Pep Guardiola insists he's at Man City to win not entertain as free-scoring leaders demolish Stoke

Alam Khan 15/10/2017
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Pep Guardiola revelled in Manchester City’s best performance since he took charge – but warned he wants to be a winner, not the great entertainer.

Two goals from Gabriel Jesus and one each from Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Fernandinho, Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva saw the Etihad outfit record three successive home league games with five goals or more – and hit seven for the first time since 2013.

It was a stunning feat to extend their lead at the top to two points, but Guardiola said: “I am here to win. I am not here to entertain. You can improve your ideas, but I am here to win.

“But the way I want to play is like this. Last season for example against Everton when we missed two penalties we didn’t win and in that moment we started to go down in our confidence. Now we have to recognise our mood and confidence is so high. Everybody believes we can play good, it doesn’t matter who plays, they are going to play good.

“We concede two shots on target, unfortunately they were own goals. We scored seven goals and created more shots on target and that is what I want to do. Always you can do it better, but I cannot deny [this] was maybe the best performance since I arrived.”

Teasing, tormenting and toying with their beleaguered opponents, it was a masterclass in movement and attacking finery. Sane, Jesus and Sterling were not only willing runners but clever in their ability to find space and be picked out by passes from the genius that is Kevin De Bruyne.

Stoke’s former City boss Mark Hughes said: “Kevin De Bruyne is head and shoulders above anybody else in the Premier League, in my view, given the level of performance and the way he can dictate the game.”

The Belgian was predictably involved in the first two goals that set City on their way to another rout. A lovely ball saw Kyle Walker race inside and afforded time and space to cutback for Jesus to slot home.

An intricate passing move then saw De Bruyne link with Sane and the German – having somehow earlier volleyed over when unmarked – was unselfish as he chose to tee up Sterling for a tap-in. It was simple yet sublime.

Ditto goal number three in the 27th minute as Sane’s sweeping cross picked out Sterling and he, in turn, the supporting Silva. A stumbling first touch from the Spaniard and then a left-foot poke into the corner.

Yet much folly followed the fun as Stoke suddenly snatched two goals either side of half time.
Mame Diouf’s persistence paid off for the first as his strike deflected in off Fabian Delph. Then the Stoke frontman met a fine cross from 18-year-old debutant Tom Edwards with a poor header, but it hit the incoming Walker and bounced into the net.

The fans were tense, but nerves in this City side? Not a chance. Back they came with three crushing blows in the space of seven minutes.

De Bruyne’s delightful cross was slammed in by Jesus before Fernandinho sent a 25-yard rocket past Jack Butland and De Bruyne threaded through a pass for Sane to finish with aplomb. This was sixy football, but there was still time for sub Bernardo to stroll in for a seventh goal. It was a magnificent display and showed how much Guardiola and City have learnt from last season.

“With almost the same players, what changed?” he added. “Basically we know each other more, I know my players much more, I know the competition more and I know even more how to damage opposition teams.”

And Hughes added: “We are not the first to come here and get turned over. Clearly we won’t be the last because City are an outstanding team.”

Most popular

Player ratings and round-up as Kevin De Bruyne leads Man City destruction of Stoke

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Kevin De Bruyne orchestrated a Manchester City masterclass as Pep Guardiola’s free-scoring side thrashed Stoke 7-2 at the Etihad Stadium.

The Belgian did not get on the scoresheet but marked his 100th City appearance by setting up four goals for the rampant Premier League leaders.

Gabriel Jesus struck twice while Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Fernandinho, Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva also got in on the act.

TWEETS OF THE MATCH

STAR MAN

De Bruyne. The in-form Belgian celebrated his century of City appearances in some style, producing a superb performance. The rapturous applause he received around the ground when substituted in the second half was most certainly earned.

Kevin De Bruyne (C)

Kevin De Bruyne (C)

VIEW FROM THE BENCH

This was an afternoon when City looked simply frightening going forward, and manager Guardiola – who appeared elated at times – will no doubt take extra satisfaction from the fact the devastating attacking display was achieved without Sergio Aguero on the pitch.

Just over a fortnight on from breaking a rib in a car accident, the striker returned to the squad as a substitute and Guardiola could afford to keep him as a spectator, with the Champions League visit of Napoli to come on Tuesday.

