Pep Guardiola hails Josko Gvardiol's Premier League role at Man City

Pep Guardiola hails Josko Gvardiol's Premier League role at Man City

Pep Guardiola believes Josko Gvardiol has proved he has adjusted to the Premier League after his brace helped Manchester City to a 4-0 win at Fulham on Saturday.

Gvardiol scored a goal in each half at Craven Cottage as City moved top of the table, only for Arsenal to regain the lead on Sunday with a 1-0 victory at Manchester United.

The Gunners' triumph at Old Trafford ensured the title race will go down to the final day, with City a point behind ahead of playing their game in hand - Tuesday's trip to Tottenham.

Guardiola talked up 22-year-old Croatia defender Gvardiol, who joined from RB Leipzig in a £77.6million move last summer.

Asked if he had noticed Gvardiol's confidence grow throughout his debut season, the City manager said: "Of course, definitely.

"You can't forget that he came to the Premier League at 21 years old, so I say it's not easy to handle it. He was struggling a bit, we had just won the treble and he was a little bit shy.

"He's now proving to himself that he can do it and play with us."

Bernardo Silva registered two assists on Saturday and showed his quality off the ball throughout.

The Portugal midfielder spun Antonee Robinson with a delightful first touch into space before setting up Phil Foden's goal just before the hour mark, and provided the cross to the back post for Gvardiol's second 12 minutes later.

"What a player. This is the guy," Guardiola said of Silva.

"Guys like Rodri and Bernardo Silva, even when (we were) a goal behind in Madrid, they laugh and they are calm. They enjoy this pressure. It would be impossible to do all they have all these years without that. They perform every time."

Guardiola set up with four centre-backs playing across the back line which saw nine-goal Fulham striker Rodrigo Muniz stifled for much of the match, with Cottagers head coach Marco Silva acknowledging his side were outclassed.

"We played the game to be brave and we showed that," Silva said. "This team (City) has the ability to have long possessions to take energy and emotional energy from you.

"They are really physical, their priority is to keep the ball and one of the reasons they did it is by having the four centre-halves, which isn't new for them."

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