Phil Foden will start Manchester City's Champions League Group C match against Atalanta at the Etihad Stadium.

The England Under-21 international's only previous appearance in a first XI this season came when City beat Preston North End 3-0 in the EFL Cup last month.

Nevertheless, there has been a growing clamour for Pep Guardiola to grant more meaningful minutes to boyhood City fan Foden, 19, who came off the bench to complete the scoring in the 2-0 Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb.

Foden lines up alongside Kevin De Bruyne in an attacking midfield position for the Premier League champions, with Guardiola once more leaving fit-again John Stones on the bench and selecting defensive midfield duo Rodri and Fernandinho at centre-back.

The pair contributed to a clean sheet in a 2-0 win at Crystal Palace last time out, while Kyle Walker returns from a bout of illness at right-back.

Sergio Aguero and Riyad Mahrez bolster Guardiola's frontline, with Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus dropping to the bench alongside club captain David Silva.

In contrast to City's 100 per cent record in the round-robin stage, Serie A entertainers Atalanta are yet to pick up a point and Gian Piero Gasperini has plumped for Josip Ilicic ahead of Luis Muriel in attack, despite the Colombia international netting a brace in Sunday's dramatic 3-3 draw at Lazio.

Ilicic is likely to feature at the centre of the visitors' front line as a false nine, with Ruslan Malinovskiy keeping his place out wide.

Pep Guardiola has urged his Manchester City players to be more clinical in the final third if they want to win the Champions League.

Glory in Europe's premier club competition has proved frustratingly elusive for big-spending City and the pressure on Guardiola to win the Champions League trophy is high.

The Premier League outfit have made a bright start to this year's competition, winning both Group C matches without conceding but, speaking ahead of a home fixture against Atalanta on Tuesday, Guardiola has acknowledged his side need to improve.

"I'm very confident – I have full trust in my team but there's a lot of strong teams [in the Champions League]," he told reporters.

"The Champions League will be won in the [penalty] box and so far we've not been very strong in the box.

"We've made mistakes we shouldn't make at this level, for example in the match against Watford, we created a lot of opportunities but scored very little. This is what I'm thinking.

"We're good at defending and we need to score at the right moment."

Guardiola repeatedly referred to City's profligacy throughout a pre-match news conference, adding: "In this competition, you have to be strong in the boxes and this season we're not incredibly strong in the boxes.

"Tomorrow we have the chance to improve. We need six more points to qualify."

Guardiola, who also mentioned his side will not have "20 chances" to win games in the Champions League, is expecting an entertaining match against Atalanta, the highest scorers in Serie A this season.

"It's a great joy to watch [Gian Piero] Gasperini's team play, they're brave...they take quite a few risks."

City defender Joao Cancelo was part of a makeshift back four on Saturday as Guardiola's team, playing without a recognised centre-back, won 2-0 at Crystal Palace.

The 25-year-old – an off-season arrival from Juventus – is aware of the threat that Atalanta can provide, even if they have failed to get a point in their two Group C fixtures.

"Atalanta are a strong team, a physical team and they press very well," he said.

"They have players that are technically skilled."

On City's new-look defence, Cancelo added: "It's true that in the last match we didn't have any central defenders but Rodri and Fernandinho are two extraordinary players."

Guardiola could choose to start John Stones against the Italian side, the centre-back featuring off the bench at Selhurst Park.

The manager also confirmed that defenders Nicolas Otamendi and Kyle Walker are on the comeback trail and that both trained on Sunday.

Manchester City are still not ready to win the Champions League, according to manager Pep Guardiola.

City responded to their shock Premier League loss to Wolves prior to the international break with a 2-0 victory at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Two-time reigning Premier League champions City are six points adrift of unbeaten leaders Liverpool ahead of Tuesday's Champions League fixture against Atalanta.

Having conquered English football, City covet European glory but Guardiola believes his team are not close to reigning supreme in the Champions League.

"The people say about the Champions League, that target. We still are not ready," said Guardiola, whose City have lost in the quarter-finals in each of the past two seasons.

"We create a lot, don't concede, but can improve. We've scored a lot over the last two seasons and I don't have doubts about that, but we have to keep going, work on that."

Gabriel Jesus scored in the victory at Selhurst Park, where the Brazil forward netted his 50th City goal since arriving from Palmeiras in 2017.

