High winds force Man City’s plane into last-minute diversion mid-flight

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High winds forced the plane carrying the Manchester City first team into a last-minute diversion to a different airport mid-flight.

The City players and staff returned to England on Wednesday from Portugal following their 5-0 win over Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

Pep Guardiola's side took a giant step towards the last eight of this year's competition with their devastating rout of the reigning Portuguese champions.

However, their return flight on Wednesday was far more turbulent as high winds caused by Storm Dudley forced the pilot to land the plane in Liverpool instead of Manchester as planned.

Flight maps showed the planed circled Manchester airport several times before heading 31 miles away to land in Liverpool.

The club released a statement once the plane had safely landed, which reads: "We can confirm the plane transporting the first team home from Lisbon has landed safely in Liverpool, after high winds forced a diversion from Manchester."

Storm Dudley has caused considerable disruption in the north of England this week and has brought severe weather conditions to Manchester in particular.

The Met Office have issued yellow and amber weather warnings as a result, with winds believed to be at speeds of 47 miles-per-hour at the time of City's attempted landing.

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Traffic and train delays have also been caused by the weather, whilst football matches have also been postponed due to the adverse conditions.

Sheffield Wednesday's match with Accrington Stanley in League One was called off due to a waterlogged pitch on Tuesday.

City had no such issue with the weather in Portugal on Tuesday, though, as they comfortably dispatched of Sporting in the first leg of their round of 16 tie.

Goals from Riyadh Mahrez, Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling and a brace from Bernardo Silva secured a 5-0 victory ahead of the second leg at the Etihad on March 9.

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