Friday 15 December 2017

'A stretcher for a calf strain... please. Oh come on' - Gary Neville scathing in criticism of Claudio Bravo

Manchester City's Claudio Bravo is stretchered off
Manchester City's Claudio Bravo is stretchered off

Samuel Lovett

Manchester City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo could miss the remaining five games of the season after sustaining an injury in Thursday's 0-0 Premier League draw with rivals United, raising doubts of his long-term future at the club following a miserable first term.

Former United defender Gary Neville was quick to call time on Bravo’s City career as the Chilean was carried off on a stretcher in the 79th minute after suffering what appeared to be a calf strain.

Neville, who has publicly criticised the ‘keeper before, questioned why the 34-year-old required a stretcher before suggesting that the former Barcelona player has no future at the Etihad.

"A stretcher for a calf strain... please. Oh come on," Neville said, as the keeper was carried off.

He continued, lightly chuckling: "He'd not done anything for 20, 25 minutes, he'd not been involved and then he's leaped with his left leg for that catch from the last corner.

"I'm not quite sure why there's a stretcher on. It's a calf strain. Am I missing something? You don't need a stretcher on for a calf strain. Please.

"He kicked the ball forward after that. Come on. I apologise if he hasn't got a calf strain."

Afterwards, however, Neville was far more forthcoming with his words as he urged City manager Pep Guardiola to be "ruthless" in his handling with the Chilean.

"When I see a goalkeeper like that behind you, it just sends that anxiety and nerves throughout the stadium," the pundit said.

"He looks a little bit unsettled, he doesn't look right. I don't think he can be here next year. I think Pep has got to be ruthless, brutal."

Guardiola confirmed after the game that Bravo would likely be unavailable for City’s remaining five games.

"Of course he has an injury, probably for some weeks," the Catalan said. "I don't know if he will be available again this season."

Fourth-placed City, a point and a place above United, travel to relegation-threatened Middlesbrough on Sunday in their next game.

Read more here:

Irish Independent Sport Star Awards

Pick our magic sports moment of the year and win a trip for two to London. To view the shortlist and cast your vote click here.

Independent News Service

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport