Saturday 3 August, 1.00pm
Betfair Ambassador Dimitar Berbatov says City could win the Champions League this season if they can get past Real Madrid. He also hails Scott McTominay a future United captain...
"City are still going for the Champions League and if they win that I think it will make up for their poor form in the Premier League."
Labelling City's season a total humiliation is a big exaggeration. Liverpool deserve to win the League and they've made a big statement with their excellent campaign. To show that finally, after 30 years, they are going to win the league title is a big thing, they are announcing that they are back.
For City and Pep Guardiola it will be tough to surrender the title and the point margin is painful, but hopefully for them they will take lessons from it and prepare for next season. I can't imagine City just lying down and letting Liverpool win everything from now on. Let's not forget Manchester United, Spurs, Chelsea and Arsenal all have problems at the moment but they would all love to be in contention for the title next season. When you win the title, everybody is gunning for you the next time round.
Guardiola would love to win Champions League this season
City are still going for the Champions League and if they win that I think it will make up for their poor form in the Premier League. I don't think the fans will mind if they go on to win in Europe, it will be a massive achievement and it will help them to forget their run in the Premier League. Usually in football, you can always look ahead to next season, but for City, the Champions League might not be there next season so they will be desperate to win it this time around.
There has been a lot of talk and speculation about Guardiola's future, but I think City are smart enough to keep him there. I want him to stay there because I watch the Premier League and I want to see him coaching. I don't want to see him go, I think that he likes the battles with Jurgen Klopp, Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and the other big name coaches that are in the Premier League. He knows how special the League is and, if he leaves now, he will be admitting he has failed and that he can't live up to the challenge that Liverpool gives him. I don't see a reason for him to leave.
City are still in the FA Cup and, although it will be difficult for them to win again, they have a chance. They've already won the League Cup so could come away with three trophies this season.
Guardiola's style still has substance
I think the tiki-taka style of football that Pep Guardiola is known for is what football should be like. You are passing the ball no matter what. It's all about how you pass the ball, if you pass it short as a team or you just kick the ball up the field in a more direct style and you play off that.
Liverpool have shown that they can play in many ways, short and out from the back, direct when they need to, on the counter-attack because their players are so quick. All these options are great for them to be able to choose from depending on who they play or even in a game when they can switch from one to another.
I am a big admirer of tiki-taka and I love how the ball moves across the pitch under Guardiola and how he makes his team move together looking for the spaces in between the lines. This will never go, it might change, but football is all about passing and moving. Guardiola will never change his style of football, it is his way.
Aguero is a big loss for City
Before the restart, I mentioned that teams would want to be extra careful when it comes to their key players. Sergio Aguero picked up an injury in the game against Burnley and it isn't looking good for him. This is exactly what City didn't want. He will be a huge loss. Hopefully Gabriel Jesus can fill his boots, but City have a major task on the horizon when it comes to their Champions League last 16 second leg against Real Madrid and missing Aguero is a big blow.
Even though City won in the Bernabeu, and Jesus played a big part in that game, it is still Real Madrid. City can't think that they are already through because the moment they think like that will be the moment they get eliminated. Real are coming into good form and are playing some good football, they are battling to win La Liga, so they will be full of confidence and self-belief and they know that they will be able to do something even more behind closed doors in Manchester without the home fans. I still think this game is 50/50, especially with Real going to an empty stadium Manchester.
McTominay has the world at his feet
This is a perfect time to for Manchester United to extend Scott McTominay's contract. He is developing in the right way, playing regularly and I hope they give him more time. It certainly shows that the club have faith in him as a player and the club are making a statement that they are going to depend on him in the future. He's still young and in his early twenties, so for him to see that the club are trusting him and rewarding him with a contract extension is a great day for him to celebrate.
He now needs to put those celebrations aside and prove why the club have given him a contract extension. He needs to be even better than before, and he needs to put even more effort into his game so that he can show that he can be a regular starter.
He definitely deserves a new contract, he has a great confidence in the way he moves around the pitch and the way he looks for the ball. He is at the stage where he is now comfortable in his position and the way he plays football. In the beginning he needed some game time to get used to everything but now he is fully integrated into the team at such an early age, which is great because he now has more time to play, enjoy his football and make a name for himself as a player.
With his physique and the way he plays football, McTominay looks like a future captain and leader of Manchester United to me. Now the most important thing is that he doesn't relax because he has a new deal. He needs to play and work even harder.
He is in the right place to develop, he is surrounded by great players and the coach believes in him. How good he turns out to be only depends on him and how determined he is to be one of the best.
Saturday 3 August, 1.00pm