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Guardiola crosses fingers over Mendy injury


London (AFP) – Pep Guardiola says French left-back Benjamin Mendy will be assessed on Sunday after he suffered a knock against Crystal Palace, hailing him a vital cog in Manchester City’s attacking machine.

The home side lost Mendy to injury midway through the first half on Saturday after a clash of knees with Andros Townsend before finding their scoring touch and pummelling Roy Hodgson’s side 5-0.

“Tomorrow, we are going to make a real test,” Guardiola said, referring to Mendy’s injury. “Hopefully, it is just a kick. We will see the situation tomorrow. Without Mendy, we cannot attack fluently.”

Mendy himself tweeted: “Great team work today again, sharks were out @ManCity. Tough knock for me but I will be OK inch’allah thx for your messages!!”

Guardiola hailed his free-scoring forwards after City pulled clear of rivals Manchester United on goal difference at the top of the Premier League table.

Leroy Sane opened the scoring just before half-time before a brace from Raheem Sterling and further goals from Sergio Aguero and Fabian Delph sealed the emphatic win.

Guardiola said the league leaders, who have five wins in six matches, had struggled to get their game going in the early stages at the Etihad Stadium.

“The first half we had problems as the ball must be moved and we didn’t move it,” said Guardiola. 

“We had it but the ball needed to stay as little as possible in our feet before being moved. Too many touches and everything was slow. 

“But the last 10-15 minutes of the half we got it. The second-half was much, much better. Sane’s goal was so important. His first touch for the goal was brilliant. He runs in behind amazingly. Always the right tempo and moment.”

Sterling said City’s impressive forward line is clicking.

“When we get into positions we are making more of the right decisions. At this level you need to be taking those chances,” he said.

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