Guardiola lauds Silva as 'one of the best', questions VAR people

David Silva got two assists in his 400th Manchester City outing, leading to high praise from Pep Guardiola, while the Manchester City manager was in a sarcastic mood when discussing VAR.

Manchester City star David Silva and Pep Guardiola share a light moment after the club's victory over Bournemouth.   -  Getty Images

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola lauded David Silva as one of the best players he has ever seen after the Spaniard starred in his 400th appearance for the club, a 3-1 win at Bournemouth.

Silva started in an attack-minded midfield as both Fernandinho and Rodri were left on the bench, with City's approach ultimately paying dividends.

The 33-year-old split open the Bournemouth defence to set up Raheem Sterling to make it 2-0 to the Premier League champion, while he also claimed an assist for Sergio Aguero's second goal.

READ| Bournemouth 1-3 Manchester City: Aguero brace takes Citizens to second

It proved a fitting display from the playmaker, who joined from Valencia in 2010, as he reached a notable personal milestone on the south coast.

Guardiola admitted on Friday he had doubts about Silva's suitability for the Premier League before the midfielder made the move – now he ranks him among the greatest footballers he has witnessed.

"He played incredibly well," Guardiola told BBC Sport. "David, in this kind of game – with a defence so deep and with such few spaces – is so good. He's one of the best players I've ever seen.

"What can I say? Everyone knows David. He moves between the lines like no one else in the world, he is a fighter."

- Ask the VAR people, not me - Guardiola on penalty decisions -

Guardiola also told reporters to direct their questions to "the VAR people" when asked whether a challenge on David Silva should have earned Manchester City a penalty in its 3-1 win over Bournemouth.

Silva was seemingly brought down in the area in the second half of City's victory at Vitality Stadium on Sunday and replays showed contact on his foot from Jefferson Lerma, but VAR ruled referee Andre Marriner's decision not to award a penalty was correct.

That decision came after Raheem Sterling had a goal ruled out for offside in City's opener against West Ham and Gabriel Jesus was denied a last-minute winner against Tottenham, with both of those decisions involving VAR.

Asked about the challenge on Silva against Bournemouth, Guardiola told reporters: "No, no, no, penalty, no, no.

"It was clear hands last game [against Tottenham], I saw the last game. Penalty? No, please."

Asked whether he was briefed that about potential VAR issues in a meeting of all Premier League managers before the season started, Guardiola replied: "Ask [that question] to the VAR people, don't ask to me."