchman’s long-awaited return from injury two days later was then described by Solskjaer as ‘the only plus’ in the club’s defeat to Watford.

Also on Friday, Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola gave an interview stating that his client wants to stay at Old Trafford: “Paul wants to be successful and happy and wants to win prizes and he would love to do that with Manchester United.”

Raiola alluded to a desire to join Real Madrid before the season began, but also explained that Pogba does not want to be the type of player that kicks up a fuss. It suggests that United’s refusal to sell him is therefore a decision that he will respect.

#NobleSport

Atletico Madrid stares at United’s Nemanja Matic ahead June.

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matić is a surprise transfer target for Diego Simeone’s

The Serbia international has made just seven appearances across all competition this season, although Matić has started just one Premier League game and appears to have lost his place in United’s first-team squad to Scott McTominay.

Matić only has six months left on his contract at Manchester United, but AS report that Atlético Madrid will look to prise the midfielder away from Old Trafford in a cut-price deal during the January transfer window.

UEFA Europa League”Manchester United v AZ Alkmaar”
Atléti manager Simeone is believed to be looking to add more experience to his side as they push for silverware both domestically and in Europe.

As part of Matić’s contract, United do have the option to extend it for another year but it’s unknown if they’ll take up that option – especially if Atlético express an interest in signing the midfielder next month.

Italian giants Inter are also said to be interested in signing Matić during the January transfer window, where the Serbian would be given the chance to work under Antonio Conte.

While Atléti are interested in signing Matić, it’s pointed out that a new midfielder will be lower down their priorities as they look to sign a new striker to solve their problems going forward.

Portuguese wonderkid and club-record signing João Félix has struggled to adapt to his new surroundings, scoring just four goals in 17 appearances for Los Colchoneros.

Álvaro Morata has established himself as the club’s top goalscorer this season, but only has six goals in La Liga himself – less than the likes of Lucas Pérez, Loren Morón, Gerard Moreno and Ángel Rodríguez.

Atlético still have Diego Costa on their books too, but the former Chelsea star has struggled with injuries this season and has only scored two goals across all competitions.

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I will create winning mentality – Mikel Arteta Promise Arsenal.

…to convince the players

Mikel Arteta says he will try to install a “winning mentality” at Arsenal after being appointed as Unai Emery’s successor in north London.

It’s the 37-year-old’s first step into management after spending three years working alongside Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, where Arteta has been credited for having a major impact on their success.

But after returning to the club where he spent the last five years of his playing career, Arteta says Arsenal’s players have to be prepared to accept “a different way of thinking” if they want to start being successful once again.

“I have to try to convince the players about what I want to do and how I want to do it,” Arteta said, quoted by The Telegraph. “They have to start accepting a ­different process, a different way of thinking, and I want to get all the staff and everybody at the club with the same mindset.

“We have to build a culture that has to sustain the rest. If you do not have the right culture, in the difficult moments the tree is going to shake.

“So, my job is to convince everybody that this is how we are going to live, and if you are going to be part of this organisation it has to be in these terms and in this way.

“What I have learnt [from Guardiola] is mostly that you have to be ruthless. You have to be consistent and you have to fit every day the culture of the club to create a ­winning mentality.”

Arteta has signed a three-and-a-half year contract with Arsenal and will be watching on as Freddie Ljungberg takes charge of his last game against Everton on Saturday.

Arsenal’s new boss will be in the dugout for the first time when they face Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth on Boxing Day.

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Just in – Manchester city test Iheanacho, Ndidi.

Hard tackling Leicester city midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi and fellow country and club compatriot Kelechi Iheanacho would alongside their team mates host Premier League champions, Manchester city at the King power stadium on Saturday (today). Ndidi has had an impressive season so far with two goals in 16 appearances including putting up fantastic displays in the heart of Leicester’s midfield.Sitting in third position, Manchester city are trailing table toppers Liverpool with 14 points and tommorrow’s hosts Leicester with four points.

Striker, Kelechi Iheanacho would be hoping to add to his brillaint two goals in three games this season if he gets called into action by Brendan Rogers. Despite having little playing time, he has performed well with the moments he has gotten.

Pep Guardiola’s men would be hoping to breath life into their dying fight for the title while Leicester city would be aiming at keeping their unexpected flying start to the seasons

#NobleSport.

Guardiola is the world’s best coach – Klopp insist.

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has hailed his Manchester City counterpart Pep Guardiola as the best in the world, not for the first time.

