Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson has called for the automatic replacement of players who are involved in a clash of heads after Raúl Jiménez suffered a fractured skull in a collision with David Luiz in Wolves’ win at Arsenal on Sunday.
While Jiménez was taken to hospital where he had surgery immediately after the 15th-minute incident, David Luiz played on until halftime before being subsituted. In September 2017, Ederson was stretchered off during City’s 5-0 win at the Etihad Stadium following a high challenge from Liverpool’s Sadio Mané which required him to have eight stitches in his face
“I was very worried,” he said of the incident between his Brazilian compatriot and former Benfica team-mate Jiménez . “I was watching the game. It was an accidental clash, head-to-head. All the concern and care [for all players] is very important. It is a part of the body that is very fragile and needs special attention.
“When there is a blow to the head there should be a substitution whether the player can continue or not. You might be feeling ok at the time but after the game you feel the consequences. It wasn’t an intentional blow, they went to compete for the ball but we know the risks of a head injury. I hope he returns quickly and is back as soon as possible.”
Pep Guardiola, Ederson’s manager, added: “Hopefully Jiménez and David Luiz are well. Of course you have to be careful. Some say [any player should go] immediately out of the game – in the head it’s always so dangerous.”
Guardiola, whose City side face the Portuguese champions in the return match at the Dragao Stadium on Tuesday having already qualified from Group C of the Champions League, also denied the claim from Porto manager, Sérgio Conceição, that he and his staff pressured officials during City’s 3-1 win in October at the Etihad Stadium.
The Catalan was asked about Conceicao’s comments. “I’m not agreeing,” he said. “We didn’t pressure the ref, we are not this type of team to do this kind of thing. I’d admit it [if we were]. Sure, if there’s an [isolated] action you do not agree okay. The five years we are here, our behaviour speaks for itself.”
Conceicao had said: “I’ve got a lot to learn from Pep Guardiola, the way he pressures referees, talks to opposition players and opposition dugout. He’s a fantastic example. We were angels compared to the other dugout.”
While Sergio Agüero could not train on Monday due to the “niggle in his knee” that prevented his participation in Saturday’s 5-0 win over Burnley, Guardiola wants City to embark on a long unbeaten run. Yet the 49-year-old is unsure if this might be possible.
“I cannot answer – if you asked before we won 17 or 18 [consecutively, two seasons ago] I would say the same,” he said.