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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 13 April 2021


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Good evening everyone, you’re very welcome along to our minute-by-minute coverage of tonight’s Premier League clash between Manchester City and Cardiff City.

This season’s relentless, exciting, unstoppable title race marches on for another night. Liverpool kept up the chase thanks to Toby Alderweireld’s dramatic 90th minute own goal on Saturday, meaning Man City need a win tonight to reclaim top spot.

Pep Guardiola’s side have resembled a blue-tinged juggernaut over the last two months, not suffering a single defeat in their last 11 games across all competitions. In that time City have scooped the League Cup, booked their place in the last eight of the Champions League and kept their defence of the Premier League alive and kicking.

Manchester City v FC Schalke 04 - UEFA Champions League - Round of 16 - Second Leg - Etihad Stadium Source: Martin Rickett

Goals from Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero easily saw off Fulham on Saturday at Craven Cottage, with the Londoners officially relegated last night after another defeat, this time away to Watford.

Tonight Cardiff City will be the latest side to try and force Guardiola’s champions to drop points. Neil Warnock’s men very nearly beat Chelsea on Sunday, with the Bluebirds boss absolutely fuming with the officiating on display as Maurizio Sarri’s men snatched a dramatic 2-1 away win.

Kick-off is coming up in just under an hour’s time at 7.45pm. Tonight’s game is live on Sky Sports Main Event if you’re near a TV.

TEAM NEWS: Pep Guardiola has made a total of seven changes from the side which beat Fulham 2-0 on Saturday at Craven Cottage as he seeks to rest bodies ahead of his side’s FA Cup and Champions League fixtures later this month.

Kyle Walker and Nicolás Otamendi drop out of defence, replaced by Danilo and John Stones, while İlkay Gündoğan and David Silva are replaced by Fernandinho and Phil Foden in midfield.

Up top it’s an entirely new front line, with Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva out, while Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahzez and Leroy Sane are all in.

For Cardiff, Neil Warnock makes just one change from his side’s crushing 2-1 defeat against Chelsea three days ago. Joe Ralls is in, with Ireland international Harry Arter out of the matchday squad.

Man City: Ederson, Danilo, Stones, Laporte, Zinchenko, De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Foden, Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus, Sane.

Substitutes: Walker, Kompany, Sterling, Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Silva, Muric.

Cardiff City: Etheridge, Peltier, Morrison, Ecuele Manga, Bennett, Gunnarsson, Hoilett, Victor Camarasa, Ralls, Josh Murphy, Niasse.

Substitutes: Zohore, Reid, Bacuna, Cunningham, Mendez-Laing, Harris, Brian Murphy.

Just over half an hour before we get underway at the Etihad. How do you see this evening’s game panning out? Let us know below.

Poll Results:

Man City win (198)
Cardiff City win (49)
Draw (43)


KICK-OFF: We’re underway at the Etihad for the first half!


Chance right from the off for Man City. Riyad Mahrez peels away untracked just outside the box and slams a low effort aimed towards the bottom corner. Neil Etheridge reads the danger early and produces a decent low save.

Flag 6Mins


We have liftoff! Kevin De Bruyne breaks the deadlock at the Etihad with just six minutes on the clock. The Belgian dribbles into the box and slams a pinpoint effort flying past Etheridge at his near post. The goalkeeper really should have had his angles covered, but it’s an emphatic finish from the City playmaker.

Manchester City v Cardiff City - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Source: Martin Rickett


Joe Bennett receives the game’s first yellow card for a cynical foul on the edge of the box after tripping Danilo. Leroy Sane strikes a powerful effort low around the wall, but goalkeeper Etheridge keeps his cool and catches on his goal-line.


Guardiola’s men enjoying all the possession right now and this very well could be a long, long night for Cardiff. The atmosphere inside the Etihad has dropped significantly and any notions of this game as contest seem to be evaporating already.


Close to a second. Poor communication between Bruno Ecuele Manga and his goalkeeper sees the ball spill on a plate for Gabriel Jesus to strike. He has a free go at goal, but slams his right-footed effort rising over the crossbar.

Man City have enjoyed an ungodly 81% possession so far this evening, with Cardiff yet to produce a single shot on or off target. The gulf in class between the sides is jarring and it really would be a miracle were Neil Warnock’s men to nick a point tonight.