The two bosses have a long history competing against one another. Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund side came up short against Guardiola’s Bayern Munich between 2013 and 2015, and City have had the edge over Liverpool ever since Guardiola’s arrival in England.

Jurgen Klopp,Josep Guardiola
Klopp’s admiration for Guardiola is well known, and speaking to Sky Sports, he reiterated that there is no rivalry between the pair, but instead a healthy level of competition – going on to state, once more, that his Spanish adversary is the best in the business.

“I’m lucky that I can say that my teams were at least close to his teams because I’ve said a lot of times, I think he is the best manager in the world,” he said. “What he is doing with his team is incredible. The way they play, I really like to watch.

“Pep and I, we are different, so our teams mirror our character. He is much finer than I am as a person so he is the gentleman and I look how I look on the touchline. Probably a bit more intense maybe.

“There’s no rivalry left or right of football. We respect each other lots but on the pitch we want to beat them, that’s normal.

“At the end of the season in most of the seasons he has still won the league. In Germany always, and in England so far as well. That’s how it is but I can easily live with that because I have no problem with being second even when I want to be first.”

Liverpool have already opened up a ten-point lead at the top of the Premier League table, with City currently 14 points behind. It was suggested to Klopp that this Liverpool side could be on the brink of an era of domination, but he was not interested in such claims.

“I don’t think that something like that is possible still, this kind of domination in periods,” he added. It’s not too long ago that we had the Barcelona of Pep Guardiola dominating pretty much everything.

“Man City dominating the Premier League for the last years since Pep is here at least. They are incredible and they have to fight each week.

“We don’t think about ourselves like this. We don’t think that somebody has to name us on the same level with any Ajax team, any [Manchester] United teams or other teams in the world. We just want to play the best football we can play and we want to have the best time together we can have.”

#NobleSport

Mourinho still a Premier League force to reckon with.

…FIFA stats proves

Tottenham’s 2-1 last gasp win away at Wolves on Sunday kept alive an astonishing Premier League record for boss José Mourinho.

The Portuguese manager has gone over four years since seeing his side lose after going ahead in an English top-flight game.

Jose Mourinho,Christian Eriksen,Jan Vertonghen
So Spurs fans needn’t have worried when Wolves star Adama Traoré cancelled out Lucas Moura’s early opener, with Mourinho at the helm, a Spurs loss was unthinkable.

Clearly Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen was aware of his manager’s unbeaten streak, duly popping up with an injury-time header to snatch all three points.

In total, Mourinho has overseen 54 games without loss when his side have opened the scoring, winning 48 of those encounters while coming away with a point in the other six.

Even in his ill-fated spell with Manchester United, Mourinho kept the record intact, not suffering defeat in any of the 49 games which the Red Devils struck first during his tenure.

The last time Mourinho tasted defeat after his team scored first was back in October 2015 during his second stint with Chelsea.

The opponents on the day were Southampton and despite Willian striking first for Mourinho’s men, the Blues slumped to a 3-1 home defeat to the Saints.

Midfielder Steven Davis drew the visitors level before Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle scored in the second half to seal a shock win at Stamford Bridge.

The result capped a torrid start to the season for Mourinho and Chelsea, who found themselves in 16th position in the Premier League standings.

Chelsea had just eight points from their opening eight games and sat four points above the relegation places.

It was the beginning of the end for Mourinho in West London and he departed the club in December 2015, after watching his side lose nine of their opening 16 Premier League games that season.

After his spell at Old Trafford, Mourinho returned to management last month, replacing Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham, after the Argentine was sacked.

After Sunday’s dramatic victory over Wolves, Spurs moved up to fifth in the league, only three points adrift of Chelsea in the final Champions League spot.

Mourinho has won four of his five Premier League games as Spurs boss, with the Lilywhites taking the lead in all of those victories.

But the ‘Special One’ faces a real challenge in his next encounter when he comes up against former club Chelsea at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.

#NobleSport

Pep Guardiola ban players from Christmas.

Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola has cancelled Christmas for his first-team stars, as they have all been banned from attending the club’s festive party.

According to Goal, Guardiola is keen to avoid another festive slump, like the one which threatened to derail their treble hopes last year. After last year’s celebrations, Manchester City were surprisingly beaten 3-2 at home to Crystal Palace and then lost to Leicester four days later.

They eventually recovered to successfully defend their Premier League title. And with City currently 14 points behind league leaders Liverpool, Guardiola has taken action to avoid a similar slump by banning players from this year’s bash.

#NobleSport.

Manchester City Dance Majestically To UCL Last 16.

