The Manchester City boss has expressed his satisfaction at the manner with which his team was able to dispatch the challenge of the Eagles at the Selhurst Park despite only returning from the international break a few days earlier.
Goals from Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus and veteran playmaker David Silva sealed a comfortable 2-0 victory for the champions, but the Spanish manager was especially pleased with the performance of three of his men.
With his defence ravished by injuries, Pep opted to play midfielders Fernandinho and Rodri at the heart of the defence just in front of goalkeeper Ederson – who had a fantastic game – and yet Guardiola’s makeshift defence still kept a clean sheet against the like’s of Christian Benteke and Wilfred Zaha.
Pep Guardiola, speaking on BBC Match of the Day as monitored by Soccernet.ng couldn’t hide his delight for his players, notably Ederson.
“After the international break to play here at Selhurst Park and create a lot of chances was good. We played well and created a lot of chances but didn’t score too many but we didn’t concede. We conceded chances at the end but Ederson made two incredible saves. It’s three points and we move forward,” Pep said.
“They defend so deep and they have quality up front with Benteke for the long balls and Zaha as well.
“We enjoyed the second goal – it was nice. But in the Premier League we have to score the third and fourth because it was difficult in the end with the pressure.”
“As always we played good, created a lot of chances. They are always so strong for the second ball. Unfortunately we could not convert the enough chances we had but it was an important three points after the international break. They where I think one point below, so they are having an incredible season.
“Hopefully we can start from here and continue our good performance. Their keeper made a lot of saves but hopefully we can be more clinical.”
Pep also reserved some praises for his makeshift centre-back pairing of Fernandinho and Rodri:
“Our build-up was quicker because they have more intelligence and they pass the ball so well because they are central midfielders.”
“Rodri did not train one day in that position. The back four responded well I think.”
The 2-0 victory sets Man City 5 points behind title rivals Liverpool who travel to Old Trafford next and when asked if he would watch Manchester United’s game on Sunday against the table topping Reds, Pep responded:
“I have to see (our next opponents in the Champions League) Atalanta.”