Kompany and Lampard fit for Manchester City

The centre-back missed the 2-2 draw with QPR before sitting out both of Belgium’s games during the international break, while the former England man has shaken off a slight knock


Vincent Kompany and Frank Lampard are available for Manchester City’s Premier League clash with Swansea City on Saturday.

City captain Kompany missed the 2-2 draw with QPR before the international break with a calf strain, and did not feature for Belgium in their outings against Iceland and Wales.

But manager Manuel Pellegrini announced in his press conference on Friday that the influential central defender has recovered and is fit for the match at the Etihad Stadium.

“Vincent Kompany had a small problem but he is available for the game tomorrow,” he said.

Lampard, who had been a slight doubt despite appearing as a second-half substitute against QPR, is also in the frame, Pellegrini confirmed, although David Silva (knee), Edin Dzeko and Aleksandar Kolarov (both calf) are out.

City have faltered in recent weeks, winning just once in their last six matches in all competitions, and Pellegrini hopes Saturday’s match will mark the start of an improved run of form.

“I hope we can return to our normal form now the international break is over,” he added. “Swansea are a very good technical side and we are expecting a difficult afternoon.”

Yaya Toure – whose performances have attracted criticism this season – helped Ivory Coast qualify for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations during the international break, meaning City will have to cope without the powerhouse midfielder when the tournament takes place in January and February.

“It was very important for Yaya to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations and I am very happy for him,” Pellegrini said.

“Of course we will miss Yaya in January but we will decide how we cover his absence in December.”

City ace Yaya Toure refuses to rule out PSG move

The Ivory Coast international says he would “never close the door to a big club”, while he believes his current club’s poor form can be put down to post-World Cup fatigue


Yaya Toure has refused to rule out a move to Paris Saint-Germain amid speculation of interest from the Ligue 1 champions.

The Manchester City midfielder has struggled to find his best form this season, and after claims that he was unhappy at the Etihad Stadium from his agent Dimitri Seluk, Laurent Blanc’s team have been reported as a possible destination for the Ivory Coast international.

And Toure does not want to close the door on any possible transfer, though he admits he is unsure as to what his future will hold.

“We don’t know,” he told RMC when questioned about a move to Les Parisiens. “The most important thing is to continue my job, you do not know what might happen tomorrow.”

“It’s always an objective to play at big clubs and win trophies. The most important thing is to continue to learn. You never close the door to a big club.”

Toure’s failure to replicate his performances from the 2013-14 campaign has contributed to a slow start to the season by Manuel Pellegrini’s side, with the Blues eight points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea after just 11 matches.

But the former Barcelona star believes that post-World Cup tiredness is to blame after a number of his team-mates joined him at the tournament in Brazil during the summer.

“Everything does not happen as it should. It’s hard, physical work last year did not help us.

“When we look at all the players of the squad, almost everyone have been played the World Cup, so physically, it leaves traces.”

Toure also moved to defend club-mate Samir Nasri after the former Arsenal midfielder blamed Didier Deschamps and his France team-mates for his international retirement.

The 27-year-old made himself unavailable for future Les Bleus matches after being left out of his country’s World Cup squad, but Toure does not believe he should be victimised for his decision.

“Samir is very nice, I take him as my brother. He has a great love for his country.

“He spoke a little awkwardly, he apologised to the fans. This is a very nice guy and a very positive person.”

Yaya Toure will NOT be sold, says Pellegrini

The Ivorian has come under scrutiny this season but his manager insists he remains an important member of the squad at the Etihad Stadium


Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini says the Premier League champions have no intention of selling midfielder Yaya Toure, despite the Cote d’Ivoire international’s declining performances.

The 31-year-old has come under fire for his displays this season after reports that he was unhappy during the summer over the club’s treatment of him in the aftermath of his brother Ibrahim’s death.

The criticism intensified after Toure was sent off in the club’s 2-1 defeat to CSKA Moscow in midweek, but City’s Chilean boss insists he is still a key player at the Etihad Stadium.

Pellegrini told reporters: “There are a lot of reports Yaya will be sold. Nowhere in this club are we talking about that. Yaya is very important.”

The City manager also confirmed that Vincent Kompany will miss Saturday’s trip to QPR with a calf problem, and could be ruled out of next week’s international fixtures too.

Belgium take on Iceland in a friendly on Wednesday before hosting Wales in a Euro 2016 qualifier on Sunday, but the central defender may be absent despite Pellegrini admitting the injury is not overly serious.

“He has a calf problem. It is not serious but I don’t know if he will be ready for his international squad.”

