Manchester City are into the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in their history thanks to a 3-1 aggregate victory over Dynamo Kiev, but it came at a heavy cost as they lost Vincent Kompany to yet another injury.
Man City 0-0 Dynamo Kiev
Read our match report as City booked their place in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Less than five minutes had passed at the Etihad Stadium when the City skipper pulled up and immediately gestured to the bench before trudging down the tunnel to be replaced by Eliaquim Mangala.
Manuel Pellegrini confirmed Kompany will miss at least a month with a recurrence of the calf problem that has troubled him throughout the season. It rules him out of a string of crucial games for City, starting with their Super Sunday showdown against Manchester United, live on Sky Sports.
City's defensive problems were compounded as Nicolas Otamendi was also forced off later in the first half, but it is the loss of Kompany that will cause the most concern as they enter the final two months of the season.
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The Belgian has been sidelined for 27 of City's 46 games in all competitions this season due to persistent calf problems, and he has been sorely missed, with the likes of Mangala and Martin Demichelis struggling in his absence.
Man City with and without Vincent Kompany starting - PL 2015/16
|With Kompany||Premier League 2015/16||Without Kompany|
|194||Mins per goal conceded||65|
Statistics highlight his importance to the side. City's Premier League win percentage with Kompany starting this season is 61.54 per cent compared to 43.75 per cent without him, and their defensive record is also far better with the Belgian starting.
City have kept nine clean sheets in the 13 games he has started and just four in 16 he has missed, and they have averaged just 0.46 goals conceded with him compared 1.56 without him.
It all adds up to a major headache for Pellegrini. Mangala and Demichelis didn't have too many problems dealing with the minimal threat of Dynamo Kiev, but there are far tougher games ahead, and the City boss will be all too aware of the potential repercussions of losing Kompany.
City's Premier League title hopes are already hanging by a thread, and a failure to win Sunday's Manchester derby could leave them sweating on a top-four finish. Without their leader, the challenges ahead look considerably harder.