Men's Team

Guardiola sounds salute to inspirational Fernandinho

PEP TALK: The boss provides instructions from the touchline.
Pep Guardiola hailed another masterclass of a midfield display from City skipper Fernandinho as the boss reflected on Sunday’s excellent 1-0 win at Arsenal.

Raheem Sterling’s second minute header at the Emirates was enough to seal a 18th consecutive victory in all competitions – and also saw City equal another Club record during this remarkable run overseen by Guardiola.

It’s now 11 straight away wins – equalling the run we racked up between May to November in 2017 – and this latest success also restored our 10-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

And leading by example in inspirational fashion was captain Fernandinho, who having been restored to the starting line-up, produced another reminder of his crucial qualities in the holding midfield role.

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For his point of view, Guardiola said Ferna’s latest display was just the latest reminder of the 35-year-old’s timeless qualities.

“What a game he played without the ball, winning duels. He has been injured and Rodrigo was superb - but what a game he played today,” Guardiola declared.

“I will always remember him. I have been together with him since day one (at City) and he has been so, so important.

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“He knows his body perfectly and knows what he has to do in each moment. He knows when to talk, the rhythm we have to play. He is so clever in these terms. For 35, he plays just one game a week, it's perfect for him.”

Quizzed as to whether he thought the Brazilian could play on at such a rarefied level at 36, the boss added: “If he is like this, why not?

“He knows exactly what he has to do and yeah what a game he played today in such a tough, tough game.”

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Guardiola also spoke about his pride and satisfaction at what he termed another ‘really important’ victory for City.

But with City extending our incredible English record to 18 topflight wins, the boss insisted the focus within the squad as only on the next challenge in front of us with 13 games left to go in the league.

“We are delighted for the three points. It’s the Emirates, Arsenal away and I know how good Mikel’s teams play. It’s a really important victory for us,” the boss asserted.

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“The record is going to be broke one day, we will lose games.

“We only think about the next game, this is the only secret. I am surprised and impressed.

“When everyone is suffering in this world and everyone is dropping points, we win in Anfield, Tottenham, and at Goodison Park. I am more than pleased to win 1-0. To have a record you have to win like this.

“You can’t always win by three or four. We don't have time to do anything, just recover and prepare mentally.

“There are 39 points to play for and we need the victories to be champions and we will try in the next games.”

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