Guardiola demands more despite City cruising to victory over Fulham

Pep Guardiola will demand improvement from Manchester City after claiming some aspects of the champions’ convincing win over Fulham angered him.

Remarkably, the City boss found plenty of faults in his side’s performance on Saturday, despite seeing them cruise to a 3-0 Premier League victory at the Etihad Stadium.

His frustration was evident throughout the game as he showed his irritation on the touchline with what he saw as sloppy play.

Pep Guardiola
Manchester City were convincing against Fulham, but Pep Guardiola will not allow complacency (Martin Rickett/PA)

“My reaction is when they miss simple things – that is when I cannot handle myself,” said Guardiola.

“When a guy has a simple ball but they make an extra pass, an extra dodge and they miss the pass, I’m angry, I’m upset with my players. They know that, we spoke many times.

“If they miss the goals or assists, I don’t care. If they are dribbling and lose the dribbling it doesn’t matter.

“But controlling the ball and passing simple, if they miss that… (on Saturday) there was many. That is why I am going to show them we can improve.”

Despite Guardiola’s criticisms, City were never threatened after taking a second minute lead through Leroy Sane. David Silva and Raheem Sterling also got on the scoresheet.

With Kevin De Bruyne out injured, Bernardo Silva revelled in a central midfield role, orchestrating much of City’s good play.

Guardiola said: “He looks skinny, small, but he is… wow. He has that sense of intelligence. You don’t need to be strong and faster and quicker. He did it.

“His natural position is outside but it is important to have several players who can play in different positions and Bernardo is one of them.”

It is Silva’s second season at the club after signing from Monaco in summer 2017 and the Portuguese is ready to step up a level.

The 24-year-old said: “The second season is always easier than the first one. When you change it is always more difficult, you have to adapt to the way the new team plays. You have to adapt to your team-mates, to the league, the referees and obviously I have a lot more confidence. I feel better with the team and I hope I can do better than last season.”

Guardiola also revealed that Benjamin Mendy missed the game with a knee problem.

“I don’t know how many days he will be out,” he said.

Marcus Bettinelli
Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli impressed despite the defeat at the Etihad Stadium (Martin Rickett/PA)

Fulham were outplayed but goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli caught the eye with a number of smart saves, notably forcing a Sterling shot onto the bar as well as further denying the England forward and Sane.

Bettinelli is high on confidence after being included in Gareth Southgate’s most recent England squad.

The 26-year-old said: “The call-up was fantastic. I was really proud of myself and everything I’ve done to get it. I have to keep trying to play well and try to get in the next squad.

“I’m obviously happy with the way I played but at the same time, we lost and conceded three. We win as a team and lose as a team.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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