Manchester City make light work of Sheffield United

Manchester City beat Sheffield United 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, making it two wins from two for Pep Guardiola’s side since becoming Club World Cup champions.

WATCH THE ENTIRE MATCH REPLAY

City scored early through Rodri and had plenty of chances as Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United were kept at arm’s length for most of the contest as the Blades had a few chances on the counter and that was it. Julián Alvarez completed a fine second-half move by City’s side to secure the win.

Phil Foden scored both goals as he shone in a central role while Kevin De Bruyne returned to the bench after his lengthy injury lay-off, but he wasn’t even risked as Guardiola’s men won with minimal effort.

With the win, City moved to 40 points, while Sheffield United remain at the bottom of the table with nine points.

Foden creates a wonderful headache for Pep

The way Phil Foden took control of the game against Sheffield United created a wonderful headache for Pep Guardiola to figure out: what do I know that Kevin de Bruyne is back on form? With KDB on the bench but not a risk against the Blades, there’s no need to rush his return. But when he returns, where will De Bruyne play? Foden thrives in a central role better than out wide. Yes, the formations and positions in Guardiola’s teams are very variable and Foden has the flexibility to roam around, but starting in a central area makes him more dangerous. To accommodate Foden playing in the number 10 position, Kevin de Bruyne could start alongside Rodri in a slightly deeper role, but then do you take away from KDB’s incredible attacking influence by playing him too deep? Potentially.

Manchester City vs Sheffield United Player Ratings

Via our friends at FotMob.com, it’s clear that Foden had a brilliant day with two assists and he ran the show in a central role. Rhodri scored the early goal and shut down everything in midfield while the entire City defensive unit had a very comfortable exit.

What next?

Manchester City are next up in the Premier League when they head to Newcastle on Saturday 13 January. Sheffield United are now on their Premier League winter break as they are next in action, hosting West Ham United on January 21.


How to watch Manchester City vs Sheffield United live streaming link and kick off time

Start: 10 a.m. ET Saturday (Dec. 30)
TV Channel: Peacock
Online: Flow through Peacock Premium

Manchester City vs Sheffield United Live! – By Jo Prince-Wright

Final match: Manchester City 2-0 Sheffield United

One of the most routine wins you will see in the Premier League this season. Complete dominance by Manchester City and apart from a couple of counter-attacks late in the first half, Sheffield United were in damage-limitation mode from the first minute.

Julian Alvarez scores second – Manchester City 2-0 Sheffield United (61st minute)

A wonderful move from City as substitute Oscar Bob played in Foden and his perfect cross to the back post was finished by Alvarez. Silky, smooth and a second goal that City’s dominance deserved.

City clicks through the gears

Phil Foden goes over the top but Foderingham saves his effort and Sheffield United clear.

Great block by Akanji to deny Osula

A break from the right saw the ball cross and Osula’s shot at goal was brilliantly blocked by Akanji. From the resulting corner, Ossula’s header was saved by Ederson. Promising signs for Sheffield United as we approach half-time.

Rhodri opens the scoring – Manchester City 1-0 Sheffield United (14th minute)

After a decent start from the Blades, Rhodri finished to put City ahead.

Rhodri slams Man City ahead of Blades

Rhodri takes it on his own and catches the Sheffield United defense napping with a clever finish to give Manchester City a 1-0 lead over Sheffield United at the Ethad.

Manchester City squad

Ederson; Walker, Ake, Akanji, Guardiol; Rhodri, Kovacic; Silver, Foden, Grealish; Alvarez

Sheffield United squad

Foderingham; Baldock, Robinson, Trustees; Bogle, Norwood, Souza, Thomas; Ben Slimane, Brooks; Osula

Focus on Manchester City, team news

With John Stones suffering a leg injury against Everton, Pep Guardiola has to make some more defensive changes and that was the story of the season there. Haaland is still out, but both he and Kevin de Bruyne should be back soon and that will give City a big boost in 2024. Julian Alvarez, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden really stood up against Everton and Guardiola will need this trio to keep their foot on the accelerator for the next few weeks. City must stay focused until the end as they have dropped six points from winning positions at home this season, two more than their last two seasons combined.

OUT: Jeremy Doku (other), Erling Haaland (leg), John Stones (leg)

Erling Haaland injury status

Erling Haaland remains out for Manchester City as the Premier League’s leading scorer (still leads with 14 goals so far this season) has not featured since December 6 against Aston Villa. Haaland has a leg injury that City are nursing and with Julián Alvarez stepping up in recent weeks, they can take their time to make sure the Norwegian superstar is fully fit and Guardiola will not rush it. Guardiola said after City’s win against Everton that “it’s not a stress fracture” but “a question of when the pain will go away” as Haaland continues to deal with his leg injury.

Focus on Sheffield United, team news

The Blades are making silly defensive mistakes and goalkeeper Wes Foderingham was at fault for Luton’s opener in the last time out. They have major injury and suspension issues to deal with and after this game at City they have games against West Ham and Crystal Palace ahead of them, where the minimum must be four points if they are to give themselves a chance of staying up. Wilder has a huge job to do and Sheffield United need to strengthen in January, but it seems uncertain whether they will or not.

OUT: John Egan (ankle), Chris Basham (ankle), Tom Davies (thigh), Daniel Jebison (illness), Gustavo Hamer (suspension), Anel Ahmedhodzic (suspension), Jayden Bogle (suspension), James McAtee (can’t stood up parent club)

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