Monday 24 October 2016

Claudio Bravo unconcerned by blip in Pep Guardiola's masterplan

Published 16/10/2016 | 12:26

Claudio Bravo says Manchester City's best is yet to come
Claudio Bravo says Manchester City's best is yet to come

Claudio Bravo claims it will take some time for Manchester City to hit their full stride under Pep Guardiola.

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City sent expectations soaring as they won their first 10 games under Guardiola and played some sublime football.

That progress has been checked in the past three matches with Everton's battling 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday coming after City were beaten at Tottenham and drew at Celtic.

But with Guardiola bringing some new thinking to the English game, Bravo says the team still needs to settle.

The Chile goalkeeper, one of the faces of the new regime after his August arrival from Barcelona, said: "It's been fast and furious, City have changed how they were doing things before here in England.

"The finished article will come later. Now I am calm. I've just arrived and started to compete.

"We are getting to know our team-mates and the way the team plays, and you can't learn that overnight."

It was Bravo's opposite number Maarten Stekelenburg who stole the headlines on Saturday with two penalty stops and a number of other fine saves to thwart the Premier League leaders.

Stekelenburg denied both Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero from 12 yards before pulling off further breathtaking stops from both as City dominated.

The Dutch keeper was even on course for victory after Romelu Lukaku gave Everton a shock lead with a well-taken breakaway goal just after the hour but City substitute Nolito headed a 72nd-minute equaliser.

Bravo said: "We are thinking about what happened. We could have taken the three points because of how we played, but it didn't happen like that."

With the Premier League competition fierce, Bravo accepts such setbacks can happen and refuses to see it as a bad result.

He said: "I see the Premier League as a special attraction. The teams are more equal, physically superior to the Spanish league and with a fast very game too. I don't think anybody sees it negatively."

Everton were limited in terms of ambition but Lukaku, whose goal was his sixth in five Premier League games, says that had to moderate their approach to combat the strength of the opposition.

The final outcome for them continued the positive start they have made to the season under their new manager Ronald Koeman.

Lukaku said: "We have to be happy with a point. City were good, they have top-quality players.

"When you are under pressure like that against the best team in the league at the moment you have to be strong mentally and defend well, be as a team. We had to encourage each other and be positive.

"When we came up with the lead I thought if we had got the second it would have been a totally different game.

"But you have to be focused and we lacked a bit of focus when they scored, but we defended well for the rest of the game."

Press Association

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