De Bruyne hobbles out of FA Cup semi-final

By Sports Desk April 17, 2021

Manchester City talisman Kevin De Bruyne was substituted shortly after half-time in Saturday's FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea with an apparent ankle complaint.

De Bruyne, keeping his place from the midweek Champions League win at Borussia Dortmund despite eight City changes, appeared to tweak his ankle in a tussle with N'Golo Kante.

The midfielder was quickly replaced by Phil Foden, the match-winner in Germany, as City take no risks ahead of a key stretch in the season.

Pep Guardiola's side are still chasing silverware on four fronts, bidding to reach the FA Cup final ahead of next week's EFL Cup showpiece against Tottenham.

They are in pole position for the Premier League and into the last four of the Champions League.

Only Thomas Muller (18) has more assists than De Bruyne (16) in all competitions this season among all players in Europe's 'top five' leagues.

He ranks fifth for chances created (101) and has also scored eight times.

Related items

  • Lazio veteran Immobile signs for Besiktas Lazio veteran Immobile signs for Besiktas

    Ciro Immobile has ended an eight-year stay with Lazio after signing for Besiktas.

    The Italy striker's exit was confirmed on Saturday, with Immobile leaving Lazio as the club's all-time leading scorer with 207 goals.

    Reports in Italy suggest that Lazio are set to receive a fee worth up to €3million, while the 34-year-old has signed a two-year contract in Turkiye.

    "An agreement has been reached with the player and his club regarding the transfer of professional football player Ciro Immobile," the Turkish giants said in a short statement. 

    "An agreement has been reached with the player for two seasons, starting from the 2024-25 season, and the player will be paid a guaranteed net fee of €6,000,000 for each season."

    Addressing Lazio's supporters in a video posted on their official website, Immobile said: "I think the moment has come to not say goodbye, but see you again. This will always remain my home.

    "I will cheer you on. I am a Lazio fan. I send hugs and hope to see you soon. An exceptional journey, but like all beautiful stories, there's a beginning and an end.

    "The fans have been fantastic, they've given me everything."

  • Canada's Marsch denies USA links with 'no interest' after Berhalter dismissal Canada's Marsch denies USA links with 'no interest' after Berhalter dismissal

    Jesse Marsch rubbished links to the United States men's national team, insisting his commitment remains with Canada.

    The former Leeds United manager is preparing Canada for their third-place play-off at the Copa America against Uruguay on Sunday.

    Canada's next fixture after that will come against the USA in September, with suggestions Marsch may have had a say in setting up the meeting.

    Yet the 50-year-old offered an emphatic denial for any links to the USA coaching role, from which Gregg Berhalter was sacked this week after a woeful Copa showing on home soil.

    "I'm not leaving this job," Marsch said. "I have no interest in the U.S. job. And to be fair, unless there's a big shift in the organisation, I don't think that I'll ever have an interest in that job in the future.

    "I'm really happy here. I couldn't be happier, actually, in terms of what it's like to work with the leaders in this organisation and what it's like to work with this team."

    Marsch has previously hit out at the USA for their treatment of him when the national side were looking for a new manager in 2022.

    The Canada head coach was thought to be the leading contender after the 2022 World Cup when Berhalter's contract expired.

    Berhalter was unexpectedly rehired shortly after, however, as Marsch said he "wasn't treated very well in the process" in discussions over the managerial vacancy.

    Marsch has somewhat had the last laugh, though, with Canada reaching the semi-finals at the Copa while the USA were dumped out in the group stages.

  • Rice lauds 'leader' Mainoo ahead of Euro 2024 final against Spain Rice lauds 'leader' Mainoo ahead of Euro 2024 final against Spain

    Declan Rice lauded praise on England midfield partner Kobbie Mainoo for his leadership qualities during his run in the side at Euro 2024. 

    Mainoo has started alongside Rice in the Three Lions' three knockout games against Slovakia, Switzerland and the Netherlands. 

    The Manchester United midfielder, who enjoyed a breakthrough season under Erik ten Hag, made history in England's semi-final win over Ronald Koeman's side. 

    At 19 years and 82 days, Mainoo became the youngest player to play for England in the semi-final of a major tournament.

    Mainoo received the man of the match award, starring in midfield as he made more tackles (two) and interceptions (two) than any other Three Lions player in Dortmund. 

    "You can just see. You speak to him and just feel his calm presence that he has and what I like about him is that he is not scared to say it how it is," said Rice.

    "There was something towards the end [against the Netherlands] when he gave me a pass between the lines and I got sold short for it.

    "We had to sprint back and we had bit at each other - but that is good because you need that relationship. At 19, I can't imagine many saying that to older players and that's what I love about him.

    "That is what the lads love about him as well. He gets that respect, he has that leadership and the way he takes the ball and is comfortable.

    "The conversations we've been having daily with each other and on the training pitch have brought us together, and we have become a nice partnership."

    Rice has had another influential tournament with England, having played a major role in Gareth Southgate's side in their run to the delayed Euro 2020 final against Italy.

    In Germany, the Arsenal midfielder has had more touches (300) and completed more passes (236) while under high pressure than any other player at the tournament.

    He’s also made seven line breaking passes that have led to a shot within 10 seconds, more than any other England player, showcasing his ability in the forward areas. 

    Rice was previously partnered with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Conor Gallagher during the group games at the tournament but insists he has found a nice balance with Mainoo ahead of their meeting with Spain on Sunday.

    "I think when you're playing with a midfield partner, you need to understand each other's game. You need to play close to each other.

    "That's why you see us playing a couple of little passes to each other in games. You know, those little first pass connections are so important. And we've been working really well together on the training pitch.

    "So this boy is going to go on to be massive. He's destined for great things. And what I love about him as well is that he isn't big-headed. He's got a great family around him. You see his family in the stands after the game. They're so happy, smiley, speak to people. 

    "Man United have got a top player on their hands for the next decade, I'm sure."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.