Pep Guardiola pleading for more protection for players

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Pep Guardiola pleading for more protection for players

He kept the ball on his left boot and cut it to his left, juking out Cardiff City defender Joe Ralls.

The City manager has earmarked an 11-day spell in late February and early March as the defining period of the club's season, when they will face four matches across three competitions.

Kevin De Bruyne's classy strike against Cardiff in the FA Cup today made it clear again that sometimes he is playing a different game to the rest of the players.

Sane could miss Premier League games against West Bromwich Albion, Burnley and Leicester, and is now a doubt for City's Champions League last-16 first-leg away at Basel on 13 February.

Asked if he felt there was anything that managers could do to rectify that situation, the Spaniard said, "Absolutely not".

City seem nearly certain to be in next season's Community Shield which, because of an early start to the Premier League, is played just three weeks after the World Cup Final.

The Premier League leaders are through to the fifth round of the FA Cup after goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling secured a 2-0 victory over their Championship opponents. Cardiff barely threatened Claudio Bravo in the City goal, with the exception of a 35-yard strike by Junior Hoilett that the Chile worldwide nearly fumbled into his own net.

His side lost 5-1 at Stamford Bridge.

"He [Sane] will be out for a while", Guardiola told a news conference. I can accept the disallowed goal. "Not only the Manchester City players, [all] the players", the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich head coach said.

"If don't win [against Cardiff] and have a replay next week after Burnley, we are going to play a replay".

"They [officials] have to protect the players. It's not going to change". Guardiola remonstrated with Mason at the final whistle and then said in his press conference that the officials had failed in their one most important job, to protect the players. We know how many, many games we play, players with problems, a few players with a lot of minutes.

"It's another final on Sunday". The Portuguese global produced an excellent cross into the danger zone, it was on a plate for an unmarked Sterling to head home six yards out for his first headed goal since Boxing Day 2015.

The Cardiff wall jumped as one, but De Bruyne took the low route and rolled the ball under the blue shirts to reach double figures for the season.

"No, I can't. He's player for Athletic Bilbao. We will try to do something".

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