EPL

Every game is a final for us, says Manchester City striker Julian Alvarez

By Sports Desk May 01, 2023

Julian Alvarez admitted “every game is a final” after Manchester City returned to the Premier League summit for the first time since February with a hard-fought 2-1 win at Fulham.

City were pushed all the way by Marco Silva’s men who were resilient throughout, recovering well after conceding an early penalty which Erling Haaland converted.

Carlos Vinicius levelled the game briefly in the 15th minute, but Alvarez’ stunning strike from distance restored City’s advantage and they held on.

“This is where we wanted to be at the start of the season,” Alvarez told City’s website.

“Everyone’s put in really good work and now we’ve reached the top we need to defend it.

“Every game is a final for us and everyone’s going to pull together to make that final effort.”

The Argentinian, who has had to wait for opportunities in Pep Guardiola’s starting line-up, added: “It was really nice to score here, a really important goal at an important point of the match. Really nice to contribute.

“We knew it would never be easy coming here because of the pitch, because of how good Fulham are as a team. We were very happy to withstand the pressure and hold out.”

Fulham manager Silva was left to ponder his side’s small defensive lapses following a largely impressive performance against a team still in the hunt for the treble.

“We had a clear plan for the game. We wanted to go through the centre of the pitch, with our wingers a little more inside,” Silva said.

“If you try to block certain areas, they will look to expose others. The players, they stuck to their plan and did it well.

“The moment after we equalised the game was probably our best moment in the match.

“We cannot concede the goal in the way we did. A great strike from Alvarez, I know, but the way we build in certain areas we cannot lose the ball in that way and we gave them a chance in their counter-attack.

“In the second half we were really competitive again. We didn’t create many chances, this is true, but we didn’t give many things to them either.”

Related items

  • Pep Guardiola hoping Jack Grealish can seize chance to make late-season impact Pep Guardiola hoping Jack Grealish can seize chance to make late-season impact

    Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has urged Jack Grealish to seize an opportunity to finish the season strongly.

    The England midfielder has so far this term been unable to reproduce the influential form he played in last year’s treble success.

    The 28-year-old’s campaign has twice been interrupted by injury and there was also an unsettling off-field incident when his house was burgled while members of his family and girlfriend were in the property.

    His latest setback came when he suffered a groin injury during City’s Champions League game at FC Copenhagen earlier this month but, after a speedy recovery, he was an unused substitute at Bournemouth on Saturday.

    He could come back into the reckoning for Tuesday’s FA Cup fifth-round tie at Luton and Guardiola hopes he can make the most of it.

    Guardiola said: “He started a bit late but (in) the last month Jack is back in terms of many things.

    “That’s why he played an important game in the Champions League in Copenhagen. Unfortunately there was a setback after 10-15 minutes but he’s recovered quick and he is back.

    “Hopefully (he can have) the impact he had last season. It depends on him.

    “I try to be fair with my decisions. If he played a lot of minutes last season and this season a little bit less in the beginning, he is the same player. It’s the same manager, the same way we want to play. Nothing has changed.

    “It is just how how we perform, that is the difference. We need him. I’ve said from day one we need him. He has a special quality for our team. Hopefully he can do a good last three months.”

    With other players in good form, however, Guardiola admits Grealish will have to hit the ground running when the chance arises.

    Grealish must compete with the likes of Phil Foden, Jeremy Doku, Julian Alvarez and Bernardo Silva, all of whom have been in better form this season, for a place.

    Guardiola said: “I cannot give three or four games in a row in order to get the rhythm.

    “They have to take a rhythm to play 20 minutes, 90 minutes, in the high level. You cannot wait.

    “I’m going to give you three or four (games) for you be fit and the other 10 players don’t play?

    “They don’t deserve the same? Of course they deserve it but that’s not how it works.

    “You have to see in the training session, every moment all details.

    “He’s the same lovely person, lovely guy, same qualities, skills. He has even more years to improve.

    “So the players don’t have to convince me. They have to convince themselves that they deserve to play.”

  • Oscar Bobb extends deal at Manchester City until 2029 Oscar Bobb extends deal at Manchester City until 2029

    Manchester City winger Oscar Bobb has extended his contract with the club until 2029.

    The Norway international, 20, has made 16 appearances so far this season, scoring twice – including the last-minute winner in the 3-2 victory at Newcastle last month.

    “I am very proud and honoured to have signed my new contract with City,” said Bobb, whose previous deal was set to expire in 2026.

    “It is an incredible environment and the best possible place to be for a young player.

    “I have already learnt so much from (manager) Pep (Guardiola), his coaching staff and my team-mates. To know I am going to be here at the club until 2029 means everything to me.

    “Now I just want to focus on continuing to further my development and to work as hard as I can every day to try and help the club achieve more success.”

    City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain feels there is plenty more to come from Bobb, whose first senior goal came on his full Champions League debut against Red Star Belgrade in December.

    “Oscar is blessed with superb natural talent and technique and has already established himself as a very important member of the squad,” Begiristain said on the club’s website.

    “He is an exciting young player who is always hungry to learn and who takes on board all the advice and guidance Pep and the coaching staff provide him with.

    “We have been delighted to watch his progression from our academy through to the first team and to see his fantastic ability, attitude and application continue to prosper.

    “Oscar is developing all the time, and we believe he can help to bring even more success to the club in the coming years.”

  • Bayern Munich appoint former RB Leipzig sporting director Max Eberl to board Bayern Munich appoint former RB Leipzig sporting director Max Eberl to board

    Bayern Munich have confirmed the appointment of former RB Leipzig sporting director Max Eberl to the club’s board.

    The 50-year-old – who came through the Bayern youth ranks and made one senior appearance – will start his new role with the Bundesliga champions on March 1 and has signed a contract until June 2027.

    Former Germany Under-21 defender Eberl went on to have spells at Bochum and Greuther Furth before signing with Borussia Monchengladbach, where he later moved into coaching and then became director of sport.

    Eberl moved to a similar position at RB Leipzig in December 2022, but was relieved of his duties at the club just nine months later.

    “I spent my entire childhood and youth at FC Bayern and in Munich, so it’s something special for me to return in a new role to the club where it all began,” Eberl said on the Bayern Munich website.

    “The job as board member for sport is a great challenge, which I will approach with a lot of respect and humility, but with even more anticipation.

    “Together with everyone here, I want to do everything I can to ensure that FC Bayern continues to be successful in the future and brings joy to its fans.”

    Bayern announced the club’s executive board would consist of three positions from July 1 – a chief executive, a chief financial and sales officer as well as a board member for sport, which will be Eberl’s role.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.