Men's Team

City full of belief after toughest week yet, says Rodrigo

City full of belief after toughest week yet, says Rodrigo
Rodrigo believes City can take enormous confidence from the way Pep Guardiola’s reigning champions navigated what he termed ‘the most difficult part of the season’ to date.

A demanding, gruelling eight day stretch on the road which featured trips to Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain ended with a titanic Premier League clash away at Liverpool.

Sunday's pulsating, epic encounter ended in a 2-2 draw, leaving City perfectly poised in third place in the table, just two points off top spot, going into the October international break.

The Anfield draw followed hard on the heels of a magnificent 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge and a fine Champions League display away in Paris where a 2-0 reverse reflected harshly on City’s excellent performance.

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And Rodrigo said the way City had navigated such a demanding week had filled the squad with even more belief and confidence looking ahead to the rest of the campaign.

“I think we have a very positive feeling that we just passed the most difficult part of the season (so far),” Rodrigo asserted.

“So many tough games away, (with the) travelling and everything. Three games this week and I think we deserved a little bit more.

“I think we deserved to win all three, honestly.

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“Chelsea, Paris and Sunday. But football is like this and these big teams have very good players that can make the difference.

“Sometimes we still have to step forward in the areas, both offensively and defensively, to make the difference. I think we have to work on that.

“(But) I think these moments give us the feeling that we can win and fight again. It has been an unbelievable week with three tough games.

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“It is not easy and all of them were away from our home.”

In what was a thrilling Anfield encounter between two of the Premier League’s most attack-minded sides, Rodrigo also made a huge defensive contribution five minutes from time.

A dramatic late block from the midfielder prevented what looked like a certain winner from Liverpool’s Fabinho when the Anfield midfielder fired in on an open goal from just six yards out.

It was a seismic moment both in the context of the game – and potentially the season – with Rodrigo earning widespread plaudits for his quick and decisive thinking.

However, he said he was just happy and relieved to have made the vital intervention.

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“Sometimes you need defensive actions and they are as important as offensive actions,” the Spanish international reflected.

“Of course, they came close. But I was ready to help the team in that situation.

“It was a key moment and I was happy to defend that goal.

“It was nearly awful for us, but it finished 2-2 so I am happy with that.”

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Rodrigo also said that the manner of our display, with City twice having to regroup and come back from behind in an action-packed second half, spoke volumes as to the depths of character and belief imbued throughout Pep Guardiola’s squad.

“It is about the mentality and the character of this team,” Rodrigo pointed out.

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“We don’t give up and we are the champions, so we have to face every situation.

“The way we were losing 1-0 and then 2-1, but we came back with personality, fight, we never dropped and we achieved this point.

“Seeing the team come back twice, I think it is about the mentality of the team.”

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