"He [Jesus] will have a long career and with his mentality always he will have success. He is hungry, he will become an important striker around the world and we are lucky to have him," Guardiola said.

"Gabriel was always good from the beginning. Unfortunately he had the two tough injuries. Last season it was tough for him, after the World Cup it was not easy, but he is strong.

"He is a number nine for Brazil. The club brought an incredible, young player for an incredible price. One of the best signings.

"To compete with Sergio [Aguero] is maybe the most difficult thing. Sergio is a legend, an outrageous player - amazing, but Gabriel is so calm.

"He is a competitor, he accepts the decision and every training session he fights like an animal, but he is so young and can improve."

Premier League leaders Liverpool's winning start to the season was brought to a halt as they drew 1-1 against fierce rivals Manchester United on Sunday.

Marcus Rashford's contentious goal looked set to claim all three points for United in the clash at Old Trafford, but substitute Adam Lallana hauled Liverpool level late on.

The Reds are still unbeaten in the league this season and lead the way, although Manchester City's victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday means the gap is now six points.

Meanwhile, Mauricio Pochettino will not have been pleased by another unconvincing Tottenham display despite Dele Alli rescuing a point for Spurs against Watford.

Chelsea overcame Newcastle United, while Leicester City got back on the winning trail following their heartbreak at Anfield.

Marco Silva's Everton claimed a much-needed win over West Ham, with Aston Villa beating Brighton and Hove Albion late on. Wolves drew with Southampton and Norwich City held Bournemouth in Saturday's other encounters.

Our Premier League Data Diary sheds some light on the detail behind the big stories of this weekend's big games.

 

SEVENTEEN AND OUT FOR LIVERPOOL

Lallana may have scored his first league goal since May 2017, but it was only enough to earn Liverpool a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, as the Reds failed to win for the first time in 18 Premier League matches.

It means, with 17 straight victories, the top-flight leaders fall just short of the Premier League record set by City in 2017.

Jurgen Klopp was furious that Rashford's opener was allowed to stand, though the goal means the England forward has now scored 11 times against "big six" opposition.

It was backs-against-the-wall stuff for United for much of the match, with the Red Devils registering their second-lowest possession figure (32.1 per cent) in a Premier League home match since 2003-04.

Five of the last seven Premier League meetings between the north west rivals have ended level – just four of the previous 36 encounters had been drawn.

JESUS RISES TO THE CHALLENGE AS CITY BOUNCE BACK

City's slip-up before the international break allowed Liverpool to open up an eight-point gap, but Pep Guardiola's side responded in confident fashion on Saturday.

Gabriel Jesus scored his 50th City goal to put the champions ahead at Selhurst Park, with the Brazil international becoming the seventh player to reach that milestone while being coached by Guardiola, joining Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, Thomas Muller and Pedro on an illustrious list. 

David Silva added City's second, just 93 seconds after Jesus' opener as Palace succumbed to a 10th home league defeat since the start of last season.

City have now won 12 of their 14 away Premier League games in 2019, three more than any other club this calendar year, while in all competitions they have won 16 of their previous 19 meetings with Palace, scoring 47 goals.

Jesus has been directly involved in 58 goals in his 64 starts across all competitions for the club, including scoring 21 in his last 20 games when featuring in the starting XI.

ALLI SAVES A POINT BUT SPURS' SLUGGISH RUN ROLLS ON

A mix-up between Kiko Femenia and Ben Foster may have allowed Alli to salvage a point for Tottenham against Watford, but Spurs have now won just three of their last 12 Premier League games, keeping just one clean sheet across those games.

Lowly Watford thought Abdoulaye Doucoure's early goal was going to be enough, but the Hornets remain winless in the Premier League this season, failing to win their opening nine league games for the first time since 2006-07, when they went on to finish bottom.

Spurs made seven changes to their starting XI for this match, with Alli rewarding Pochettino for his faith as he scored his fifth league goal against Watford.

Watford lost Danny Welbeck to injury in the fourth minute – the earliest substitution of a starting player in a Premier League match since Daniel Sturridge for West Brom against Chelsea in February 2018.

IT'S...... JAMIE VARDY

After their late defeat at Anfield, Leicester returned to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Burnley, albeit it was a triumph not without some controversy as Sean Dyche's side had a late goal harshly disallowed by VAR.

