Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville has described Manchester City as being different to “any other team in Europe.”
Neville made the admission following City’s comfortable 4-0 win over Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon at St James’ Park, as goals from Ruben Dias, Joao Cancelo, Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling ensured that they will sit at the top of the Premier League table on Christmas Day.
After Liverpool and Chelsea both slipped up on Sunday afternoon, playing out draws with Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers, respectively, City find themselves with a three-point cushion at the summit, meaning the ball, for now, is in their court.
The win at Newcastle secured an eighth successive league victory for City, as well as the fact that they have now scored 11 goals in their last two matches.
City gave both Leeds United and Newcastle stern lessons in how the game can be played when you have players as talented and as well-coached as the Blues’ are, with their performances attracting no shortage of plaudits.
For Neville, City’s style of play, featuring their possession-based approach and discipline with the ball, makes them unique, not just in the Premier League but across the continent.
“We’ve got exceptional teams,” Neville told Sky Sports. “This Pep Guardiola and Man City team are exceptional, as this Jurgen Klopp team are at Liverpool.
“They’re another level, two of the teams you’ll see in Premier League history. [City] play football like no other, completely different than any other team in Europe actually, not just this league.
“The technical ability, the passing, the possession, the care on the ball, the efficiency, methodical, disciplined, their starting positions, the movements – they’re all just like clockwork. The absolute best timepiece you could almost see, Pep Guardiola’s system of play.
“Newcastle were nowhere near them. The second half was a procession.”
Meanwhile, following their goalless draw with Wolves, Neville believes Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel will be a little bit concerned about how fast the tables have turned in the title race.
The Blues, who lost several key players to Covid against Wolves, were top of the table on December 1 and six points clear of City. However, a run of one win in their last four games has seen them slide to third in the standings, six points behind Guardiola’s troops.
Neville added: “I think he’ll [Tuchel] be a little bit worried. I think mentally when you try to get a game called off and you’re then told to play it, I can’t think that will help the mindset in that game.
“I know they didn’t have a full bench, and we’ll have to ask later why more young players couldn’t come onto it, but it was a strong Chelsea team.”
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