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Paper News and Gossip: Pellegrini Math Mistake, Moyes Restores Hairdryer

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterDecember 11, 2013

Paper News and Gossip: Pellegrini Math Mistake, Moyes Restores Hairdryer

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    Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

    Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini inadvertently took the pressure off rival United boss David Moyes after their final Champions League group matches.

    James Milner scored the winner for City at Bayern Munich in an excellent 3-2 comeback victory, but the Etihad Stadium manager has drawn some ridicule for appearing not to realise that another goal would have seen his team top the group.

    United beat Shakhtar Donetsk to secure top spot in their group, but Moyes admitted he had to bring out Sir Alex Ferguson's notorious hairdryer with a criticial team talk at half-time.

    But who else is making the headlines on Wednesday? Read on to find out more.

Basic Math Mistake Mars Manchester City Win at Bayern Munich

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    Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

    Manchester City secured an impressive 3-2 comeback victory at Bayern Munich, but the achievement was undermined by manager Pellegrini not appearing to understand that another goal would have seen his team top their group, reports Chris Bascombe of the Daily Telegraph.

    With the score at 3-2 following Milner's strike, Pellegrini opted to withdraw striker Edin Dzeko for Jack Rodwell and not Sergio Aguero; a fourth goal could have seen City face a potentially easier draw in the last 16.

    Pellegrini played down the tactical switch, but Milner admitted the team were unaware of the importance of a fourth goal:

    We didn’t know if 4-2 would be enough or if we would need 5-2. We thought it needed to be 5-2 to be honest.

    It’s not easy to score three goals here, so to score four would have been a tough task.

    It’s pleasing to score three goals at a place like this and we’re going to need to do that in the next round.

    Meanwhile, Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is the subject of interest from Monaco in Ligue 1, reports Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express.

    But City are set to win the race for defensive midfielder Bruno Zuculini ahead of Manchester United and Inter Milan, reports Phil Thomas of The Sun (subscription required).

    Scott Sinclair is hoping to ensure his loan move from City to West Brom becomes a permanent one now that the winger has returned to full fitness, reports Graham Hill of The Sun (subscription required).

Moyes Brings out Hairdryer as Manchester Utd Seal Champions League Top Spot

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    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Manchester United eased the pressure on manager Moyes with a 1-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk in their final group game, but the Scot admits the victory came after a fierce half-time team talk, reports David McDonnell of the Daily Mirror.

    Moyes' predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson was renowned for losing his temper with his team, a treatment which became known as the "hairdryer," as the article notes.

    But after ending a run of successive home defeats, Moyes revealed he had to talk tough at the interval:

    We need to win matches and the players responded well to that encouragement.

    We passed the ball much better after we had given it away terribly in the first half and that’s not like us.

    I thought there wasn’t much difference to the Everton and Newcastle games. Tonight we got the goal. In those other games, Everton and Newcastle got the goal.”

    We finished top of the group and that’s what we wanted. We knew we’d already qualified but we wanted to win the group.

    Meanwhile, United are monitoring Brazilian starlet Mosquito along with Real Madrid and Juventus, reports Ed Malyon of the Daily Mirror.

    Cruzeiro midfielder Everton Ribeiro believes he is the man to rescue Manchester United, reports Richard Tanner of the Daily Express.

    But Roma star and reported United target Kevin Strootman will not be leaving the Serie A club, claims Jack Gaughan of the Daily Mail.

Barcelona Preparing £29 Million Transfer Move for Chelsea Defender David Luiz

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Chelsea are bracing themselves for a £29 million offer for defender David Luiz from Barcelona, reports Nick Lustig of the Daily Star.

    Barca manager Gerardo Martino is eager to strengthen his defensive options, according to the article, and Luiz has fallen behind Gary Cahill and John Terry in Jose Mourinho's team selection.

    The Brazil international has now recovered from a knee injury, but has only made five Premier League appearances for Chelsea this season.

    Chelsea striker Samuel Eto'o is set for a move to the MLS instead of remaining at Stamford Bridge beyond the end of the current season, claims Simon Rice of The Independent.

    Reported Chelsea target Andrea Ranocchia is poised to hand in a transfer request at Inter Milan, claims Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express.

Arsenal Closing in on Calhanoglu as Higuain Reveals No Gunners Contact in Summer

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    Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

    Arsenal are poised to offer Hakan Calhanoglu a move to the Emirates Stadium in January, reports Gary Jones of the Daily Star.

    The Turkey international, 19, has been compared to current Gunners star Mesut Ozil, and his agent Bektas Demirtas believes Arsene Wenger is set to make a move:

    We know of Arsenal's interest.

    I think they will make a concrete move in December or January.

    Hakan and Hamburg has been a success story, our wish is that he stays here and continues to evolve.

    And Arsenal could be in line to add Barcelona starlet Antonio Sanabria, 17, to their ranks after reports in Spain claimed the Paraguayan had agreed terms with a new club, as highlighted by Alex Richards of the Daily Mirror.

    But Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain insists he was never close to joining Arsenal in the summer, reports Jack Wilson of the Daily Star.

Bits and Pieces: Paul Merson, Jermain Defoe, Gerard Deulofeu, Iago Aspas

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    Ben Radford/Getty Images

    Former Arsenal striker Paul Merson believes he was approached to fix matches following his retirement from the game, reports Paul Brown of the Daily Star.

    Merson says he was approached by a representative for a business consortium to organise an all-star six-a-side tour of the United States, but the conversation took a sinister turn as he was asked whether he had known about scores for games before they were played.

    They seemed very interested in that. They wanted to known how you get that kind of information.

    It was then that alarm bells started ringing for me. Why would you ask that?

    I saw straight away where they were going with it and I told them: “No, football is the straightest game there is.”

    They just looked at each other and they didn’t push me on it. But the thing is, I never heard from them again.

    Looking back on it now, I’m convinced it was an approach to get my help to fix a game.

    Tottenham will not allow striker Jermain Defoe to leave the club until they have found a new forward to replace him, reports Charles Perrin of the Daily Express.

    Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino insists no decision on an extension of Gerard Deulofeu's loan to Everton has been made yet, reports Dave Lyons of the Daily Star.

    Liverpool striker Iago Aspas may miss out on a loan move in January as the Anfield injury list continues to cause manager Brendan Rodgers a dilemma, reports Sam Adams of the Daily Mirror.

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