Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said he was struggling for words to describe how good midfielder Kevin De Bruyne was following his team’s 4-1 thrashing of Tottenham on Saturday.
Speaking after the game, Guardiola praised his team for an “outstanding” performance, but reserved special praise for De Bruyne, who he said made City “a better club”.
“I just can say thank you to all my players, and especially Kevin, for the fact that (he is) one of the most talented players, and you see him, how he runs without the ball,” Guardiola said.
“He is a good example for the young players, for our academy, for Phil Foden, for Brahim (Diaz).
Chelsea should sack Jose Mourinho again for selling Kevin De Bruyne.
— Carl Anka (@Ankaman616) December 16, 2017
“They know how good Kevin De Bruyne is and when they see how he runs and fights without the ball, that is the best example.
“He helps us to be a better club, a better institution for the future, because that is what we want to do.
“His performance today… I have no words to describe what he has done with the ball.
“And overall, without the ball, he is able to make pressure from 40 metres to the goalkeeper. And when that happens, the people who are behind him think ‘if that guy runs like this, I have to run as well’.”
De Buyne scored just minutes after picking himself up following a horror tackle from Dele Alli, a tackle that could easily have left the Belgian with a broken leg.
This is honestly ridiculous. De Bruyne lucky his leg wasn't broken. pic.twitter.com/thNqD2Jtsr
— Phil Costa (@_PhilCosta) December 16, 2017
Alli was booked, although he could easily have been red-carded.
Guardiola hit out at Alli, calling the tackle a “dangerous action” although it didn’t stop City from extending their record-breaking winning streak.
“We made an outstanding performance,” added the Spaniard.
“We scored four goals, we created a (great) amount of chances against one of strongest and best teams and the best coaches in the world, so we are so satisfied – for the mentality. After winning 15 games, (it was) another one.
“And that means without the ball. People have to look at us, how good we are with the ball – but without the ball there is energy.”