Pep Guardiola delighted with ‘incredible’ players after Fulham win puts City at Premier League summit

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero scores their second goal at Fulham as Pep Guardiola's side go top of the league. (Reuters)
Updated 31 March 2019

Pep Guardiola delighted with ‘incredible’ players after Fulham win puts City at Premier League summit

LONDON: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola hailed his “incredible” Manchester City players after they sealed a very comfortable 2-0 win at Fulham on Saturday.
Goals from Bernardo Silva and club legend Sergio Aguero in the first half were enough for City to move ahead of title rivals Liverpool in the Premier League table ahead of the Merseyside club’s crucial clash with Tottenham Hotspur today.
The 2-0 scoreline flattered relegation-bound Fulham, as City completely dominated the game, and the the rhythm the Manchester club showed after the two-week international break particularly impressed Guardiola.
“Our first 15-20 minutes was one of the best of the season. We played with incredible spirit, we could have scored more. After the goals we controlled it,” he said.
“It was an incredible result after the international break and having played away. We did what we should do.
“After the break playing at home is different to playing away. Always you have doubts about how they’re going to react.
“Fulham was a tough game for Liverpool and Chelsea so we knew it was going to be tricky, (playing at) 12:30 on Saturday, a sunny day.
“That is unusual and that is why I am so satisfied.”
Liverpool can regain pole position in the table if they beat Tottenham at Anfield today, but City have a game in hand and will definitely be crowned champions for a second successive season if they win their last seven matches.
However, Guardiola refuses to look that far ahead just yet and he urged his players to take it one game at a time.
“Liverpool and Man City have done incredible so far so deserve the credit. We will have 80 points with six games to play if we win next week,” he said.
“We are going to do everything to win. No matter the next competition, we will win the game.”
City, who have already won the League Cup, remain in contention for an unprecedented quadruple as they chase Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup glory.
But Guardiola said: “We don’t think too much about what people say about the quadruple. Enjoy the moment and dream to win another game.”
“Every game we have to win if we want to be champions. We have tough opponents, but that is the challenge,” he added.
Guardiola admitted that he would have to make changes ahead of what will be a packed schedule for Manchester City.
“Next game on Wednesday (against Cardiff) we are going to change a few players. It is important for the rhythm, Fernandinho is still far away from his rhythm. Wednesday we have another one, Saturday we have the (FA Cup) semifinal, Tuesday is Champions League, so we need everybody.”
Aguero, who scored his 19th Premier League goal to go top of the Golden Boot standings, was taken off with 57 minutes gone with what looked to be a slight injury, but Guardiola was not worried after the match.
“Tomorrow we have the real assessment, he says he felt something but not injured. For precaution he decided not to continue, hopefully it’s nothing serious.”
Fulham, by contrast, remain 13 points adrift of safety with just 18 left to play for and failed to register a single shot on target at home for the first time in nine years.
“From the outset we knew the challenge ahead was against a really good team. We made a nervous start and when you go 1-0 down after five minutes, it was always going to be a tough hill to climb and so it proved. In saying that, I thought we dug in and showed some bits at times against a world-class side,” Fulham caretaker boss Scott Parker said.
“We are realistic, the main focus in the last six games is to keep pushing and end the season on a positive in a disappointing campaign,” he added.


Saudi Arabia wins gold in GCC Women’s Championship

Updated 21 October 2019

Saudi Arabia wins gold in GCC Women’s Championship

KUWAIT: Saudi fencer Hasnaa Hammad on Monday earned her country its first medal on the second day of the GCC Women’s Championship in Kuwait.

She won the gold medal by beating Emirati Shahed Khurram 15 points to 6. Princess Nouf bint Khalid, head of the Saudi delegation, said what Hammad has achieved is evidence that Saudi sportswomen are capable of achieving victory and winning medals.

Meanwhile, the Saudi bowling team started competing, with Hadeel Termin topping the rankings of Saudi players in singles competition, and earning ninth position among 20 players from five countries.

Her teammates Mashael Alabdel Wahed ranked 13th, Ghada Nimr 17th and Amani Al-Ghamdi 18th.