Jack Grealish has "learned a huge amount" at Manchester City, according to England manager Gareth Southgate.

Grealish became the most expensive player in British football history last year when he moved to City from boyhood club Aston Villa for £100million, but only recorded 10 goal involvements in his first season at the Etihad Stadium (six goals, four assists).

He made 39 appearances in all competitions (31 starts) for Pep Guardiola's side, but did create more chances from open play (76) than every other City player apart from Kevin De Bruyne (94).

The 26-year-old came off the bench for England on Tuesday and impressed as the Three Lions were able to force a late 1-1 draw against Germany in Munich.

Speaking ahead of his team's next Nations League clash with Italy, Southgate told a news conference he has seen improvements in Grealish since his big money move to City, where he won the Premier League title.

"It's important for all of our players that they feel that they understand how we want to play," Southgate said. 

"We give them a structure and we prepare them for the games, but within that, with their own talents and their own, we want them to come out. That's what makes the difference in the games.

"Jack had a fabulous impact on the game when he came on [against Germany]. I know he enjoys his football with us, but he also enjoys his football with his club, so I think it's important to say that. He has learned a huge amount being part of a team that has won the Premier League, which is massively important to him.

"He's a player we love working with. He's got a great mentality, a great character and I think he is a really good guy to have around the group. He has that joy having a football at his feet, which adds so much when you see players in training every day."

England will face Italy in a rematch of the Euro 2020 final on Saturday, and Southgate said the fact the game will be played behind closed doors at Molineux thanks to a ban imposed by UEFA after crowd trouble at Wembley before last year's final is an "embarrassment".

"If it is an embarrassment, it is for England as a country," he said. "A lot of the people that caused the problems I'm not certain were football fans.

"We spoke enough about it, we spoke about it after the final and when the punishment was first given, what I will say is the vast majority of our fans who travelled to Germany on Tuesday behaved brilliantly, a big thank you to them because maybe people were thinking something different but there were a huge majority who were a credit."

The England boss is expected to rotate his team as he looks for his first win of the Nations League campaign, and Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse is hoping he can take his chance if he is one of those fringe players selected.

"The manager highlighted before about seeing certain types of players in different types of games and hopefully if that opportunity comes then it's a good opportunity for me to showcase what I can do against a high level of opposition," the free-kick specialist said. "It will be a good opportunity to hopefully get some minutes.

"Everybody here is in the squad because they perform well for their club - and you can see that in training. The level is so, so high and having missed out on the European Championship squad, that was a big hurdle for me to overcome.

"I see this as a new challenge now, a new opportunity and I think that has given me a bit more of an incentive heading into this World Cup announcement that I want to be there, I want to be part of this fantastic group and hopefully replicate the success we had."

Gareth Southgate has challenged Manchester City attacker Jack Grealish to improve tactically if he is to become a regular starter for England.

Grealish was introduced from the bench with 18 minutes remaining of Tuesday's Nations League showdown with Germany in Munich.

The 26-year-old made a difference down the left-hand side for England, who secured a 1-1 draw through Harry Kane's late penalty after Jonas Hofmann had opened the scoring.

Despite his limited minutes on the pitch, Grealish managed six touches in the opposition box, which is double that of any England player other than Kane (seven).

He created one chance and was also involved in the build-up to the incident that saw Kane felled in the area to win the penalty that he converted for his 50th England goal.

However, while Southgate was pleased with the impact made by Grealish, the Three Lions boss indicated that he is still after more from British football's most expensive player.

"At the start of the game the challenge for the wide players was to attack, defend and to try to score goals – it's a high tactical level and you've got to be spot on," Southgate said.

"That's an area Jack can get better at. What he did do was carry the ball as the game opened up with a bit more space and opportunity. 

"The impact he and Jarrod Bowen had was really important in those attacking areas. There's a good challenge there among those players, but we've got to keep pushing them."

 

Only half of Grealish's 22 caps for England have been starts, and asked if he sees the former Aston Villa star continuing to be an impact substitute or a regular in the long term, Southgate said: "He can do both.

