Manchester City players getting 'butchered' by tackles - Raheem Sterling

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Raheem Sterling believes Manchester City players are being "butchered" by some of the tackles meted out this season.

"I do think we need to cut down on that because we've got a World Cup at the end of the year and majority of the players in the top-flight and in our team will be playing in it and it would be sad to see someone miss the tournament due to a silly tackle and someone get away with it".

A number of the Premier League leaders' players have been on the receiving end of controversial tackles in recent months, with manager Pep Guardiola repeatedly calling for referees to provide better protection. This all followed Leroy Sané suffering ankle ligament damage in last Saturday's FA Cup win at Cardiff City after a tackle from Joe Bennett.

City have lost Germany global Leroy Sane for two months after a horror tackle by Cardiff's Joe Bennett last Sunday while Sterling himself, Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Sergio Aguero and youngster Brahim Diaz have all been victims of reckless tackles that have not been punished by red cards.

"Obviously it's very hard and we haven't got any players left, so maybe we feel a little bit of tiredness which makes it a little bit more difficult, but I thought the way we played was exceptional".

"I feel that we haven't been protected enough in certain situations".

"I think it's a joke, I absolutely think it's a joke", Neville said Sky Sports.

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"We knew we'd have to take our chances, I think we did extremely well in this game".

"I was feeling it from the first minute", he said.

"Today it just didn't quite happen, but I give top marks to everyone for effort".

Though City are now 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League, Kompany said the draw was a valuable reminder to the Blues of the need to be clinical.

"We need to try and cut this out of the game". They can travel, they can do whatever they want.

That is the Premier League leaders' longest gap between games since the November worldwide break and Guardiola has chose to give all his squad three days off.

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