Frank Lampard the hero for Manchester City but injuries mount up
Frank Lampard’s future is still up in the air, as Major League Soccer and New York City FC may not get their star man for some time to come.
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Before Manchester City’s 1-0 win at Leicester on Saturday, in which Lampard scored the game-winner, Manuel Pellegrini confirmed that talks are ongoing between MLS, NYC FC and Man City to try and keep Lampard around for longer.As things stand his loan deal at NYC FC’s sister club is due to run out at the end of December. Regardless of when he leaves for the United States, Lampard was pleased City could grind out the win and stay in second place in the Premier League, three points behind leaders Chelsea.
“Those are the kind of games we need to get results, we needed to grind them out,” Lampard said. “We were not at our best but got three points. I’ve watched Leicester and seen even though they are down near the bottom, they are not short of passion. They showed that today. We were nowhere near the force we can be sometimes, but you have to show two sides to your game and I think we did that today.”
However despite Lampard’s great form -- that’s six goals in 14 games for the Englishman as he became the fourth leading scorer all-time in the PL -- there were plenty of negatives to comes from City’s win.
Edin Dzeko pulled up injured in the warm up and missed the game, as Pellegrini is now without any recognized striker as Sergio Aguero and Stevan Jovetic are both injured and Alvaro Negredo is out on loan with Valencia. Teenager Jose Pozo started up top, but if the Citizens are to mount a serious title-challenge, they will need to bring in offensive reinforcements in the January transfer window.
But it got worse for City, as captain Vincent Kompany limped off in the 76th minute with a hamstring injury as the Belgian defender had missed the previous three games with a similar issue.
Pellegrini will be a nervous man as he aims to nurse his stars back to full fitness with a pivotal stretch of the season coming up.
“The more injuries the more difficult it is to make a starting XI,” Pellegrini said. “With Edin Dzeko, it’s very unlucky. We must see. Maybe we are going to be without the three strikers for at least one month. The spirit of the team is very important to resolve this kind of problem. We will see the way we have to play in these coming weeks.”