This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 14 November, 2019
Advertisement

Man City's Champions League victory comes at a cost

Pep Guardiola has another fitness worry after Rodri was forced out of the game against Atalanta.

Manchester City midfielder Rodri.
Manchester City midfielder Rodri.

MAN CITY BEAT Atalanta 5-1 in the Champions League tonight, though the victory was marred somewhat by an injury to one of their key players,

Rodri was forced off during the match, with the Spain international suffering an apparent hamstring injury.

Shortly after Sergio Aguero had scored his second goal of the night from the penalty spot to put City 2-1 ahead, Rodri – playing again in the unfamiliar position of centre-back – missed a defensive header to let Atalanta forward Alejandro Gomez through on goal at the Etihad Stadium.

The former Atletico Madrid man recovered his ground to make a well-judged tackle but instantly raised his hand to gesture for treatment.

Rodri has impressed in holding midfield since becoming City’s record signing in July, slotting into defence over the past week to cover for Pep Guardiola’s centre-back shortage.

John Stones, fit again following a thigh problem, replaced Rodri against Atalanta, when Nicolas Otamendi returned to the bench after a back complaint.

First-choice central defender Aymeric Laporte is still recovering from knee surgery alongside winger Leroy Sane, while City announced earlier on Wednesday that full-back Oleksandr Zinchenko has sustained a knee injury of his own and will be assessed over the coming days to determine the extent of the damage.

Raheem Sterling hit a brilliant 11-minute hat-trick as Manchester City inflicted a thrashing on their Italian opponents.

Pep Guardiola’s side were rocked by Ruslan Malinovsky’s first-half penalty at the Etihad Stadium.

But City responded superbly as Sergio Aguero struck twice before the interval.

Sterling had provided the assists for both of Aguero’s goals, but the England winger was just getting warmed up.

After the interval, Sterling struck three times to complete a personal masterclass that underlined his rise in the Guardiola era from enigmatic playmaker to lethal finisher.

Sterling has emerged as City’s driving force over the last 18 months and his second hat-trick of the season confirmed his place among the world’s best players.

The only other frustration for Guardiola was a late red card for young midfielder Phil Foden.

City’s third successive Group C victory leaves them top of the table, five points clear of second placed Dinamo Zagreb with three games left.

Atalanta, making their Champions League debut this season, are still searching for their first point after a third consecutive defeat.

Additional reporting by AFP

The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

The42 Team

Read next:

COMMENTS (9)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel