Guardiola: De Bruyne ‘out for a while’, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Guardiola: De Bruyne ‘out for a while’

Substitute Riyad Mahrez scored the only goal as Manchester City beat Bournemouth 1-0 at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday to return to the top of the English Premier League.

But the victory came at a cost as John Stones and Kevin de Bruyne suffered injuries, with the latter set to be "out for a while", according to manager Pep Guardiola.

The home side showed champions City plenty of respect in the opening 45 minutes, defending deep and forcing their opponents to probe patiently for openings, and they conceded little in the way of goalscoring chances.

Guardiola was forced to replace the injured de Bruyne with Mahrez at half-time, and he was quickly followed by defender Stones, who was substituted early in the second half with a thigh problem.

On the injuries, Guardiola said: "John Stones does not have a big problem, it was a precaution. Kevin will be out for a while with a muscular problem, hamstring.

"We demand a lot of the players without giving them the time to rest physiologically."

But the injuries didn't affect City's performance at the Vitality as the visitors continued to probe, before their patience finally paid off when David Silva teed up Mahrez, who lashed home a shot with his right foot to break the deadlock 10 minutes into the second half.

Bournemouth were unable to raise their game and goalkeeper Artur Boruc pulled of a number of fine saves. The Cherries failed to muster a single shot and had just 17.9 per cent of possession.

Said Guardiola: "We made one of the best performances we have played. They were very organised, but didn't have one shot. We created a few chances.

"People should understand how difficult it is to attack 11 (defending) players."

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe was disappointed to see his side's defensive efforts undone by what he termed an "ugly" goal.

"You want to be competitive and that was the way for us to make the game tight, show toughness and mentally hang in. The only frustration is their goal was ugly, which is very unlike them," he said.

Liverpool can snatch back top spot from City if they beat Everton this morning (Singapore time). - REUTERS