Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has called for referees to be more protective of players as teenager Phil Foden was ruled out for at least a month.
The City midfielder damaged his ankle ligaments in the EFL Cup penalty shootout victory over Leicester on Tuesday night.
The 17-year-old picked up his problem in an innocuous challenge at the King Power Stadium but Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling were fortunate to escape injuries after dangerous tackles during Saturday’s 4-1 win over Tottenham.
Harry Kane and Dele Alli were given yellow cards for a studs-up challenge on Sterling and an over-the-ball tackle on De Bruyne respectively
Guardiola suggested that, while a clampdown on diving is important, officials need to be strong on dangerous challenges.
“[Foden] is injured. It’s not good,” Guardiola told a news conference ahead of City’s game against Bournemouth on Saturday. “The next fixtures he will not be available.
“We were lucky with Raz [Sterling] and Kevin De Bruyne in the last game against Tottenham — really lucky. We were unlucky with Phil against Leicester.
“It’s ligaments, he could be out for a time. I accept the referees have to be careful about the diving players, but be careful to protect the players. The most important thing is to protect the players — that is the first target for the referees.