Man City deservedly beat Spurs – Guardiola
If someone had said at the start of the season that a Manchester City player would win the PFA Footballer of the Year award, Ilkay Gündogan’s name would probably not have been on many people’s list.
But after securing his side a comfortable victory over Tottenham to take a seven-point lead at the top of the league table, Gündogan is one of the best players in the elite.
The 30-year-old German midfielder has scored in 11 Premier League games and scored twice in the 3-0 win over Spurs.
He also won the penalty that enabled Rhodri to give City the lead in the first half.
It looks like Gündogan will be the man to lead Manchester City to the title, former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher told Sky Sports. What a season he’s had. I think he’s going to be the PFA Player of the Year. He was a revelation, a joy to watch.
European goal scorer in 2021
- Since the start of the calendar year, Gündogan has scored more goals than any other player in the top five European leagues. In 2021, he scored nine goals in nine Premier League games.
- Four of his top 11 goals of the season were scored in the last two games.
- He has scored six goals in his last five league games.
He can play as a striker.
Gündogan left the field limping with a squad problem and could be in question in Wednesday’s Premier League game against Everton (20:15 CET).
But by the time he left the field, he had already sealed the point for his team.
Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris felt he would have done better to save Gündogan’s first goal, while his second, which brought the score to 3-0, was a fine finish after Davinson Sanchez had cleared a long ball from striker Ederson.
I said several times that he could play as a striker, as a false nine, and people laughed, Guardiola said. I figured out why, because he didn’t do it here. But he has a knack for scoring a goal.
Today it was a clear penalty action and then he had the quality to score two goals. He has the speed to get there. He’s so good at times like this.
He won the player of the month award. If he keeps playing like this in February, he’s going to win again.
Asked why Gündogan is scoring so many goals, Guardiola replied: He’s playing closer to the box.
When Fernandinho was absent two seasons ago, he was a reserve midfielder who struggled to score.
He now plays alongside the striker and has an incredible flair for playing in the penalty area. And here’s the finish line. When a player scores like he did on his second goal, Lloris can’t stop him.
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I was pissed – why did Rhodri go to.
City took the lead from the penalty spot after Pierre-Emile Heubjerg fouled Gündogan.
Guardiola’s side missed three of their last six Premier League penalties this season, including one against Liverpool last week when Gundogan missed his shot.
City’s poor record of goals against led the City boss to suggest that Ederson could be an option for the next move.
When referee Paul Tierney pointed to the penalty spot, City’s goalkeeper stepped forward, but Rodri grabbed the ball and placed it in the goal.
Manchester City have not lost a minute in their last 15 Premier League games since the 2-0 defeat against Tottenham in November.
Lloris had a throw-in for the penalty, but the ball bounced into the net via his wrist.
I was a bit angry because we got a lot of penalties against, a lot more than we expected, and in big games you have to take penalties, said the Spanish midfielder.
I got angry, I grabbed the ball and nobody took it away from me, and luckily I scored.
When asked if Rhodri is now the city’s leading penalty taker, Mr. Guardiola replied: No. I would say I admire the courage to take the punishment, but it was not a good punishment.
I’m not laughing, I’m worried. We will have a real expert to take them with quality. We need to practice.
Guardiola did not rule out Ederson, who watched Gündogan’s second goal with another penalty.
When I talk about Ederson and the penalty, you see his assist, 60-70 yards, well, then he’s going to score from 12 yards, he said.