‘We can play good or bad, my players run and fight every single game… that is what I’m proud of the most’: Pep Guardiola hails work ethic of his Manchester City stars after moving closer to the title with dominate display against Leicester
- Manchester City continued their march to the title by overwhelming Leicester
- Guardiola’s side lay the ghosts of September’s harrowing 5-2 home defeat to rest
- De Bruyne was praised after producing another masterful midfield display
- Leicester 0-2 Manchester City: Leaders move to within 11 points of the title
Pep Guardiola hailed the work ethic of his Manchester City stars as they went within four victories of another Premier League title at Leicester City.
Guardiola’s side lay the ghosts of September’s harrowing 5-2 home defeat to rest and are now 11 points from confirming a third crown in four seasons.
Kevin De Bruyne – integral in the build-up to Benjamin Mendy’s second goal – was namechecked by Guardiola for continuing to set standards off the ball.
Pep Guardiola’s side are now 11 points from confirming a third title in four seasons
‘This is one of our identities that one of the most talented players in the world can do this job,’ Guardiola said.
‘This is non-negotiable. You can play bad but run for your mates. We can play good or bad but we cannot deny these players run and fight every single game. That is one of the things I’m proud of the most. There is good solidarity between the players.
‘Our commitment was good in terms of we were more patient with the ball. You have to be patient against Leicester because they defend deep and can punish you on the counter attack.’
Manchester City continued their march to the Premier League title by beating Leicester
De Bruyne praised City’s application given a number of regulars only returned from international duty 24 hours before the trip to the King Power Stadium.
‘There was one team playing,’ the midfielder said. ‘We knew the way they played against us it would be difficult – they were defensive.
‘It was really good today, especially in the first-half when we dominated. In the second half they did a bit better, but I think we deserved more goals.
‘I came back on Tuesday and started training on Thursday and half the team started training on Friday.’
Kevin De Bruyne produced another masterful display, running the show in midfield
Brendan Rodgers admitted his side, third in the league and seven points clear of fifth-placed West Ham in the race for Champions League qualification, were second best.
‘The best team has won the game,’ the Leicester boss said. ‘We have no excuses. If you concede against a team with that much quality they can just hide the ball from you.
‘Technically we weren’t as good as we normally are. We’ve improved at home in past two games, but we played the champions-to-be there. We’re not in the top four until the 38th game of the season.
‘I you can get me £500million maybe we won’t be too far off them! Pep is an incredible operator.
Gabriel Jesus also scored with a tap-in as City overwhelmed the Foxes with a dominant display
‘We have been brilliant this season with what we have had to contend with, so now we can recover for a few days and freshen the guys up.’
Rodgers did confirm, however, that defender Çaglar Soyuncu tested positive for coronavirus while on international duty. ‘He’s still out there in Turkey,’ he added. ‘We’re in a process with the federation there at the best options. The most important thing is he is feeling fine.
‘We’ll get him back and playing as soon as we can. I very much doubt he’ll be available for next weekend (against West Ham).’
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