Pep Guardiola makes Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne injury admission amid Liverpool and Arsenal title race

Pep Guardiola. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)Pep Guardiola. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Pep Guardiola. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Man City moved within one point of Liverpool after a 1-0 win against Brentford.

Pep Guardiola admitted that Kevin De Bruyne did not feature for Manchester City in their 1-0 win over Brentford because of a hamstring issue.

City's talisman De Bruyne spent four months on the sideline with a serious injury earlier this season. He returned to action in January and has made a sparkling impact.

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However, the midfielder was troubled with a niggle and left on the bench against Brentford. City earned a narrow victory courtesy of Erling Haaland's 71st-minute strike to move one point behind leaders Liverpool in the Premier League title race, while the current champions leapfrogged Arsenal.

On leaving De Bruyne on the bench, City boss Guardiola said: "We did not use Kevin today because he has niggles in his hamstring position. He's okay. It's more caution and prevention than anything. He didn't feel comfortable and the doctors said there was a little bit of risk. After five months off, we did not take any risk with that."

City bounced back to winning ways having been held to a 1-1 draw against Chelsea last weekend. Haaland missed several chances in that game but came up with the crucial moment in the triumph against Brentford. Haaland had an ankle injury that kept him out of action for two months which meant he lost rhythm, while he has also been mourning the passing of his grandmother - and Guardiola reckons the striker will always silence his critics.

"With top scorers or strikers who score a lot of goals, don't criticise because he will shut your mouth, that's for sure," added Guardiola. "Sooner or later, he is there.

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"Definitely, if I have to choose one [player to be running through on goal], I choose this one. He was out with injury for two months and is not in his best shape and just had an incredibly tough week because he lost his grandmother. That is not easy for a human being."

Liverpool can restore a four-point lead at the summit of the table should they beat Luton Town at Anfield tonight.

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