Manchester City dealt major injury blow in title race with Liverpool as Kevin De Bruyne limps out

Manchester City knocked Liverpool off top spot in the Premier League – but their 1-0 win over Bournemouth came at a cost.

Kevin de Bruyne and John Stones both limped off at the Vitality Stadium as Pep Guardiola’s injury problems continue to mount.

Riyad Mahrez, who replaced De Bruyne just before the break, scored the only goal of the game 10 minutes into the second half.

Victory ensured that City leapfrogged Liverpool and moved two points clear at the summit. Jurgen Klopp’s side will regain top spot if they win Sunday’s Merseyside derby at Goodison.

City dominated throughout with Bournemouth enjoying just 18% possession and failing to muster either a single attempt on goal or a corner.

Belgium international De Bruyne pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring injury at the end of the first half. It’s been an injury-plagued campaign for the classy attacker who has been restricted to just seven league starts all season.

Then early in the second half Stones was also forced off with Vincent Kompany replacing him.

Guardiola is already without defender Aymeric Laporte and holding midfielder Fernandinho.

After Mahrez scored, Artur Boruc brilliantly denied Raheem Sterling and then Sergio Aguero hit the bar with an audacious chip.

In contrast to City’s problems, Klopp’s injury problems are easing. Roberto Firmino is close to returning from a minor ankle problem, while Dejan Lovren is expected to be fit for next weekend’s clash with Burnley. Joe Gomez is also on course to make his comeback later this month.