Manchester City v Cardiff City - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Source: EMPICS Sport


It looks like the end of Oleksandr Zinchenko’s night already inside just 20 minutes. The 22-year-old Ukrainian picked up a knock competing for possession and is replaced by Kyle Walker off the bench.


A steady passage of build-up play sees the ball come to De Bruyne in an inviting position out on the right. He drives a low cross towards the box, but Joseph Bennett manages to get his body in the way and provide the block.


A quick counter down through the midfield sees Man City on the front foot once again. Gabriel Jesus storms forward before offloading to Riyad Mahrez, but the winger’s cut inside is poorly judged and he is easily dispossessed before having the chance to strike on goal.


My word the atmosphere inside the Etihad has dropped significantly. It’s like a ghost town in there at the moment and you’d honestly forget there was a football game on. It’s very lifeless at the moment.


Close! An incredible individual run by goalscorer Kevin De Bruyne leaves Sean Morrison all over the place inside the box. The Belgian twists and turns the Cardiff defender before crossing into the box, but Gabriel Jesus’ close-range shot from point flank range falls just wide of the post.

Manchester City v Cardiff City - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Source: EMPICS Sport


Very nearly again for the hosts. Phil Foden beats Aron Gunnarsson with a powerful drive forward. The 18-year-old England international strikes a left-footed effort aimed for the top corner, but his effort flies just over. It’s Foden’s very first Premier League start tonight.


Three chances in quick succession for City. Fernandinho sees time and space upon up again, but he fires wide of the target. Aron Gunnarsson and Joe Ralls are really struggling to patrol in front of their defence right now. Cracks opening up everywhere.

Leroy Sane has a go from a free-kick. It’s in a dangerous position 25 yards out right in front of goal, but the Germany forward dips his strike up and over the wall and over the crossbar too. Everyone is queuing up for their shot at goal now. A proper free-for-all out there.

Manchester City v Cardiff City - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Source: Martin Rickett


Chance! Nearly a second again for City, and you have to say they are becoming a bit wasteful here with all these missed opportunities. Kevin De Bruyne races through midfield on the counter completely on his own. He offloads inside the box selflessly to Gabriel Jesus, but the Brazilian’s shot from close quarters is blocked down. He should have done better.


Another free-kick on the edge of the box as Aron Gunnarsson is called back for a foul on Leroy Sane. De Bruyne crosses the free into the box and it’s deflected away for a corner kick.

Flag 44Mins


There it is! After a lot of pushing and probing Man City finally have the second goal they have been threatening all evening. A cross aimed towards the back post is chested down by Gabriel Jesus. It’s the perfect lay-off for Leroy Sane, who smacks a precise left-footed effort whirling into Etheridge’s bottom corner. City two to the good now.

Manchester City v Cardiff City - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Source: EMPICS Sport


There will be two minutes of stoppage time to come at the end of the first half.

Flag 45Mins


A very straightforward affair for Pep Guardiola’s men so far with goals at the start and the end of the first half from Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane putting his side two goals to the good. Cardiff have offered absolutely nothing so far and face a massive task if they are to prevent Man City going back top of the table tonight.


We’ve picked up where we left off here in the second half. Cardiff resume their ‘sitting deep hoping to God Man City miss the target’ tactic, while City enjoy all of the ball and continue to stroke neat passes to and fro high up the pitch. 


Nearly a breakthrough for a third. Riyad Mahrez races through midfield with guile and flair. His final touch is a little heavy, though, and the attack breaks down as Bruno Ecuele Manga manages to hoof the ball clear.


Chance! Phil Foden comes narrowly close to a goal on his first Premier League start. He beats the challenge of Aron Gunnarsson inside the box and creates a pocket of space to fire a shot on target. But Foden’s shot is charged down by Neil Etheridge, who produces a fine stop.

Britain Soccer Premier League Source: Rui Vieira


It’s wave after wave of Man City attacks. Leroy Sane beats his man with a clever jink and shuffle before whizzing a low cross hurtling towards the front post. Lee Peltier is on hand to hoof clear, ending the danger.


