Saturday, December 14, 2019    Updated 1m ago ePaper












Man City face Arsenal as title hopes fade away
Manchester City’s midfielder Bernardo Silva (R) alongside defender Benjamin Mendy joins team’s training session at Manchester City Football Academy in Manchester on Wednesday. Photo: Collected

Man City face Arsenal as title hopes fade away

Manchester City’s Premier League title defence appears over before Christmas, with Pep Guardiola’s men travelling to Arsenal on Sunday already 14 points adrift of runaway leaders Liverpool, reports AFP.City have made the extraordinary routine, winning five of the past six major domestic trophies in England but have dropped as many points in 16 league games this season as in the whole of last season.So what has gone wrong for a hugely talented and expensive squad under the tutelage of one of football’s greatest coaches? Injuries Even a squad as rich in resources as City’s is not immune to injuries.Leroy Sane and Aymeric Laporte suffered long-term knee injuries in the first few weeks of the season, with Laporte’s absence leaving a gaping hole at the heart of City’s defence.Fernandinho has had to deputise out of position at centre-back, meaning the Brazilian’s influence at the base of City’s midfield has also been missed.Manchester United cut their local rivals apart on the counter-attack in winning the derby at the Etihad 2-1 last weekend, while Norwich, Wolves and Liverpool have also exposed City’s frailties in defensive transition to inflict defeat on the champions.Benjamin Mendy’s lack of fitness and an injury to Oleksandr Zinchenko has also led to a rotating cast at left-back, with none of the options available to Guardiola inspiring much confidence. Bad planningEven before Laporte’s injury, City appeared short at centre-back following the loss of captain Vincent Kompany, who left at the end of last season ...

49m ago