Man City handed major title blow as John Stones injured against Arsenal ahead of Tottenham clash


Manchester City were dealt an injury blow against Arsenal in the FA Cupafter John Stones limped off with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.

It could be a major problem for the Citizens as the defender has been an ever-present force for the side this season.

He was sorely missed during their Manchester derby reverse against Manchester United this month.

Named in the starting line-up against the Gunners on Friday night, meanwhile, the England international was taken off before half-time after clutching his hamstring. Stones was fortunately able to walk off the pitch, but on first viewing it did not look good for Guardiola and the former Everton man was in visible pain.

On the injury, former England and Manchester City goalkeeper Karen Bardsley told BBC Radio Manchester: It is a weird one looking from here. The mechanism was probably to try and twist or slow himself down. And that is your hamstring – that is what he grabbed as he went down.’

After the match Guardiola appeared to lay some of the blame for the injury at the door of Stones, who was running the risk of an injury because his manager felt he didn’t appear physically ready.

“Today he was not ready, I saw it in the first minutes, maybe he was tired, I don’t know, but he was not ready and that’s why when this happens you get injured,” said Guardiola.

Stones being absent through injury could prove to be a misjudgement by Guardiola in choosing his side, with a huge few matches ahead of him. Next up for City are Tottenham at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium next Sunday, which poses a huge challenge for the current champions.

The two sides met earlier this month in the first clash at the Etihad Stadium, where Spurs raced into a 2-0 lead just before half-time which led to a flurry of boos from the home crowd. Whatever Guardiola said at half-time worked though as his side fought back to win the clash 4-2.

With Stones potentially missing the Spurs game, City could be even more vulnerable at the back, with a clash against Arsenal just two games later. The diagnosis of the issue remains to be seen at this stage though, with news likely to come in the next few days.

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