Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini concedes that his side’s progression to a first-ever Champions League quarter-final has been overshadowed by skipper Vincent Kompany suffering a recurrence of a calf injury.
City had lost both of their previous round of 16 ties in Europe’s elite club competition although it was Kompany’s injury nightmare which proved the biggest talking point of a tepid encounter.
Kompany’s importance to City is stark. Pellegrini’s side have conceded a goal every 194 minutes in the Premier League this season with him on the pitch, compared to every 65 minutes without.
The 29-year-old is set for a month on the sidelines according to Pellegrini, which rules him out of Sunday’s derby with Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium and potentially their quarter-final showdown. The draw for the last-eight takes place on Friday.
“Unfortunately for Kompany he has again a calf problem. It is the same injury,” said Pellegrini. “It is difficult for him because he came back very well, played six games in a row but, unfortunately for him, he could not continue.”
Pellegrini was more optimistic about Kompany’s central defensive partner Nicolas Otamendi, who also hobbled off in the first half, and is hopeful that the Argentine will recover from a leg injury within a matter of days.
Despite his injury concerns, Pellegrini did allow himself to revel in guiding City to the last eight for the first time in their history, in what is his final campaign in charge before handing the managerial baton to Pep Guardiola.
“It is a very important achievement for the club because before we couldn’t,” added former Villarreal and Malaga boss Pellegrini. “I repeat that it is not normal to play Barcelona twice in the round of 16 but before that the club didn’t qualify from the group stages.
“This is a club which is growing and all these achievements are important to continue developing as a big club.”
City’s evening started in agonising fashion as injury-plagued Belgium defender Kompany pulled up injured after only five minutes and immediately gestured to the bench that he was unable to continue.
Kompany has seen his season destroyed by fitness problems, having played just 19 of 46 matches, while his latest calf injury is the 14th he has suffered since arriving at the Etihad Stadium in 2008.
The home side’s defensive woes deepened as Otamendi was forced to leave the field midway through the opening period after earlier requiring treatment following a collision with Dynamo midfielder Vitaliy Buyalskiy.
Despite requiring a minimum of three goals to progress, Ukrainian champions Dynamo showed limited ambition in a bid to engineer a way back into the tie.
Clear-cut chances were at a premium until the 61st minute when winger Jesus Navas’s shot across goal rebounded off the post, while Joe Hart denied Dynamo substitute Oleksandr Yakovenko late on.