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'Kolarov display one of the best I have seen at centre-back'

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola heaped praise on the Serbian for his performance in an unfamiliar position.

Kolarov featured in the unfamiliar role of centre-back against Sunderland.
Kolarov featured in the unfamiliar role of centre-back against Sunderland.

PEP GUARDIOLA HAS claimed Aleksandar Kolarov’s performance against Sunderland was one of the best he has ever seen from a centre-back.

Normally a left-back, the Serbian started Manchester City’s first Premier League match of the season alongside John Stones and helped to secure a 2-1 victory.

And with Vincent Kompany injured and Eliaquim Mangala tipped to leave the club, Guardiola hinted Kolarov could have a long-term future in the centre of defence.

I think Kolarov today had one of the best performances I have seen in a central defender,” the coach told City’s official website.

“He won all the long balls, he was quality with passes and he was strong. Kolarov, not just today but in the last few games, played really well [at centre-back].”

Guardiola plans to reintroduce Nicolas Otamendi, however, for the Champions League play-off match against Steaua Bucharest on Tuesday.

Hopefully [Otamendi] can play,” he added. “Steaua Bucharest play with long balls and of course Nico is so important.

“He had a little problem with his tendon and I could not risk two games in just three days, so that’s why I decided to play with John Stones and Kolarov.”

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