‘We can play good or bad, my players run and fight every game … that’s what I’m most proud of’: Pep Guardiola praises the work ethic of his Manchester City stars after moving closer to the title with dominance Leicester
Pep Guardiola praised the work ethic of his Manchester City stars as they went within four wins of a new Premier League title in Leicester City.
Guardiola’s side laid the ghosts of September’s harrowing 5-2 home defeat and are now 11 points away from confirming a third crown in four seasons.
Kevin De Bruyne – an integral part of the run-up to Benjamin Mendy’s second goal – was name-checked by Guardiola as he kept setting the ball.
Pep Guardiola’s Man City squad are now 11 points away from confirming a third title in four seasons
“This is one of our identities that one of the most talented players in the world can do this job,” said Guardiola.
‘This is non-negotiable. You can play badly, but run for your friends. We can play good or bad, but we cannot deny that these players run and fight every game. That is one of the things that I am most proud of. There is good solidarity between the players.
‘Our bet was good in the sense that we had more patience with the ball. You have to be patient with Leicester as they defend deeply and can punish you when counterattacking. ‘
Manchester City continued its advance to the Premier League title by beating Leicester
De Bruyne praised City’s request, as a number of regular customers did not return from international service until 24 hours before the trip to King Power Stadium.
“There was one team playing,” said the midfielder. “We knew the way they played us was going to be difficult – they were defensive.
‘It was very good today, especially in the first half when we dominated. In the second half they did a little better, but I think we deserved more goals.
“I came back on Tuesday and started training on Thursday and half of the team started training on Friday.”
Kevin De Bruyne produced another masterful performance, leading the show in midfield
Brendan Rodgers admitted that his side, third in the league and seven points ahead of fifth-placed West Ham in the race to qualify for the Champions League, was second best.
“The best team has won the game,” said the Leicester boss. ‘We have no excuses. When you give in to a team with this much quality, they can just hide the ball from you.
“Technically, we weren’t as good as usual. We’ve improved at home in the past two games, but we played the upcoming champions there. We are only in the top four until the 38th game of the season.
‘I can get you 500 million pounds, maybe we are not too far from them! Pep is an incredible operator.
Gabriel Jesus also scored with a tap-in when City overwhelmed the Foxes with a dominant showing
“We’ve been brilliant with what we’ve been dealing with this season, so now we can relax for a few days and freshen up the guys.”
However, Rodgers confirmed that defender Çaglar Soyuncu tested positive for the coronavirus during his international service. “He is still there in Turkey,” he added. ‘We are in a process with the federation there about the best options. Most importantly, he feels good.
“We’ll get him back as soon as possible and play. I very much doubt he will be available next weekend (against West Ham). ‘