Pep Guardiola praised the fight of his Manchester City players as they defended as a unit to keep out Sheffield United. Guardiola had praised Sheffield United ahead of the game and expected the match to be even more difficult when he woke up this morning and felt the cold and the wind whipping through Manchester. Aymeric Laporte made his first Premier League start since the November defeat to Tottenham and slotted in well alongside Dias, but it was the reaction of the team right up to Jesus that showed the manager his players have the hunger to continue their excellent form that sees them top of the Premier League table.
Pep Guardiola said: “I’m happy for Ayme, today he is back and played really well. It is not just about John [Stones] and Ruben but everyone. Today when Nathan [Ake] was here and the full-backs with Joao [Cancelo], Aleks [Zinchenko], Kyle [Walker] – everyone. It is a commitment from everyone,” he said. You see in the last minutes when we lose the ball and they break how we came back. Whether it was 85 minutes, 87 minutes, 90 minutes, we came back and in two seconds we had 11 players behind the ball. When this happens, the team is alive. I said the same with Sheffield. It is not necessary to see the victory at Old Trafford to realise the team was alive. Today I see the team and it is there, sticking together, fighting, complaining about decisions. When you see a team in that way, you believe it will be difficult.”
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