Jamie Vardy cancelled out Chris Wood's opener, heading home a cross from Harvey Barnes, who later became the second youngest player to provide two assists in a Premier League game for the Foxes when he teed up Youri Tielemans' winner.

Since Brendan Rodgers' first Premier League game in charge of Leicester on March 3rd, Vardy has scored 15 top-flight goals – two more than any other player.

In-form Leicester have now won four consecutive home Premier League matches for the first time since winning five in a row in May 2017, while the Clarets have won just 16 times from Burnley's 100 away matches in the top tier.

Fernandinho has lauded team-mate Ederson as a complete goalkeeper after the Brazil international made two crucial saves in Manchester City's win at Crystal Palace.

City lost to Wolves before the international break but were in dominant form at Selhurst Park – quickfire goals from Gabriel Jesus and David Silva just reward for their display.

However, Pep Guardiola's side – who, temporarily at least, closed the gap between themselves and Liverpool to five points with Saturday's triumph – failed to add to their tally; Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Jesus squandering chances to put the result beyond doubt.

De Bruyne also had what looked a strong penalty appeal turned down, much to Guardiola's frustration, and City might have been made to pay if not for Ederson's heroics.

Having tipped Christian Benteke's header onto the bar, the former Benfica man made another fine stop to deny Wilfried Zaha in the closing stages and Fernandinho was full of praise for his compatriot.

"I think we had a very good performance, we created a lot of chances to score many more goals," said the 34-year-old, who started at centre-back alongside fellow midfielder Rodri.

"Ederson made also two important saves. If you look at the game overall, we deserved to win from the beginning. We went for it, we found the spaces, we missed a lot of chances.

"[Ederson] has shown the player he is since the day he arrived. When the club signed him, in the first training sessions, I was impressed with him.

"He's a goalkeeper and the club signed him, first of all, to save, but it's a great bonus that he can play with his feet, the quality he has to play with his feet is amazing. To me, he is a very complete goalkeeper."

With his opener, striker Jesus took himself on to 50 goals during his time at City, becoming the seventh player to achieve that milestone while being coached by Guardiola.

Jesus has now scored in his past seven starts for the club in all competitions, but Fernandinho insists no player can be sure of their place in Guardiola's line-up.

"It might be surprising but not any player has his spot guaranteed in the starting 11," he added.

"You have to prove yourself in every training session, the players know that and you have to be ready any time an opportunity comes.

"You need to understand what the manager wants and what the team needs from you. [Jesus] has understood and every time he is on the pitch, he tries to give his best, no matter if he plays 90 or 10 minutes."

The Glazer family have owned Manchester United since 2005.

However, a change of owners could be on the cards, with Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman reportedly interested in buying the club.

Sunday's focus will be on a crunch clash with arch rivals Liverpool, but talk of a takeover at Old Trafford dominates the headlines in our look at the day's gossip.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED BRACED FOR NEW APPROACH

According to The Mirror, Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman is set to make a new offer to purchase Manchester United.

The Glazer family have owned United for 14 years, and they are not prepared to sell having reportedly turned down two offers from Bin Salman already.

However, Bin Salman is keen on investing in United – who have not won the Premier League title since 2012-13.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester United are lining up a move for RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner, reports The Express. The Red Devils are desperate for reinforcements following the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez and Germany international Werner – who signed a new contract in August – has emerged as an option.

- The Daily Mail claims Paris Saint-Germain are looking to sign soon-to-be free agent Christian Eriksen from Tottenham. The Danish midfielder has been linked to Real Madrid, Juventus, Atletico Madrid and United. However, Ligue 1 champions PSG are prepared to battle for Eriksen's signature.

Manchester City are planning to offer Raheem Sterling a new bumper deal to ward off interest from Real Madrid, according to The Express. The England international has been linked with a move to the Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the season.

Wolves want to sign AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie in January, says Calciomercato. The Premier League side attempted to lure Kessie to the Molineux before the transfer window closed, however, he did not want to leave Milan.

- Calciomercato reports that Inter have set their sights on in-demand Borussia Monchengladbach star Denis Zakaria. The Switzerland teenager has been linked to Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, United and Tottenham, and it will take at least €50million to prise him from the German club.

Pep Guardiola made no effort to hide his irritation after Manchester City were denied a penalty in their 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.

