Tuesday 25 October 2016

Navas hoping for favour from Sevilla

Manchester City's Jesus Navas
Manchester City's Jesus Navas

Jesus Navas will hope for a favour from former club Sevilla to help Manchester City through to the Champions League last 16 as group winners.

City lost control of Group D as they were beaten 1-0 at Juventus in their penultimate match of the first stage on Wednesday.

Manuel Pellegrini's men were already guaranteed a place in the knockout phase prior to the clash in Turin but the result has left them at risk of another potentially tough draw.

After successive defeats to Barcelona in the last 16 in the past two years, that was a prospect City wanted to avoid this time but their fate is now out of their hands.

To finish top City will need to beat Borussia Monchengladbach in their final match at the Etihad Stadium in a fortnight while hoping Sevilla can overcome the Italians.

Asked if he thought City could achieve that, Navas said: "Yes, of course. We were thinking that in every match and we still think about that now going forward. Let's get three points and see what happens."

City had gone top of the group after winning three in succession but Juventus overtook them with a victory that secured their own place in the next stage.

Pellegrini has also not given up hope of reclaiming first place.

The Chilean said: "It is a very difficult game that Juventus must play away, as Sevilla need to win that game if they want to continue in the Europa League.

Not finished

"So, it is one game more and the group is not finished. I hope that Sevilla will win this game and we beat Borussia to finish at the top of the group. I hope our team will continue and have a little bit more luck in the round of 16."

City did not perform badly at the Juventus Stadium but were hampered by numerous injuries and did not take their chances. Juve looked more incisive but could only manage one goal through Mario Manzukic after 18 minutes.

Fernandinho, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero all missed chances for City while Fernando had a header touched onto the post by Gianluigi Buffon.

Paulo Dybala hit the woodwork for the hosts while Joe Hart kept City in contention with fine saves from Mandzukic and Alvaro Morata, although the latter may have come at a cost.

The England goalkeeper clutched his leg after making the block with an outstretched boot and limped off nine minutes from time. City will now wait for a full assessment although Hart later described the hamstring problem as "nothing, just a little tight".

Vincent Kompany, David Silva, Eliaquim Mangala, Pablo Zabaleta, Samir Nasri and Wilfried Bony were already on the injury list.

Pellegrini said: "We are going to have seven or eight players injured. We will see on Thursday the medical report about the other players and then we will see the team that must start on Saturday against Southampton."

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