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No Messi, no Ronaldo, no problem – Guardiola hails Manchester City squad resolve despite lack of superstars

The former Barcelona boss stressed that he would not rid a single player from his current squad – but acknowledged that he would love to boast an individual among his ranks with a true superstar profile.

“We don’t have players who can win the game by himself – we don’t have a Messi, a Cristiano, [Kylian] Mbappe or Neymar,” Guardiola said. “We have to do it as a team.

“I’ll be honest, I would love to have a player who scores every single game four goals and runs like these players run, I would love it.

“[But] I wouldn’t change any player that we have right now today, in this season. All of them. That’s why many times I praised our captain Fernandinho, like how he helps on and off the pitch to stick together in the bad moments.

“The big teams, the big players show it in the bad moments, in the good moments everyone is easy to play, and we had the bad moments this season.”

United’s tepid 1-1 draw with relegation battlers West Brom on Sunday looked, for many, to be the final coffin in their unlikely title charge, with City now seven points clear of the Red Devils and Leicester City with a game in hand.

It means that Guardiola is firmly back in the driving seat for a third Premier League crown in four years, a moment of powerful vindication for the Spaniard’s methods after their slow start to the campaign.

City have now won 16 straight games, extending their record for the most wins in a row for an English top-flight side in all competitions.

Guardiola’s men are also unbeaten in their last 23 matches in all competitions (W20 D3), conceding just six goals during this period.

City’s run has continued even though Kevin De Bruyne – widely considered the team’s best offensive player – has missed their last five league games with a hamstring injury.


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