What Saturday’s UK national papers are saying about sport - April 16, 2011.
DAILY STAR: Sir Alex Ferguson has taunted Manchester City ahead of their Wembley showdown by claiming: We’ve got the bottle to win - have you? Also: Carlo Ancelotti yesterday pleaded with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to judge him on his two season in charge, not just this year’s flop.
THE SUN: Roberto Mancini says a win over Manchester United today can fire City to the title next season. Also: Kenny Dalglish has finally agreed terms to become permanent manager of Liverpool.
DAILY MIRROR: Patrick Vieira admits Manchester City will still be in United’s shadow - even if they win today’s FA Cup semi-final. Also: Sir Alex Ferguson has warned Dimitar Berbatov to raise his game if he wants to win back his place.
DAILY MAIL: Thousands of fans descending on London for the FA Cup semi-finals could be left stranded overnight in the capital - despite police today launching the most expensive security operation for a domestic football match. Also: Nine months on from that challenge and Nigel de Jong is an unchanged man.
DAILY EXPRESS: Patrick Vieira has made the incredible admission that Manchester City will remain in the shadow of United - even if they beat them in today’s FA Cup semi-final. Also: Arsene Wenger is being forced to consider his biggest backroom shake-up during his 15-year reign as Arsenal manager.
THE INDEPENDENT: It is hard for Nigel de Jong to leave behind the event which has scarred his season, even though he can reflect on the prospect of Manchester City finally beginning to reap what they have sowed in this evening’s FA Cup semi-final. Also: Jermaine Pennant aims to dribble, dart and dink his way into the FA Cup final in Stanley Matthews’ old position on Stoke City’s right wing at Wembley tomorrow.
THE TIMES: Chelsea are bracing themselves for a stand-off with Didier Drogba after instructing several agents to find a buyer for their long-serving striker. Also: Carlo Ancelotti made the extraordinary claim yesterday that he will respect Roman Abramovich’s decision if he is sacked at the end of the season.
THE GUARDIAN: Sir Alex Ferguson believes Manchester City’s desperation for a first major trophy in 35 years could prove decisive at Wembley if Manchester United capitalise on their greater experience of the big occasion. Also: Nigel de Jong does not really do what-ifs, but there is one opposition midfielder whose absence the Dutchman will be feeling when Manchester City take on United in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley today.
DAILY TELEGRAPH: The road to Wembley is never easy, particularly when fire engulfs the M1, leaving football pilgrims with a hard shoulder to cry on. Also: Carlo Ancelotti yesterday admitted that “something was wrong” with Chelsea this season as he spoke with the air of a man who knew his time as club’s manager was drawing to a close.