The Big Match

Football: Two blows in a day for city

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero (right) says he broke his rib after the taxi he was in crashed into a lamp-post in Amsterdam. Defender Benjamin Mendy (bottom right) was to undergo surgery on his ACL yesterday.
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero says he broke his rib after the taxi he was in crashed into a lamp-post in Amsterdam (above). Defender Benjamin Mendy was to undergo surgery on his ACL yesterday.PHOTO: TWITTER/ R0ELAND
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero (right) says he broke his rib after the taxi he was in crashed into a lamp-post in Amsterdam. Defender Benjamin Mendy (bottom right) was to undergo surgery on his ACL yesterday.
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero (above) says he broke his rib after the taxi he was in crashed into a lamp-post in Amsterdam. Defender Benjamin Mendy was to undergo surgery on his ACL yesterday.PHOTO: TWITTER/ R0ELAND
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero (right) says he broke his rib after the taxi he was in crashed into a lamp-post in Amsterdam. Defender Benjamin Mendy (bottom right) was to undergo surgery on his ACL yesterday.
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero says he broke his rib after the taxi he was in crashed into a lamp-post in Amsterdam. Defender Benjamin Mendy (above) was to undergo surgery on his ACL yesterday.PHOTO: TWITTER/ R0ELAND

Aguero breaks a rib when his taxi crashes into lamp-post, while Mendy is scheduled for op

LONDON • Manchester City's disappointment that Benjamin Mendy will miss the rest of the season because of a knee injury was compounded yesterday, after the Premier League giants received news that Sergio Aguero was involved in a car crash in Amsterdam on Thursday.

Amsterdam police spokesman Frans Zuiderhoek said that officers attended to an accident in the city at around 11pm after "a taxi-cab hit a lamp-post".

He could not confirm the identities of the two passengers and the driver, all of whom asked to remain anonymous.

"No other vehicles were involved," he said yesterday, adding that the three people in the taxi "have been transferred to hospital for observation... but there were no bad injuries".

But, yesterday, speaking to Radio Metro de Argentina, Aguero said: "The taxi driver did not see the curve and skidded. And when he skidded, we hit the pole.

"I broke my rib, now I'm resting. It hurts me badly. I'll be discharged in a little while."

A club statement said: "Sergio Aguero will be assessed by club doctors. The City forward was in Holland on his day off and has sustained injuries."

HOPEFUL

Bad news guys - I'll be joining Injury FC on loan for a couple months with ruptured ACL... but will be back soon & stronger hopefully.

BENJAMIN MENDY , Man City new boy on his scheduled operation yesterday

After losing both their Premier League matches last season against Chelsea, Pep Guardiola's hopes of recording a first win over the champions since becoming City manager will suffer another sizeable blow without Aguero.

The prolific 29-year-old has scored seven goals in eight appearances this season and is one goal away from equalling the club's all-time scoring record.

Earlier on Thursday night, Aguero posted a picture of himself on Instagram with the Colombian singer/songwriter Maluma. It is thought he had been attending the singer's concert before the accident on De Boelelaan street, not far from the Arena A where Maluma performed.

Given City's trip to Chelsea, questions may be asked why Aguero was in the Netherlands 48 hours before such a serious match.

But Guardiola insisted yesterday that he is not concerned by his players' off-field activities.

"It was his day off. I am not the police," the City manager said. "I think days off are for players to be happy. I want my players to have fun. So he decided to go there, it's okay for me.

"It was an accident... The first impression we have is that he has a broken rib, but exactly how many days he'll be off, I don't know."

City's defensive resilience will also be severely tested today in the absence of Mendy. He was scheduled to undergo surgery yesterday in Barcelona, after tests at the clinic of noted orthopaedic surgeon Ramon Cugat showed that the full-back ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

The injury occurred in a tackle with Andros Townsend in the first half of City's 5-0 win against Crystal Palace last weekend.

"Bad news guys - I'll be joining Injury FC on loan for a couple months with ruptured ACL... but will be back soon & stronger hopefully," the 23-year-old tweeted.

The prospect of losing Mendy for the rest of the season severely weakens Guardiola's strategy, as the France international was a key part of his summer squad rebuilding.

Before the injury, Mendy's ability to attack at pace along the flank, coupled with a dangerous delivery, had made City a more potent proposition than last term. City will now be without a recognised left back until January at the earliest.

Midfielder Fabian Delph filled in at left-back during the 2-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday and Danilo can also play there.

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PTRESSE, THE TIMES, LONDON

SEE ALSO Aguero not factored into Conte's plan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 30, 2017, with the headline 'Two blows in a day for city'. Print Edition | Subscribe