Can anyone stop Manchester City?

By Mariah Ramharack March 22, 2021

#INCASEYOUMISSEDIT the 2021 edition with Mariah Ramharack On many a Sunday, I realize that people have looked at the stories they've seen throughout the week with different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these trending issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT the 2021 edition with Mariah

  Barring injury, Manchester City on track for a quadruple.\

Based on current form Manchester City is on course to secure four titles – the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, and the Carabao Cup.

The Citizens possess depth, quality and mental fortitude and guided by the tactical genius Pep Guardiola to sweep all that lies before them. In all competitions this season, Man City has won 25 of their last 26 games, their only defeat coming against Manchester United, who beat them 2-0 on March 7.

However, Guardiola will remind his players that there is no room for complacency as they have not won anything, yet. He will also be hoping that his players steer clear of injury during the international break.

Other than their silky smooth passing that break teams down with regularity, Manchester City have been blessed with an unyielding defence, which will be key to their success in the Champions League.

The first task will be overcoming German powerhouse Borussia Dortmund in the quarter-finals.

In the Premier League, City winning the title looks inevitable as with nine games to go, they hold a healthy 14-point lead over Manchester United who has 57 points.

The Manchester-based juggernauts have also sealed a place in the FA semi-finals following their recent 2-0 win over Everton. They are also set to face the inconsistent Tottenham Hot Sput in the Carabao Cup.

After a difficult start to the season, Manchester City has hit top form at the right time and as their genius coach explained, the secret to success is simple.

“It is not just tactics, it’s mental-being ready every game,” he said.

 

India showed its quality against England in the T20I series

India and England were locked at 2-2 heading into Sunday’s final T20I match of their closely fought series and the final match was no different.

 However, India showed their tremendous quality and class in securing a victory that was not as close as the scores suggested.

Sent to bat, India posted 224-2 in their 20 overs. It was a total that overwhelmed England, who fell short scoring 188-8 in 20 overs.

Opening the innings with Rohit Sharma, skipper Virat Kohli led from the front and was there at the end, scoring an unbeaten 80 not out from 52 balls, which prompted commentator Ian Bishop to tweet, “I would love to see Kohli open more often, especially when India bat first in T20I.”

The Indian captain and Sharma and Kohli mounted a 94-run partnership that laid the foundation for India’s mammoth score.

Sharma went on the attack early smashing 64 from 34 balls while Kohli supported from the other end.

Suryakumar Yadav’s 32 from 17 and Hardik Pandya’s unbeaten 39 not out ensured that India never lost momentum while Kohli played the perfect anchor taking over at the end to push India well beyond 200 runs.

 It was then the turn of their bowlers to defend the total on an excellent batting strip and they duly obliged. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the difference maker taking 2-15 in his four overs. Shardul Thakur took 3-45 as England struggled to stay close to the required run rate.

“It was a complete game for us. We totally outplayed the opposition,” said Kohli afterwards. “The fact Rishabh and Shreyas didn’t get the chance to bat and still got close 230, is testament to how we did with the bat.”  

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  • Jamie George takes inspiration from his late mother for Scotland clash Jamie George takes inspiration from his late mother for Scotland clash

    Jamie George will draw inspiration from the heartwarming thought that his late mother will be watching down on him as he prepares to lead England into Saturday’s Calcutta Cup showdown with Scotland just over a week after her death.

    The 33-year-old Saracens hooker found out on the same day that he was appointed captain of the Red Rose last month that his mum Jane had been diagnosed with cancer. Her situation deteriorated quickly and she died last Wednesday.

    George takes some solace from the fact a woman he described as “the biggest rugby fan on earth” was able to see her boy skipper his country for two matches, the Guinness Six Nations victories over Wales and Italy.

    “We’ve been going through a lot as a family for a long period,” he said, speaking with remarkable composure about his ordeal from England’s team hotel in Edinburgh city centre on Thursday evening.

    “The deterioration she had was really fast. I found out on Sunday about the fact that she was terminal, and she passed away on Wednesday [last week].

    “My mum was the biggest rugby fan on earth, she loved this team, loved watching me play, she never missed a game.

    “The text I’ve got from her before my first game as captain is something I will treasure forever. She said it was the proudest day of her life so given what she was going through, to still be able to put a smile on her face was huge.”

    George was adamant he did not want to excuse himself from England duty. He turned up on the Friday after his mum’s death to participate in an open training session at Twickenham and had no doubt in his mind that he wanted to lead his team into battle with Scotland.

    George’s father, his brothers, his uncle and his cousin will be at Murrayfield for what he hopes will be a cathartic experience for the family amid the trauma.

    “Taking time off is the last thing she would have wanted me to do,” said George. “It’s not what I wanted to do.

    “I feel very privileged to do what I do and hopefully the boys will agree that I’ve been able to fulfil my role as captain and fulfil my role as a player in this team.

    “It’s not an ideal situation to be in, but there was never any doubt in my mind that I wanted to be involved in this game.

    “Wherever she is now, she will be looking down telling everyone that is there that her son is the England captain. I know for a fact that meant a huge amount to her.

