Men's Team

Guardiola optimistic about Gundogan injury

THE BOSS: Pep makes his voice heard on the touchline.
Pep Guardiola is remaining positive about the fitness of midfielder Ilkay Gundogan.

The German opened the scoring in our 3-2 defeat to Brighton inside two minutes, but was then replaced by Fernandinho before the hour after taking a knock on his knee.

The midfielder required treatment, but thankfully left the pitch without the need of a stretcher at the Amex Stadium.

He'll be hoping that the injury will not rule him out of Sunday’s Premier League finale against Everton or our Champions League final clash with Chelsea in 11 days’ time.

The City boss insists that the substitution was taken out of precaution rather than necessity, but admits he will wait for further confirmation in the next 24 hours.

“Tomorrow we are going to check it, the doctor is quite optimistic,” Guardiola declared.

“The problem is he had a kick and he was running in the second half with a disturbance.

"I didn’t want to take a risk, that’s why we did the substitution.”

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Despite getting our noses in front early on, City had our backs to the wall inside ten minutes when Joao Cancelo was shown a straight red for tangling with Danny Welbeck.

Phil Foden’s impressive solo effort even doubled our lead in the 48th minute, but we were unable to hold on as the legs understandably tired, ending our record-breaking 12-match winning run on the road.

Asked whether he was concerned about the defeat ahead of a crucial 11 days in the Club’s season, Guardiola responded defiantly.

“We’re the champions. In four or five days we are going to lift the trophy and then prepare for the (Champions League) final,” he said.

“I am concerned because it’s a Champions League final and the opponent is so tough but I saw incredible things today on the pitch with 11 against 10.

“(Brighton) push man to man, with high pressing and after they defend deep, the set pieces are good, lots of quality in the middle, it’s always difficult.

"We are fortunate to lift the trophy a third time in four years. We did it ourselves, nobody gave us anything, absolutely nothing.

“That’s why I am so proud of the team, it means how difficult is the Premier League again and we will prepare as best as possible for the final of the Champions League.

“I am concerned about trying to win but you can’t imagine how happy we are to play this game.”

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