Vincent Kompany is known as one of the best centre-backs in the world, but he put Manchester City in a tough position on Saturday and moving forward as his over-aggressiveness resulted in a red card.
According to the Premier League on Twitter, Kompany was sent off during the Citizens' vital clash against Hull City, so Man City will be forced to play the remainder of the match shorthanded:
RED CARD Vincent Kompany is sent off for a foul on Nikica Jelavic, who was breaking through on goal. Hull 0-0 Man City #HULMCI— Premier League (@premierleague) March 15, 2014
Despite Kompany's status as an elite defender, Mark Ogden of the Daily Telegraph pointed out that Hull exposed his biggest weakness on Saturday:
Kompany red card shows the one weakness in his game. Vulnerable when players run at him and turn him.— Mark Ogden (@MOgdenTelegraph) March 15, 2014
To make matters worse, the foul in question occurred in the 10th minute, per Bleacher Report's Dan Levy:
Kompany with a red. Sent off 10 minutes in. Wow that’s…a development.— Dan Levy (@DanLevyThinks) March 15, 2014
Playing any amount of time with 10 men is a tall task even for an elite team like Manchester City. Doing so for almost an entire game is daunting to say the least.
How much will Kompany's absence hurt Manchester City in upcoming matches?
While Hull is a team that Manchester City should defeat, the result is very much up in the air because of Kompany's ill-advised foul.
The Citizens did manage to take a 1-0 lead just four minutes after the incident by virtue of a David Silva goal, but Hull has generated more pressure and certainly won't let up.
City entered Saturday's match in fourth place in the EPL with 57 points. The Citizens have three matches in hand over first-place Chelsea, however, and they trail by nine points. That means three victories will put Manchester City right up there with the Blues.
The Hull City match is one that Man City essentially have to win, and while it couldn't have gotten off to a much worse start, the Citizens have persevered.
Even if Manchester City do survive this contest with a victory, Kompany's status is a big concern in forthcoming matches. According to Ogden, Kompany will be suspended for three matches:
Three match ban for Kompany unless City appeal. Not sure they'll have any joy if they do.— Mark Ogden (@MOgdenTelegraph) March 15, 2014
All of them are hugely important matches for City in terms of vying for an EPL title and playing without Kompany will make winning those matches that much more difficult.
Kompany's absence will put even more pressure on fellow centre-back Martin Demichelis to be the backbone of Manchester City's defense in the coming games. It also means that someone else will have to step into the line-up.
That responsibility will likely fall on the shoulders of 31-year-old Joleon Lescott. The English veteran has spent the past five seasons with Manchester City, and he played three seasons for Everton before that.
Few squads are lucky enough to have such a capable centre-back on the bench, so City should be able to remain competitive without Kompany. Lescott isn't as dominant as Kompany by any means, but he is a savvy player who can diffuse some tough situations.
Although succeeding without a key player like Kompany won't be easy, Manchester City have the squad necessary to get the job done.
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