Coronavirus outbreak cancels Everton vs Man City match
MANCHESTER CITY’S game at Everton on Monday night was postponed after more players at the Etihad tested positive for Covid.
City duo Gabriel Jesus and Kyle Walker were told on Christmas Eve afternoon that they had tested positive for the coronavirus – along with two members of staff.
And it is believed at least five more cases have now been confirmed at the Etihad after the latest round of testing on Sunday.
That meant that the club were forced to pull the plug on their trip to Goodison Park on Monday night.
Everton – who sit third after Leicester’s draw with Crystal Palace – had the chance to go top of the league with victory. However, it would have needed a win by 11 goals, The SunSport reports.
Man City’s CFA training headquarters closed down with immediate effect in a bid to try to contain the spread – but Sunday’s trip to Chelsea must also now be in doubt as well as their upcoming Carabao Cup semi-final with Manchester United.
A statement from City read: “Manchester City FC can confirm that this evening’s Premier League fixture at Everton has been postponed.
“After the latest round of Covid-19 testing, the club returned a number of positive cases, in addition to the four already reported on Christmas Day.
“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.
“All positive cases involving players and staff will observe a period of self-isolation in accordance with Premier League and UK Government protocol on quarantine.
“The first team training ground at City Football Academy will close for an indeterminate period, with the squad and associated bubble undergoing testing before any decision is made for training to resume.
“Everyone at the Club wishes all of our colleagues a speedy recovery ahead of their return to work, training and competition.”
City’s Covid-19 outbreak could spell fixture chaos with their Carabao Cup semi-final against United and trip to Chelsea major doubts.
They are due to face Chelsea on January 3 with United coming just three days later – and with a currently tight schedule there are few gaps for rearrangements.
City are believed to have been in for tests on Sunday – with the results coming back on Monday morning.
Guardiola said after the Boxing Day win over Newcastle that the spread was not just a worry for his club.
He said: “It’s a worldwide problem; it’s all around the world.
“We are delighted we can do our job, how many business cannot, it’s not about the Premier League itself.
“It’s a problem that is not solved, the second wave is here, it can punish anyone.
“We just have to be careful, the pandemic is here, we have to come back in 10 or 12 days. The other be careful because it’s there. Covid is here, it’s not disappeared.”
Asked about being without Jesus and Walker, Pep added: “I want them to be positive, not get any worse.
“Hopefully they will go eight or 10 days without tough symptoms.
“Covid is here, all around the world, it’s attacking the heart.
“That’s why we have to be careful, we want them to have the next days, we look forward to seeing them again and we try to move forward without them.
“We want to do it all together, the guys who think what is the best for the team, give something for the team, they will be part of the team forever.”