MANCHESTER, England — Benjamin Mendy has been ruled out of Manchester City’s game against Chelsea with Pep Guardiola shocked by suggestions he could be in Hong Kong.
Guardiola confirmed the French defender was in Barcelona on Thursday after treatment on a knee injury, which has been forced to miss the last three months of the season.
But Mendy posted a video on Instagram, which was stamped with Hong Kong International Airport although he later insisted he was joking about his location with his Uber driver.
“He’s injured, it’s not easy, meniscus, it’s not easy,” Guardiola told a new conference. “He needs to re-adapt, if you start training in two days you are fit, he has to handle the effort we are putting on him — he has to be careful.”
Asked about Mendy being in Hong Kong, he added: “Wow, Hong Kong? I didn’t know it. F—, he’s a lucky guy! He said he was going to spend one day in Paris, but Hong Kong is far away! I don’t know.
“I have to install Instagram on my account. Really I don’t know. Yesterday he was in Barcelona. [It’s not okay to be in] Hong Kong, definitely not.”
Mendy was in trouble earlier this season when he was late for a rehabilitation session at the training ground, having been at boxing match in London the night before.
However, when reports of him being in Hong Kong broke, he wrote on Twitter: “I was just joking with my Uber driver I don’t want no problems Pep.”
🤣🤣🤣 it was just joking with my uber driver I dont want no problems Pep
— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) February 8, 2019
Meanwhile, Guardiola rejected suggestions that Liverpool are feeling the pressure after back-toback draws saw them drop below City at the top of the table.
“Tomorrow they play before us and I think things are going to change,” the City boss said.
“The pressure, Liverpool are exceptional, I don’t have the feeling that Jurgen Klopp or Virgil van Dijk feel pressure.
“I feel they play good and try to win the games, I think they will be there until the end and we have to be there to win our games to decide the Premier League.”
Guardiola also thanked Maurio Sarri for his comments that City are the best team in Europe but insisted that title should go to Real Madrid after their three successive Champions League triumphs.
“Thank you so much, but the Madrid supporters think they are,” he added. “In the last three years they won and the best team in Europe in the last decade is Real Madrid.
“But then you count leagues, Barca, Juventus, Bayern, but I’m pretty sure you understand my answer better. I’m pretty sure Real Madrid are happy with me now.”