…serve Dinamo Zagreb right

A hat trick by Gabriel Jesus has powered Manchester City into the last sixteen of the UEFA Champions League.

Man City came from behind to win 4-1, shattering Dinamo Zagreb’s Champions League ambition.

A win for Dinamo would have given the Croatian side a place in the knockout stages for the first time in their history.

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Carlos tevez reveals how he got ridiculed at Man utd, express how Robert surprise him.

Argentine footballer, Carlos Tevez has revealed he was ridiculed at Manchester United because of the Audi car he was driving before one of his teammates gifted him a Lamborghini.

According to the 35-year-old striker, who spent two seasons at Manchester United after he joined them in 2007 from West Ham United, England and Manchester United legend, Wayne Rooney, handed over the keys to a Lamborghini when he discussed the situation with him.

Carlos Tevez reveals Rooney gave him his own Lamborghini when Man Utd team-mates teased him about driving an Audi

‘At Manchester United training, players would turn up with a Ferrari or a Lamborghini,’ Tevez told Marca. ‘Everyone, even the worst player, would have a Ferrari.’

‘I turned up in the Audi that the club gave you and they all bugged me about it, as if it was a Fiat 600. I spoke to Rooney and, the crazy guy that he is, he told me ‘take the Lamborghini’.

Tevez, who made sixty-three (63) appearances and scored 19 goals for the club, added: ‘I went, without registering, around Manchester with this car, he gave it to me.’

Tevez and Rooney amassed 72 goals between them in all competitions, winning the Champions League and back-to-back Premier League titles before the Argentine footballer, who now plays for Boca Juniors in Argentina made a shock switch to Manchester United’s cross-town rivals, Manchester City.

#NobleSport

#Newsworthy…

Jose Mourinho stays at the training ground over night to prepare Tottenham for Burnley.

…After a defeat you cannot be sad

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho says he slept at the club’s training ground to prepare for Saturday’s match against Burnley.

The Portuguese stayed at Hotspur Way in Enfield after his side were beaten 2-1 by Manchester United on his return to his former club.

Mourinho felt that the dressing room was a “sad” place following the loss.

“After a defeat you cannot be sad. You have to be more than that. You have to be raging, angry, not sad,” he said.

Mourinho reportedly slept at the training ground before he was appointed manager during his negotiations with Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy, reports the BBC.

The defeat at Old Trafford was Tottenham’s first under Mourinho.

His side host 12th-placed Burnley at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this weekend.

“I didn’t go home, so the next morning at eight o’clock I was here doing what? Burnley,” Mourinho said.

“Analysing Burnley, trying to organise the training session, trying to organise the meeting, choosing the clips to show them the most clear possible way Burnley works.

“That’s the way you have to do it in football. Don’t accept in a passive way.”

Tottenham are eighth in the Premier League with five wins, five losses and five draws this season.

“It’s obvious we have problems but we have players with quality, a great human dressing room,” Mourinho added.

“I like the guys very much but we need to change that feeling of feeling sorry about our mistakes and feeling sad with our bad results.”

#NobleSport

#Newsworthy…

Man united, solkjaer ole gunnar shades city ahead derby match.

Manchester United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, has aimed a dig at Manchester City ahead of Saturday’s derby, saying “at least we play every year now.”

City’s relegation meant there was no Manchester derby between April 1996 and November 2000.

Solskjaer joined United in 1996 and did not play in his first derby until April 2001.

“At least we play every year now.

“It took many years before I played a Manchester derby myself. It’s changed in a way. Man City are a better team now than when I was playing.

“Manchester derbies are always special games but you can’t say it matters more. For the fans, of course. We’re up for it,” Solskjaer told reporters on Friday.

#Newsworthy…

SPORTSEPL – I’m not a villain – Jose Mourinho says.

…turns on charm before Old Trafford return

José Mourinho may have mentioned this once or twice. Actually, there has not been a press briefing during his short time at Tottenham when he has failed to do so. Yes, the manager is starring in an Amazon Prime documentary about the club’s season.

Mourinho was at it again on Tuesday morning, as he previewed Wednesday night’s visit to his former club Manchester United, which, incidentally, will be carried live by Amazon Prime. Turning his head down and towards the inside of his collar and the ever-present mic, he mentioned the US company and had a bit of fun speaking directly to them, reports the Guardian.

There would be a twist. “I’m also doing an episode for Netflix,” Mourinho said, before detailing his involvement in a sports documentary for Amazon’s great rival. “There are eight coaches from eight different sports, I’ve filmed it already. I don’t know when it comes out.” Cue the mock conspiratorial flourish. “But Amazon guys, they cannot know.”

