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The much-lauded ‘Fernandinho tactical foul’ may have just cost Man City the title

The Makelele role, the Arjen Robben goal, the Cruyff turn… the Fernandinho tactical foul.

All masters of arts have their name associated with their trademark move.

For Man City’s Brazilian destroyer it has been to commit those pesky fouls that disrupt opposition moves just at the point when they could become dangerous.


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Rinse and repeat

3
Rinse and repeat

It has been a ploy that has been so effective for so long.

However, against Newcastle today, it was that exact move which led to Jonjo Shelvey’s late equaliser and may have ultimately cost City the title.

Moments before Kevin De Bruyne had just resurrected the spirit of Tony Yeboah to unleash one of the Premier League’s great volleys – a goal most people thought would have secured the three points.

The fact it thundered in off the crossbar obviously made it 10 times better too.

All City had to do was see out the final 10 minutes and it would be job done.

But in a frantic final few minutes it was Fernandinho’s trademark foul which allowed Newcastle to sneak a point and all but handed the title to Liverpool.

Some double whammy there.

Everybody was kung-fu fighting

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Everybody was kung-fu fighting

Newcastle were bearing down on the City box on the right and Fernandinho came across to shut down a cross.

Instead of allowing the ball to come in with plenty of cover behind him the Brazilain commited the zillionth tactical foul of his career.

He was already on a booking and he was playing with fire despite escaping a second booking – but the worst was yet to come.

Christian Atsu took the free-kick short and Shelvery was on hand to whip in a delicious shot from range.

If anyone deserves it’s Stevecastle United

3
If anyone deserves it’s Stevecastle United

It was the second time in the game City had let the lead slip through their fingers and unfortunately it was Fernandinho’s secret weapon that backfired spectacularly.

But the result was a reflection of how City’s stingy defence has disappeared this season.

They’ve kept just five clean sheets in 14 games and have already conceded TEN more goals than they had at this stage last season.

Aymeric Laporte cannot return soon enough.

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