Guardiola praises Kompany as a "real defender"

Guardiola praises Kompany as a "real defender"

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola hailed a returning Vincent Kompany following his goal in the sides 3-0 victory over Southampton at St Mary's on Saturday evening.

Adam Whiteside

Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola labelled Vincent Kompany as a “real defender” following the captains goal in the 3-0 defeat of Southampton.

Kompany, making just his eighth start of the season, headed Manchester City in front ten minutes into the second half with his first goal in almost two years.

Kompany is a “real defender”

Guardiola feels that Kompany’s absence from the side has been a big factor in Manchester City’s defensive struggles this season.

“I’m not going to discover the quality of this guy,” Guardiola said.

He added: “Manuel [Pellegrini] last season missed him a lot and we have missed him a lot [this season].

“He’s a guy with the quality to win duels one-against-one.

“With the ball, he has the quality to look and move quicker in small space with the passing.

“And he helps us in defensive and offensive set-pieces because he’s a real defender. Vincent is a guy who smells the ball on the set pieces, so he’s important. Hopefully he can be fit until the end of the season because he’s an important player for us,” said Guardiola.

Manchester City’s injury woes

When quizzed as to whether Kompany would continue to make an impact for the remainder of the season Guardiola replied: “There is no doubt about it.”

The Spaniard added: “The problem is when a guy is injured for two or three years, what can we do? In the past two years, he has had a lot of problems. Of course, this is only his fourth [league] game of the season and that’s not too much.”

City have also struggled with long-term injuries to the likes of Gabriel Jesus and midfielder Ilkay Gunodgan.

Guardiola said: "With all the players, Gabriel Jesus for example, and Ilkay Gundogan, we would have been stronger. But we are so happy he has come back and hopefully we can take care of him and he will be fit until the end of the season.​"