The Lowdown: Ilkay shines…
Writing his name into City folklore with two crucial goals against Aston Villa on the final day of last season, Gundogan is looking to pick up where he left off.
Indeed, the Germany international’s header at the back post to start City’s 3-2 comeback against the Villans was only bettered by his eventual winner.
Ghosting in at the back post to bury Kevin De Bruyne’s low cross, Gundogan handed his side a second-successive domestic crown with the Sky Blues’ third goal and one of the most iconic moments in English football history.
Fast forward to this campaign and the 31-year-old has been a starter on every one of Pep Guardiola’s team sheets so far in place of midfielder Bernardo Silva, coming as the latter man remains heavily linked with a Barcelona move.
The Latest: Gundogan praised against Bournemouth…
Gundogan could have a big role to play under Guardiola at Eastlands and has already attracted praise from members of the media.
Gundogan fed off Erling Haaland’s through ball and buried a neat finish into the bottom corner, prompting Casquero to call him an underrated part of the City squad.
“Everything is under Pep’s umbrella. But Gundogan has proven – and for a long time – to be one of the most complete midfielders on the European market. And he has never been recognised as such.”
The Verdict: Bang on the money…
City’s headline-grabbers – Haaland, De Bruyne and Phil Foden – will likely be the centre of attention after full time and rightfully so given their quality and cult-like status.
However, Gundogan’s contribution has been crucial over the last few games and especially today before he was replaced mid-way through the second half.
As per SofaScore, on top of his opening goal, the City star finished this afternoon as one Guardiola’s best-performing players with a 7.6/10 match rating.
Gundogan completed nearly 90% of his passes, won all of his aerial duels, completed 100% of his long balls and made three key passes in the final third (SofaScore) – all the hallmarks of a crucial team player.
City supporters may want to watch the former Borussia Dortmund star as the season goes on.
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