SPORTING LISBON 1 vs MANCHESTER CITY 0
MANCHESTER CITY manager Roberto Mancini hopes his captain Vincent Kompany will make a quick recovery from the injury that saw him hobble off during the early exchanges of last night’s Europa League defeat in Lisbon.
Brazilian Xandao’s impudent back-heel ended City’s run of six consecutive victories in all competitions and means the Premier League leaders face an uphill task to qualify for the quarter finals.
Kompany lasted just seven minutes before he suffered a calf strain and will certainly miss next week’s second leg, but Mancini is optimistic he will not be without his influential Belgian defender for too long.
“I hope that for Vinnie, the injury will be short,” said Mancini. “When you have a calf (injury), it can be a big problem. I hope he can recover in 10 days, two weeks maximum.”
Mancini fielded a near full-strength side but City posed little by way of attacking threat until Mario Balotelli was introduced from the substitutes’ bench with 20 minutes remaining.
The Italy striker created a wonderful opportunity for David Silva and hit the crossbar with a header but was unable to cancel out Xandao’s improvised effort in the 51st minute – the defender reacting quickest after the previously excellent Joe Hart had spilled a Matias Fernandez free-kick.
Mancini added: “I am not worried. We will go through in the Europa League.”