Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne feel indebted to the whole squad for keeping City fighting on three fronts during their absence.

That’s the verdict of Pep Guardiola who spoke of the ‘huge personality’ throughout the group.

The pair are clicking through the gears after their return from injury, with Haaland bagging a brace against Everton and KDB setting up the star striker for his second against the Toffees.

But Guardiola said the returning duo share his opinion that the wider team have shown big character to be pushing for a fourth successive Premier League title, making it into the fifth round of the FA Cup as well as progressing into the Champions League Round of 16.

“We are here without them and still we are there,” said the manager.

“But with them we are stronger. You don’t have to be clever men to realise that.

“I am not going to undermine all that their mates have done, with Phil [Foden], Julian [Alvarez], Bernardo [Silva]. 

“They know it. Kevin and Erling know it. That’s why we are strong, with incredible characters.

“We have a team with huge personality in difficult moments otherwise we could not be here again and again.”

While keen to highlight the efforts of every member of his squad in our strong start to the 2023/24 campaign, Guardiola did point to Haaland and KDB’s ‘special qualities’ when it matters most.

“These guys help us to win games. The game today was proof.

“Two moments today we won and we go home.

“They have special qualities, these guys. They have the ability in the final third to create something that is not in the stats, not in the books.

“To have them for 90 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, it’s better.”