Kyle earns his keep after Bravo blunder
ATALANTA MAN CITY X1 X1
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.