The Spain international delivered a commanding performance in City’s inaugural Champions League match of the season, capping it off with a splendid goal, adding to his previous season’s final goal against Inter Milan.
“Right now he’s the best [midfielder in Europe]. Hopefully he can be better and improve but he’s an extraordinary holding midfielder,” remarked Guardiola during a press conference.
“We were lucky the club signed this player and when he arrived he wasn’t this type of player. Now he’s one of the captains. He’s a top class player.”
Rodri’s goal secured City’s victory, complementing two rapid-fire goals by Julian Alvarez, following a surprise goal from Osman Bukari just before halftime, which initially put the champions on the back foot. Guardiola explained that conceding the first goal actually benefited his team as it maintained their motivation. He also paid tribute to Alvarez, who has had an impressive start to the season. “Really good. All the actions were really good and so quick. The assist from Erling was really good. He is so young. What a signing the club have made.”
Guardiola continued. “He has everything – fighting and goals and assists. Incredible, lovely guy. Playing behind Erling he is an incredible threat. Really pleased for him, he deserves it.”
Manchester City performance and stats
It has a positive goal difference after scoring 14 goals and conceding 3.