Mens Team

Two-goal Gundogan 'proud' to wear Bell's number eight

FORM MAN: Gundogan grabbed a brace at the Hawthorns.
Ilkay Gündoğan has expressed his pride at wearing Manchester City legend Colin Bell's famous number eight shirt after the German bagged a brace to help City to a 5-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion.

The midfielder opened the scoring in the sixth minute, latching onto Joao Cancelo's pass and firing accurately into the corner.

Cancelo then made it two with a sublime strike, before Gundogan found the net again with a cool finish with his left foot.

Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling also found the net, but Gundogan was particularly filled with pride to be the difference-maker against the Baggies with the number eight on his back, on the day that the City family paid our respects to Bell at his funeral at St Peter's Church in Hale after he sadly passed away earlier this month.

"I feel proud to wear his number and of course I try to represent it as best as possible on the pitch," he said. "If it keeps going as well as today, it makes me even more proud to wear this number."

READ: Remembering Colin Bell: Respects paid to City legend

Gundogan notched his sixth and seventh goal in the Premier League this season at the Hawthorns and admitted there's not really any special reason for his prolific form at the moment.

"I don’t know to be honest! There’s not really a secret, I just try to be in the right spaces at the right moments.

"I’ve played a more offensive role in recent weeks and I try to make the right decisions when I get the chance close to the opposition box. I try to do my best."

The 30-year-old's first goal was set up expertly by Cancelo, who has been one of the standout performers for City this season, an opinion echoed by Gundogan.

"He has this ability. He plays a bit more in the centre when we have the ball and gets a lot of touches. He has the quality to put in these types of balls.

"I knew it as I saw him in space and it was perfect. He is doing well, everyone is doing well, especially him in the last few weeks. We need to keep this rhythm and qualities to maintain our level."

The victory sees Pep Guardiola's men rise to the summit of the league table, leapfrogging arch-rivals Manchester United and Gundogan feels that the team are thriving from the rotation made by the manager.

"As I said before, we all try our best, it doesn’t matter who is playing. Obviously, we had a few players over the last couple of weeks in different conditions missing due to COVID and injuries.

"Kevin [De Bruyne] is a big miss for us for the next few games but we will have players who will get more game time now over the next few games, we need everyone to be involved.

"Everyone gives us different qualities and a different boost. We need to keep going."

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