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Manchester City's Pep has to wait for good Kompany

Man City 2 Man Utd 1

By Mark Ogden

Published 12/09/2016

Sharpshooter: Kelechi Iheanacho (left) celebrates with Nolito after scoring ManchesterCity’s second goal at Old Trafford
Sharpshooter: Kelechi Iheanacho (left) celebrates with Nolito after scoring ManchesterCity’s second goal at Old Trafford

Pep Guardiola has revealed he is delaying Vincent Kompany's return to action for Manchester City due to advice from the club's medical staff over 'toxins' in the Belgian defender's blood.

City captain Kompany has been sidelined since suffering groin and thigh injuries during the Champions League semi-final second-leg against Real Madrid in Spain in May.

The 30-year-old underwent surgery prior to the end of last season which forced him to miss Euro 2016, but he has since returned to training at City and has impressed Guardiola with his performances on the training ground.

But with City preparing for their Champions League opener against Borussia Monchengladbach tomorrow following the 2-1 derby victory at Manchester United, Guardiola admits he is being extra cautious with Kompany in order to avoid the injury-cursed centre-half suffering new setbacks.

"It's a doctor issue," Guardiola said. "He has something in his muscle and we believe that was a problem for the many injuries last season.

"He's getting better, but he has a little bit toxic (in his blood). That's why you have to be a little careful.

"I think it's the last part of that because he is training with the group. When I see him, I say, this guy can play, because he's training like Vincent is. But the doctor said, with what happened in the past, we have to be careful."

City claimed victory at Old Trafford with the likes of the suspended Sergio Aguero and injured Ilkay Gundogan joining Kompany on the sidelines.

And Guardiola admits City cannot thrive for too long with their senior players unavailable to him.

"We cannot win the title without all the players," he said. "I'm looking forward to Vincent, Gundogan coming back.

"I prefer to come here to Old Trafford with all of the key players, believe me."

Saturday's contest saw the Blues, particularly in the first half, once again produce the slick, passing football with which their new manager has for so long been associated.

Guardiola was generally pleased with the way his men played over that 45 minutes as they assumed a 2-0 lead through Kevin De Bruyne and Kelechi Iheanacho before Zlatan Ibrahimovic's reply just prior to the break.

But he also emphasised that with them not making the most of some openings, City had to "suffer" through a second half in which Jose Mourinho's United, invigorated by some half-time substitutions, were considerably improved.

City on Tuesday host Borussia Monchengladbach in their first fixture in Champions League Group C, which features also Barcelona, with whom Guardiola won the competition twice as boss.

And the Spaniard, making an assessment that might strike a nerve with Mourinho, said: "Until now, in the Premier League it has been okay - but to compete against the best clubs in Europe, in this moment with the way we are playing, we are not able to."

De Bruyne - who opened the scoring in the 15th minute with a slotted effort, then saw his shot off the post in the 36th tee up Iheanacho - has emphasised how City had to battle to see out the victory.

"In the first half we were excellent but it was hard for us after they scored the goal," said the Belgium international. "It was difficult, especially in the second half, because they were much stronger physically. It was a fight until the end and we're very happy to get the win."

MAN UTD: De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Shaw (Martial, 81 mins), Fellaini, Pogba, Mkhitaryan (Herrera, 46 mins), Rooney, Lingard (Rashford, 46 mins), Ibrahimovic. Unused subs: Romero, Smalling, Mata, Schneiderlin.

MAN CITY: Bravo, Sagna, Otamendi, Stones, Kolarov, Fernandinho, De Bruyne, (Zabaleta, 90 mins), Silva, Sterling (Sane, 60 mins), Nolito, Iheanacho (Fernando, 53 mins). Unused subs: Caballero, Clichy, Garcia, Navas.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg

Man of the match: Kevin De Bruyne

Match rating: 8/10

Belfast Telegraph

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