"If we didn't trust him we wouldn't put him on the pitch with 20 minutes to go in the belief he can make a difference."

England were three minutes from successive defeats to begin their Nations League campaign when Kane converted his late penalty.

The visitors fielded their most experienced starting line-up under Southgate in terms of average age (27 years, 89 days) and most caps won (481 prior to kick-off).

With home games against Italy and Hungary still to come this window, Southgate is happy with the progress being made by his side just five months out from the World Cup.

"These series of matches are about improving and learning as a team and you can't get that against lesser opposition," he said. 

"The quality of the game tests every part of the player. I think we'll review it and see things we can get better at.

"Coming away from home and getting a good result was a challenge for the players. Top teams don't lose two on the bounce and they've responded to that in the right way.

"It's an important sign for when you are in a team – we've got seven or eight players still in there that got to a World Cup semi-final. 

"That's important as they put their bodies on the line and on nights like this, you have to do that to get a result."

Jack Grealish has hailed new Manchester City team-mate Erling Haaland as "probably the best striker in the world".

The Norwegian has agreed a deal with the Premier League champions to sign from Borussia Dortmund for a reported fee of £51million (€60m).

Haaland scored 86 goals in 89 games for Dortmund in his time in Germany, and Grealish - who himself signed for City for a club-record £100m from Aston Villa last year - is looking forward to linking up with the 21-year old.

Speaking to Mirror Football, Grealish also outlined his desire to improve his own output at the Etihad Stadium, saying: "I wish I had scored and assisted more but at the end of the day, I didn't say that at the start of the season when I came here.

"The one thing I said was that I wanted to win stuff and the main thing I wanted to win was the Premier League. That was my main target and I've done that. I know personally I can push on next year and hopefully I do.

"We've signed a top striker, probably the best striker in the world in Haaland, so I'm sure he will contribute. It will be a season to look forward to.

"I'm looking forward to playing with him. Who wouldn't be? As a number nine, he's definitely in the top two, top one in the world."

Grealish recorded just 10 goal involvements (six goals, four assists) in 39 appearances (31 starts) in all competitions last season, though only Kevin De Bruyne (94) created more than his 76 chances from open play for Pep Guardiola's team.

City won one trophy in 2021-22, pipping Liverpool to the Premier League title on the final day of the season after a 3-2 comeback against Grealish's former team, Villa, and the England international wants to add to that haul next season. 

"You can imagine what the critics would have said; if I would have went for the price tag that I went for and then not won anything in my first season," he said.

"To be able to prove them wrong and even just sit at home with my Premier League medal is a dream come true. I just want to win everything that I play in. We want to win. At the end of your career, you look back on your medals and what you've won.

"I'm not saying I just want to win the Champions League next year. I want to win everything. I want to win the FA Cup, the Carabao Cup, the Premier League. That's what I've come here to do.

"I think I will improve next year, I know I will. I know there will be even more pressure on me next year than there was this year."

Ilkay Gundogan came off the bench to inspire Manchester City to the win that secured the Premier League title on Sunday, but spare a thought for Bernardo Silva.

Gundogan came on in the 68th minute, just before Philippe Coutinho made it 2-0 to Aston Villa, as it looked like City would let the title slip from their grasp.

But in scenes comparable to their incredible win over QPR on the final day of the 2011-12 season, City scored three goals in the space of five minutes and 37 seconds to turn the game on its head.

Gundogan scored twice, either side of Rodri's equaliser, to seal his name in City folklore.

It was Silva who made way for Gundogan and, while celebrating his first Premier League title in style, it would seem a rather jolly Jack Grealish could not resist having a friendly jibe at his team-mate.

Having taken the microphone from Kyle Walker, who had been busy eulogising about John Stones, Grealish said on City's official live stream of the open-top bus parade through Manchester: "Do you know what, I said earlier on the coach, it's been brilliant to win my first title.

"I want to thank everyone, but the main person I want to thank is Bernardo Silva for coming off in the 70th minute, because he was miles off it yesterday!"

