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Guardiola impressed with Man City and Liverpool's 'high level of intensity'

Updated: Dec 25, 2022

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was impressed with the 'incredibly high level of intensity' his Cityzens and Liverpool showed in the Carabao Cup at the Etihad.

The Premier League champions were pegged back twice but eventually ran out 3-2 winners over Jurgen Klopp's Reds on Thursday night to secure a spot in the quarter-final of the competition.

Speaking to Sky Sports, a happy Guardiola said: "After the World Cup and a long time without playing, both teams played at an incredibly high level of intensity. Liverpool are so difficult, when they play well, they can destroy you.

"It was a good game and an entertaining game. A big compliment to the players for how they played.

"Kevin de Bruyne played with fire inside of him. How many years has he been here? Seven or eight years? He is an absolute legend and always I push him to find that fire.

"Cole Palmer played really well, especially in the first half."

The City boss believes that Rico Lewis (18), who made only his third start for the club, will be a top player for City for years to come.

“I had the feeling that without [Lewis] we could not play the way we played,“ the 51-year-old told a news conference as quoted. “I’m absolutely really impressed for his young age and today he played against a really senior team.

“Its not about how intelligent he is with the ball, but without the ball. Today Cole and him, especially the first half, were incredible with and without the ball.

“Today we had the privilege to almost announce that this guy will have a big decade and will be an absolutely incredible player for Manchester City for the next years because he’s so intelligent, so humble, understands everything in one second, and applies everything – he’s so so clever.

“We have an incredible right full-back with us for the next years. He is always good but not against [a team like] Liverpool. He had Salah, Thiago, and Robertson on his side. He is 18 years old and the way he played was outstanding, he was the man of the match.”

Guardiola also lauded ‘absolute legend’ Kevin De Bruyne, labelling the Belgian's performance on the night as 'outstanding'.

The ex-Barca and Bayern boss said: “Today was outstanding. Kevin has been eight years here. He just needs sometimes to find the right fire inside of himself, you know, to be a little bit, I would say, I don’t know, grumpy or upset to play his best.

“He had to put the energy inside of him. When this happens, what a player. The runs, the fight, assists, score goals. He is a model player.

“I know it's not easy to find this, every three days, this consistency but in the important games, like today was, it has something inside say: ‘I’m going to do it, I’m going to be contact, I’m going to fight.’ When this happens, it’s Mr Kevin De Bruyne.

“What can I say? Eight years has done everything for this club. He is absolute legend. He will be remembered forever one of the greatest, greatest, greatest players of all-time for this club.”

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