Manchester Evening News

Guardiola’s fears come true after Stones injury


PEP Guardiola feared John Stones was going to get injured during City’s FA Cup win against Arsenal after noticing he didn’t look ready from the first whistle.

Stones went off with a hamstring injury just before halftime in the 1-0 win and was replaced by Aymeric Laporte, but Guardiola thought his centre-back looked tired and vulnerable to injury.

City have nine days until they next play, away at Tottenham in the Premier League, but if scans confirm a hamstring injury then Stones is likely to miss that game and much of the Blues’ February schedule, which includes a Premier League game at Arsenal in the middle of the month.

After the match Guardiola appeared to lay some of the blame for the injury at the door of Stones, who was running the risk of an injury because his manager felt he didn’t appear physically ready.

“Today he was not ready, I saw it in the first minutes, maybe he was tired, I don’t know, but he was not ready and that’s why when this happens you get injured,” said Guardiola.

City won the game through Nathan Ake’s second-half goal and Guardiola was happy with the way they controlled the visitors defensivel­y after the break.

“Yeah, good, but [Gabriel] Martinelli is an incredible weapon, when [Martin] Odegaard came on and played in the pockets. They are a really good team, otherwise they couldn’t be where they are,” he said.

“They’re aggressive, know exactly what they have to do. At the end we did a good game.”

 ?? ?? John Stones leaves the pitch after picking up an injury
John Stones leaves the pitch after picking up an injury

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