Man City forward faces at least six weeks on the sidelines

Date published: Tuesday 30th January 2018 2:52 - Matthew Stead

Manchester City winger Leroy Sane faces at least six weeks on the sidelines with an ankle injury, manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed.

The Germany international suffered ligament damage following a bad tackle from Joe Bennett in Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round win at Cardiff.

Guardiola said: “He is injured. He will be six or seven weeks out.”

Sane was caught on his standing leg by a late, studs-up tackle from Bennett late in the first half of City’s 2-0 win.

The challenge by Bennett, who was booked and later sent off after another bad tackle on Brahim Diaz, infuriated Guardiola.

He complained to referee Lee Mason after the game and later called for officials to give players better protection.

Cardiff manager Neil Warnock was not sympathetic to Guardiola’s complaints, saying: “He is in England (sic), what do you expect?”

He added: “I suppose when you’re like that, you want everything to be nice, pretty and perfect. But you don’t get that here, you get different challenges.”

Guardiola, speaking at a press conference to preview Wednesday’s Premier League clash with West Brom, did not want to get drawn into a war of words with the veteran Bluebirds boss.

He said: “He has more experience than me by far about the English football. He knows English football better than me. When he says that, what can I say?

“But I was here 18 months and my personal view is English football is not like this. But again, Neil has more experience than me. He is a guy who has spent all his career in England and that is why his opinions are his opinions.”

Guardiola’s complaints are not new, having made similar points on several occasions already this season.

Kevin De Bruyne has been on the receiving end of bad tackles from Tottenham’s Dele Alli and Crystal Palace’s Jason Puncheon, and Raheem Sterling from Spurs’ Harry Kane. Newcastle’s Jacob Murphy also caught Ilkay Gundogan high.

Each time Guardiola has called for firmer action from referees, and he has stressed the problem is not necessarily unique to City players.

Sane, 22, has been instrumental this season, scoring 11 goals and providing 14 assists in all competitions.

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