Given Manchester City were expected to leave Champions League after today’s game in Barcelona, the most disappointing outcome for the second leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 matchup would have been a serious injury compounding their elimination. Now, escorted out of the competition by today’s 2-1 loss, the Citizens are playing a wait-and-see game on their worst case scenario after striker Sergio Agüero was forced off at the end of Wednesday’s first half.
The Argentine international has already served two spells on the sidelines this season, with calf and hamstring injuries limiting him to 15 league starts. After Wednesday game in Spain, however, assistant coach Rubén Cousillas said Agüero’s new ailment wasn’t “serious.”
From the BBC:
“We don’t think it’s anything serious. He felt some muscle pain but it was more a precaution than anything else,” Cousillas said.
“It’s too early to know how long he’ll be out. We’ll do some tests to assess the injury.”
There’ve been too many times where an minor problem turned into a major concern for Manchester City fans to be too assured by Cousillas’s words. Even if the assistant’s speculation does prove true, a third leg injury of the season speaks to Agüero’s overall health. Either he’s been unlucky, has become unexpectedly injury prone, or is seeing issues cascade into new ailments.
Regardless, Manchester City fans are not the only ones watching. Three months from this summer’s World Cup, Argentina fans will be monitoring the health of one of their team’s key players. If Agüero carries his nagging injuries into Brazil, it could affect the Albiceleste’s changes of claiming a third title.
Heading into the their final UEFA Champions League Group B game, Manchester United hold their destiny in their own hands, but any slip-up could mean it’s Europa League on Thursday nights for Louis Van Gaal‘s men.
[ MORE: Champions League standings ]
The Red Devils would have advanced to the knockout stage with a victory over third-place PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday, but slumped to an ugly 0-0 draw instead.
[ MORE: Three things we learned from Man United 0-0 PSV ]
So, here’s all of the scenarios for the final matchday of the group stage, away to Wolfsburg, in which United would advance to the round of 16 advance:
- A Man United win will see Man United finish top of Group B
- A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV draw or loss (vs. CSKA Moscow), will see Man United finish second in Group B
- A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV victory, will see Man United finish third in Group B
- A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV loss, will see Man United finish second in Group B
- A Man United loss by more than one goal, coupled with a PSV draw, would see Man United finish third in Group B
- A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV win, would see Man United finish third in Group B
[ MORE: Champions League schedule ]
There are your scenarios for Man United as it’s pretty simple to break it down: Win, and they go through. Fail to win, and their fate is completely in the hands of PSV.
The Foxes are top of the Premier League and are led by a surging Jamie Vardy but how long can they keep shocking the world?
With six tough games coming up between now and the start of 2016, Claudio Ranieri‘s men will be pushed to their limit but so far this season they’ve been sensational and Vardy has equaled Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistlerooy’s record of scoring in 10-straight PL games.
[ MORE: Full PST Extra archive ]
Can he make it 11 in a row on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via Live Extra) when United visit the King Power Stadium? As for the Red Devils, they sit in second place and are just one point behind the flying Foxes’. Louis Van Gaal‘s men have certainly flown under the radar so far and our churning out wins at an impressive rate.
Jenna Corrado and I discuss that and more in the latest edition of PST Extra. Click play on the video above to see our chat in full.
Rog and Davo revel in another chapter of the Leicester City fairytale, break down Liverpool’s shock dismantling of Manchester City and discuss Arsenal’s slip against West Brom.
Listen to the latest pod by clicking play below.
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Joe Hart was forced to leave Manchester City’s 1-0 defeat to Juventus in UEFA Champions League play on Wednesday due to a hamstring injury, which he seemed to incur while making a spectacular one-on-one kick-save late in the second half.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]
Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini confirmed after the game that Hart’s injury is indeed a hamstring issue, and went on to say that he would need further tests once the team arrives back in Manchester to determine the severity and how long, if at all, City and England’s no. 1 would be out of action.
Man City, currently third in the Premier League on 26 points, will host eighth-place Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).