Pep Guardiola has expressed concern over Manchester City’s potential challenges due to John Stones’ recent injury. The treble-winning team is anxiously awaiting an evaluation of the English defender, who had to leave the field with a knock during their 3-0 victory against Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday. Stones had just returned to action in October after being sidelined for two months with hamstring and hip issues.
Guardiola has voiced his fears that the 29-year-old might face an extended period on the sidelines due to the muscular problem, referring to it as “deep bad news.” Stones had been performing exceptionally well for City, often in a hybrid defense-midfield role, complementing the central midfield anchor Rodri. Guardiola emphasized the importance of Stones, mentioning that when City experienced a three-game losing streak earlier in the campaign, his absence was equally significant.
Guardiola explained, “The problem is we play John and Rodri at the same time – now we are in trouble, because we have to play a bit differently, like happened in Arsenal. We do not feel comfortable still, we are not prepared to change many variations.”
Despite the injury setback, City easily secured their place in the last 16 for the 11th consecutive year by defeating the Swiss champions with minimal effort. Erling Haaland, who had been nursing a twisted ankle from the previous weekend, contributed with a penalty goal and a powerful long-range strike. City has won all four of their Group G matches and advanced to the next stage with two games to spare.
Young Boys’ captain, Mohamed Ali Camara, sought to exchange shirts with Haaland at halftime, a move that drew criticism from some quarters. Young Boys’ coach, Raphaël Wicky, expressed his surprise and indicated he might discuss the matter with Camara. Young Boys struggled to create chances and had midfielder Sandro Lauper sent off in the second half.