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Pep Guardiola sounds out THREE Manchester City players for special praise after West Ham win

Srinivas Sadhanand

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Pep Guardiola sounds out THREE Manchester City players for special praise after West Ham win

Featured Image Credit: PA Images / Alamy

Those that tuned into Erling Haaland’s emphatic brace against West Ham in Manchester City’s 2-0 victory at the weekend have been purring after the star striker's masterclass in front of goal.

After all, the former Borussia Dortmund marksman became only the second Manchester City player to score a brace on his English top-flight debut, since a certain Sergio Agüero in 2011.

The 22 year-old silenced a number of his critics as his blend of searing pace, tactful movement and clinical finishing made him a nightmarish presence for the Hammers defence.

To open proceedings, the youngster won a penalty in blistering fashion before converting his spot-kick with aplomb.

For his second, Erling Haaland latched on to an impeccable Kevin De Bruyne pass and slotted the ball into the back of the net in ruthless fashion.

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While one could go on about the Norwegian’s exploits in East London, Pep Guardiola decided to shine a light on some of his side’s other standout performers during a post-match interview.

One of them included Kyle Walker, who garnered special praise from his manager after operating in an inverted full-back position.

Pep Guardiola expressed, “Kyle Walker was exceptional, maybe one of the best games we have had since we were together.

“Not just defensive, but on the ball."

He continued, "Joao (Cancelo), all the guys were brilliant, we didn’t concede much - and we make in the right rhythm to play and now we have the threat with Erling (Haaland).”

Kyle Walker in action for Manchester City. (MI News & Sport / Alamy)
Kyle Walker in action for Manchester City. (MI News & Sport / Alamy)

The 51-year old also singled out Ilkay Gundogan for special praise, after yet another masterful display in midfield.

“(Ilkay Gundogan) missed one clear chance in the second-half but in the moment, I thought, ‘You scored two goals that helped us win the Premier League!’

"He can always play good.

"He’s such an intelligent player, one of the first signings we made when we arrived six years ago and he is an incredible human being, always wants to play but when doesn’t he want to help, and he has a special quality.

Ilkay, for me, is one of the important players we have in the team."

Ilkay Gundogan Goal Celebration vs Aston Villa (Image: Sportimage/Alamy)
Ilkay Gundogan Goal Celebration vs Aston Villa (Image: Sportimage/Alamy)

While it is expected that Erling Haaland will be worshipped by many, the fact that Pep Guardiola took the onus to praise some of the rest of his players is bound to keep the squad feeling validated and ultimately, appreciated.

Topics: Pep Guardiola, Manchester City, Premier League, Football, West Ham United, Ilkay Gundogan, Kyle Walker, Joao Cancelo

Srinivas Sadhanand
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