Defending champions Manchester City retained their lead over Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table following a 2-1 victory against Cardiff City on Wednesday. However, the win came at the cost of another injury, adding to the woes of the Pep Guardiola-led side at their crucial tail-end of the season.
With key fixtures beckoning in the FA Cup, Champions League, and Premier League, the City side are facing some serious concerns with their squad depth. Defenders Fabian Delph and Benjamin Mendy are already out with injuries and the latest addition to the list is Oleksandr Zinchenko. The left-back limped off against Cardiff after just 18 minutes with a hamstring injury that is likely to rule him out for a number of games.
The City side are aiming for a historic quadruple (four title wins). Having already won the Carabao Cup, they are in the finals of the FA Cup, the leaders in the Premier League and in the quarterfinals of the Champions League where they will be up against Tottenham Hotspur.
Speaking to the presser after the victory head coach Guardiola was quoted as saying: “It doesn’t look good, we will know after tomorrow but it doesn’t look good for the next games.”
“Fabian Delph is out, Benjamin Mendy, we will see tomorrow how he feels, how he trains, we don’t have many options.” Striker Sergio Aguero is also a doubt for the semi-final against Brighton, with Guardiola not prepared to risk the Argentine veteran against Cardiff with so many crucial games coming up, particularly the two-legged Champions League quarter-final against Tottenham.
But at least City advanced to the top of the table with the minimum of effort, moving a point clear of Liverpool after the same number of games played, the 25th time this season the top place in the division has changed hands.
“We have the feeling if we drop points we will not be champions,” said Guardiola, who saw his side win an eighth consecutive match in the league.
“But people said it would be easy, midweek against Cardiff. The way we started, the focus on what we have to do.
“The goals we scored with the chances, we should have scored more, that’s the regret but the other side it was really good.” Guardiola was able to make seven changes for the visit of Neil Warnock’s struggling team.
(Quotes source -AFP)