It was classic Mourinho, an example of his adherence to the have‑cake‑and‑eat‑it model. In Amazon’s big week of Premier League football here was one of its poster boys jumping into bed with the enemy. But do not call it a mis-step, because Mourinho was in no danger of making a blunder.

On the eve of his Old Trafford return, he went to great lengths to ensure there was not so much as a syllable out of place when it came to United – the club he left last December under storm clouds.

It was easy to imagine what Mourinho might have wanted to say, starting with Paul Pogba, United’s £89m player who he found so difficult to manage, particularly after the France midfielder reported for last season as a World Cup winner. Or how about the record of his successor, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, who has taken 26 points from 22 league games since being confirmed in the job on a permanent basis? Mourinho’s last 22 matches at United brought 35 points. Then there is Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman with whom he clashed over recruitment.

Mourinho has not disparaged United and he was not about to do so before the game. On the contrary. His relationship with United fans is strong – they sang his name when he went back to Old Trafford as a TV pundit, which “humbled” him. Mourinho wanted to make it clear he enjoyed good friendships with many of the club’s staff – from Woodward and the director Richard Arnold to the chef, who “calls me to ask how I am”.

“I’ve had this at every club – at Christmas, on the phone will be Ed Woodward, Florentino Pérez, Massimo Moratti, Pinto da Costa,” Mourinho said, bringing in the presidents of Real Madrid, Internazionale and Porto respectively, although overlooking Roman Abramovich of Chelsea. “You have relations with people and this is very important.”

Mourinho described United as a “closed chapter”, an experience that is “in my history book”. He wanted to speak only about the club as an opponent. “I’m not a villain, I’m not an enemy,” he said. “I am the coach trying to win against United – that’s how the United fans are going to look at me.”

For Mourinho it always comes down to trophies. “Mr Mandela said you never lose, you win or you learn,” he said. “At United, I won and I learned.” He did not go into specifics as to what he had learned, other than to say he and his assistants had not looked to blame anyone other than themselves for how it ended, but he was happy to remember the trophies.

“I have a couple of pictures of my time at United in my office at Spurs,” Mourinho said. “One with the Europa League trophy and my son in Stockholm [where the final was played] and one with the Carabao Cup, when you get the cup at the top of Wembley.”

Mourinho feels he is a “better coach now than when I was there” and he continues to whisper sweet nothings into the ears of his Spurs players. He said he is “in love with” Son Heung-min and Dele Alli could achieve “anything he wants”. The contract rebels, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen, are “great professionals”. This is what Mourinho does in the early stages. From leading players down to the ballboys, it is about bolstering belief, instilling a shared sense of purpose.

Spurs go to United brimming with confidence after three wins out of three for Mourinho, who is projecting an image of total happiness. Not that he was unhappy in Manchester, where he lived in an apartment at the Lowry hotel – a subject of no little lampoonery.

“I would be unhappy if I was in a house on my own,” Mourinho said. “I would have to clean; I don’t want. I would have to iron; I don’t know how to. I have to cook … I would cook fried eggs and sausages – that’s the only thing I can do. I lived in an amazing apartment – a flat with ‘bring me a latte, please’, or ‘I don’t want to go down for dinner, bring my dinner up’. I had everything. I was more than fine.”

#Newsworthy…

You have to see how the players run, we never give up – Jurgen Klopp

…They are in the right frame of mind

Pep Guardiola says he is satisfied with the state of mind of his Manchester City players even though they twice lost the lead to draw 2-2 with Newcastle and slip further behind Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Guardiola, whose defending champions are 11 points adrift of Jurgen Klopp’s team with more than a third of the season gone, is adamant the City players have not been affected by a poor run of just one victory in five games in all competitions.

“You have to see how the players run and how they fight and how they try to do it, the body language — we never give up, so the team is always there, that’s my feeling,” he said.

“The game is what it is. In my opinion, it was good. We played well with the ball, we were solid, we conceded few counter-attacks, but football is how many goals you score and how you don’t concede.

“You accept that. Sometimes it happens.”

City have the Manchester derby on Saturday but Guardiola is focused on Tuesday’s away trip to Burnley beforehand.

“I’m not thinking about how many games we have to win,” he said. “It’s just try to win the next one.

“Last season when we were here, we were not talking about the Premier League, how many games you have to win.

“It’s not about that. It’s just now recover, prepare and try to win against Burnley, that is what you have to do, and after that, the derby and make these steps.”

