Soccer

Pep Guardiola praises Jeremy Doku after Manchester City thrash Bournemouth

Pep Guardiola has been impressed with Jeremy Doku (Martin Rickett/PA)
Pep Guardiola has been impressed with Jeremy Doku (Martin Rickett/PA) Pep Guardiola has been impressed with Jeremy Doku (Martin Rickett/PA)

Pep Guardiola hailed Jeremy Doku as a great player after the Belgium forward’s superb performance in Manchester City’s 6-1 thrashing of Bournemouth on Saturday.

Doku opened the scoring and then had a hand in the next four goals as the champions overwhelmed the Cherries in a one-sided Premier League encounter at the Etihad Stadium.

It continued the superb impression the 21-year-old winger has made at City since his £55.4million move from Rennes in the summer.

“It was not the first time this season,” said City manager Guardiola. “All the games he has played here he has been fantastic. He has surprised all of us.

“He is a great footballer. He reads every action exactly as he has to do.

“Of course (there is) his quality up close to the box – we always talk about that – but it is difficult to find a player today with the ability to dribble in small spaces.

“He’s one of the fastest players in five metres. It’s incredible how he can change the rhythm in five metres but when he is not able to dribble he is able to take good decisions and I’m impressed with that. That’s why he’s a great footballer.

“I think he’s happy and hopefully he can be here for many, many years.”

Erling Haaland's injury overshadowed City's win
Erling Haaland's injury overshadowed City's win Erling Haaland’s injury overshadowed City’s win (Mike Egerton/PA)

Bernardo Silva twice benefited from Doku’s fine work by grabbing a brace and he also teed up Phil Foden and had another shot deflected in by Manuel Akanji.

With Nathan Ake completing the rout, City made light of an injury scare to Erling Haaland.

The prolific Norway striker was removed at half-time with an ankle problem and he could be doubtful for Tuesday’s Champions League game against Young Boys.

“He had a twist,” said Guardiola. “I didn’t speak with the doctors yet but we will see in the next days how it develops.”

Bournemouth manager Andoni Iraola felt the final scoreline – the heaviest defeat of his managerial career – was tough on his side, who claimed a consolation through Luis Sinisterra.

“It is always difficult when you have this score,” said the former Rayo Vallecano boss. “We didn’t deserve 6-1 but they were really clinical.

“I am much more happy with the second half. We played much better but even then they managed to score another three.

“The players really tried, they were pushing and running, and I think it was too harsh on the players, the six goals.”

The visitors also had an injury scare with midfielder Alex Scott forced off with a different knee problem to the one that kept him out of action for his new club until last month.

Iraola said: “It is not the same injury – it’s a different type of injury in the other knee. I cannot say (how serious) before the checks.”