Pep Guardiola has heaped praise on midfield man Bernardo Silva, following his starring role in Manchester City’s win over Chelsea on Saturday.
The high profile clash between the two title rivals – and last season’s Champions League finalists – saw Man City run out 1-0 winners following a commanding display at Stamford Bridge that brought an end to the hosts’ unbeaten start to the season.
Gabriel Jesus’ second-half strike proved to be the matchwinner despite an improved showing from Thomas Tuchel’s side in the final half an hour, as the champions hung on for a well deserved three points to move up to second in the table.
While the Brazilian grabbed the headlines for his strike, Manchester City’s unsung hero was arguably Bernardo Silva, the versatile midfielder putting in a sensational display to continue his fine start to the campaign.
The 27-year-old had previously looked set to leave the club over the summer, with Pep Guardiola publicly revealing that the player had asked for a move, although having missed out on an Etihad exit, Silva now looks back to his brilliant, hard-working best.
Following the match, the City boss was full of praise for his midfield asset, who he labelled as an ‘exceptional player’ that ‘deserves the best’.
“What a player. What a performance,” Guardiola said, as per the Man City website.
“He’s so intuitive, it’s not his role as a holding midfielder but he knows perfectly (and) anticipates what is going to happen, with and without the ball.
“Our build-up helped us to beat these extra passes and defensively how many crosses we stopped in the second half when Chelsea were making a lot of crosses.
“(He is) an exceptional player. All I want for Bernardo is to be happy, here and everywhere, number one is his happiness because he’s a guy who deserves the best.”
The 50-year-old went on to insists that it was no surprise to see such a performance from the former Monaco man, while he also admitted that the club would be losing ‘one of the best players in the world’ should Silva still wish to leave in the near future.
“Against Norwich he was exceptional, against Arsenal he was exceptional,” he added.
“How good he played today wasn’t a surprise. How many times have we seen it, (he was) an incredible signing for us because he’s an exceptional person.
“I’ll never forget the second Premier League we won with 98 points (2018-19), he was the best player in England.
“After that he dropped a little bit, but now he’s back and hopefully he can help us.
“At the end, if he wants to leave, all I can say is the guy at the club who takes Bernardo is taking one of the best players in the world.”