City have been on the receiving end of some tough VAR calls this campaign, most notably in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham in August when Gabriel Jesus' stoppage-time goal was ruled out for what appeared to be an accidental handball by Aymeric Laporte.

The video review system did not help City at Selhurst Park, with the assistant referee deeming Anthony Taylor's decision not to award the visitors a penalty for what seemed to be a blatant push on Kevin De Bruyne by Wilfried Zaha was correct.

Though the decision did not cost City, who missed several chances to further the lead handed to them by Jesus and David Silva, Guardiola was left furious.

"It's diving. It's diving, it's diving," Guardiola, who also referred to a similar incident in a match against Bournemouth earlier in the campaign, sarcastically told a news conference when asked if his team should have had a penalty.

"Every weekend it is always diving. [Like at] Bournemouth. But against Tottenham it was hands, real hands in the 94th minute. It's diving again.

"Of course, I am [frustrated]. Next question."

With Nicolas Otamendi injured and John Stones not fit enough to start, Guardiola named midfielders Fernandinho and Rodri as his centre-back pairing.

"Thank you so much to both of them," Guardiola said.

"It is not easy playing in different positions against the strikers Palace have; Zaha, [Jordan] Ayew, [Christian] Benteke and [Andros] Townsend at the end, they did really well."

At the other end of the pitch, Guardiola elected to start Jesus over Sergio Aguero, with the Brazilian's goal taking him onto 50 for City.

Jesus has now scored in each of his past seven starts in all competitions and Guardiola insisted he is delighted with the performances of his strikers.

"I'm not going to talk about how important Sergio is for our club, he is so important," Guardiola added.

"Gabriel, he came back from Brazil, he had rhythm. Sergio was 10 days away without training, but both are important. When Sergio plays he is at a good level and when Gabriel plays he is at a good level, after that I will take a decision."

Gabriel Jesus joined an illustrious list of players after scoring his 50th Manchester City goal in the Premier League champions' 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Jesus sent a glancing header in off the post to put City ahead 39 minutes into Saturday's encounter at Selhurst Park.

David Silva doubled City's advantage with a wonderful volley two minutes later as Pep Guardiola's side moved to within five points of league leaders Liverpool.

With his goal, Jesus brought up the milestone of 50 in all competitions for City, having joined the club in January 2017.

The 22-year-old also became the seventh player to achieve the feat while playing for Guardiola, joining Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski, along with City team-mates Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling.

Jesus is only eight behind Pedro, but Messi leads the way with an incredible 211 goals during four seasons under Guardiola at Barca.

"I'm very happy, you know, because last season I had a difficult start to the season," Jesus, who has now scored in each of his last seven starts for City, told Sky Sports.

"This season is going to be different for me. I worked hard as well. I focus on the goal all the time and I think that's why I score a lot."

1. Lionel Messi, Barcelona - 211

2. Sergio Aguero, Manchester City - 103

3. Thomas Muller, Bayern Munich - 79

4. Raheem Sterling, Manchester City; Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich - both 67

6. Pedro, Barcelona - 58

7. Gabriel Jesus, Manchester City - 50

Bernardo Silva had just set up the opening goal for Manchester City with a sumptuous cross – a suggestion that last season's form might be starting to return.

But this was no time for the Portugal playmaker to rest on his laurels and he set about harassing Crystal Palace left-winger Jeffrey Schlupp, whose pass towards the danger zone where specialist centre-backs should reside was intercepted.

Rodri's outing in the heart of the City defence was unexpected and frequently uneasy during the early stages at Selhurst Park. A slip momentarily left Wilfried Zaha unattended before a rushed, hacked clearance went unpunished.

Pep Guardiola deployed his two defensive midfield commanders. Rodri and Fernandinho, in defence due to Nicolas Otamendi joining Aymeric Laporte in the treatment room and John Stones not yet being match fit following an ailment of his own. City entered the field eight points behind Liverpool in the title race, with the decision not to replace Vincent Kompany starting to look season defining.

But if being the last line of protection against attacks does not come naturally to Rodri, he specialises in starting them. His interception from Schlupp doubled as an expertly cushioned pass to David Silva and City were away.

Kompany's successor as club captain deposited the ball at Kevin De Bruyne's feet in unfussy, one-touch fashion. Where the 2-0 loss to Wolves played out under a fug of doubt and laboured decision making, the whirring cogs of Guardiola's machine were clicking into place.

