Guardiola explains why Mahrez is playing more for Man City this season

Guardiola explains why Mahrez is playing more for Man City this season

Pep Guardiola gets the feeling "something special" will happen in the final third when Riyad Mahrez gets in dangerous positions for Manchester City .

Mahrez has been a prominent member of City's side in his second campaign and while Guardiola joked that he was playing him more often to be nice to him, he revealed he always expects something to happen when he is in the side, while his ability to avoid injury is also vital.

"The difference last season and this season is he plays more minutes because the manager is more kind to him," Guardiola said.

"The level he played last season was good too. He loves to play football.

"You see his legs it is impossible to be injured because he has no muscles. The final third he has something special, always I have the feeling he can score a goal."

It was the first time Aguero and Jesus had started together in the Premier League for 499 days, less than a week after Guardiola had played no strikers in the win against Manchester United in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg.

But the City boss said the ideas behind his system remained the same and put the praise for the versatility on to his players.

"The idea is the same from day one to today, it doesn't matter who you play, the difference is the quality, but the idea is completely the same," said Guardiola.

"We try to put the players where they feel comfortable, but it doesn't matter if we play one striker, two strikers or without a striker. Last game we scored three without strikers and created a lot of chances. Today we scored six and created a lot of chances. It's because they move.

"But the difference is the quality of the players, Bernardo put the ball in from his apartment at Old Trafford, that is the quality, the influence is nothing.

"We have to figure out with the players we have the position they are going to play. We feel everybody is involved, everybody makes incredible contributions and the team continues to be there.

"Tonight we sleep, finally we are second in the table, it feels a long time ago, and we are close to qualifying for the Champions League next season." Follow us on Twitter and on Facebook
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