Pep Guardiola hails Riyad Mahrez’s performance against Everton

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has praised the performance of Riyad Mahrez following the club’s 3-1 league triumph over Everton on the road. The Citizens had a tough test of their title credentials against the Toffees but Mahrez scored a vital free-kick in the 71st minute which provided them with the key advantage in the contest.

Speaking after the game, Guardiola said that the African Cup of Nations provided plenty of confidence for Mahrez, considering Algeria went all the way to win the trophy. He added to praise the attacker’s mentality and said that he has something special after delivering when the Citizens needed him the most.

He said: “I think the Africa Cup made him believe how good he can be. He knows it, but I think it helps to win this kind of trophy for Algeria, for his country. It was so important for him. And from the beginning, he arrived (back) with an incredible mentality, positive and the way he plays. He has the feeling when he gets that ball in that position, the 18-yard box close to the area, something is going to happen. It’s a feeling and I think all the spectators can have that feeling and that is because he has a gift. He has something special.”

The Citizens eventually sealed a 3-1 win after a late goal from Raheem Sterling but Mahrez earned the plaudits from the fans after his wonderful free-kick while contributing in the lead up to the other goals. With the victory, the Premier League holders have maintained the five-point gap to Liverpool, who are at the top of the table and they will be hoping that the pressure can get to the Reds.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have made the perfect start to the season with 21 points from the opening seven matches and they were made to toil for the recent triumph over Sheffield United. The 1-0 victory only came through a goalkeeping blunder from Dean Henderson but the Reds won’t care so long as they can continue racking maximum points.

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