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Manchester City continue to set the pace in the Premier League after a 5-0 win against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Leroy Sane gave an excellent display of attacking football down City’s left flank, putting Palace to the sword with a goal and two assists.
But Guardiola revealed that the 21-year-old had not been ready for his side’s early fixtures due to a poor pre-season.
“He didn’t arrive well. He didn’t make a good pre-season, he wasn’t good in the first games of pre-season. He didn’t deserve to play,” said the Spaniard candidly.
“But, of course, Leroy is so important for us. He’s a guy who runs in behind in the right tempo, at the right moment.
“Any goal is important and he is scoring a lot of goals, creating chances, giving assists. He is a young player, 21 years old, and he is so important for us.”
The visitors held their own for much of the first half and even created a couple of chances through Ruben Loftus-Cheek, but once Sane put his side ahead just before half time it was one-way traffic.
A Raheem Sterling tap in from Sane’s cross put the game to bed just after the break, and it was then a question of how many City would get as they attacked relentlessly.
Sterling added his second but would have no chance to get his hat-trick as Guardiola replaced him with Bernardo Silva.
Sergio Aguero got in on the act, converting another pinpoint cross from Sane, before Fabian Delph rounded things off with the pick of the bunch. The Englishman, operating at left back after Benjamin Mendy hobbled off, curled one into the top corner with his right foot from outside the area.
Kevin De Bruyne was outstanding, controlling the game from midfield, but it was Sane who was rightly given the man of the match award for his showcase of speedy, direct and technically proficient attacking play.
“We were playing against a really top-quality team, that when they get in the lead they’re capable of showing their full register of technical ability, and ability to create and take goal chances,” said Palace manager Roy Hodgson, who is looking ahead to his side’s upcoming games.
“Unfortunately, there’s a risk that Man United and Chelsea would also be as capable as Man City have been, at punishing us if we don’t get things right.”
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