Guardiola revels in City display after comfortable win over West Brom

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Pep Guardiola claimed his Manchester City side were a joy to watch after a comfortable 3-0 win over struggling West Brom at the Etihad Stadium.

Strikes from Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero took City to 101 goals for the campaign in all competitions and extended their Premier League lead to 15 points.

Guardiola said: “I’m so happy. I feel that is one of the best performances we have played this season. Playing better than the way we played (against West Brom) is quite difficult.

“It was a joy to watch the guys play and the joy they have to play that way. We created an amount of chances.

“But we missed a lot of chances and against top teams it will be a problem if we aren’t able in that.

“It was a game for 7-0, 8-0, 7-1 and there were very clear chances for the last chance. Hopefully we can improve that in the future.”

There was further controversy over tackles in the game with West Brom substitute Matt Phillips booked for a high, studs-up challenge on Brahim Diaz in the closing minutes.

The incident comes after Guardiola reiterated his call for referees to give players better protection following a bad tackle on Leroy Sane in last weekend’s FA Cup win at Cardiff.

Sane is facing up to seven weeks on the sidelines with ankle ligament damage.

James McClean was also booked for a cynical attempt to foul De Bruyne in the build-up to the second goal.

Guardiola said: “I’ve said what I said. I spoke with the fourth official. They have an opinion and I have another one, but they are the bosses and we have to accept that.

“We were lucky. We could have been unlucky with what happened three or four days ago with Leroy. The image can speak for itself. I repeat what I said after the previous game. It was not necessary.”

Guardiola added that David Silva could be doubtful for Saturday’s trip to Burnley after a blow to the side. With striker Gabriel Jesus also injured, youngster Lukas Nmecha will be promoted to the first-team squad as cover.

West Brom boss Alan Pardew did not excuse Phillips’ tackle but felt Guardiola’s recent remarks had affected the game.

Pardew said: “He’s a winger and in desperate situations wingers can make poor challenges. It was a poor challenge, make no mistake about that. But I think Fernandinho made a similar one in the middle of the pitch. I’m not sure if the referee saw it.

“I thought Pep’s comments at the weekend affected the crowd. Every challenge they were saying, ‘You’re not protecting our players, referee’.

“There were a few songs sung about him but I actually thought he had a decent game. His calls were correct and it was a yellow card for Phillips, no doubt.”

The result left the Baggies three points adrift at the foot of the table.

Pardew said: “It was a tough night. Against that kind of quality, we found it very difficult to get the pace of the game. We couldn’t do it. We never knocked the wind out of their sails. They were absolutely terrific.”

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