What will have irked the Spanish boss was his side conceding twice in a game they so dominated. Stoke netted just before and just after half-time, but over the course of the match they could barely get the ball. For Potters boss Mark Hughes, it was a truly sobering afternoon back at his old club.

DATA POINT

This win extended City’s unbeaten run at home to 20 matches in all competitions and meant they have scored 17 goals in their last three league matches at the Etihad Stadium.

RATINGS

Manchester City

Ederson 6 (out of 10)
Kyle Walker 6
John Stones 6
Nicolas Otamendi 6
Fabian Delph 6
Fernandinho 8
Kevin De Bruyne 9
Leroy Sane 8
David Silva 8
Raheem Sterling 8
Gabriel Jesus 8

Substitutes

Bernardo Silva (for Jesus, 63 mins) 7
Ilkay Gundogan (for De Bruyne, 66) 6
Yaya Toure (for Fernandinho, 73) 6

Manchester City

Manchester City

Stoke

Jack Butland 5
Thomas Edwards 5
Kurt Zouma 4
Kevin Wimmer 4
Erik Pieters 4
Mame Diouf 5
Darren Fletcher 4
Geoff Cameron 4
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting 4
Xherdan Shaqiri 4
Jese Rodriguez 4

Substitutes

Bruno Martins Indi (for Wimmer, 46) 4
Ibrahim Afellay (for Jese, 46) 4
Ramadan Sobhi (for Edwards, 53) 4

WHO’S UP NEXT?

Manchester City v Napoli (Champions League, October 17)
Stoke v Bournemouth (Premier League, October 21)

Most popular

Player ratings and round-up as Chelsea stunned by Crystal Palace

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Crystal Palace deservedly earned a first Premier League win of the season with a 2-1 victory over champions Chelsea.

The hosts received a stroke of luck in scoring their first goal of the season, ending a drought of 731 minutes and five months through Cesar Azpilicueta’s own goal.

But the excellent Wilfried Zaha struck before half-time, cancelling out Tiemoue Bakayoko’s first Premier League goal, as Palace won for the first time this season at the eighth attempt.

TWEET OF THE MATCH

STAR MAN

Mamadou Sakho. In addition to winning possession and playing in Zaha for Palace’s second goal, the central defender’s influence on a significantly-improved defensive display was crucial. Their organisation compared with that under Frank de Boer is unrecognisable.

Mamadou Sakho (L)

Mamadou Sakho (L)

IN WITH THE CROWD

The international football break appeared to have given Palace’s supporters the time they needed to rediscover their faith. Their patience had been almost non-existent from the opening game of the season, but for whatever reason, on this occasion they chose to get behind their team from kick-off.

When that is the case, they are among the country’s most vocal crowds; that they chanted “We score when we want…” when Palace finally ended their goal drought perhaps captured their improved mood.

HIGHLIGHT OF THE MATCH

Andros Townsend’s curling effort from 30 yards, which went only inches wide of the top right corner, demonstrated both his and his team-mates’ vastly-improved confidence. Had it gone in, it would not have flattered Roy Hodgson’s team, and may even have proved a contender for goal of the season.

PLAYER RATINGS

CRYSTAL PALACE

Julian Speroni: 8
Joel Ward: 6
Scott Dann: 7
Mamadou Sakho: 8
Patrick van Aanholt: 7
James McArthur: 7
Yohan Cabaye: 7
Luka Milivojevic: 7
Jeffrey Schlupp: 7
Andros Townsend: 7
Wilfried Zaha: 8

SUBS

Jason Puncheon (for Schlupp, 75): 6
Timothy Fosu-Mensah (for McArthur, 85): 5
Jairo Riedewald (for Cabaye, 86): 5

CHELSEA

Thibaut Courtois: 5
Cesar Azpilicueta: 6
David Luiz: 6
Gary Cahill: 6
Victor Moses: 7
Cesc Fabregas: 7
Tiemoue Bakayoko: 6
Marcos Alonso: 7
Willian: 5
Michy Batshuayi: 5
Eden Hazard: 6

SUBS

Davide Zappacosta (for Moses, 40): 5
Pedro: (for Batshuayi, 57): 7
Charly Musonda (for Willian, 65): 5

WHO’S UP NEXT?

Chelsea v Roma (Champions League, Wednesday October 18)
Newcastle v Crystal Palace (Premier League, Saturday October 21)

Most popular