Analysis

Desire and determination

Willian and Pedro were delighted with the manner of our performance against Manchester City on Saturday, particularly with it coming against such strong opposition.

A superb collective display in which we defended resolutely when required, as well as displaying a clinical edge in front of goal, ensured we became the first team to beat Pep Guardiola’s men in the Premier League this season, with N’Golo Kante and David Luiz on target for the Blues.

Willian and Pedro were deployed either side of Eden Hazard as we played without a recognised centre-forward for the first time under Maurizio Sarri, and both were involved in the move which led to Kante’s opening goal.

‘It was a great performance by the whole team in a very difficult match,’ said Willian. ‘We know how difficult it is to play against Man City. They are very good, they have a lot of good players, but we won.

‘We played well from the beginning. Of course they had more possession in the first half but we stayed there, we were compact and we tried to play on the counter attack. In the second half we played more and we are all very happy with the game. I think the desire, motivation and determination were the key to winning the game.’
 

Pedro felt our opening goal allowed us to play in a different way after the break.

‘In the first half it was so difficult to play and create chances because we had to defend a lot, and then when we recovered the ball we were tired so we couldn’t create and play with combinations.

‘But in the second half, after N’Golo scored, the team played in another way with the ball, created chances and found spaces. That’s our way and we are very happy with our second half.

‘This win is so important for our confidence and now we have to continue in this way, but when all the team work hard it’s possible to do good things.’

The Spaniard believes it was vital we quickly returned to winning ways following the disappointment of last Wednesday’s reverse at Wolves, and with matches across three different competitions to come over the next 10 days he hopes we can kick on.

‘Every game is difficult but for us it was very important to get the win and recover our best feeling inside the pitch and to now continue in this way,’ he added.

‘I think this month is very important for us because there are a lot of points to play for so we have to try to reach Liverpool and City.

‘All competitions are difficult but the most important thing is to take it step by step, game by game, and recover this feeling and motivation on the pitch. When all the team do their job it’s so difficult to beat us.’
 

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