Manchester City saw their quadruple hopes crushed at the weekend after defeat by Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final, but it was the injury to Kevin De Bruyne that they were most worried about after the game.
Thomas Tuchel’s side were excellent on the night as they completely nullified the City attack and progressed into their fourth FA Cup final in five seasons thanks to a counter-attack goal from Hakim Ziyech.
City struggled to create chances throughout the game and their chances were dealt a hammer blow when main man De Bruyne picked up an ankle injury less than five minutes into the second half and was forced off the pitch.
The Belgian superstar got a knock on the ankle in a challenge and stayed down, immediately signalling for a change to the subs bench.
After the game Pep Guardiola admitted that it “didn’t look good” and that he would undergo a scan in the coming days with fears that if he has suffered ligament damage he could miss the rest of the season.
As if going out in the semi-final of the FA Cup wasn’t enough, the Cityzens are scheduled to take on Tottenham in the Carabao Cup final before a two-legged Champions League semi-final against the scintillating Paris Saint-Germain side.
City were without De Bruyne for a spell earlier in the season and were able to maintain a spectacular winning run, but in recent games he has been the man keeping it all ticking over along with Phil Foden.
Ilkay Gundogan’s purple patch of goalscoring seems to be over, while Raheem Sterling has found himself dropped from the side for the most part due to his stuttering form. Without those or the legendary Sergio Aguero in form, City looked toothless for the most part against Chelsea and could struggle in the final stretch of the season.
With Jose Mourinho almost certain to set his Spurs side up in a defensive way in the cup final and PSG’s best chance of winning coming with a counter-attacking set up in the Champions League the lack of bite they now have in attack could be a problem.
It’s also an issue for Belgium, who will be terrified that they could be without one of their star men ahead of Euro 2020.
Eden Hazard has barely featured for Real Madrid over the last two years which puts his involvement at risk for Belgium, meaning De Bruyne’s role in the team has become even more important. If ankle ligament damage is confirmed, it would leave them with a huge creative conundrum.
City now must prepare themselves for the prospect of being without their main man for the final run in of the season, in their biggest games yet.