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Media Watch: Gundogan - Anfield trip will be key

ROAR POWER: Ilkay Gundogan produced a superb display in Saturday's 5-0 win at Cardiff

ROAR POWER: Ilkay Gundogan produced a superb display in Saturday's 5-0 win at Cardiff

We kick-off Monday’s media round-up with Ilkay Gundogan revealing Manchester City already have one eye trained on next month’s huge Premier League trip to Liverpool.

There’s also news on how Riyad Mahrez believes he is now ready to flourish with the Blues as well as another rumoured transfer target.

But we begin with Gundogan who, fresh from a sensational individual display in Saturday’s superb 5-0 win away at Cardiff, told the Daily Mirror he was already looking ahead to the trip to Anfield on October 7 against Liverpool who lead City by two points at the top of the Premier League.

James Nursey reports:Pep Guardiola's men rediscovered their champions’ swagger in Wales and Ilkay Gundogan says they must maintain it to halt Liverpool.

“Manchester City were at their sensational best as they blew Cardiff away 5-0 in a faultless display.

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“Gundogan was pivotal in Saturday's romp, scoring a fine goal and helping to tee up three more. But he already has an eye on the showdowns with Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United which he believes will determine who wins the Premier League this season.

“City visit Anfield on Sunday, October 7, host a Manchester derby on November 11 and go to Stamford Bridge on December 8.

“Gundogan acknowledged: “At the moment it looks like those games will be important.

“We play Liverpool in a couple of weeks, so it will be a real test for us at Anfield. They are also getting their points. Liverpool is a very strong team, and Chelsea are very strong.

“We are trying to play like we did here because when we are ready like we were, our chances to win games and titles are the highest. All of us are hungry for success.

PRECISION FINISH: Ilkay Gundogan finds the top corner



Cardiff 0 City 5: Extended highlights

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“We played an incredible Premier League season last year, gaining 100 points. We are aware it will get more and more difficult, our opponents are stronger than they were last year and we are the champions so everyone wants to beat us.”

Another player to shine bright amidst the South Wales deluge in Cardiff was Riyad Mahrez who registered his first two goals for City since making a summer move to the Club from Leicester.

And speaking to the Daily Mail afterwards, the Algerian revealed he was now looking to kick-on at the Club and help the side’s quest for success.

The Mail report: “Riyad Mahrez believes he is set to reap the rewards after adjusting to life at Manchester City.

“Mahrez has had limited game-time since City broke their club transfer record in July by signing him from Leicester for £60million.

READ: Sergio Aguero signs new contract

WATCH: Riyad Mahrez | Cardiff reaction interview

“But the Algeria international claimed his first City goals on Saturday as a second-half brace helped the Premier League champions demolish Cardiff 5-0.

“'It's not been a tough time for me,' Mahrez said after scoring two in a league game for the first time since Leicester's title-winning season of 2015-16.

“'When you arrive at a big club you have to adapt to the style. The manager (Pep Guardiola) has helped me a lot, and in the last two weeks I have felt a lot better.

“'You can see that on the pitch. I never complain, I just work hard in training, and it's paying (off) now.

“'But I have to keep going - scoring is not a final thing.

“'The style of play is different, but I stayed at Leicester for nearly five years and knew I would need time to adapt at a new club like City.'”




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Meanwhile, the Manchester Evening News say Mahrez believes the manner of the champions’ marvellous display at Cardiff was the perfect riposte following our Champions League loss to Lyon.

Stuart Brennan reports:  “Riyad Mahrez has dismissed the critics who started to write off Manchester City after just one defeat.

“The Blues winger capped a marvellous Blues display with the last two goals after going on as a substitute in the 5-0 win at Cardiff on Saturday.

“That was an instant response to the 2-1 home reverse to Lyon in the Champions League.

“That defeat had rival fans, and some pundits, querying whether City were still the force that they were last season.

“Pep Guardiola’s team gave a sharp answer to that with a win to keep them tucked on the shoulder of the leaders.

“And with club record £60million signing Mahrez finally coming to the party, City are back in shape.

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“That’s football,” he said afterwards. “When you win you are on top of everything, and when you lose they put you back down straight away.

“That’s why you have to stay strong mentally and always be the same, to keep going every game.

“In football you win and you lose – the most important thing for us was to respond with the right intentions from the beginning of the game.”

Finally, the Mirror claim that Pep Guardiola could be ready to take on Manchester United in the battle to sign Ajax wonderkid Frenkie De Jong.

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Simon Mullock scribes: “The Manchester City boss wants to sign a defensive midfielder in January, and De Jong is on his list of targets.

“City are understood to have had a £50million bid for De Jong rejected by Ajax in the summer, and are ready to make another move.

“The Dutch club have since continued to insist that the 21-year-old is staying in Amsterdam for at least another year, but City have not ruled out testing their resolve again in January.

“De Jong has earned rave reviews for Ajax and his performances have caught the eye of some of Europe’s leading clubs, with Barcelona also interested.

“Guardiola has identified defensive midfield as a weak point in his squad and the Premier League champions are still relying on Fernandinho as their destructive force there.”


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PRECISION FINISH: Ilkay Gundogan finds the top corner

Ilkay Gundugaon says Manchester City overcame two key obstacles to secure the victory over Cardiff.

The Blues recovered from a midweek Champions League defeat to Lyon to blast five past the Bluebirds, with Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva, Gundogan and substitute Riyad Mahrez (two) on target.