Pep Guardiola labels Bernardo Silva the best player in the EPL as Manchester City go top
Mo Salah of Liverpool? Chelsea’s N’golo Kante? Or the man with the thickest neck in world football, Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo?
The answer, according to Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, is none of the above. Instead, the Spaniard believes that it is his own player, Portuguese midfielder Bernardo Silva, who is the top of the lot.
Thankfully for Guardiola, his bold claim – which he made this past week, following City’s 2-1 win over Aston Villa – was well substantiated by Bernardo, who put in a man-of-the-match performance against Watford this morning (SGT), as the 27-year-old scored twice to lead City to a 3-1 win.
WATCH: Guardiola hails Bernardo's form
But it was Raheem Sterling who opened the scoring for City in the fourth minute.
Bernardo then doubled the lead for the Citizens in the 31st minute with this effort from a narrow angle…
Before he completed his brace midway through the second half with this beautifully executed curled shot.
Watford pulled one back in the 74th minute through Cucho Hernandez, but it proved to be too little, too late, for Claudio Ranieri’s men.
After the game, Guardiola expressed his appreciation to Bernardo for helping him avoid looking like either a fool, or a
Raeesah Khan liar, as he said: “I want to say thank you, because after what I said [in midweek about Silva being the best in the league currently], the performance he has done – he didn’t make me wrong. So, thank you. He did well for me. He is so important for us.”
WATCH: Guardiola pleased with Watford win
More importantly for Guardiola’s men, the result moved them to the top of the table, following Chelsea’s shock 3-2 defeat to West Ham.
Guardiola, however, was keen to emphasise that his side could not take their privilege as league leaders for granted, and called on his players to keep the momentum going.
“Today one team dropped points, next week it can be us or Liverpool. Many things can happen,” Guardiola mused.
“I'm more than pleased with what the guys have done in this tough period and now comes the toughest one for the number of games, weather, injuries. We (will) keep going with this rhythm and try to play well.
“The result can be random but consistency is the most important thing to help us be a stable team... There's many games to come and it's the toughest part of the season.”
Meanwhile, Liverpool also leapfrogged Chelsea and moved into second place, following a last-gasp Divock Origi goal which gave the Reds a 1-0 win over Wolves.
WATCH: Klopp insists Liverpool deserved win over Wolves
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp subsequently hailed Origi as a “legend”, and praised the 26-year-old for once again being the super-sub that the team needed.
“We had to keep going and, yeah, Divock Origi, the legend, came and finished it off for us. I love it!” Klopp exclaimed.
“He is an incredible finisher and if we don’t know it at Liverpool then who should know it? We saw that so often. It is difficult to get 500 minutes a week in the team because of the players we have. But Divock Origi is an incredible football player. He is great in these moments.
“He doesn’t need a lot of run up, he doesn’t need a lot of time to get into a game, especially not in this game today.”