Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola heaped praise on Riyad Mahrez after another man of the match display against Chelsea in the FA Cup.
Mahrez scored a brace in City’s 4-0 win over Chelsea last weekend.
The Algerian also grabbed the only goal of the game in Thursday’s 1-0 triumph at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League, and was voted Etihad Player of the Month for December earlier this week.
“The quality of Riyad is everything. He loves to play football, he helped us to play the game,” Guardiola reflected on Mahrez’s performance.
“It was really good. It was a fantastic free-kick. He played an outstanding game.
“He never lost his love. He loves to play football. The way he is training now and playing was exactly the same in Abu Dhabi. Riyad in important games is fantastic.
“The last game he didn’t start at Stamford Bridge and the impact he had was incredible.
“When they play in this way, and maybe complain [about not playing every game] I say ‘yes, you’re right’.
“Before, he cannot complain because he wasn’t playing at the level he is now. It’s not just about quality, it’s more in football, you have to do more.
“[But] now since we came back for World Cup, he is playing really, really well.”
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