Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola last night lavished praise on Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku, ahead of his side’s potentially title-clinching Premier League derby clash with the Red Devils this evening.
The two sides are set to go head to head at the Etihad, with City heading into proceedings a massive 16 points clear of 2nd-placed United in the English top-flight table.
As such, as has been widely covered in the media ahead of kick-off, a win for the Citizens this evening would see Pep Guardiola’s men clinch the Premier League title in the most fairytale manner imaginable, following a clash with their fierce inner-city rivals.
Speaking in a press conference last night in anticipation of today’s derby, Man City boss Pep Guardiola was questioned on a number of topics by the journalists in attendance, with one particularly intriguing question having surrounded United hitman Romelu Lukaku.
It was put to the Spanish tactician that Lukaku, who of course notched his 100th Premier League goal versus Swansea City last weekend, is not a typical ‘Guardiola-type’ player, due to his burly physique and physical style of play.
However, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss was quick to shoot down such a suggestion, revealing his admiration for Lukaku, before labelling him ‘world-class’:
‘No, no, no. I would not say that.’
‘He’s 24 and has 100 goals in the Premier League. So that’s not bad, first of all.’
‘Second, in the long balls we know the duels. He’s fast and strong.’
‘I saw him when he played for Everton with my friend Ronald Koeman – he punished us here in the Etihad Stadium and he punished us in Goodison Park.’
‘He’s fast, going to the channels, he helps to keep the ball and helps to make the movement for the other guys.’
‘He’s top. He’s a world class player.’