Grealish seemed intent on being the life of the party, also quipping that Pep Guardiola had signed him because he is the only player capable of beating Walker in a one-v-one, though the England international is probably fortunate that City do not have training to focus on any time soon. He may just have a sore head come Tuesday morning.

Jack Grealish was reduced to tears after Manchester City's stunning turnaround against Aston Villa secured the first Premier League title of his career.

An unused substitute at the Etihad Stadium, Grealish watched on from the bench as Pep Guardiola's men fell 2-0 behind against his former club, who appeared set to hand the crown to Liverpool.

However, City hit back in emphatic fashion with three goals in the space of five minutes – Ilkay Gundogan's brace sandwiching a Rodri strike – completing a remarkable turnaround and sealing a fourth title in five seasons in a 3-2 victory.

Grealish has endured a tricky first year at the Etihad since making a British-record £100million switch from Villa.

But with a first Premier League triumph under his belt, the England international is confident he can truly kick on next season.

"It's unbelievable," he told Sky Sports. "After the third goal went in, I ran onto the pitch and, after that, I ran straight down the tunnel, I was just crying my eyes out.

"We know how good of a side they were, and they showed it today. But we knew with our quality, we can beat anyone.

"I can't put it into words. When I signed here, people would say to me: 'what do you actually want to win, the Champions League or Premier League?' For me, I've never won it, so it's incredible.

"It's harder [playing at City] than I thought. It's more difficult than I thought, but I’ve enjoyed it all. It's been difficult.

"This today, makes up for it, it really does. I know that I can kick on, and I certainly will."

Meanwhile, Raheem Sterling, who took his personal Premier League winners’ medal tally to four, highlighted the talent and determination within Guardiola’s squad.

"It shows what a talented bunch [of players] we have, and the determination to go year in and year out and try to challenge for the title. It's an unbelievable achievement," he said.

"At 1-0, I still thought we could do it. When I saw that second goal go in, it was a real disappointing one. But with the players that we have and still having time on the board, it’s still possible, so what a win!

"Each year, we know how difficult it’s going to be. Liverpool is a great opponent; every year, they push us to the wire, but this is why we can achieve stuff like this."

Manchester City have done the job, just about.

Their remarkable 3-2 comeback victory over Aston Villa on Sunday ensured that the Premier League title is theirs for a fourth time in five seasons, ending Liverpool's hopes of a remarkable quadruple in the process.

While Liverpool will now turn their full focus to the Champions League final as they look to secure a third trophy of the campaign, Pep Guardiola will look to build on his side's domestic dominance heading into next season.

Erling Haaland's impending arrival is a strong start to doing just that, and City will have another go at the Champions League next term too with the Norway forward leading their line – the issue of playing without a "proper" number nine finally put to bed.

Had Guardiola and City got their way in 2021, they would have had a striker for this season, too, but Tottenham did not budge on their valuation of Harry Kane.

Yet that lack of a natural centre forward has ultimately not proved costly, and here, Stats Perform looks at the key moments behind City's title success.

Grealish arrives, but no Kane

City broke the English transfer record to sign Jack Grealish for £100million, and while the England international's form has at times been questioned, it was a statement of intent from the champions.

That being said, they missed out on Kane, meaning Guardiola would once again have to do it the hard way... or, at least, rely on his plethora of world-class attacking midfielders to play up front.

The failure to sign Kane was highlighted, ironically, in a 1-0 defeat to Spurs to start the season, though City bounced back with 5-0 thrashings of Norwich City and Arsenal.

Supreme at Stamford Bridge 

City fell short in last season's Champions League final against Chelsea, but on September 25, they rocked up at Stamford Bridge and, if the signing of Grealish was a statement of intent made off the pitch, this performance was one made very much on it.

Guardiola's team delivered a stellar display, especially in the first half, with Gabriel Jesus' goal enough to end Chelsea's unbeaten start to the season.

They may have only won 1-0, but City finished with 15 shots to five, registering an xG (expected goals) of 1.4 to 0.2 and dominated the ball (59 per cent).

