Manchester City's Match vs. Everton Postponed After Multiple COVID-19 Positives

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 28, 2020

Manchester City's Ferran Torres, center, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's second goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, Saturday, Dec., 26, 2020. (Clive Brunskill/Pool via AP)
Clive Brunskill/Associated Press

Manchester City announced Monday that its scheduled matchup against Everton for later in the day has been postponed after "a number of positive cases" for COVID-19 "in addition to the four already reported on Christmas Day."

Per that press release: "With the security of the bubble compromised, there posed a risk that the virus could spread further amongst the squad, the staff and potentially beyond. Based on strong medical advice the Premier League, in consultation with both clubs, have decided to postpone the fixture."

Fullback Kyle Walker and forward Gabriel Jesus were among the four members of the club to test positive over Christmas.

"[It is] unfortunate that it happened, but it has happened all around the world, with many cases," manager Pep Guardiola told BT Sport regarding Walker and Jesus' positive tests (h/t Chris Watson of the Manchester Evening News). "So nobody is safe to [not] get it. Unfortunately, it happened, but hopefully they recover well, and we'll play the game with the guys that we have."

He added: "We are sad for them. Before we had Riyad [Mahrez] and [Ilkay] Gundogan suffer it. Hopefully, they can recover without the problems and get back as soon as possible. But unfortunately, it can happen."

Manchester City noted its first-team training ground would be closed "an indeterminate period" and that the club would undergo the requisite bubble testing before any decisions were made about the resumption of training.

It is unclear if the situation at City could also force Jan. 3's matchup vs. Chelsea to be postponed.

The Premier League has generally avoided any postponements this season because of the coronavirus. The first came in early December for a match between Aston Villa and Newcastle. But as a new variant of the coronavirus spreads throughout England, one believed to be up to 70 percent more contagious than previous versions, more postponements could be on the horizon.