Sunday 21 July 2019

Bernardo Silva: Early goals adds to Manchester City’s confidence

Guardiola’s side have struck inside the opening 20 minutes in five of their last six matches.

Bernardo Silva feels Manchester City’s charge is being fuelled by their quick starts (Martin Rickett/PA)
Bernardo Silva feels Manchester City’s charge is being fuelled by their quick starts (Martin Rickett/PA)

By Andy Hampson, Press Association Sport

Bernardo Silva believes Manchester City’s confidence is soaring thanks to their knack of scoring early goals.

The champions reclaimed top spot in the Premier League on Sunday with a sensational 6-0 hammering of Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium sparked by Raheem Sterling’s fourth-minute opener.

It was the fifth time in six league games in which Pep Guardiola’s side have struck inside the opening 20 minutes, a sequence that includes two first-minute goals.

With City engaged in a tight battle with Liverpool for top spot, midfielder Silva feels getting off to quick starts is important.

The Portugal international said: “It is true that we have been lucky lately to score early. It is good to start the game like that.

“It helps you for the confidence and for everything else, to start the game pressing high, creating chances, having the ball.

“Lately we have scored lots of goals in the first five minutes, which is very good.”

Against Chelsea, City were able to build on their positive start, adding three more goals to put the result beyond doubt inside the opening 25 minutes.

Silva said: “It was very good we scored early – that goal gave us the confidence we needed against, in my opinion, one of the best sides in the world and it was fantastic for us.

“We were lucky enough that almost every time we went (forward) we scored. When it is like that, it is always easier. We played very well in those first 25-30 minutes and we were very happy with the score.”

City’s victory moved them back above Liverpool to the summit on goal difference, but they have played a game more.

Liverpool play their game in hand when they face arch-rivals Manchester United on February 24, a match that will put City in the unusual position of wanting a favour from their neighbours.

Silva said: “Of course it is better if they lose some points but I think all of us, not only the manager but all of the players, have been saying to focus on our job.

“If we don’t win our games, it doesn’t matter what they do so that is the most important thing now.”

Sergio Aguero did most of the damage against Chelsea, scoring a record-equalling 11th Premier League hat-trick and a 15th overall for the club.

“I think you don’t need any more words to describe him,” Silva added. “He just proves week after week how good he is, year after year.

“It is just fantastic for us to have a striker like him scoring so many goals for us. I just hope he continues.”

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