Pep Guardiola asserted that Jack Grealish played a pivotal part in securing their 4-1 derby victory over Manchester United on Sunday while lauding his decision-making abilities and combination play with his colleagues. The Englishman signed for City last summer but has struggled for form.
Manchester City signed Jack Grealish from Aston Villa in the previous summer for a record-breaking fee of £100 million which constituted the most expensive transfer of an English player ever, as well as the highest fee ever paid by a British club. However, the former Aston Villa captain hasn't quite hit the strides he did at Villa as he has only contributed four goals and three assists in 27 appearances across all competitions.
Despite a lack in end-product, Grealish has been finding form and consistency in recent weeks for the English club. The English attacker did not feature in the scoresheet during their victory on Sunday but he was a regular dribbling threat down the wings. The Manchester club was able to restore their six-point advantage over Liverpool due to the victory and Guardiola lauded Grealish’s decision-making skills as a key part in doing so.
"He [Jack Grealish] was excellent. [At one] moment he will understand in the final third, 'this ball is from me'. He is very generous. When you see Phil [Foden] and Riyad [Mahrez] in that moment, it is their ball. This is the next step for Jack, but in terms of decision-making, and using players in space, he was exceptional,” Guardiola told BBC Sport after the game.
Guardiola also warned his current employers that the club could replicate United’s failures if they don’t study from their mistakes.
“The club (City) is so stable in what they want to do but the example we have to live [by] is that United could not expect a decade ago these years of living without Premier League [titles]. We have to learn. It could happen here too. [We can't] believe we are so good that it is not going to happen here - it can happen, so quickly,” he added.