Kompany injured as City have Zabaleta to thank


Stoke 0 Manchester C 1:Vincent Kompany is likely to miss at least two games for Manchester City after straining a calf at Stoke. The City captain is certain to miss the trip to Queens Park Rangers tomorrow and may still be doubtful for Liverpool’s visit to the Etihad at the weekend.

David Platt, City’s assistant manager, said: “I think we’ll lose Vincent Kompany for a little while. It’s too early to say how long he will be out but he has a slight pull on his calf and will miss the midweek game. We will have to assess the injury over the next 24 hours to get a better picture.”

They survived at the Britannia by switching to a back three and then pressing Gael Clichy into service as an emergency centre half, though the chief irony in a disappointing Cup tie was Stoke themselves should have been down to 10 men after Glenn Whelan perpetrated a flying, studs-up assault on Javi Garcia’s ankle that was far worse than the clean Kompany challenge on Jack Wilshere that was deemed so dangerous.

As the game entered the last half-hour still goalless, Roberto Mancini removed a defender and threw on Sergio Aguero to boost City’s frontline attack to four, yet still the decisive goal arrived only five minutes from time and it was defender Pablo Zabaleta who scored it, after a move involving David Silva, Aguero and Edin Dzeko.

“Pablo is always getting up in support of our attacks. It wasn’t a surprise to see him come up with the winning goal,” said Platt. “He gives us a lot in defence and attack, he’s your eight out of 10 man every week.”

If anything, that sells the full back short because what City are not getting from the big names up front is goals.

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