De Bruyne promptly pushed down the accelerator, powering through midfield. The Belgium star, who did not start either of City's league defeats in the opening eight games, had already proved a menace to Palace. His twinkling triangle on the right flank alongside Bernardo Silva and Joao Cancelo providing a persistent first half threat.

A great gift of De Bruyne's, a player on record as saying her prefers assists to goals, is he knows when to slip from leading man to supporting character. He found the opening goalscorer Gabriel Jesus.

The Brazil striker's scruffy diving header a little over a minute earlier was his fifth in as many starts for City this season. But the presence on the bench of club-record goalscorer Sergio Aguero – a man not so clinical behind the wheel on the road to training going off this week's evidence – means Jesus must always strive, always prove himself and always make the decision to please his manager.

A pass to the buccaneering Benjamin Mendy was just that. Fit again, for now, the left-back and his ravaged knees provides Guardiola with an extra dimension he will need if a third Premier League title in succession can be achieved despite early arrears.

Mendy's touch was heavy but he was fortunate to see the ball fall to Raheem Sterling, Manchester City's sure thing.

Goals 12 and 13 of the season for club and country came as England routed Bulgaria in midweek, Sterling revelling in tormenting those who send vile abuse his way.

An inspirational figure with improvement still in him – as evidenced by a couple of second-half attempts against Palace – Sterling's chipped pass over the top of the home defence was a string on his bow drawing the sweetest sound.

It was a pass worthy of David Silva, who on this occasion watched the whole picture unfold and found himself on the end of it. For all their discomfort over the early weeks of this campaign, operating without their long-time creator and magician will really sting City this time next year.

His clinical over-the-shoulder volley through Wayne Hennessey's legs was equal to many of his finest moments over a wonderful decade in the Premier League and crowned a little masterpiece. 2-0 was enough for the three points.

Second-half wastefulness and Ederson's athletic stops from Christian Benteke and Wilfried Zaha showed City will have to be sharper in their next Premier League away game. That's at Anfield next month, but after talking about putting his players in the fridge over Christmas, Guardiola will have seen enough in a cool, calculated gem of a goal to suggest there is life in this title race.

Pep Guardiola thinks Manchester City can still be more clinical, despite seeing his side produce a largely comfortable 2-0 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Gabriel Jesus and David Silva scored within 93 seconds of one another with the first half drawing to a close at Selhurst Park, the second a particularly fine effort as Raheem Sterling producied a memorable assist.

In truth, City might have been far more comfortable winners, with Sterling, Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne guilty of missing presentable second-half chances.

"We enjoyed the second goal - it was nice. But in the Premier League we have to score the third and fourth because it was difficult in the end with the pressure," Guardiola told BBC Sport.

"If [Christian] Benteke scores to make it 2-1, then it's difficult. The only problem is we could not score the third one. We deserved it but have to be more clinical."

City produced a fine riposte to a 2-0 defeat at home to Wolves prior to the international break to cut the gap to Liverpool to five points ahead of the unbeaten Premier League leaders' trip to Manchester United on Sunday.

Guardiola hopes the victory is the start of another run for his defending champions.

"Hopefully we can start from here and continue our good performance," he added. "Their keeper made a lot of saves but hopefully we can be more clinical."

City started the match with a makeshift centre-back pairing of Fernandinho and Rodri, who performed well at the heart of the visitors' defence.

He said: "Our build-up was quicker because they have more intelligence and they pass the ball so well because they are central midfielders.

"The season is too long, everybody is going to play. It's another option we have."

Roy Hodgson had no qualms over the result but rued the fact Palace conceded the goals in such quick succession.

"I thought they worked unbelievably hard, we came across a Man City side in top form, I thought their pressure was excellent they gave us literally no time on the ball whatsoever," he said.

"It was unlucky the two goals came so close after the other, had we got in 1-0, who knows? I've no complaints over the result. 

"I'm proud of the way we kept fighting, we never dropped the heads or gave up and could have come up with a goal on our sheet."

Benteke almost brought Palace back into the game with his first touch, but saw his thumping header brilliantly tipped on to the bar by Ederson as his wait for a maiden Palace goal of the campaign continued.

