Manchester City weekend round-up: Hughes questions City selection; United starlet on radar

Manchester City Etihad

All the news, views and transfer rumours from the Etihad this weekend…

Manchester City failed to win for the second time in four Premier League matches, as they drew 0-0 with Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.

The Blues have a poor recent record when visiting the Potteries and that did not change on Saturday, as former City boss Mark Hughes’ new side created the majority of chances and could have taken all three points.

The match saw a first league start for summer signing Stevan Jovetic, while Alvaro Negredo was picked ahead of Edin Dzeko, but neither player managed to break down a resolute Stoke defence.

Speaking after the match, Hughes questioned City’s team selection and said it gave his side a boost prior to the match.

Maybe they didn’t quite get that right,” he said, “before the game that probably helped us looking at the team sheet.”

Although rival manager Manuel Pellegrini said he was happy with a point, after what had been a difficult week due to players being absent for internationals.

I am not always happy when I draw but this time it is a good point,” he said. “We had two clear chances to score but Stoke had chances as well.

We must improve on a lot of things. We are trying to do it and we know about it.”

Pellegrini made a number of changes as he prepared for Tuesday’s Champions League match away to Viktoria Plzen.

Every week we bring you a report on City’s group stage opponents, detailing their latest results and form. You can find the latest report here, with details of Plzen’s 1-1 draw against Slovan Liberec, along with information on the latest results for Bayern Munich and CSKA Moscow.

Despite keeping a clean-sheet on Saturday, defender Matija Nastasic has been speaking about the importance of a consistent back-four.

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, he said, “In defence, it is difficult when we change the partnership every game. We did a good job but we need to play a lot of games, then it is looking better and better.”

And finally, in what could be a not-so-subtle attempt to stir up tensions prior to the Manchester derby, the Mirror has reported that City are attempting to take Manchester United starlet Adnan Januzaj from under the noses of their fierce rivals.

The Belgian teenager came off the bench yesterday and looked every inch the mercurial talent he is touted as being. But the Mirror claims “City are working hard to land the brilliant 18-year-old midfielder, whose contract at Old Trafford is up at the end of the season.”

No, we cannot see it happening either. But it makes for a good headline in the build-up to next Sunday’s match.

image: © geetarchurchy

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