Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has revealed that Fernandinho will spend “weeks” on the sidelines after picking up a groin injury during the EFL Cup final against Chelsea this afternoon.
Fernandinho was taken off in the break between the end of the 90 minutes and the start of extra time at Wembley, becoming the second City player to be withdrawn due to injury after Aymeric Laporte was replaced at half time.
Guardiola suggested that both players could miss at least four games – including three in the Premier League title race and the second leg of the Champions League tie with Schalke 04 next month.
Speaking after watching his side beat Chelsea on penalties at Wembley, Guardiola told reporters: “In the last action of the first half Laporte felt something, and Fernandinho felt something muscular, so I think it will be weeks out.
“When you’re in the latter stages [of the EFL Cup] and you face teams like Chelsea, it is so tough for the other competitions. We saw it today – two important players will be out for a while. Now we are happy, but the next weeks we’ll demand a lot from the players.
“Look what happened today at Manchester United [who suffered three first-half injuries against Liverpool today] – it’s not just exclusive to Manchester City. We demand a lot from our players. Too many games, bad weather conditions when the pitches are not good, and even the ball is not perfect. At the end people fell down.
“Sometimes I am impressed how they can still play game after game with no injuries, but in the end it’s happened. Now we have to play Schalke without important players not playing. But I trust my whole squad and I am sure the guys who have not played too much are ready to step forward and help us. We are going to find a solution.”
Fernandinho’s absence earlier in the season coincided with Man City losing back-to-back games against Crystal Palace and Leicester City, leaving them playing catch-up in the Premier League title race.