Rodrigo has praised the advice of goalkeeper Stefan Ortega Moreno after the midfielder's goal helped City to a 3-1 Champions League victory over Red Star Belgrade.

The Spaniard calmly slotted into the bottom corner with just under 20 minutes remaining under the floodlights at the Etihad Stadium to secure the three points in our opening Group G fixture.


The midfielder already has three goals across all competitions this season, and reserved special praise to our substitute shot-stopper after some insightful half-time advice led to his low finish.

“I turned at that moment and I looked for the far corner,” he said.

“Sometimes you don’t have to shoot strong. Stefan [Ortega Moreno] told me at half-time that their goalkeeper was paying attention to the ball in the air, and not down or by the sides of the goal, so good advice!

“It’s [goals] something that becomes natural on a player. It’s not my role, but the way they defended us, they did good in the area.

“It’s something I’m trying to work on and grow even though it is not my biggest quality but I can help the team in some moments. Not just goals but also assists.

“I think it was a tough game. We could have scored three or four goals in the first half but we were not clinical enough. In the first chance they had they scored, sometimes football is like this.

“I think the most important part of this game is to arrive at half time, talk to the guys and say keep calm, don’t panic. Let’s keep doing our job and in the end we scored three goals, Julian was unbelievable. It was a complete game in all the terms.”

The 27-year-old has established himself as one of the first names on Pep Guardiola‘s teamsheet due to his remarkable consistency.


He was named Player of the Match after another remarkable performance and believes that his development was aided by gaining experience in the position he is asked to play.

He also made special mention of the incredible support from the manager and the staff at the club, not just for him, but any player who joins the team.

“The role is a difficult role. You have to learn by the years,” he declared.

“I’m really happy with how I’ve grown in this position. You grow and understand more every year. It’s about not moving, always being the safety pass, being trusted by the teammate with a pass.

“The most important part is knowing the role. The role is to avoid counter attacks and be solid in the last third. It’s an important part of the game to recover the ball, that’s my biggest role in the team.

“We have a lot of tools in this club with the manager we have. The biggest advantage a player can have is many tools on the pitch.

“You have to grow in the position and understand the team you are playing in, but I think it speaks volumes of the staff and Pep [Guardiola], whoever comes here does well and adapts easy.”