Leroy Sane was chopped down with a terrible studs-up tackle during Sunday’s FA Cup win over Cardiff City, and the Manchester City man is expected to miss significant time with an ankle injury.
[ RECAP: Cardiff City 0-2 Man City ]
He’s fortunate it’s not worse, as Cardiff’s Joe Bennett made sliding contact with Sane’s leg as the German wizard made a near field-length dribble.
Pep Guardiola was raging after the injury, as an obscured referee needed the linesman to advise a straight red card. Instead, a yellow came.
That’s hardly any comfort as Guardiola says Sane will be out for a minimum of “two to three weeks,” a time span which includes league matches against West Brom, Burnley, and Leicester City before a Feb. 13 UEFA Champions League first leg against Basel. It also puts Sane’s status for the League Cup Final on Feb. 25 in question.
“They [officials] have to protect the players,” Guardiola said. “Not my players. All players. They [refs] are there to protect the players. When there is fault, there is fault, and when it is dangerous, it is dangerous. I don’t understand the goal [Bernardo] that we didn’t get, but that is okay. We can accept that. But they have to protect the players. They have to do their job.”
All clubs face horror tackles, but teams have been explicitly physical against the difficult-to-slow City set-up. It’s difficult to fault Guardiola for his criticism, and ex-Aston Villa and Middlesbrough defender Bennett should see retroactive disciplinary action for his foul.