Manchester City got their domestic season underway in the best possible fashion yesterday, defeating Liverpool on penalties to claim the Community Shield.
While this game is often a bit on of a non-event in the English footballing calendar, the clash between the Premier League's top two from last season was an enthralling one. It was hugely exciting, and it has us salivating at the thought of the months ahead.
This was despite the fact that neither club had a full squad to choose from. Sadio Mane missed out after his extended summer break due to the African Cup of Nations, and it had been assumed that Riyad Mahrez was absent for the same reason.
However, the reason he missed the game was much stranger.
Pep Guardiola revealed that Mahrez had requested to return early from his summer break to play in the game, something he was happy to oblige to.
However, the player was not allowed to take part after he told Manchester City officials that had taken an unknown 'medicine' while on duty with Algeria, leaving some risk around doping control. City decided not to play him as a result.
Pep Guardiola explained:
But we don't have what he took... about the medicine. That's why, for doping control, today was a risk because the doctors didn't have it. That's why he wasn't in the squad to play some minutes.
He could have played some minutes but we could not take a risk because the doctors did not have exactly the medicines.
Hopefully he will be back next game against West Ham and in the future everything will be normal...
We could not take a risk because the doctors didn't have the medicines or exactly what happened and we did not want to risk it.