Pep Guardiola has doubled down on his praise for Jack Grealish after the Englishman scored in Manchester City’s 3-0 win over Wolves.
After fighting back to beat Borussia Dortmund in midweek, Man City were back in action on Saturday afternoon as they travelled to face Wolves at Molineux.
The visitors enjoyed a dream start as they went in front with less than a minute gone. Grealish scored from close range after being played in by Kevin De Bruyne.
The prolific Erling Haaland doubled their lead from the edge of the box with his 14th goal in ten appearances for Man City across all competitions.
City were handed a further boost before the break as Nathan Collins was sent off. The defender was shown a red card after he channelled his inner Nigel De Jong to boot Grealish in the chest.
Phil Foden added a third for Man City after the interval as they ran out comfortable winners to move to the top of the Premier League.
Grealish has been criticised in recent weeks as he has made a slow start to the 2022/23 campaign.
Guardiola moved to defend the midfielder earlier this week, insisting that his midfielder has in fact started the season “really well”.
He stated after the Wolves win that Grealish “played really good”:
“The game started really well for us with the two goals and the red card and after the Champions League to come here at 12:30 with the quality they have, they can keep the ball and transitions are fast, it was an incredible victory,” Guardiola told BT Sport.
“We struggled a lot after half-time until Phil’s [Foden] goal so a lot of credit to Wolves.
“Jack [Grealish] played really good. He was strong and he a made good goal coming in. Hopefully he can make a good international performance and come back fit.
“Fingers crossed all the players come back fit but it is important for them ahead of the World Cup but hopefully they come back good, ready for the derby.”
Guardiola added after the match that he is “thankful” to Guardiola for defending him:
“It was a long time coming and nice to get off the mark. Rightly so people have been asking questions, I should be scoring more and getting more assists,” Grealish said.
“I am always going to have people talking about me with the money that was spent on me, but all my career I haven’t scored enough goals. I do want to add that to my game.
“It is nice when Pep defends me. He has been brilliant with me. I probably have to thank him because he gave me the opportunity today after my performance on Wednesday because it probably wasn’t the best. I am thankful to him.”