German FA attacks Cardiff after City's Sane injured in Cup clash
Manchester City faces an anxious wait over Leroy Sane after the winger was forced off injured during an FA Cup game at second-tier Cardiff City, with Joe Bennett's horror tackle drawing a reaction on social media from the German Football Federation.
Looking ahead to the World Cup in Russia, the DFB tweeted: "Hey CardiffCityFC. Just letting you know, we have a really important tournament in the summer. Please don't hurt our players. Thanks."
Put through on goal in first-half stoppage time of the fourth-round match, Germany midfielder Sane injured his ankle when he was scythed down by Bennett, who was fortunate to receive just a yellow card.
"(Sane) will be out for a while — minimum two weeks, three weeks, one month, we will see tomorrow (Monday) exactly," said City manager Pep Guardiola, who confronted referee Lee Mason at full time.
"Referees have to protect the players and not just my players, all players. Where there is fault, there is fault and when it is dangerous, it is dangerous. You are not more brave for kicking."
Bennett was eventually sent off as the midfielder received a second yellow card for another challenge in the closing stages.
Cardiff manager Neil Warnock said City was not blameless.
"They dished it out a bit, they had one or two naughty tackles," Warnock said. "They're so quick, that's the problem, with the movement and everything else, you think you're there and all of a sudden he's gone."
Warnock did not defend Bennett, who will now suspended for Saturday's Championship game against City's promotion rival Leeds United.
"It is unprofessional from Joe and then to commit one in the 92nd minute," said Warnock. "Maybe he does not want to go to Leeds on Saturday. He will be training morning, noon and night, I can tell you that."
Bennett later wrote on his Twitter account: "Just want to apologize to Leroy Sane for my tackle today. I tried to stop the counter-attack and completely mistimed my attempt.
"I didn't mean to catch him like I did. I hope it's nothing serious and he recovers quickly."