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Claudio Bravo: Pep Guardiola says Man City keeper has world-class footwork

Top four race will go to the wire – Guardiola

Manchester City’s Claudio Bravo is one of the world’s top keepers when it comes to build-up play, manager Pep Guardiola said after beating Hull 3-1.

Tigers defender Andrea Ranocchia beat him with a weak shot on Saturday – the visitors’ only effort on target.

Bravo has now conceded seven goals from the past seven shots on target he has faced in the Premier League.

But Guardiola said his footwork is “the best with Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer and Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen”.

The Chile international replaced Willy Caballero for the game against Hull to make his first league appearance since 21 January.

He was involved in City’s second goal, which featured an impressive series of passes from one end of the field to the other before Raheem Sterling crossed for Sergio Aguero to score his 28th goal of the season.

Guardiola added: “With his feet he helps us a lot to create good build-up and create our possession in the middle of the pitch.”

Bravo conceded twice against Tottenham and four times at Everton in his previous two Premier League appearances.

The last time he saved a shot on target in the league was against Burnley on 2 January.

Bravo v Neuer v Ter Stegen: 2016-17 league record
BravoNeuerTer Stegen
Appearances202529
Minutes played1,8002,2502,520
Total passes625668923
Pass accuracy72.16%80.54%80.17%
Pass accuracy (own half)21.89%41.55%21.88%
Clean sheets41312

Top-four battle will go to the end

City’s first Premier League win since a 2-0 success at Sunderland on 5 March ended a four-match run without a victory.

They are fourth in the table, two points behind Liverpool with a game in hand and seven clear of Arsenal and Manchester United, who have both played two matches fewer. City host United in the Manchester derby on 27 January.

Former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Guardiola, who replaced Manuel Pellegrini at Etihad Stadium in the summer, does not feel the race to finish in the top four and secure Champions League qualification will be decided until the final game of the season on 21 May.

He said: “We do not have a big gap. We have to be aware of the situation. We have teams like Leicester, West Brom and Southampton still to play. We have suffered a lot in matches like this this season.

“I am pretty sure we are going to fight against Arsenal, United and Liverpool until the end to qualify in the third and fourth position.”


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