"It would have been a great moment for him. It was such a good header and I don't know how the keeper kept it out," Hodgson added.

"I was thinking, 'Oh great, Christian's got off the mark with a great goal against the champions'. But hopefully he can still take confidence from that and take that into the next games."

Gabriel Jesus and David Silva were on target as Manchester City issued a fine response to their Wolves setback with a convincing 2-0 win at Crystal Palace.

A limp 2-0 home defeat before the international break left City eight points adrift of unbeaten Premier League leaders Liverpool, a gap cut to five – at least until Sunday – at Selhurst Park.

City dominated the first half but it took until the 39th minute for Jesus' diving header to break the deadlock, with Silva finishing Raheem Sterling's exquisite assist just 93 seconds later.

Pep Guardiola's side failed to add to their advantage after the break but it was not for the want of trying in a one-sided encounter.

Silva disappointingly struck an edge-of-the-box effort straight at Wayne Hennessey, who palmed away a bending Bernardo Silva strike as City roared out the blocks.

Having been frustrated for much of the half, a quickfire double had City in control.

Jesus stooped low to head home Bernardo Silva's fine whipped cross off the right post for his 50th City goal before David Silva drilled a volley through Hennessey's legs from Sterling's wonderful chipped pass.

Kevin De Bruyne was lucky to escape punishment for a high boot on Cheikhou Kouyate, but there was no City let up after the break and Sterling rattled the outside of the left upright with a near-post drive. 

Anthony Taylor dismissed a De Bruyne penalty claim for a shove from Wilfried Zaha and Jesus' left-foot stinger was well saved at full stretch by Hennessey, who also did well to tip over Bernardo Silva's dipper.

Ederson stunningly tipped substitute Christian Benteke's header onto the bar in a rare Palace threat, but Jesus and Sterling missed further chances and De Bruyne also rattled the post in a routine City win.


What does it mean? This is not Liverpool's title to lose…yet

When City toiled their way to defeat against Wolves, some pundits decided the Premier League title was already Liverpool's to lose. Such a notion at the beginning of October always looked a faintly ridiculous one and Guardiola's men proved that at Selhurst Park. Liverpool remain in a great position, of course, but there is plenty of life in the race for the title.

Bernardo and David remain City's Silva linings

Not many in a City shirt came out with any credit against Wolves, but it was much more like it at on Saturday with David and Bernardo Silva back to their typically influential best. The former finished the match with a goal and two key passes, while the latter had three key passes and an assist in a fine all-round display.

Where Ayew, Jordan?

Palace's gameplan was obvious from the start: allow City to have the ball and try and play on the counter-attack. It worked relatively well until the visitors made the breakthrough and in truth an isolated Ayew did very little to help his side's cause – a particular disappointment given City were employing a makeshift centre-back pairing of Rodri and Fernandinho.

What's next?

City welcome Atalanta to the Etihad Stadium for matchweek three of the Champions League on Tuesday, while Palace make the short hop across London to visit Arsenal a week on Sunday.

Atalanta collapsed from 3-0 up to draw at Lazio on Saturday, missing the chance to move to the top of the Serie A table.

Gian Piero Gasperini's side have made a superb start to the domestic season, despite suffering consecutive defeats to begin their debut Champions League campaign.

The Bergamo outfit could have climbed to the Serie A summit with victory in Rome - at least until champions Juventus played later on Saturday - and were cruising at half-time.

Atalanta, who face Manchester City away on Tuesday, led as Luis Muriel scored twice in quick succession midway through the first half.

Captain Alejandro Gomez then stretched their advantage further heading into the break.

But the visitors fell apart in quite spectacular fashion, with their lead cut thanks to two goals in two minutes from Ciro Immobile and Joaquin Correa.

Atalanta still looked to have held on until Immobile, who won and dispatched a penalty for his first, again went down in the area and converted from the spot in the 92nd minute.

The Italy striker then comically failed in his attempts to take his shirt off in celebration, falling over but still earning a yellow card.

The moment of hilarity was of little comfort to Atalanta ahead of a daunting European trip to the Etihad Stadium.

Gabriel Jesus has insisted injuries are more to blame for Manchester City's suspect Premier League form than any loss of intensity.

City slipped to a 2-0 home defeat to Wolves before the international break that highlighted their defensive frailties.

