Riyad Mahrez is finally finding consistency to his game that has helped Manchester City break down some stubborn defences and build a thirteen-game winning run, Shaun Goater believes.
Mahrez was in good form against Burnley on Wednesday, as he played a key role in City’s crucial second goal that killed the game just before half time. He was unlucky not to score himself in the second half, with VAR judging he was marginally offside when converting from close range.
Pep Guardiola has rotated his front line in recent weeks, with Mahrez coming in and out of the side. However, he has maintained a high level of consistency in his performances that club legend Goater says is helping the whole team flourish.
Speaking to City TV after the Burnley win, he said: “When Pep rotates, players come in and there is absolute quality in abundance. Mahrez excites me, you know he wants to go on his left, but you don’t know when!
“He has a magical left foot. It important to open up defences that are compact and with Mahrez, there is always that likelihood,
“He is pure quality. I’m excited to see these players produce quality, make no mistake it isn’t easy to do what they do every three or four days, but these guys play at a high level.
“We had to be on our game because Burnley made it tough and compact, but we were. And with Ilkay Gundogan ghosting up and down the pitch – I love him – always looking to get Mahrez in the game, it’s looking really good for us.”
With plenty of attacking options, Mahrez is often one of the first to be rotated, however Goater believes he is starting to show his quality in a consistent way that will make it more difficult for Guardiola to drop him in the future.
Up next for City is a trip to Liverpool, with the opportunity to move ten points clear of the defending champions and still have a game in hand.
With 20 games passing since City’s last defeat, Goater says his former side are the team to catch if any team wants to win the Premier League this season.
“The confidence we have, I can’t see teams catching us if we keep playing as we are,” he explained.
“You look at other teams and think could they go unbeaten? But City have done it before. Clean sheets, creativity and goals scored so Pep will be a happy man.
“With the momentum and style we are going with at the moment, Sunday should be a great game. Yes Liverpool have shown flashes of form lately, but it’s going to be an awesome game with the two great managers going head-to-head together again.”