Men's Team

Game management pleases Pep Guardiola

WELL PLAYED: Pep Guardiola congratulates Kevin De Bruyne on another influential performance
Pep Guardiola hailed City’s game management in their 3-0 triumph over Burnley.

A Sergio Aguero penalty handed the Blues a half-time lead, before two goals in two minutes from Nicolas Otamendi and impressive victory against a Clarets side who headed into the clash in fine form on the road.

Guardiola was pleased to see his side stick to their gameplan, having struggled to break down the stubborn visitors in patches.

“Burnley have won in amazing stages this season,” he stated. “Their physicality is amazing. They are a group with a huge work ethic.

“If people come here thinking in 20 minutes, we will be winning 5-0, that is not going to happen.

After [playing in] the Champions League [in midweek], it is so demanding. Champions League games are demanding mentally and physically.

“We created enough chances and defended their actions really well.We didn’t concede chances.

“Last season at 1-0, maybe we would have been more nervous with less control.

“At this moment, we don’t have that feeling but the players know we can lose. Every single minute in every game, we have to do what we have to do.

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“Our confidence will increase and we can continue winning games.

“In the second half, we played so well in terms of control.

“We were stable, we created more chances and we scored in the right time. We are where we need to be. It’s three more points and we are happy.”

Aguero’s penalty was the Argentine’s 177th City strike, lifting the forward level with the Club’s all-time record goalscorer Eric Brook.

Guardiola was pleased with his striker’s performance upon his return from injury.

“He was out for three games,” he continued. “He played minutes today and maybe he will on Tuesday.

“It was important for him to equal the record as soon as possible. When he breaks it, it will be something special.

“He should pay a tribute to us! He should invite us to dinner maybe! One more goal… it's going to happen sooner or later.

“It is so important for him and the Club. We are so happy to be in this moment with him.”

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Guardiola also reserved praise for his defensive players – in particular .

“The performances of him and Nico in the last month have been top,” he reflected.

“At Everton, he played once a week. He is handling the fact we play every three days well.

“He is fit and focused. We believe he can reach another level. He is a guy with a huge personality.

“He wins duels and we are so happy for his performance.”

The victory, coupled with United’s defeat at Huddersfield, moved City five points clear atop the Premier League table but Guardiola played down talk of advantages.

“In May, it is important,” he added. “In October, it is not.

“We have won 11 games in a row. It means we have been able to win lots of games.

“We are top of the Premier League and our Champions League group but last year, we won ten games in a row and we did not win titles.

“We must keep the rhythm, keep focused and continue to play our game.”

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