The champions shipped three in a shock loss at Norwich City less than a month earlier and now find themselves eight points adrift of leaders Liverpool.

Benjamin Mendy and Aymeric Laporte are to remain on the sidelines for Saturday's trip to Crystal Palace and striker Jesus views those absences, along with John Stones' limited availability, as being of greater concern than the team's attitude.

"I don't think it's a matter of the team relaxing," Jesus said, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.

"We have a few players injured, very important players for us. Obviously their absence is going to take its toll on the team.

"It happened - we lost two games.

"We are aware that it's part of football and defeats are going to happen. But we must pick ourselves up and carry on working."

That begins on the road to sixth-placed Palace, who beat City at the Etihad Stadium last season.

Pep Guardiola's men did make amends in the reverse fixture in April but the Eagles will be full of confidence following impressive wins over Norwich and West Ham.

"Playing against Crystal Palace is always difficult, no matter if we won in our last game there at Selhurst Park or not," Jesus said.

"It was a very difficult game, as usual.

“Last season, we lost our game against them at home and we won away. You can see how curious football is."

Sergio Aguero and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have been included in FIFA 20's first Ultimate Scream pack ahead of Halloween.

EA Sports announced the release of the FIFA Ultimate Team cards on Friday, with Manchester City striker Aguero and LA Galaxy star Ibrahimovic among the standout names.

Top-rated Aguero is joined in the first batch by fellow Premier League players Dele Alli, Nicolas Otamendi and Bernard, with a second group of players to be released next Friday.

Below, we have the list of FUT cards that are up for grabs.

FUT Ultimate Scream pack

LM: Bernard (Everton) - 84

CB: Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City) - 85

LM: Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund) - 85

CAM: Marcel Sabitzer (RB Leipzig) - 85

CB: Alessio Romagnoli (AC Milan) - 86

CDM: William Carvalho (Real Betis) - 86

CAM: Dele Alli (Tottenham) - 87

CAM: James Rodriguez (Real Madrid) - 88

CAM: Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich) - 88

ST: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy) - 88

ST: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) - 91

Pep Guardiola has a plan to make sure his Manchester City players cope with playing twice in less than 48 hours in December: "Go home, open the fridge and get inside."

The reigning champions have been dealt a tricky hand over the festive period following fixture changes for live television coverage, with their trip to Wolves now starting at 19:45 local time on December 27.

They then welcome Sheffield United to the Etihad Stadium on December 29, that game kicking off at 18:00, before a home match against Everton on January 1, 2020.

Asked what he can do to combat such a quick turnaround between travelling to Molineux and hosting the Blades before the turn of the year, Guardiola replied: "Players to the fridge. I'm not joking.

"Go home, open the fridge and get inside for 48 hours. See you at the Etihad Stadium [on December 29].

"When I open the fridge to make an omelette, maybe I can talk with my players. But apart from that, no way.

"It happened in my first season here. I think we played on December 31 at Anfield and then at home against Burnley [on January 2]."

Before needing to be concerned about Christmas plans, however, Guardiola and his squad must focus on closing the gap to a red-hot Liverpool side in the coming weeks.

After missing out by a solitary point in a thrilling title race in 2018-19, Jurgen Klopp's Reds have started the new Premier League season with eight successive wins.

City, in contrast, have suffered defeats to Norwich City and Wolves to sit eight points off the pace in second. However, Guardiola understands there is still a long way to go, particularly with Aymeric Laporte set to bolster the squad with a return from a knee injury early in 2020.

"For 11 years, no team in England has won back-to-back [titles]. It is difficult, of course it is," the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss told the media ahead of the trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

"But you have a rival that is unstoppable right now. Eight games, eight wins. We lost games, but in Spain the big clubs lost games, in Italy the big clubs lost games, here we are facing one team who are champions of Europe and didn't lose one game.

"It's difficult. In some games we could win but we didn't win. Our mistakes punished us a lot. During the season there are ups and downs. We try to get better and improve.

"From tomorrow [Saturday] and in the Champions League, we try to make an incredible step forward, to win the game against Atalanta [on Tuesday], then in February Laporte will be back, most of the players will be back.

"We will see what happens in the later stages. Normally, when you win what we have won the last two seasons and you arrive in March and April being there, after that it's more difficult to drop points. But, in the earliest stages of the season, sometimes it's normal."

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