#Newsworthy…

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola Included In The LMA Hall Of Fame.

Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp and Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola have been inducted into the League Managers Association’s (LMA) Hall of Fame.

The German and the Spanish coaches were presented with silver salver to commemorate their inductions by LMA president Gareth Southgate and fellow Hall of Famer Sir Alex Ferguson at a gala evening in Manchester on Thursday night .

‘This is really special,’ Klopp said. ‘To be a part of this incredible group of managers is big.

‘Tonight my family and coaches are here. I wanted them all to be here because it is very important in in our family history.’

Guardiola said: ‘I do not have any words to express my gratitude. To be part of this family. It is an incredible honour to be a part of it, for the rest of my life and for generations, to be in this Hall of Fame in English football.’

LMA chairman Howard Wilkinson said Klopp and Guardiola had shown ‘incredible drive, innovation and dedication’ in their roles.

‘Since arriving in England, they have built two of the best teams in Premier League history and have done so with humility and honour,’ Wilkinson said.

Pep Guardiola arrived at Manchester City at the start of 2016-17, and has so far won two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and two League Cups with the club. For Jurgen Klopp, who joined Liverpool for the 2015-16 campaign won the Champions League title last season and the Super Cup at the start of the 2019/20 season.

#Newsworthy…

Just in – Manchester City wins group c to qualify for the UCL last 16..

Sport

Manchester City booked their place in the Champions League last 16 for a seventh successive season despite a lacklustre 1-1 draw against Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday.

Pep Guardiola’s side were well below their best at the Etihad Stadium, but Ilkay Gundogan’s second-half strike put them on course to wrap up first place in Group C with one game to spare.

Although Manor Solomon equalised for Shakhtar, Atalanta’s win over Dinamo Zagreb ensured City can’t be knocked off top spot.

With the group clinched, Guardiola has the bonus of being able to rest players for the trip to Zagreb on December 11.

That is especially important as the Zagreb fixture comes between vital Premier League matches against Manchester United and Arsenal.

While City won’t give up their Premier League title without a fight, Liverpool are in such a strong position that Europe could provide Guardiola’s best hope of a major prize this term.

Guardiola won the Champions League twice as Barcelona boss but the last of those triumphs came in 2011. He hasn’t gone past the quarter-finals with City.

Returning to the knockout stages was a first step toward ending that frustrating streak, but Guardiola will know injury-hit City have plenty of room for improvement.

City made a sloppy start and were almost caught out when a long punt into their half prompted Ederson to rush off his line.

When the City keeper completely missed his attempt to clear, Shakhtar’s Mateus Tete charged into the penalty area, only for Fernandinho to block the shot with a superbly timed last-ditch slide.

Moments later, Ederson made a better dash off his line to clear after another Shakhtar raid threatened to open City up.

City’s limp opening was at least partially due to the absence of the club’s record goalscorer Sergio Aguero, sidelined for several weeks after injuring a thigh in Saturday’s win over Chelsea.

Gabriel Jesus started in place of Aguero, but the Brazilian, who has scored five goals in eight starts this season, was largely anonymous.

Sluggish City

Rodri had City’s first sight of goal, but the midfielder’s shot was too close to Shakhtar keeper Andriy Pyatov.

Ponderous for much of the half, City gradually found some rhythm and Nicolas Otamendi’s header from Angelino’s cross forced an agile save from Pyatov, while Gundogan’s deflected effort looped wide.

City have opened talks with Raheem Sterling about a new long-term contract that would reportedly make the 24-year-old one of the highest-paid players in the Premier League.

Sterling’s place among the world’s elite is without question, but this wasn’t the England winger’s best night.

He did perk up to create a chance that Jesus was unable to take early in the second half.

City finally conjured a move befitting their ability, cutting through the Shakhtar defence to take the lead in the 56th minute.

Kevin De Bruyne was the catalyst with a swift surge and pass into Jesus in the Shakhtar area.

Jesus did well to control and poke the ball across to Gundogan. The German midfielder took a touch before slotting into the bottom corner from 10 yards.

Even that wasn’t enough to paper over the cracks for sluggish City and Shakhtar equalised in the 69th minute.

Tete slipped his pass to the overlapping Dodo and his cut-back from the touchline drew a lethargic response from the City defence, allowing substitute Solomon to fire home from close-range only four minutes after coming on.

David Silva almost restored City’s lead seconds later, but the substitute’s shot was cleared off the line by Serhiy Kryvtsov.

#Newsworthy…