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Manchester City plan to treat Vincent Kompany with care

Published 20/11/2016

Manchester City's Vincent Kompany, crouching, receives treatment Selhurst Park
Manchester City's Vincent Kompany, crouching, receives treatment Selhurst Park

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says his club will treat Vincent Kompany's latest injury with care.

The Belgian centre-back suffered a head injury in a collision with his own goalkeeper Claudio Bravo in the 2-1 win away to Crystal Palace and he will be assessed ahead of the Champions League group stage tie against Borussia Monchengladbach on Wednesday.

Guardiola, whose side's victory was secured by a brace from Yaya Toure after his first-team exile, said about Kompany: "He had a problem with his head. (He got) a kick. Now we're going to control him. You have to be careful with head injuries. Hopefully it won't be anything serious."

The win left City in second place in the Premier League, below leaders Liverpool on goals scored alone, and Guardiola felt it had been hard-earned against a Palace side who drew level through Connor Wickham.

"It was really tough. Obviously it was not our best performance," he added.

"We were not brilliant, but I'm so proud of my players in the same way I was so proud against Everton and Middlesbrough, when we deserved to win and didn't.

"It was so uncomfortable because Palace are such a tough team and did so well, and we were lucky to win the game in the end and be up again (near the top). We will analyse what we can do better, because there are a lot of things we can do better.

"Now we focus on qualifying in the Champions League."

Guardiola may recall John Stones and Ilkay Gundogan for the Monchengladbach match after both were rested for this game.

Palace manager Alan Pardew has demanded his side improve their defending of set-pieces.

Toure's second was a routine finish after Palace had failed to cope with Kevin De Bruyne's low delivery.

The result left the Eagles only a point above the bottom three and also means Pardew's team have won only 22 points from 31 Premier League fixtures in 2016.

That statistic masks their impressive run to May's FA Cup final, but if their league form continues there is little question pressure will grow on the manager.

It was a goal scored from a well-worked corner that took Palace into the cup final at Watford's expense last season, but with one of the Premier League's most athletic teams Pardew recognises their lack of organisation at set-pieces is contributing to their underachievement.

"We have to improve from our set-plays," said the manager, whose team is built on the spine provided by the 6ft 5in Scott Dann, 6ft 4in James Tomkins, 6ft 2in Joel Ward and 6ft 3in Christian Benteke.

"The goals we're conceding from our set-plays are not 'us'. We should be in the top three in terms of our set-plays in both boxes, but we're probably in the bottom three.

"The priority for us is getting points on the board, and we rather gifted City the goals with mistakes at the first goal and the set-up not completed at the corner.

"We have to do better. I'm just disappointed we didn't take something from the game."

For all of Pardew's disappointment, his team frequently threatened Manchester City, limited their chances, and were only frustrated by a convincing defensive performance.

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