Pep Guardiola hailed Bernardo Silva’s “incredible” performance as he lavished the star midfielder in praise following Manchester City’s victory over Premier League leaders Liverpool.
Silva produced a tireless display to help reigning champions City inflict a first league defeat of the season on Liverpool in a 2-1 triumph on Thursday.
The Portugal international claimed an assist and ran 13.7kilometres – the most of any Premier League player this season – in a man-of-the-match effort as City closed within four points of the summit.
City manager Guardiola was delighted with Silva’s output against the Reds, telling reporters: “He did everything, he won all his duels.
“He’s the smallest one. He showed again you don’t need to be – of course I would prefer to have a taller team, or more physical team than we have, but our way is what we think about and he was incredible.
“I haven’t see a performance like he did, in all terms, in a long time, and not just with the ball because he’s precise, he’ clean, he’s clever.
“He fought with [Virgil] Van Dijk in the air, making his duel uncomfortable. He was incredible.”
13.7 – Bernardo Silva covered 13.7 kilometres (8.5 miles) against Liverpool, the most by any player in a Premier League game this season. Endurance. pic.twitter.com/QTZewXE1mn
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 3, 2019
Guardiola also praised Aymeric Laporte after the central defender impressed in an unfamiliar position of left-back.
“I admire the players who do everything for the team, even play positions they aren’t comfortable with,” the Spaniard said.
“Don’t forget, these two seasons we play without a typical left back, [Fabian] Delph a midfielder, [Oleksandr] Zinchenko a number 10 and Laporte today.
“That’s why when I talk many things of how pleased I am with these guys, it’s for these kinds of things. Did he have the best performance? No. He made incredible passes when he was safe? No.
“But you understand playing that position with [Mohamed] Salah, then [Sadio] Mane in the second half, it’s not easy for anyone. They destroy everybody. but Vinny [Vincent Kompany], John [Stones] and Laporte played quite well.”
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