Aymeric Laporte is the next man to have a go at goal. He rises highest to meet Fernandinho’s cross into the danger zone, but the French defender’s effort is always rising and flies over the bar.


Substitution for Cardiff City: Nathaniel Mendez-Laing replaces Josh Murphy.

De Bruyne comes within inches of adding his second of the night. He meanders forward on the edge of the box and thumps a right-footed shot which drags just wide of the post. Neil Etheridge was scrambling across but looked to have it covered were it to hit the target. It’s like shooting practice out there at the minute.

Manchester City v Cardiff City - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Source: EMPICS Sport


It’s almost an own goal from Sean Morrison to compound a frustrating evening for Cardiff. Yet again De Bruyne pulls out wide on the left and succeeds in causing panic with a low cross towards the front post. Morrison sticks a loose foot out to try and clear his cross, and it narrowly misses his own bottom corner, instead flying just wide for a corner.


Save! A super, superb stop from Neil Etheridge to keep it at 3-0. Phil Foden’s cross finds Aymeric Laporte inside the box, but the Cardiff goalkeeper gets a strong hand to deny the centre back’s emphatic header. Brilliant reflexes.


A moment of drama for Etheridge there. The goalkeeper initially saves a long-range effort from Riyad Mahrez, but the ball almost spins back into the back of his net. Etheridge races back onto his goal-line and successfully tips the ball over his bar for a corner.


Off the post. It’s absolutely relentless at the moment. Phil Foden crashes a close-range effort off the post after getting 0n the end of Kevin De Bruyne’s corner swung into the middle of the box. How on earth is it still only 2-0>


Save after save after save from Etheridge. He is keeping this from turning into a cricket score. Another effort from Foden comes close to finding the back of the net, this time a rifled effort from distance, but the Cardiff shot-stopper gets his body across to produce another excellent stop. He has made nine saves already tonight.

West Ham United v Cardiff City - Premier League - London Stadium Source: PA Archive/PA Images


Holy moly, Cardiff have actually had a shot. Repeat — Cardiff have had a shot! The Man City fans even break out into a chorus of sarcastic applause after Baye Oumar Niasse tries his luck from range, only to see his strike caught comfortably by Ederson.


City respond down the other end and it really ought to be three. De Bruyne peels away unmarked, this time down the right, and he sends a dangerous cross right into the mixer where Gabriel Jesus is on his own. It looks like a simple tap-in for the Brazilian, but he somehow manages to slide the ball just wide.


Substitution for Cardiff City: Leandro Bacuna replaces Aron Gunnarsson.

Just under ten minutes to go at the Etihad and this game has long been over. Man City have enjoyed 79% possession tonight, with 25 shots compared to Cardiff’s… three. It’s been a one-sided affair to say the least.

Manchester City v Cardiff City - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Source: Martin Rickett


Substitution for Cardiff City: Bobby Reid replaces Victor Camarasa.


Junior Hoilett takes down Kyle Walker on the edge of the box as the minutes tick on and the home supporters begin to take their leave. This has been a dominant performance by Man City, but the fact they are just 2-0 ahead is kind of shocking. 


Out of no-where Cardiff nearly halve the deficit at the other end. Baye Oumar Niasse is clean through on goal but he just can’t manage to beat Ederson, who springs from his line and bats the ball away. The Brazilian has had virtually nothing to do all night but comes alive with an expert stop to keep his clean sheet in-tact.

Manchester City v Chelsea - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Source: EMPICS Sport


There will be two minutes of stoppage time to come at the end of the second half.



There we have it then, as comfortable and one-sided a 2-0 win as you’ll ever see. Kevin De Bruyne picks up the man-of-the-match award and it was the Belgian who broke the deadlock with a superb finish from an acute angle.

Leroy Sane doubled Man City’s lead with a fine low, left-footed strike which flew into the bottom corner. Despite his best efforts and a plethora of fine saves from goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, Neil Warnock’s men failed to get back into the match after the break and slowly but surely suffered their fate of another defeat.

Pep Guardiola’s men go back top of the Premier League, overtaking Liverpool by a point with the sides now both having played 32 games. Thanks a million for joining us this evening — you can read our full match report here.  Cya later!


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About the author:

Aaron Gallagher


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