Monday 26 September 2016

Sagna admits City players to blame for top-four plight

James Ducker

Published 10/05/2016 | 02:30

Bacary Sagna insisted last night that Manchester City’s players will only have themselves to blame if the club miss out on the top four
Bacary Sagna insisted last night that Manchester City’s players will only have themselves to blame if the club miss out on the top four

Bacary Sagna insisted last night that Manchester City's players will only have themselves to blame if the club miss out on the top four.

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City will fail to qualify for the Champions League if Manchester United win their final two Premier League matches and Sagna admitted they were now relying on West Ham to hand them a lifeline by beating United at Upton Park tonight.

Sagna acknowledged the prospect of incoming manager Pep Guardiola taking over a club in the Europa League next season was unthinkable after City's 2-2 draw at home to Arsenal put United in control of their own destiny but the defender refused to give up hope of another dramatic late twist in the battle for fourth. City face Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday, when United host Bournemouth at Old Trafford.

The draw against Arsenal means Manuel Pellegrini's side have won just one of 14 matches against the top eight teams this season.

"It's very disappointing, especially the way we started the season (with five successive league wins)," Sagna said. "But we are to blame.

Vital

"We have to keep our heads up and get the three points against Swansea. We can still make it happen. It's vital for us to be part of the Champions League (next season)."

Sagna hopes the emotion of the occasion tonight when United visit West Ham for the home team's last game at Upton Park will work to City's advantage.

"West Ham are a quality team, especially at home," he said. "They have managed to beat the big teams there and it's their last game there so if they can win it will be good for us but even then we have to win at Swansea."

Meanwhile, Antoine Griezmann has told friends he is prepared to snub lucrative offers from the Premier League to stay at Atletico Madrid this summer.

The 25-year-old France international is now one of the hottest strikers in European football and has been closely monitored by Chelsea, who attempted to sign him in the past, Manchester United and Manchester City.

Having fired Atletico into a second Champions League final in three years it was thought that Griezmann might be willing to move on if the Spanish club wanted to cash in if the £63m release clause in his contract was met.

However the indications are that Griezmann is prepared to stay, especially as Atlético coach Diego Simeone is also telling players - and potential signings - that he will remain at the club. Griezmann's current deal already runs until 2020. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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