Football

Pep Guardiola wants Man City to keep up mean defensive streak

Pep Guardiola called on Manchester City's defenders to keep up a defensive mean streak as his side kept up their winning momentum with a 2-0 victory over Fulham.

Raheem Sterling's first goal in seven games and a Kevin de Bruyne penalty inside the first 26 minutes ensured a comfortable outing for Guardiola's men yesterday morning (Singapore time) as they recorded back-to-back wins in the league for the first time this season.

"This season looks like there will be a lot of teams in contention. Everyone can beat everyone," said Guardiola, whose side face Manchester United this weekend.

"In this month, it was important to get qualification for the Champions League, now we focus on the Premier League. It will be a long season.

"We struggled at the beginning of the season for many reasons. Now four games, four clean sheets. It's so important for us to maintain this solidity.

"It's important that we won and that defenders don't make mistakes and we don't gift goals."

John Stones is enjoying a renaissance at the heart of Guardiola's defence as he was again preferred to Aymeric Laporte alongside Ruben Dias.

However, it was a mix-up between Stones and Ederson that came closest to providing Fulham a lifeline as the goalkeeper came rushing off his line to clear as Stones played the ball back towards his own goal and was relieved to see it roll wide for a corner.

"We need to keep this streak going, keep these clean sheets going too," said Stones.

Fulham remain just a point clear of the relegation zone in 17th. - AFP

Football