September 18, 2021

Mahrez was missed by Algeria when Man City hosted Liverpool – Belmadi

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The 29-year-old was dropped from Pep Guardiola’s team for their last Premier League outing at the Etihad Stadium

Algerians were disappointed not to see Riyad Mahrez in action when Manchester City hosted Liverpool last Sunday, according to the national team coach Djamel Belmadi.

The Algeria captain was surprisingly dropped from the Citizens’ 18-man squad that held Jurgen Klopp’s team to a 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium.

Mahrez has played 10 matches in all competitions for the Manchester City this campaign and Belmadi thinks his recent snub should not be a worry.

“There is nothing alarming about Riyad Mahrez’s situation at Manchester City. If we look at the number of games he has played recently with his club, it is quite significant. He played almost every game,” Belmadi was quoted as saying by DZ Foot.

“It’s true that we were all waiting for this match against Liverpool, two big clubs in the English Premier League. We wanted to see Riyad play and perform in this kind of match.

“Unfortunately, it is part of the profession as a player. Deal with this kind of situation. Stay strong and don’t overdo it.

“Riyad is a football lover, he would have liked to play this kind of match. He’s disappointed, we were all disappointed not to see him.”

On Thursday, Mahrez helped Algeria stretch their unbeaten run across all competitions to 21 games with a 3-1 victory over Zimbabwe in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

The 29-year-old scored the Desert Foxes’ third goal in Algiers after efforts from Baghdad Bounedjah and Sofiane Feghouli fired them in ahead in the first 45 minutes.

“But at the same time, he is very happy to return to the national team every time,” Belmadi noted.

“He is psychologically focused and concerned about the match [vs Zimbabwe]). He is the captain of this selection and he wants to do well. There are zero worries.

“He’s a player with a strong character too. He’s got to where he is because he knows how to deal with this kind of situation. We wish him the best and to all his teammates.”