Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola heaped praise on England World Cup hopeful Jack Grealish after a “magnificent” display in Wednesday’s 2-0 EFL Cup win over Chelsea.
Grealish is expected to be named in Gareth Southgate’s 26-man World Cup squad on Thursday and offered a timely reminder of his quality against the Blues.
The 28-year-old midfielder forced Edouard Mendy into a couple of saves early in the second half and was full of confidence and energy in the absence of Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden.
“Jack was magnificent,” Guardiola told reporters. “He played really well. I want Jack to have responsibility when we play with Kevin or Phil.
“When he gets the ball and attacks the backline, his intention is always to pass the ball.
“All the time we tell him to go to score a goal. He has the body language to pass the ball, but tonight his body language was ‘I am going to score a goal’. He didn’t score, but one day he will do it. Jack is playing really good.”
shares his thoughts on our victory over Chelsea!
— Manchester City (@ManCity)
The game marked Grealish’s 13th start for the season, having only managed one goal in 16 appearances.
City teammate Kalvin Phillips, who returned from a shoulder injury as a 50th minute substitute, hailed Grealish.
“Jack has trained hard every single day,” Phillips said. “He’s not had the luck with scoring and assists, but I think he brings a lot more to the team than just that.
“When you see him play and he plays like that, it’s a joy to watch.”
A great night once again down at the Etihad and through to the next round – buzzing to see my brother back on the pitch
— Jack Grealish (@JackGrealish)