By Chris King •
Updated: 24 Sep 2023 • 1:59
Image of the Manchester City flag.
WITH some important matches coming up, Manchester City have been dealt a huge blow after Rodri picked up a red card this Saturday, September 23.
Pep Guardiola’s enigmatic midfield general had a sudden rush of blood to the head during the 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest at the Etihad Stadium.
The 27-year-old Spaniard was sent off for the first time in his professional footballing career. Anthony Taylor waved the card for ‘violent conduct’ after Rodri’s altercation with Morgan Gibbs-White. He could not argue after raising his hands and pushing his opponent.
Ten other players received yellow cards, with Guardiola also booked. After the match, the Catalan coach suggested that the referee had ‘lost control of the match’ long before Rodri’s dismissal.
‘The game was incredibly perfect for 35 minutes for both sides but after that, when it became chaos, it was not our responsibility, that is for sure’, Guardiola told BBC Sport.
He continued: ‘With all the yellow cards, the responsibility is not Nottingham Forest’s or City’s that’s for sure. The referee has changed the game, absolutely’.
‘Hopefully, Rodri will learn. He had to control himself and his emotions. I can get a yellow card, but Rodri can’t. I don’t play – the guys who do have to be careful’, the manager added.
As a result, Rodri will automatically miss the next three games. These include a big Carabao Cup third-round clash with Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United next Wednesday 27 at St James’ Park.
That is followed by a trip to Molineux on Saturday 30 to play Wolves. Probably the biggest dilemma facing Guardiola now will be the prospect of having to play Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on October 8 without one of his key men.
The result of the Forest game was decided by goals from Phil Foden and Erling Haaland. They both netted in the first half to maintain City’s unbeaten start to the new Premier League season.
Newcastle face a trip to Bramall Lane this Sunday to play Sheffield United. The Blades are not having the best start to their campaign.
They looked to be heading for their first win of the season last weekend after leading 1-0 at Tottenham. However, two goals in stoppage time clinched the three points for Ange Postecoglu’s side to increase the pressure on manager Paul Heckingbottom.
Arsenal have their share of injury problems as they go into today’s north London derby with Spurs. Mikel Arteta saw Gabriel Martinelli miss training in midweek after he picked up a knock against Brighton last weekend, with striker Thomas Partey a definite absentee.
Leandro Trossard has done an excellent job in the Brazilian’s absence. The Belgian midfielder bagged a goal for the Gunners in the game with Brighton and then again in a clinical 4-0 win against PSV in the Champions League in midweek.
It remains to be seen whether Arteta keeps David Raya as his goalkeeper for the Tottenham clash after the Spanish international replaced Aaron Ramsdale for the last two games.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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