Football

To Guardiola, left is just right for Silva

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insisted he was happy to have kept Bernardo Silva in his team after the Portugal playmaker scored in a 1-0 win at Leicester City on Saturday.

Silva, who usually plays on the right, was deployed as a left midfielder and combined well with left winger Jack Grealish and left-back Joao Cancelo.

Silva was linked with a move away from the champions before the transfer window closed, but the 27-year-old has continued to show his worth as City sealed their third straight win to keep pace with English Premier League leaders Manchester United.

"It's not just the quality he played or the incredible runs or work ethic he has," Guardiola said. "We are happy he is here and in the future, we will see what happens.

"He played really well in the last two games and today again. The connection with Jack (Grealish) and Joao (Cancelo) was brilliant."

Guardiola revealed that he had switched Silva to the left so that they could get first-time crosses from the left-footer and speed up play.

"When Jack Grealish played right and (Ilkay) Guendogan played right, every moment in behind is not on the proper foot, they have to turn. Every time the first action, Bernardo can make a cross.

"Before the wingers always play right foot, right side and left foot, left side but in the last years, everyone had a tendency to play right foot on the left and left foot on the right.

"At least one of the two or three have to be on their natural foot to be more effective in the final third."

Leicester nearly took the lead after the break. Harvey Barnes' header hit the bar and Jamie Vardy had a goal ruled out for offside after rounding Ederson.

City heeded the warning and found the winner after 62 minutes. Ferran Torres had already gone close before Cancelo's drive was blocked by Caglar Soyuncu, and the ball fell into Silva's path for him to score his first goal of the season. - AFP

Football