    “Whenever I’ve played, I’ve always wanted to make my family proud. It’s been a huge driver for me. That won’t change this weekend – it will probably be enhanced this weekend.

    “It will be emotional for me coming out. It will be the first game that she won’t be there. She wasn’t able to come to the first two games to watch, which has been tough in itself, but before that she was always there, she never missed it.

    “My dad, my uncle, my cousin and both brothers are coming up this weekend. It’s going to be great for them to be able to be there. It’s amazing what rugby can do in situations like this.

    “When I first became captain, I spoke a lot about showing how much it means to play for England and what an amazing impact you can have on people’s lives.

    “I have seen it first-hand because my mum was on her death bed talking about the England rugby team and how proud she was of me being able to do what I do.

    “That’s absolutely incredible. She will be with me in some capacity on Saturday and that means a huge amount to me.”

  • Gregor Townsend says Calcutta Cup success is Scotland’s sole focus Gregor Townsend says Calcutta Cup success is Scotland’s sole focus

    Gregor Townsend says Scotland’s sole focus is on winning their “biggest game of the season” against England this weekend and maintaining their recent dominance of the Calcutta Cup.

    The Scots go into Saturday’s showdown with their bitter rivals knowing they will almost certainly require a victory to stay in contention for the Guinness Six Nations title after their controversial defeat by France last time out.

    Townsend is adamant that any lingering injustice from ‘trygate’ a fortnight ago has been parked and that any talk of contending for the title can remain firmly on the backburner until after their high-stakes encounter with Steve Borthwick’s side.

    “When you’re coming in off the back of a defeat, you have to bounce back with a victory,” said Townsend, when asked on Thursday how the France defeat has left his side’s title prospects.

    “You’re not really thinking about the championship. We’ll see where we are on Saturday.

    “The full focus is on this game because it’s our most important game of the season.

    “It’s the most important game for our supporters and we also play for a trophy, in amongst the Triple Crown and other trophies.

    “But this is one that we’re focused on more than the others. That probably shouldn’t be the case, but it is.

    “It’s history. It’s emotion. We’ve seen the impact this game has on Scottish supporters when we do manage to get a victory in this fixture. That’ll drive us on Saturday.”

    Having beaten England only three times in 27 attempts between 1990 and 2018, the Scots now find themselves going into this weekend’s fixture on the back of a three-game winning run and having lost only one of their last six meetings with their old foes.

    Townsend, who was accustomed to regular defeats against England in his time as a player, admits his team’s recent burst of Calcutta Cup success has given them increased belief going into Saturday’s match.

    “Yes, for sure,” he said. “The game in 2018 (Scotland’s first win over England in a decade) has certainly given the players confidence when they’ve taken on England in the last few games.

    “But what’s most relevant is the game you’ve just played, the things you have to work on to be a better team, and the threats that England bring.

    “This England team is different to the one we faced 12 months ago but ultimately it’s just about delivering in the 80 minutes on the day.”

    Townsend has made three changes to the side that started the 20-16 defeat by France, with Glasgow wing Kyle Steyn returning after missing Les Bleus game when his wife went into labour and Toulouse full-back Blair Kinghorn back after sitting out the first two matches with a knee injury.

    Kyle Rowe and Harry Paterson, who deputised in the absence of the two experienced backs, drop out of the squad altogether.

    The most notable change is in the back row where Edinburgh flanker Jamie Ritchie, who recently lost the captaincy and then was then left out of the 23 for the France game, returns to the number six jersey in place of Matt Fagerson, who is dropped from the squad.

    “Jamie has really accepted the challenge that was there about a month ago that there’s increased competition in the back-row and for that reason he was no longer going to be captain,” explained Townsend.

    “But since that conversation he’s played two games for Edinburgh and one for Scotland in Cardiff and he’s played well.

    “We believe this game will suit his strengths and his experience he can bring to the team as well will be a boost.”

  • Jamie Ritchie returns to Scotland team for Calcutta Cup clash with England Jamie Ritchie returns to Scotland team for Calcutta Cup clash with England

    Jamie Ritchie has been restored to Scotland’s starting XV for Saturday’s Calcutta Cup showdown with England a fortnight after being dropped from the squad altogether for the Guinness Six Nations home defeat by France.

    The recently deposed captain is back in the side as one of three changes made by Gregor Townsend, with experienced duo Blair Kinghorn and Kyle Steyn returning to the back three.

    Kyle Rowe, Harry Paterson and Matt Fagerson – all of whom started against Les Bleus – drop out of the squad altogether, with the bench unchanged.

    Ritchie – who lost the captaincy to Finn Russell and Rory Darge earlier this year – started the first match of the Six Nations away to Wales before being left out against France, but the 27-year-old Edinburgh flanker is back in the number six jersey in place of Fagerson this weekend.

    Toulouse full-back Kinghorn returns after missing the opening two matches with a knee injury sustained days before the championship began, while Glasgow wing Steyn – who started against Wales – is back in the mix after having to withdraw from the team on the morning of the France game when his wife went into labour.

    Rowe, who started the first two matches in the absence of Kinghorn, has not made the squad this weekend, while 22-year-old Edinburgh back Paterson, who was drafted in at the last minute to start against France following Steyn’s withdrawal, is also out.

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