Manchester, April 27 Pep Guardiola hailed the devastating connection between Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland after Manchester City’s pivotal 4-1 victory over Arsenal.
Haaland set up De Bruyne twice before the Norwegian scored himself, as Man City beat Arsenal 4-1 to move two points behind them, with two matches in hand.
De Bruyne opened the scoring with a superb low strike into the bottom corner from 20 yards, before setting up John Stones to double the lead shortly before the interval.
The Belgian doubled his tally ten minutes after the interval with a clinical finish, before Rob Holding pulled a goal back for the visitors. Then, Haaland secured the victory with his 49th goal of the season across all competitions.
“Kevin is a special player. Today was a game where we expected high pressing from Arsenal. When there’s high pressing, it’s long balls, second balls. We were able to win it in contact with Kevin, and then we could run with Erling. It’s an incredible threat up front, the connection with them, and Kevin was brilliant,” said Guardiola.
The City boss also admitted there were subtle tweaks needed for the re-match with the Gunners, having felt Mikel Arteta’s side was better for long periods in their away clash in North London.
Guardiola’s decision to pick Manuel Akanji at left-back paid off as Man City restricted Arsenal to just two shots on target, with one of them being a consolation goal from Gunners defender Rob Holding.
“It was so difficult to decide. I thought a lot about putting Aymer Laporte in that position. Our build-up with Aymer, he’s the best we have,” Man City boss said.
“But when I saw Manuel playing against Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sane, against Bayern Munich, how defensively he was so strong one against one in that position, I decided ‘OK, Bukayo Saka is an incredible threat and we need a guy who can sustain a one against one, like Kyle (Walker) and (Gabriel) Martinelli, because they are so good.
And we could jam more of the players inside, but at the sides we should control these two players because they are amazing,” he said.
Man City remain on course to become only the second team to win the Premier League, UEFA Champions League and FA Cup, after their neighbours Manchester United in 1998/99.
If City wins six of its last seven games it is guaranteed to win the Premier title for a fifth time in six seasons.
(This article is from a syndicated feed and has not been edited by The SportsGrail)