Given that midfielder Rodri, a Spaniard, had an injury in the Club World Cup final against Fluminense, Manchester City will be worried about his fitness.
During a challenge from Alexsander, the opposition midfielder, in the second half of the Jeddah match, Rodri went down in pain. Though the game was all but over, City chose not to take any more chances, so he gave up trying to continue.
Prior to the injury, Pep Guardiola’s club was leading by three goals. After Phil Foden scored City’s third goal and Nino scored an own goal, Julian Alvarez opened the score in the first minute.
Since coming to City in 2019 from Atletico Madrid, Rodri has been a vital player. In the Champions League final, he scored the game-winning goal. This season, Guardiola’s club has suffered when he has missed games.
The 27-year-old has missed games this season, which has contributed to City’s three Premier League losses. They lost to Wolves and Arsenal while he was serving a red card suspension after being dismissed at Nottingham Forest, and they also suffered a setback at Aston Villa when Rodri was suspended for collecting too many yellow cards.
By the time he made way for Manuel Akanji, the Fluminense game was all but done, but there was still time for City to add a fourth. Once more, it was Alvarez, as the World Cup victor lowered his shoulder and fired low past goalie Fabio.
Erling Haaland, City’s leading scorer, missed the first two Club World Cup matches already. Due to injury, the Norwegian had missed City’s past two Premier League games. He had also missed the team’s victories against Urawa Reds in the semifinals and Fluminense, the South American champions, in the final.
The Premier League winners’ planned matchup with Brentford was rescheduled so they could fly to Saudi Arabia. They will play their homecoming match against Everton on December 27. City, who have spent the whole of the season without midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, will have to wait to find out if Rodri is ready to contribute.
On December 30, following the Everton match, is a matchup with struggling Sheffield United. That will be City’s final league match until January 13, though, as they will play Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup third round in the interim.