Old Trafford dominance

City suffered a surprise set-back at the end of October, losing 2-0 at home to Crystal Palace. Fortunately for them, Liverpool drew 2-2 to Brighton and Hove Albion at Anfield on the same day, and Guardiola's team rallied the following week.

A 2-0 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford was as dominant as you could get at the home of a city rival. The xG tells its own story – City's 2.37 to United's 0.75, 16 attempts to five, with five on target from the visitors, who hit the woodwork twice.

Twelve of City's shots came from inside United's area, showing just how easy they found it to carve open their neighbours, who managed just four touches in the opposition box (City had 32, and 92 final-third entries). The victory sparked a 12-game winning run that was bookended by a 1-0 home success over Chelsea and included a 7-0 rout of Leeds United and 6-3 dispatching of Leicester City.

Good fortune at Goodison

A 3-2 home defeat to Spurs snapped a 15-game unbeaten run that had seemingly put City well on track to securing the title with relative ease. And it appeared they may well drop points again in the next match, a tough fixture against relegation-battling Everton at Goodison Park at the end of February.

Phil Foden struck eight minutes from time to seal a 1-0 victory that moved City six points clear at the top of the Premier League, but Everton were denied the chance for a late equaliser from the penalty spot when referee Paul Tierney and VAR Chris Kavanagh failed to spot a handball by Rodri.

The Premier League clarified that the penalty was not awarded because there was insufficient evidence to show the ball struck Rodri below the level of his armpit, not because Richarlison had strayed offside in the build-up, and referees chief Mike Riley subsequently apologised to Everton for the mistake.

"Can this episode affect a whole season? I will review a lot of incidents. It looks offside for Richarlison; if it's not offside, it's a penalty," said Guardiola after the incident. Had Everton been awarded the penalty, and converted it, then the title might well be Liverpool's.

Champions League heartbreak fuels De Bruyne-inspired charge

With both Premier League meetings between the title rivals finishing all square, it was Liverpool who got the edge in the FA Cup in April, winning the semi-final clash 3-2. The sides seemed destined to meet again in the Champions League final, yet Real Madrid had other ideas.

Quicker than Carlo Ancelotti could raise his eyebrow, Madrid turned a tie that seemed all wrapped up in City's favour on its head thanks to two Rodrygo goals, and Karim Benzema's extra-time penalty capped off one of the all-time great comebacks, and one of the all-time worst capitulations, in the competition's history.

Yet City, who had beaten Leeds 4-0, Watford 5-1 and Brighton 3-0 in their previous three league outings, responded with a 5-0 demolition of in-form Newcastle United, with late goals from Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling really doing wonders for their goal difference. To boost their mood, Liverpool had drawn with Spurs at Anfield a day earlier.

That advantage grew further still three days later – Kevin De Bruyne scoring four goals (three with his weaker left foot) in a 5-1 defeat of Wolves.

Gundogan sparks a comeback for the ages

City's second-half comeback against West Ham dashed Liverpool's hopes of a true slip-up, though Riyad Mahrez's penalty miss in that match did allow the Reds to close the gap to one point heading into the final day, meaning Guardiola's side needed a win to guarantee the title.

In a narrative a Hollywood scriptwriter would have done well to dream up, Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard was the manager tasked with ending City's charge and, in the process, giving the Reds the title (should, of course, Jurgen Klopp's team beat Wolves).

And that narrative seemed set to rule when Villa went 2-0 up at the Etihad Stadium thanks to goals from Matty Cash and ex-Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho, with the visitors' two-goal lead still intact going into the last 15 minutes.

But Ilkay Gundogan – on what could well have been his final City appearance – had other ideas.

After coming on from the bench, he hauled City back into it with a header from Raheem Sterling's cross and, following Rodri's equaliser, the Germany international tucked in from a Kevin De Bruyne centre to complete a stunning, title-clinching comeback.

Pep Guardiola has learned winning titles is not as life-changing as he expected and told potential first-time Premier League champion Jack Grealish his happiness should be the priority.

