At the end of a week dominated by Alex Ferguson’s shock retirement as Manchester United manager, Manchester City will seek to drag the spotlight back to the blue half of the city by beating Wigan Athletic in Saturday’s FA Cup final.
Victory over Wigan will give City a third major title in three seasons and salve some of the pain inflicted by United’s uncontested romp to this season’s Premier League title and their own abject group-stage exit in the Champions League.
City’s fans would dearly love to interrupt the Ferguson swansong by repeating their 2011 FA Cup success and they will have been heartened by midfielder Yaya Toure’s claim that the Scot’s departure could spark a power shift in the city.
“It will make a big difference,” said Toure at City’s pre-final media day. “He is a great guy, a great manager, and I hope he stays in football. He has done something unbelievable for that club. For us, I think it is going to be very important. It is looking like Manchester City will start to dominate the Premier League. I hope.”
While Saturday’s game represents an opportunity for City to salvage a disappointing season, for Wigan it falls at an unfortunate juncture in their bid to avoid relegation.
Under-fire Allegri eyes saviour
Milan: AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri is looking for a potentially job-saving victory against Roma on Sunday, knowing that would be enough to clinch Serie A’s final Champions League spot.
Allegri has dragged Milan from the abyss of their worst ever Serie A start to the brink of Europe’s premier club competition, but speculation in the press suggests his job depends on pushing his team over the finishing line.