Sunday, 17 February, 2019

Man City thrash Southampton to go top again

Pep Guardiola- Pep Guardiola said he had never told any player on any team to deliberately foul opponents Pep Guardiola said he had never told any player on any team to deliberately foul opponents Credit Getty Images
Kristopher Love | 05 November, 2018, 16:44

Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola says in-form Raheem Sterling is no longer a "scared player" while the England star explained why he opted to set Leroy Sane up for a goal despite being on a hattrick.

"He is in incredible form, he is sharp, fast, clever, fighting, decisive, he can play both sides and can play in the middle and receive the ball between the lines and commit the centre-backs with a lot of aggressiveness".

"Still he loses simple balls, like the Tottenham game, when he made an fantastic assist in the first few minutes but then lost a lot of balls".

But that is exactly what he got from a 3-2 win at Wolves that raised more questions about his team's ability to challenge for the title after they nearly squandered a three-goal lead.

The former Liverpool player's current deal expires at the end of next season but there were reports last week that he had verbally agreed a new contract after months of talks.

And with five Manchester City different players finding the net against the Saints, the forward insisted Jose Mourinho's side will find it hard to contain their threat at the Etihad next Sunday. That follows on from his best ever season of 23 goals last term and Guardiola said City's No. 7 has lost his fear in front of goal.

Demarai Gray, a member of the Leicester squad that won the Premier League in 2016, scored the only goal of the game, revealing a T-shirt that read "For Khun Vichai" before he was mobbed by his teammates.

David Silva's through ball appeared to be going out of play but Aguero showed impressive persistence to chase and pull it back for Sterling who, first miskicked but then shot past Saints goalkeeper Alex McCarthy from six yards.

"It's a big strength for us that anyone can score the goals, and we have that hunger", he said. It doesn't matter if you miss it. Now you have the feeling [he thinks], "Where is the goal and go there".

Palace's hopes of securing a crucial point vanished when they conceded two goals in five second-half minutes.

"In our team we have players who always want to win, always hungry, always want to improve, score goals, give assists and have a clean sheet. We can not forget that".