Man City fighting on all fronts as 3-0 win over Huddersfield furthers their quadruple bid

Alam Khan - Reporter 20:32 20/01/2019
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Manchester City continue to hunt down Liverpool.

Manchester City became centurions once again as they put Huddersfield to the sword to maintain their Premier League title hopes.

Danilo claimed the club’s 100th goal in all competitions this season when his 20-yard strike deflected off Christopher Schindler’s head in the 18th minute.

Pep Guardiola’s men overcame some stubborn resistance from the Terriers in the second half with two goals in as many minutes.

Leroy Sane first crossed for Raheem Sterling to head home and then raced onto Sergio Aguero’s cushioned header to calmly finish and cut Liverpool’s lead to four points.

CITY UP FOUR EVERYTHING

No English team has ever done it and every season it gets to this stage and people talk about the historic feat of winning four trophies.

With their Premier League dominance and League Cup triumph confirmed over Arsenal, City had high hopes in the previous campaign.

But ultimately they faltered in the FA Cup to Wigan and then Liverpool beat them in the Champions League.

As they stand four points behind the Reds in the league, they next face Burton with a place in the League Cup final seemingly assured, and then Burnley visit in the fourth round of the FA Cup. Schalke will follow in the Champions League last 16 and there may never be a better chance of an awesome foursome.

When neighbours United won the Treble in 1999 they only took top spot in the league at the end of January and pipped Arsenal by a point. Defeat to Spurs in the League Cup quarter-finals stopped them completing the full set.

City are definitely capable. They have the quality, but their biggest strength to their bid is their squad – especially when left back Benjamin Mendy returns and allows even more scope for rest and rotation.

TOWN MUST DARE TO WIN

With 10 defeats in their last 11 games, just 13 goals this season and 10 points adrift of safety at the bottom, Town are in desperate trouble.

This game was one of those where they had nothing to lose. That perhaps allowed them to play with no pressure, more freedom and greater risk.

It is an approach they must now adopt for the remainder of the season if they are to survive in the top flight.

Jan Siewert is expected to be announced as their new coach this week, tasked with trying to emulate the departed David Wagner and avoid relegation.

A front three of Adama Diakhaby, Isaac Mbenza and Elias Kachunga were a surprise, but lively, given their team’s profligacy in front of goal.

There is no point just relying on battling performances anymore. He who dares wins.

Mark Hudson

LAPORTE THE CENTRE OF ATTENTION

There is no doubt Virgil Van Dijk’s towering performances have been a major factor in Liverpool’s rise to to the top of the league.

But Aymeric Laporte’s dominant displays at the heart of the City back-line are every bit as vital.

It is a year since the French centre-back, 24, arrived in a £57 million deal from Athletic Bilbao – an £18m cheaper and younger alternative to Dutchman Van Dijk.

And how he has grown in stature. So much so that he is now arguably Guardiola’s first choice with John Stones, Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi vying to be his partner.

Laporte is comfortable and confident. Strong in the tackle and subtle with his ball playing skills, equally adept at short and raking long passes.

He was found wanting when used at left back as Liverpool tormented City in their Champions League clash at Anfield last season.

But he put that aside to become a rock and a revelation, now rivalling Van Dijk as the best defender in this campaign.

How he continues to be ignored by France is criminal.

They may have quality in Rafael Varane and Samuel Umtiti, but to suggest Laporte is not in their class and merits a place is crazy.

Aymeric Laporte

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