Men's Team

Guardiola: 'Exceptional' Fernandinho leading by example

Guardiola: 'Exceptional' Fernandinho leading by example
Pep Guardiola highlighted the enduring vital role of captain Fernandinho after the Brazilian helped inspire City to a fourth FA Cup semi-final appearance in five years.

The City skipper may be 35 now, but he delivered another magnificent all-round display in Saturday’s hard-fought 2-0 quarter-final win at Everton, leading by example and bringing all his vast experience to bear once again.

That victory was enough to earn us a semi-final assignment against Chelsea next month.

Though he has been used more sparingly this term, Ferna has still clocked up 26 appearances to date with his influence on and off the field continuing to be immense.

And after his latest man of the match display at Goodison Park, Guardiola was effusive in his praise for Fernandinho’s continued outstanding contribution to the collective City cause.

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“(It was) Another exceptional performance,” the boss asserted.

“He is composed. He knows what he has to do – on and off the pitch.

In our last game against Borussia Monchengladbach, the minutes he played were outstanding.

WATCH: Everton 0-2 City: Match highlights

“He needs to be active, he cannot drop too much at home.

“We need everyone after international break because I don’t know how the players will come back.”

The Brazilian’s current City contract runs out in the summer but quizzed about the prospect of a new deal, the boss said those discussions could wait for now.

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“We have time for that,” Guardiola added.

Fernandinho and his colleagues had to marry grit and guile alongside our trademark artistry and invention in what was a physically and mentally demanding test.

And the boss believes a quite remarkable run of results that has brought us 25 wins out of 26 games demonstrates that City can meet the physical and mental intensity required to succeed when the stakes are so high.

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“When you win 34 games in last 39 it’s because you have that characteristic,” Guardiola added.

“They (Everton) are so aggressive. I saw the warm-up. They were shouting every action, how they communicate, exchanging high fives all the time. I saw they were ready. They played with intensity, every duel.

“We knew it and you have to handle it. This is the type of game we will play - it is going to happen. It was important. There will be more games that way now than the other ones.

“On Saturday we didn’t make mistakes, and this is the key point.”

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