Manchester: Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola counted the cost of a comfortable 2-0 victory over Cardiff that took his team to the top of the Premier League Wednesday as he faced the prospect of an FA Cup semifinal without a fit left-back.
City, still in the hunt to win all four of the trophies they entered at the start of the season, take on Brighton at Wembley Saturday, bidding to reach their second final of the campaign.
But they will be without left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko, who limped off against Cardiff after just 18 minutes with a hamstring injury that will rule him out for a number of games.
And with England international Fabian Delph also injured and Frenchman Benjamin Mendy yet to prove his match fitness to his manager, Guardiola admitted he has a problem ahead of the Wembley visit.
“It doesn’t look good,” said Guardiola. “We will know after tomorrow but it doesn’t look good for the next games. Fabian Delph is out, Benjamin Mendy, we will see tomorrow how he feels, how he trains, we don’t have many options.”
Striker Sergio Aguero is also a doubt for the semifinal against Brighton, with Guardiola not prepared to risk the Argentine veteran against Cardiff with so many crucial games coming up, particularly the two-legged Champions League quarterfinal against Tottenham.
But at least City advanced to the top of the table with the minimum of effort, moving a point clear of Liverpool after the same number of games played, the 25th time this season the top place in the division has changed hands.
“We have the feeling if we drop points we will not be champions,” said Guardiola, who saw his side win an eighth consecutive match in the league.
“But people said it would be easy, midweek against Cardiff. The way we started, the focus on what we have to do,” he said. “The goals we scored with the chances, we should have scored more, that’s the regret but the other side it was really good.”