Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says that Kevin de Bruyne will be out of contention in the Citizens crucial Premier League game against neighbourhood rivals Manchester United. The reigning champions travel to Old Trafford following their triumph over Tottenham Hotspur that ensured City returned to the summit of the Premier League.
Guardiola's side climbed back to the top of the table by one point with four matches to go, although a victory for Liverpool on Sunday when they travel to Cardiff would restore their advantage despite Jurgen Klopp's side having played a game more.
Guardiola revealed in his post-match press conference that De Bruyne had indicated to his manager that it was a hamstring problem rather than another knee occurrence that has seen the Belgian spend 19 weeks on the sidelines as opposed to helping his team retain their league crown.
De Bruyne came off after only 35 minutes in the Citizen's 1-0 revenge victory over Spurs. City still have their title destiny in their own hands and can be assured of lifting the trophy if they win their remaining four matches.
Following De Bruyne's injury, Guardiola said: “I didn’t speak with him or with the doctors. It is a muscular injury and I don’t know how big the impact is. We will see tomorrow [Sunday] but I think the next game he will be out.”
Guardiola: "Now I am a genius"
Despite the significant setback for City, it was still a momentous afternoon for teenager Phil Foden who scored his first Premier League goal despite only his second league start in the competition. It was one of three changes to the team that was eliminated from the Champions League at the quarter-final for a second successive season on Wednesday.
“Now I am a genius,” Guardiola joked following his tactical tweak. "He [Foden] scored a goal. How good is the manager? When I played Fabian Delph [at Tottenham], it was a ‘disaster’ but that’s how it works.
“But Phil is an incredibly talented player and we have had to handle him in the right moment. Today, we needed this capacity to press high. He’s a guy who has the quality to arrive in the box. At Newport [in the FA Cup] he scored two goals and every time he plays he scores a goal or has chances.
"He has the ability in small spaces. It is not easy to play against Eric Dier, Victor Wanyama or Christian Eriksen. It is an incredible experience for him to play and I trust the guy a lot. I decided [Friday] he’s going to play, that’s all.”
Guardiola added: “It was not our best performance but they [Spurs] play with nothing to lose and we play to lose the Premier League. After our defeat it’s been a really tough last two days but I like it being tough. We started incredibly well.
"We are still here with 86 points after 100 last season it is one of the most remarkable things I ever lived before in my career as a footballer and manager."
Top four destiny still in Tottenham's control
Tottenham Hotspur's second defeat to the Citizens in three days meant it was five straight away defeats in the league and it means Mauricio Pochettino and his side could be out of the top-four on Monday despite having their Champions League destiny in their own hands should they win their remaining four matches - starting with Brighton on Tuesday.
Pochettino made five changes to the team that prevailed on away goals to reach the club's first European semi-final since 1964 and the Argentine manager said that he was satisfied with the fact Spurs' top four destiny was still within their own grasp: “I feel very proud."
"The performance today was very good. At least, we deserved a draw. The man of the match was their goalkeeper, Ederson. We competed really well. With all the circumstances I am happy. We need to keep that feeling and try to perform on Tuesday [against Brighton].”