Pep Guardiola lauds ‘exceptional’ Man City trio after ‘perfect performance’ vs Liverpool

Lewis Oldham
Guardiola on Man City win

Pep Guardiola lavished praise on his Manchester City players after their 4-1 victory over Premier League rivals Liverpool at the Etihad.

Man City brushed aside Liverpool with relative ease on Saturday afternoon. Guardiola’s side fell behind early on as Mohamed Salah found the net for the Reds.

But Man City soon found themselves back in control. Julian Alvarez’s equaliser ensured the game was level at the break before Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan netted quickly after the restart.

Grealish later grabbed a deserved goal as the game ended up 4-1. This win leaves Man City five points behind Arsenal ahead of their game against Leeds United.

Speaking post-match, Guardiola praised Grealish, Alvarez and Riyad Mahrez. He also revealed why Erling Haaland did not make the squad.

“Minute one to minute 93 was a perfect performance – even though we conceded a goal we played really well. They [Liverpool] always have a threat on transition but we played really good. One of the best performances in my seven years,” Guardiola told BT Sport.

“The players knew we weren’t playing bad. One goal down and we continued to do it and had just a bit of chat at half time and were lucky to score the second goal. But then at 2-1 the game was stable.”

On Grealish: “I think this season is the Jack we thought could help us. He saved us from conceding a second goal, the chance for Mo Salah and Jack helped us. Riyad [Mahrez] was exceptional too, I cannot name one player better than another they were all exceptional.”

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On Alvarez: “Not just the goal, the assist in the second and third. He was so clever with the ball, he’s an exceptional player. The club made an exceptional signing with him – he’s a world champion alongside Lionel Messi because he has something.”

On Erling Haaland’s injury, he added: “We spoke yesterday and he didn’t feel fit. Of course we want to take a risk, this is an important game but we have Julian [Alvarez] and now we have a long week to recover. Hopefully next weekend he can be involved.”

Grealish admitted after the victory that he “felt sick all morning” in the hours leading up to the game against Liverpool.

“I was in the toilet and I felt sick all morning but I was buzzing in the end. I love football and I love playing, I love training, and when it’s going well and stuff like this there’s nothing better,” Grealish said.

“I’m back to my normal self now, back to full fitness, I’m feeling confident, and scoring today and getting the assist is perfect.”

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