Stories about Pep Guardiola

Manchester bleeds red: The Citizens may take the title but bragging rights will stay with the Red Devils

The half time whistle signalled the end of an appalling 45 minutes of football by Manchester United. A commanding display by the Blues had them on the verge of being crowned Premier League champions. The Etihad Stadium was buzzing with delight as a perplexed Sir Alex Ferguson watched on from the stands. City had put two past David De Gea in a half where their opponents could not even manage a single shot on goal. Had Raheem Sterling been more efficient with his finishing, the match could have easily gone beyond the reach of Manchester United. Raheem ...

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Manchester Derby: Will the Red Devils stand in the way of City’s early victory?

The upcoming Manchester Derby might not have any bearing on the title race itself, but there is still a lot riding on it. In their last meeting, Manchester City virtually dashed all hopes of their rivals to mount a challenge, with a win over their arch nemesis. Now, in a few days’ time, they will have the chance to officially win the title at home against Jose Mourinho’s men. Manchester City’s David Silva scores their first goal, Manchester United vs Manchester City, December 10, 2017. Photo: Reuters It does not get bigger than this, right? Winning the title ...

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Forget cakes and flowers! The only thing on my mind this V-Day is Champions League!

I have never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day. As far as I am concerned, poor St Valentine ought to be rolling in the grave with the kind of cringe-fest that goes on in his name. But for Liverpool fans all around the world, including myself, cupid is no longer stupid when he comes this February 14th. Valentine’s Day 2018 would be the first time in nine long and tiring years that we find ourselves involved in the knockout stages of the Champions League. Love is finally in the air! Even though fans in Pakistan will be watching this match ...

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The winter transfer window: It was raining money and oozing drama, one transfer at a time

Phew, what an intense roller coaster of a month! With the clock striking 11:00pm (GMT) on January 31st, one of the most exciting winter transfer windows in recent years was finally shut. Traditionally considered as the more relaxed of the two, this particular January window was so frenzied, that English football fans could easily be excused for confusing this time of the year as summers; when the bigger, more frantic, post-season window actually happens. The fact that for the first time since 2006, each member of the ‘Big Six’ (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham) happen to ...

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Who got the better end of the Sanchez-Mkhitaryan swap deal – the Red Devils or the Gunners?

There are times when I actually wonder what is it that football fans truly consider as the most essential facet of the game they oh so fervently claim to love. Is it really the sport itself that fuels their passion? There was a time when an actual football match was the real deal while player transfers were just a very tiny part of the whole equation. But now it seems like the exact opposite is true. The current generation might find this a little hard to believe, but having a fixed period of time every year for players to transfer ...

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Manchester City, Manchester United or Chelsea – where will Lionel Messi go?

In November, Lionel Messi renewed his contract with FC Barcelona. Apart from the same old, same old, in which he had his salary raised, surprisingly or rather unsurprisingly, he had a get-out clause added in his contract as well.  This clause would allow him to leave for free if Barcelona fails to play in a “competitive” league. Catalonia, in which Barcelona is situated, risks getting thrown out of the Spanish La Liga should it become independent from Spain. FC Barcelona, whose slogan is “Més que un club” which translates into “more than a club”, portrays itself as the defender of Catalan value ...

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Man City will take home the title, but without their unbeaten run, thanks to the magical nature of Liverpool

Phillipe Coutinho might be a very special player; he could even be one of the best footballers currently plying their trade on God’s green earth, but then again, no single player can ever be bigger than the club. This axiom gains special credence when the club in question is as iconic as Liverpool. Following a drawn-out saga, the diminutive Brazilian eventually got his wish last week, when the Merseysiders agreed to sell him to Barcelona, in the third richest player transaction ever, for a whopping £145 million. New Barcelona signing Philippe Coutinho (R) and Josep Maria Bartomeu, President ...

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After dominating the Manchester Derby, the Citizens lead the Premier League title race, but who will come second?

The latest edition of the historic Manchester Derby at Old Trafford gave the home side a chance to breathe new life into Premier League’s title race but their City rivals proved unstoppable once again. On Sunday, Manchester United did not just hand over bragging rights to the Blues, but also seemingly lost any chance of regaining the title, which has eluded them since 2012-13. Pep Guardiola once again had the upper hand over his nemesis, Jose Mourinho, despite his side not being at their scintillating best. When I first had a look at Manchester United’s playing XI, I was pleasantly surprised to see the line-up Mourinho ...

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Manchester United vs Manchester City, Jose Mourinho vs Pep Guardiola – Are you ready for this Sunday’s Manchester Derby?

Football has seen many fierce rivalries and one such happens to be between Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho. The duo has locked horns quite a few times before and one can reasonably expect something out of the ordinary whenever they are up against each other. Manager Jose Mourinho of Manchester United watches from the touchline the EFL Cup Fourth Round match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on October 26, 2016 in Manchester, England. Photo: Getty Mourinho and Guardiola first clashed back in 2009 at San Siro with Inter Milan and FC Barcelona respectively, ...

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Was Italy’s apocalypse a by-product of Gian PieroVentura’s bizarre and faulty tactics?

Italy as a country is not too dissimilar to us, especially if you consider the misfortunes that have befallen this particular European nation in recent times. A corrupt head of state governing a highly unstable democracy, natural disasters and general economic woes are just some of the many elements that make us Pakistanis relate to an ordinary Italian’s life, on a somewhat deeper basis. But there is one other similarity between the two countries that is pertinent to mention here – the die-hard love for one particular sport. Football to Italy is exactly what cricket is to us. If we are ...

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