Ederson limps off for Manchester City and a doubt for big game with Liverpool

Manchester City could be without Ederson for the match at Liverpool on Sunday because of a muscular problem that forced the goalkeeper off at half-time of the 1-1 draw with Atalanta on Wednesday. The Brazilian limped away from the stadium after the match.

Pep Guardiola said he did not know if Ederson will recover but claimed no concern regarding having to start Claudio Bravo if required against the Premier League leaders at Anfield.

“He’s an incredible, experienced professional,” Guardiola said. “If Ederson is ready, he is going to play. If not we will play Claudio. We trust him. Why should I doubt any players I have in my squad?”

Guardiola offered the stance despite Bravo’s misjudgment causing his 81st-minute red card, as he rushed out and brought down Josip Ilicic. This was the second sending off in the Chilean’s City career, the first coming for handling outside the area against Barcelona three years ago.

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Regarding Ederson’s prospective fitness, Guardiola said: “It is a muscular problem – not big, it was a risk, he didn’t feel comfortable and that’s why we decided to make a substitution.”

The manager indicated the thigh area as being the region of Ederson’s problem. “He’s strong and we’ll try with him but we won’t take a risk but we’ll see tomorrow.” Bravo’s previous league start was at Southampton in May 2018 in what was a dead game as City were already champions.

Manchester City’s Claudio Bravo was sent off for his foul on Atalanta’s Josip Ilicic but is in line to play against Liverpool.

Manchester City’s Claudio Bravo was sent off for his foul on Atalanta’s Josip Ilicic but is in line to play against Liverpool. Photograph: Kieran McManus/BPI/Rex/Shutterstock

Kyle Walker, brought on for Riyad Mahrez, replaced Bravo in goal. Guardiola said: “We didn’t think before but Xabi Mancisidor [City’s goalkeeping coach] suggested him, for his courage and he’s quick. He went in and it was just one shot on target [from a Ruslan Malinovskiy free-kick]. Congratulations to him for his courage, the desire to help the team.”

Walker, who occasionally joins in goalkeeping training, said: “Did I volunteer? It was a little bit of both. Sometimes I criticise our goalkeepers for not catching the ball in training but as I found tonight sometimes you have to take two touches.”

The last remark referred to him requiring two gathers of Malinovskiy’s late free‑kick.

City require one point to confirm qualification to the Champions League knockout round. After Raheem Sterling’s seventh-minute opener, Gabriel Jesus missed a penalty near half-time, before Mario Pasalic’s equaliser following the interval.


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