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Guardiola Praises New-Buy Grealish After City’s 1-0 Loss To Spurs In First Game

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola

August 15, (THEWILL) – The most expensive footballer in English football Jack Grealish began life in his new club, Manchester City, with a 1-0 loss to Nuno Espirito Santo’s Tottenham Hotspur when both sides clashed in their season curtain raiser at the Tottenham Stadium on Sunday.

Knowing the pressure that will be on Grealish to justify the huge sum paid on his head with creative performances game in, game out from the middle of the park, City manager Pep Guardiola immediately heaped praises on him for his debut display even with the loss in mind.

Guardiola described the debut of the 25-year-old as “incredible” for the Cityzens especially as it was such a short span of time between when he joined the English champions and when he was required to start with the rest of the squad.

In his typical unflustered nature, Guardiola did not focus on the loss with which the team began the defense of their title, but the manager was in the mood to praise Grealish and express concern for the injury to Ilkay Gundogan, who still managed to play all 90 minutes of the loss.

Spurs’ ever-reliable frontman, the South Korean forward Son Heung-min found the back of the net five minutes before the hour mark to secure the three points for Tottenham and give new manager Santo the best start he could have prayed for in the Spurs dugout, even in the absence of their key striker Harry Kane and his attempts to move to City.

As usual, Guardiola’s side dominated early, but failed to get their noses in front throughout. And, even if Grealish’s debut was undone by Son’s strike, he still showed flashes of quality and once forced Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris into a decent second-half save to keep Spurs lead safe.

Guardiola believes it will be an adaptation process for Grealish at City, but was delighted with the former Aston Villa forward in his post-match comments. Guardiola said of the midfielder: “He is so dangerous close to the box. He has personality – it was an incredible debut.

He will be so important for us and I congratulated him for his personality to try and try until the end.”

As for Gundogan, at the end of the epic midfield battle to get City into scoring positions, he left the field with a shoulder injury. This was of immense concern for Guardiola as he made known after the game: “Something in his shoulder. We will see what happens tomorrow. But something happened.”