Manchester City’s performance against Tottenham better in “quality and intensity” than all of last season’s displays – says Pep Guardiola
An elated Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has commented on the team’s friendly match against Tottenham on Saturday in which they thrashed the latter 3-0 saying that the win exceeded any that City had produced last season in terms of quality and intensity.
City Scored through John Stones, Raheem Sterling and Brahim Diaz as the squad actually dominated Premier League’s runners up last season.
Guardiola was reported saying: “OK, it is pre-season, but we didn’t have a performance last season of that quality and intensity.”
Manchester City thrashed Real Madrid and was beaten by Manchester United in their other two International Champions matches.
Spurs beat Paris St-Germain, which was its only win in the competition, and its defeat on Saturday added to its loss against Roma.
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, is yet to add to his team this summer. He said: “They have invested more money than us and you can see we have a lot of young players on the bench.”
He added: “We are a little bit behind but we are working hard to try to sign players that will help us, bring us some new energy and make our team more competitive.”
Spurs dropped back the moment stones nodded in a bounced free-kick by Kevin de Bruyne after 10 minutes in the game played in Nashville, U.S.
Gabriel squandered an open goal, while Sergio Aguero hit the goal post twice before City stepped up their lead with 17 minutes left when Sterling scurried clear to slip a low shot right past Michel Vorm.
The third goal was scored by Spanish 17-year-old Diaz in stoppage time following the blocking of two shots.
“More space in the middle’
Goalkeeper Ederson’s show was one feature of Manchester City’s performance. Ederson landed from Benfica in June for £35m.
Although he had looked uneasy on his debut against Manchester United, he did extremely well in the match against Real Madrid and also made a string of fine saves against Spurs, too. Also, Guardiola was quick to notice the Brazilian’s ability to dispatch goal-kicks into their rival’s penalty area.
Ederson was quoted saying: “When I was at Bayern, I played a Champions League game against Benfica and we saw it four or five times”. He added: “You cannot be offside so it creates a chance and we can have more space in the middle.”
Samir Nasri has a decision to make
So far, Guardiola has contracted six players this summer with more changes to his team said to be in the offing before the transfer deadline which falls on 31 August.
He still has an interest in Monaco’s 18-year-old France striker Kylian Mbappe as well as Alexis Sanchez, the Arsenal and Chile forward. He is also in need of an additional central defender.
There are some players who will be leaving also. As moves are expected, two strikers Wilfried Bony and Kelechi Ieahnacho have been left at home. Guardiola confirmed that he expects Kelechi Ieahnacho to move to Leicester.
30-year-old Samir Nasri performed impressively well against Tottenham and his manager heaped praises on him. He said the midfielder had “unbelievable ability” as well as “special quality.” The future of the former France International is still uncertain though.
So, what were the odds of the former Arsenal playmaker’s staying at City?
“He knows the situation, we have a lot of midfielders. That’s a decision he has to take with his agent,” was Guadiola’s answer.