Pep Guardiola has singled out match-winner Kevin De Bruyne and Fabian Delph for individual praise after his Manchester City side put in a dominant display to beat Premier League champions Chelsea 1-0.
A sensational strike midway through the second half from former Chelsea man De Bruyne secured all three points for unbeaten City, who controlled proceedings throughout Saturday’s contest at Stamford Bridge.
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Delph, meanwhile, put in another superb performance at left-back – filling in for the injured Benjamin Mendy, who will be out until at least April – and Guardiola was delighted for both players.
“He makes absolutely everything. Goals, assists and he is the most humble guy,” Guardiola said of De Bruyne when asked by BT Sport for his thoughts on the Belgium playmaker
“I am so happy for him, because I know how happy he is. De Bruyne and David Silva and Fabian Delph were excellent.
“Fabian, again, he made an outstanding performance. He’s a guy who doesn’t lose the ball, he is so smart, so clever on the ball.
“I am so happy for him. Last season was tough, because he didn’t play, but was injured a lot as well.”
Chelsea’s attack was blunted 35 minutes in when Alvaro Morata hobbled off with an apparent hamstring problem, leaving City looking composed both on and off the ball.
Marshalled by the excellent John Stones at the back, the visitors were never troubled, and only a goal-line clearance from Antonio Rudiger prevented Gabriel Jesus extending their advantage late on.
City have now taken 19 points from their opening seven fixtures, and sit top of the table courtesy of goal difference, but Guardiola refused to get carried away so early in the season.
“It’s September. There’s a lot to do. But that’s the path,” Guardiola added.
“The win is the most important thing, but the way we played, especially in the second half. In the first half we did not find the right positions.
“Chelsea want to play through the middle and attack with a lot of people. But we keep the ball as well as possible and regain possession as quickly as possible.
“It’s not easy to do that, especially against players like [Eden] Hazard and Willian and Pedro, because one mistake and it is a goal. But it’s the way we play and feel football. So we are happy for that.
“It’s important to win. It’s three points we win and three points Chelsea didn’t win. We’ve won all the games in September and most playing really well and scoring goals.