Sat, Nov 03, 2018 - Page 16 News List

De Bruyne injured in City win

MEMORABLE EVENING:Brahim Diaz was making only his third appearance of the season and he seized his chance with a brace against Fulham

AFP, MANCHESTER, England

Manchester City’s Brahim Diaz, right, scores against Fulham in their EFL Cup fourth-round match at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, on Thursday.

Photo: AFP

Kevin de Bruyne on Thursday suffered an injury scare as EFL Cup holders Manchester City moved into the quarter-finals with a 2-0 win over Fulham.

There was concern for De Bruyne after the City midfielder limped off with what appeared to be a knee injury in the closing minutes.

De Bruyne, 27, only recently returned from another knee problem that forced him to miss two months of the season, limiting him to five appearances.

City manager Pep Guardiola will hope his influential Belgian star is able to make a quick recovery as they head into a busy period featuring crucial UEFA Champions League fixtures and the Manchester derby.

“He’s being checked by the doctor. Right now I don’t know if it’s nothing or something serious,” Guardiola said.

Until the injury, Guardiola felt it was the most complete performance of De Bruyne’s comeback, but now he must fret over his fitness again.

“I think today Kevin is back. The Kevin we know,” Guardiola said. “Today he was involved in offense and defense. Hopefully, what happened in the last minute is not serious.”

De Bruyne’s injury overshadowed a memorable evening for youngster Brahim Diaz.

Diaz was making only his third appearance of the season and the promising Spanish striker seized his chance with a brace at the Etihad Stadium.

The 19-year-old’s goals ensured City advance to face Leicester City or Southampton in the last eight as they bid to retain the trophy.

Diaz has been linked with a move to Real Madrid among other top European sides, but Guardiola confirmed City are keen to hold onto their hot prospect.

“He knows the desire we have and what we want for all the young players,” Guardiola said. “They know how we want to protect them and to try to help them understand the way we want to play. We want him. In the end it won’t depend on us, it is them. It is the agent, him, his family, they will decide.”

With the English champions having beaten Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Monday, Guardiola rested many of his stars among 10 changes.

Diaz was one of those who came in, while De Bruyne, Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus also featured against Premier League strugglers Fulham.

Diaz opened the scoring with his first City goal in the 19th minute. A short corner found its way to Vincent Kompany at the far post and Diaz ran on to his header to hit a powerful shot which deflected past the goalkeeper off Aleksander Mitrovic.

The hosts had to wait until the 65th minute for the second goal to come as Diaz netted again.

Leroy Sane slipped the ball through to Jesus, but when his shot across goal was touched on to the woodwork by Fulham goalkeeper Sergio Rico it fell for Diaz, who took a touch before lashing home.

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