Men's Team

Guardiola: Bernardo stands up when it matters

Pep Guardiola has praised Bernardo Silva for his attitude in tough situations.

The Portuguese playmaker scored the equaliser in last week’s 3-3 draw at Newcastle and was again at the heart of things on Saturday as City came from two goals behind to beat Crystal Palace.

With the visitors leading 2-0 early in the second half at the Etihad Stadium, Silva set off on a mazy run that ended with a deflected shot that beat Vicente Guaita.

Silva also played a crucial role in City’s third goal, laying a pass off to John Stones who found Erling Haaland in space just a few yards out.

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Speaking in his post-match press conference, Guardiola reserved special praise for Silva’s drive and determination to help his side.

“I am happy that today Bernardo became a winning player,” he said.

“Of course all the highlights will be for Erling but we cannot forget again what Bernardo has done today, scoring the goal and creating on the right side in the second half.

“What I am amazed about Bernardo is when the game is going wrong he always steps forward. He loves to play in the games when the situation is uncomfortable. Few players make a step backwards and he makes a step forward and that is why Bernardo is irreplaceable for many things for us.”

City conceded just one goal from set pieces in 2021/22. With Kieran Trippier's free-kick in last week's meeting with Newcastle, that means Ederson has now been beaten from a corner or free-kick three times so far this season.

After the match the manager was asked why he feels his side have experienced a sudden susceptibility to dead balls.

“It is behaviour. Set pieces is behaviour,” he said.

“Of course the taker is important, the blocker is important, the runs, but if you want to score a goal you will and if you don’t want to concede a goal you will not be blocked.

“You can imagine in the meeting we had, we say the focus is Andersen. There are many players but Andersen is the focus, like when you play against Liverpool it’s Van Dijk and Matip.

“He was the focus and he was alone. This is because we are not there and if we are not there we concede 2-0. Today we were lucky but if tomorrow we are not, we will drop points.”

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