Leeds v Manchester City: Pep Guardiola hails Jack Grealish & Rico Lewis | Football


Jack Grealish set up two goals in Man City’s win over Leeds (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Pep Guardiola has singled out Jack Grealish and Rico Lewis for praise after Manchester City’s win over Leeds on Wednesday night.

City eased to a 3-1 win at Elland Road in their first league game since the end of the World Cup, with Erling Haaland bagging a second-half brace after Rodri had opened the scoring just before the break.

While Haaland’s two goals broke another Premier League record and rightly grabbed the headlines, Guardiola was keen to highlight the performances of two different players.

Grealish had a mixed game, missing three big chances in the first-half before setting up both of Haaland’s strikes in the second.

The England international has received much criticism for his lack of goals and assists since joining the Citizens in a record-breaking transfer but his manager was more than satisfied with his work against Leeds, though was disappointed that he wasn’t able to find the back of the net.

‘Grealish gave two brilliant assists. When we can rest the ball with Jack and Riyad [Mahrez], it gives us the right tempo,’ the City boss told Amazon Prime.

‘But of course, we have to score goals. When the chances are there, it’s important. It’s a mental question.

Leeds United v Manchester City - Premier League

Rico Lewis started his first Premier League game on Wednesday (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

‘We know from training sessions that he has the ability to put the ball in the net. Of course he’s not a striker, but he has the quality to do it.

‘He just has to say “I’m going to score” – there’s no negativity in his mind. When that happens, he is going to score goals.

‘He has to be more ambitious, he has to score more goals and be competitive.’

Guardiola also highlighted the role of 18-year-old right-back Lewis who was surprisingly named in the starting XI despite both Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo being available.

It was Lewis’ first Premier League start and he was hugely impressive with Leeds only scoring and looking threatening after he was subbed off in the 68th minute.

Guardiola added: ‘Without Rico, what we do would be impossible. Defensively, he is so smart, understands the game and is so clever.

‘That’s why he helps us to do our dynamics so much better. He has played really, really well. He’s an absolute reality for us.

‘Again, against Chelsea and Liverpool in the Carabao Cup, and today in Elland Road, wow. Played really, really well.’

MORE : Erling Haaland sends Premier League title warning to Arsenal after Manchester City beat Leeds

MORE : Liverpool star Roberto Firmino shares injury update ahead of Leicester clash

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