Belfast Telegraph

Fabian Delph focused on Leicester clash after shock defeat

Rare lapse: Fabian Delph says City are ready to bounce back
Rare lapse: Fabian Delph says City are ready to bounce back

By Andy Hampson

Fabian Delph says Manchester City are determined to bounce back quickly from their shock loss to Crystal Palace at Leicester this afternoon.

Pep Guardiola's men suffered an unexpected lapse as they slumped to a 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Londoners at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Defeats remain rare for City but, after two of them in their last three Premier League outings, the title initiative has been handed to Liverpool.

The Merseysiders have a four-point cushion at the top of the table ahead of the round of fixtures that marks the season's halfway point.

England midfielder Delph said: "It is important not to dwell on the past and to live in the present. That game is finished now, it's about the next game. It's about getting the three points on the board."

City will hope midfielder Fernandinho will be fit to return after missing the Palace clash with a recurrence of a thigh problem. The Brazilian's control was sorely missed.

David Silva remains on the sidelines but with Sergio Aguero, Kevin de Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez - all of whom were substitutes at the weekend - ready to come in, Delph accepts the champions are hardly down to the bare bones. The 29-year-old, who has again been used as a makeshift left-back this season, said: "It always helps when you have a fully-fit squad. People pushing each other for places is healthy.

"But we have more than enough in the squad to win any match, whether someone is injured or not.

"Everyone understands their roles and the systems, but we were just unfortunate (against Palace).

"We'll go on, have a look at it and then focus on the next game."

Meanwhile, Leicester boss Claude Puel has told his players to go and "create another upset" following Saturday's surprise 1-0 win at Chelsea, courtesy of a smart Jamie Vardy finish.

The Foxes held Pep Guardiola's men to a 1-1 Carabao Cup quarter-final draw before exiting on penalties on December 18 - and now Puel has demanded another battling performance.

"Our last game against City was encouraging, about our mentality, about our play and possibility," said Puel.

"We lost on the lottery of penalties, we didn't manage very well this exercise, I know. On the pitch it was interesting.

"If we have the ability to repeat three days after a tough game against also a good team.

"It will be another fantastic challenge and we need to create another upset."

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