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Guardiola hints at Man City future after hailing ‘incredibly important player’

Pep Guardiola felt Manchester United’s 5-0 thrashing of Norwich City was down to hard work and reserved special praise for one man in particular.

The Citizens were looking to bounce back after losing 1-0 to Tottenham in the season opener. And they did it in style, sticking five past the hapless Canaries at the Etihad Stadium. Tim Krul’s sixth-minute own goal got the ball rolling and it was 2-0 at half-time thanks to Jack Grealish.

The England man bundled the ball home off his knee to open his City account. The floodgates opened after the interval as Aymeric Laporte, Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez all got on the score sheet.

Guardiola was happy with the three points and believes it justified how hard they have been training.

“This result was the consequence of how many good things we have done,” he told the club’s official website. “We are still not at the top – there are still many things to do. We trained, we were refreshed, happy for these first points…. hopefully they will not be the last.”

Gabriel Jesus was handed a start and put on a man of the match display. The Brazilian did not score but created three of City’s goals.

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His delivery from out wide was superb all day and Guardiola had nothing but praise for the South American.

“He’s a player who likes to be wider than central position,” he added  “One of the reasons why I’m a manager is when you can work with people and humans like Gabriel.

“He never complains, he plays five minutes, he plays the best five minutes he can do. He’s happy on left, right or centre and today the connection with Kyle was exceptional.

“I’m pleased with his performance; he was involved in three of our goals and is an incredibly important player for us.”

Guardiola expects more Grealish goals

Grealish is under pressure to deliver after costing City £100m. And he did the business with a decent display and a first goal for the club.

And the Spanish tactician is confident that the Birmingham-born ace can use the example of an England team-mate to score more goals.

“If he gets the mentality to score goals like Raheem, yeah (he can score more),” he continued. “When Raheem was here when I first arrived he didn’t have goals in his mind and we immediately changed his arrival.

“Today he scored because he arrives in the centre, he’s a machine there. He changed his mind and decided he was going to score. Jack has this mentality to score goals and win games as well.

“But if he has the Raheem mentality then he can do it, too.”

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