Equipo masculino

Guardiola: Quality of our players the difference

Pep Guardiola has praised his side’s spirit after they beat Bournemouth 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium, only three days after thumping Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League.

Goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Kelechi Iheanacho, Raheem Sterling and a Premier League debut goal for Ilkay Gundogan saw the Blues past Eddie Howe’s Cherries on Saturday afternoon.

The manager is impressed by the speed of City’s recovery from Wednesday night’s victory over their German opponents in the Champions League.

He said: “The important thing is we won just a few days after a Champions League game. The Champions League is tough mentally so to recover from that is something that makes me happy.

“The quality of our players made the difference. I’m very happy because I know the quality of the team we have beat and that King is a quality striker. I’m happy because people will be so proud when the famous players run without the ball.”

GUARDIOLA: The City boss watches on in the second half at the Etihad Stadium.
GUARDIOLA: The City boss watches on in the second half at the Etihad Stadium.

Guardiola highlighted the quality of Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian midfielder scored City’s first and played a key role in all of the other three goals on his way to the Man of the Match award.

He said: “Kevin is a special player. Without the ball he’s a fighter and with the ball he’s clear, he sees everything. Everytime he decides the right decision and we are lucky to have him. Hopefully he can keep playing the amazing football.

“Of course he is one of the best there is no doubt about that but to win prizes will depend on the team winning titles.

Vincent Kompany made his return to City’s match day squad for the first time this season but was reduced to a watching role as John Stones was called on early in the second half.

Pep explained: “Maybe Vincent could play 15/20 minutes but with the amount of minutes in important games in Nico’s legs and his yellow card, I decided Stones would need to play five minutes into the second half.”

It was a memorable afternoon for youngster Aleix Garcia, as the Spaniard replaced De Bruyne for his Premier League debut before receiving praise from his manager.

“He’s a great defensive midfielder and he doesn’t feel the pressure but he’s still young and he knows what he needs to improve,” said Pep.

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