Kyle earns his keep after Bravo blun­der


Scottish Daily Mail - - Europa League - JACK GAUGHAN

PEP Guardi­ola will be pray­ing Eder­son is fit for Sun­day’s trip to An­field after Clau­dio Bravo’s em­bar­rass­ing 36-minute cameo in the San Siro saw City end this game with full-back Kyle Walker play­ing in goal. Chilean Bravo emerged at half­time after Eder­son picked up a thigh in­jury. He con­ceded the equaliser within four min­utes of com­ing on be­fore be­ing sent off for wip­ing out Josip Ili­cic as he raced out to in­ter­cept a ball he was never go­ing to reach. Walker had to re­place him for the clos­ing min­utes, im­me­di­ately fum­bling a free­kick from Ata­lanta’s Rus­lan Mali­novskyi. De­spite that nervy touch, he wasn’t tested fur­ther as City held on. ‘I try some­times to wind the keep­ers up in train­ing by telling them to catch it,’ smiled Walker (be­low), ‘but as I found out tonight some­times you need two touches. All jokes aside, we came here to get a point or a vic­tory. Now the fo­cus is on Liver­pool.’ Guardi­ola in­sisted Bravo re­tains his full faith if he has to play him on Sun­day. ‘I know him, so why should I have doubts in my play­ers?’ he said. ‘Clau­dio is ready, he is an in­cred­i­ble pro­fes­sional. I don’t know about Eder­son right now. It’s a mus­cu­lar prob­lem, it’s not big.’ As for Walker, Guardi­ola added: ‘Con­grat­u­la­tions to Kyle for his courage and de­sire to help them team.’ Qual­i­fi­ca­tion from this group will come even­tu­ally but cir­cum­stances here were far from ideal. Gabriel Je­sus missed a penalty with City al­ready a goal up. Worse still, off came Eder­son be­fore Mario Pasalic headed home. City went ahead in­side seven min­utes. Ra­heem Ster­ling in­ter­cepted eas­ily from Hans Hate­boer be­fore mov­ing the ball for­ward to Bernardo Silva. Je­sus darted di­ag­o­nally to fash­ion space in­side the box and his back-heel found Ster­ling, who passed into the net first time for his 14th club goal of the sea­son. Just be­fore the break, he was hauled down by Rafael Toloi and ref Alek­sei Kul­bakov sig­nalled for a penalty, but VAR ruled it out, indi­cat­ing a free-kick in­stead. Ster­ling struck that into Ili­cic’s hand, Kul­bakov wav­ing away City protests, only for VAR to over­turn that, too.

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