'What he has done': Pep Guardiola pays ultimate compliment to 'exceptional' Man City star after Crystal Palace win

Pep Guardiola reflected on his side’s latest win in the Premier League as they push to protect their title.

Manchester City were made to work for their latest win against Crystal Palace to keep the pressure on their Premier League title rivals. The reigning champions were stunned just minutes after kick-off when Jean-Philippe Mateta capitalised on a poor pass from John Stones to drive a counter-attack that had Selhurst Park bouncing.

However, the Eagles’ lead was short-lived as City found an equaliser ten minutes later through none other than Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian cannoned a sensational strike past Dean Henderson who looked as though he was in for a strong performance. After his sensational goal to draw level, De Bruyne remained a thorn in the side for Palace.

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After a nervy first half, Pep Guardiola’s side settled into the clash and three more goals came, with De Bruyne involved in all at some point or another. His lofted pass into the box eventually found its way to Rico Lewis, who made no mistake to take the lead. De Bruyne then teed up Erling Haaland before firing another superb shot of his own into the Palace net to hit 100 goals for City.

Despite injury struggles that kept him out for the first half of the season, De Bruyne has hit the ground running upon his return. Since the start of the year, the 32-year-old has contributed three goals and six assists in 10 Premier League appearances, and his clutch performance against Palace on Saturday has just amplified how crucial he is to this side.

Following the match, Guardiola took the time to praise De Bruyne for his efforts to turn the game around and claw a huge win back for City in their title defence.

“Today, Kevin won the game with his actions, with his goals and assist,” the boss said during his post-match interview. “Kevin in an exceptional, exceptional player. What he has done for this club is unbelievable. Kevin is... what can I say? He has had a good season for many, many years.”

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Guardiola opted not to deploy Phil Foden at all during the Palace clash, despite his sensational hat-trick performance midweek against Aston Villa. However, City’s impressive squad depth really proved itself on the road this weekend as they knock the ball back into Liverpool and Arsenal’s court in this nail-biting title battle.

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