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Talking Points: We’ve got... Guardiola!

TALKING POINTS: We've got Guardiola!

TALKING POINTS: We've got Guardiola!

Four goals, another win and a new chant… Saturday was a lot of fun.

Club journalist @markbooth_mcfc picks out six topics for discussion after City beat Stoke 4-1 at the Bet365 Stadium…

1 Gauntlet

Can Pep do it on a wet and windy afternoon in Stoke? The answer: A resounding yes.

Guardiola got the full Stoke City experience on his first visit – a vociferous home support, rain and high winds but his players showed the same attacking potency demonstrated in Romania and no little grit as they rolled up their sleeves and met the physical challenge offered by the Potters.

It was a closer game than the UEFA Champions League play-off and the winning margin was perhaps deceptively wide in the end, but there’s no question City deserved to keep up their 100% start to the season.

2 Kun-Believable

What more can you say about Sergio Aguero?

It’s early days as far as the season goes but the Argentine ace could be in for his best campaign yet if these first three games are anything to go by.

Sergio showed no hesitation whatsoever to pick up the ball and walk it to the penalty spot at the Bet365 Stadium despite his two missed spot-kicks in midweek and his emphatic finish told you everything about his character and ice cool demeanour in front of goal.

His second, a glancing header, demonstrated once again how underrated as he is in the air as he timed his run to perfection and glanced it past Shay Given into the far corner.

That took his tally to six for the season, scored in just three games, and also made it 26 in his last 25.

We’re trying not to get too giddy, it’s still August after all, but this team looks perfectly set up to maximise on Kun’s goalscoring potential and that is one exciting prospect.

3 Kelechi Time

There will have been worse weeks in the life of Kelechi Iheanacho.

Two days after committing his future to the club, the Nigerian stepped off the bench with eight minutes to go at Stoke and had a decisive hand in both of Nolito’s goals.

If his unselfish assist for City’s third goal was good (and it was), his dummy which opened up the space for Raheem Sterling to set up the fourth was sublime and showcased the teenager’s footballing intelligence and  appreciation of space.

What a way to celebrate penning a new deal…

4 Penalties

Ryan Shawcross deserves huge credit for his disarmingly candid post-match interview on Match of the Day.

In it, the central defender admitted that he thought his side were fortunate to be given a penalty for what Mike Dean saw as a foul by Raheem Sterling and also took responsibility for the spot-kick awarded to City for his pull on Nicolas Otamendi.

Dean was implementing a new Premier League initiative to punish these types of fouls – it’ll now be interesting to see whether this leads to an increase in penalty awards or, if the penny will drop for defenders up and down the country, and we’ll see more goals scored from set-pieces as a result.

5 Golito

It hasn’t taken long for Spanish international Nolito to settle into life in the Premier League.

The former Celta Vigo man has slotted straight into this City team and supporters are sure to be enjoying the football of a new signing who never seems to waste the ball.

He was taken out of the firing line for this one, with Guardiola opting for Jesus Navas and his Premier League experience but when Nolito came off the bench, he certainly had an impact.

His sweeping finish for the game-clinching third goal was his first shot on target in a Premier League match and his second for the cherry-on-top fourth was his second.

If he can keep up that stat all season he’ll beat Sergio to the Golden Boot!

6 That chant

“We’ve got *clap clap* Guardiola!”

If you didn’t wake up with this stuck in your head this morning, we can’t be friends.

Top, top work… We’re looking forward to hearing this at the Etihad for the first time on Wednesday night…

First Team News

Spotlight: John Stones v Stoke

TOUGH: Stones won many aerial battles in Saturday's 4-1 win

We put the spotlight on John Stones’ man-of-the-match performance in City’s 4-1 win over Stoke yesterday.

The centre-back continued to impress in a City shirt, marshalling the defence as they withstood threatening Stoke pressure in the second half.

What the Media Says

Pundits purr over Potters win

ON FIRE: Sergio Aguero opens the scoring from the penalty spot

City’s 4-1 win over Stoke at the Bet365 stadium on Saturday got journalists purring over a combination of defensive resilience and ruthlessness going forward.

Stuart Brennan of the Manchester Evening News hailed Pep Guardiola’s “revolutionaries” as they made it nine goals in two away games.

First Team News

Gabriel wins Olympic Gold with Brazil

TWO OF SIX: Gabriel Jesus nets two goals for Brazil in their six-nil win over Honduras in the Rio Olympics 2016 semi-final.

Gabriel Jesus’s Brazil won Olympic gold after beating Germany on penalties in the Rio 2016 final.

The incoming City forward helped his side win Olympic gold in football for the first time in their illustrious history.