Bernardo Silva says Manchester City’s players have complete faith in the tactical tinkerings of Pep Guardiola following Sunday’s win over Arsenal.
The champions lined up in unorthodox fashion at the Etihad Stadium, with Aymeric Laporte, Nicolas Otamendi and Kyle Walker the only recognised defenders and Fernandinho often used to drop back from midfield into the rearguard.
The system worked well, though, with Sergio Aguero’s hat-trick giving City a 3-1 victory that means they are now just three points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool, who were held to a 1-1 draw by West Ham on Monday.
“During the season, we have tried many different things,” Silva said to reporters. “We adapt to the way the other teams play.
“We try to attack the best way we think we can do: when they play four in the back, five in the back, when they play with four midfielders, three midfielders, one attacker, two attackers…
“So, [against Arsenal] it was a good performance. We are happy with the tactics because it worked. We just follow what Pep tells us because we believe in him.
“Once again it worked, so we are very happy with that.”
1 – Following their goals against Newcastle and Arsenal, @ManCity became the first team in @premierleague history to score in the opening minute in consecutive matches. Blocks. pic.twitter.com/ZrDAqj2Z6x
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 4, 2019
Aguero’s hat-trick was his 10th in the Premier League, a tally bettered only by the top-flight’s record goalscorer Alan Shearer, who managed 11 trebles during his career.
Silva could not say Aguero was his best ever team-mate, given he plays with Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal, but said it was a “privilege” to have the Argentina striker in his side.
“I’ve played with Cristiano in the national team, so it wouldn’t be fair to say yes [he is the best I have played with],” Silva said.
“I think Sergio is just a fantastic player and we are so happy to have him with us. It’s a privilege to have a player like Kun in our team, [someone] that scores in the big games like he showed again [against Arsenal].
“I just hope that he can keep going this way and helping us winning more games and titles.”
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