And though Kompany will join David Silva and Aleksander Kolarov on the sidelines at Loftus Road, Pellegrini is hopeful of being able to welcome Frank Lampard back to the fold.

The former Chelsea midfielder was stretchered off against Tottenham on October 18, but his manager is hopeful he can return and find the form that saw him score four goals in three games shortly before his lay-off.

“He is just coming back from injury. I hope he will return the same way he was before his injury,” he added.

Yaya Toure apologises to Manchester City fans for red card

The Ivorian redeemed an error for CSKA Moscow’s first goal with a superb free-kick but cast himself as the villain again by pushing over Roman Eremenko in the second half


Yaya Toure has apologised to Manchester City supporters for getting sent off during Wednesday’s shock home defeat to CSKA Moscow in the Champions League.

Two goals from Seydou Doumbia gave the Russians their first even win on English soil, while Fernandinho received two bookings in the second half and Toure was shown a straight red for petulantly pushing over Roman Eremenko.

The result sends winless City to the bottom of Group E and leaves them on the brink of another humiliating Champions League exit with matches against Bayern Munich and Roma still to come. 

Boos greeted the final whistle at the Etihad Stadium, and after the match a remorseful Toure took to Twitter to express his sorrow for his actions.

City fans – I am sorry for my red card. I feel it is important to apologise for this.

— Yaya Touré (@YayaToure) November 5, 2014

Fernandinho also made his regret known, apologising to his team-mates and supporters for his two yellow cards and underwhelming overall display.

Felling very sad for the result and for my sent off tonight. I want to apologise with my team mates and fans for the red card. Sorry.

— Fernandinho (@fernaoficial) November 5, 2014

Toure’s apology comes just a day after he received racist abuse on the social networking site within hours of re-activating his account, prompting an investigation from Greater Manchester Police.

Yaya Toure: This is Manchester City's best chance to conquer Europe

EXCLUSIVE: The Ivory Coast midfielder says the Premier League champions need to progress further in the UEFA Champions League to take the next step in their growth as a club


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Nobody will be more disappointed than Yaya Toure if Manchester City fail to beat CSKA Moscow.

Another bad result would effectively put an early end to City’s UEFA Champions League hopes for the third time in four seasons.

Toure won the trophy with Barcelona in 2009, when he was called into the starting line-up for the final in Rome as an emergency central defender. He was so impressive in helping to shut out Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo in Barca’s 2-0 win that he was given a higher mark than any of United’s defenders in the Goal player ratings.

The midfield powerhouse – man of the match in City’s 1-0 victory over Manchester United on Sunday – now wants his current club to start showing their true form in Europe in their three remaining group games at home to CSKA and Bayern Munich, and away to Roma.

Talking exclusively to Goal, Toure said: “It’s the most beautiful competition in Europe. All the big clubs go until the semi-final of the Champions League, and if we want to compete at that level we need to go this year.

“We’ve been struggling for two years now and this year we want to make our chance. We are in a difficult group but we need to do a job. We have got the squad.”

City have made it beyond the group stages only once in their first three years of Champions League football.

They lost both knockout games to Barcelona in the last 16 last season after going out at the group stage in 2011, behind Bayern Munich and Napoli, and in 2012 when they mustered only three points and no wins.

They have been desperately unlucky with the draw, being pitted against Bayern Munich three times and Real Madrid once – a point that Toure made in criticising the seeding system, which will be changed from next season.

City have made giant strides in English football in recent years, said Toure – but they need to make their mark in Europe as well as in the Premier League.

“The club is growing very well, and is on target to grow [further],” he said. “Four or five years ago it was a small team but now it’s a big team. The new training centre is unbelievable.”

Toure, 31, shrugged off recent criticism of his performances, most notably after the 1-0 defeat at Bayern Munich and the 2-2 draw in Moscow. He did his talking on the pitch in the Manchester derby at the weekend.

“I’m a guy who wants more,” he said. “I always want to be at a higher level. I want to achieve important things and at the moment it’s pretty good with Manchester City.”

While Toure – who has made more than 50 Champions League appearances for Olympiakos, Barcelona and City – admitted that some of his teammates lacked experience in the competition, he still believes in the squad going into tonight’s big game.

“Some of them are young,” he said. “Every player wants to be able to play well and it can bring a lot of stress. Some of them haven’t had the chance to play in the semi-final or quarter-final of the Champions League. When you don’t have the experience it can sometimes lead to a lack of confidence.

“We need to go far in the Champions League. We have got the squad. I’m totally positive.”