Guardiola's Manchester City head into the final day of the league season a point ahead of Liverpool, knowing victory against Aston Villa – £100million man Grealish's boyhood club – would clinch the championship.

Unlike for Grealish, though, this is far from Guardiola's first title triumph, winning LaLiga nine times with Barcelona as a player and coach, then adding a hat-trick of Bundesliga crowns at Bayern Munich.

Guardiola is closing on a fourth Premier League success in six years since joining City, but he revealed two days before the Villa match how his perspective of such victories was changed by his first as a player.

"Before winning the first title, I thought it would be the most incredible moment in our lives," Guardiola told a news conference. "But the day after you feel, 'oh, this is all it's about?'

"Because the day after, the sun rises and people start to demand more and more. The satisfaction is there, of course, but after one, two, three days, it's already forgotten. It has to be like that.

"That's why it's nice, because there's a lot of work behind and we have incredible focus to try to do it, but at the end it does not change many lives winning or losing.

"We are going to try. This is the most important thing, to be ourselves and do what we have to do to be proud after the game.

"I think people forgot most of the time: football is a game. A game means unpredictable things, luck, unlucky, a thousand things you cannot control.

"The way we play and the quality of the players we have, we are most of the time in the position to win, because we play to win and are most of the time closer, closer, closer, but there are aspects you cannot control, even if you want to.

"It's a game, football is a game. Something can happen – that's why you have to put it in the right measure.

"We are going to try. Of course, we have incredible desire to win; if we can do it, we will be incredibly happy. But after one or two or three days of celebration with our people, we'll continue and start again."

It was a theme Guardiola returned to later when asked what victory might mean to Grealish, who left Villa last year having won only a Championship play-off final.

"For him, who has never won a Premier League, it must be so exciting, so important, but now he will realise what I said before," his manager said. "The day after, 'oh, everything was about that?'

"He will be happy he has won, but my advice to him is try to be happy as much as possible playing football. This is more important than winning titles. Be happy doing your job.

"After two or three days, you feel, 'all the effort for that?' Okay, it's good, the name in your curriculum vitae, but no more than that.

"What's important is if he feels happy here. If he is comfortable, getting better, getting better, that's the most important thing."

In an entertaining meeting with the media, it was put to Guardiola that this would be a special title for him, too, as the first he has won on his own terms at the Etihad Stadium.

Twice his City were made champions by defeats for rivals Manchester United, while their final-day 2018-19 celebrations came after a win away at Brighton and Hove Albion.

But Guardiola was not convinced, sarcastically replying: "Oh, so nice, so nice. Yeah, good. I would prefer winning two days ago, in Wolves for example."

Jack Grealish does not expect any more favours from Liverpool, as he called on Manchester City to win their remaining games to defend their Premier League crown.

City seized the initiative in an absorbing title battle on Sunday, thrashing Newcastle United 5-0 after Jurgen Klopp's Reds had been held to a frustrating 1-1 draw by Tottenham on Saturday. 

Having embarked on a nine-match unbeaten run in the league, winning seven of those, City hold a three-point advantage heading into the final three games of the season, and will travel to Wolves for their next outing on Wednesday after watching Liverpool face Aston Villa on Tuesday.

Grealish, however, says City must simply focus on winning their remaining games to be crowned champions, and thinks another error from quadruple-chasing Liverpool is unlikely.

"Liverpool are a great team and I don't think they will be slipping up again if I am honest," he said. "We have to stay on the ball and go and pick up maximum points.

"For me, the Premier League is the best league in the world. Anything can happen in these remaining games, so we have to stay strong and keep our foot on the pedal.

"We cannot take our foot off it, and they are going to be three very tough games and we have to get maximum points if we want to lift the title."

City travel to Molineux looking to extend a 16-match unbeaten run away from home in the Premier League, the longest such streak in their league history, and have kept five consecutive clean sheets on the road in the top flight.

Having arrived at the Etihad Stadium as the most expensive British player in history last year, Grealish has not enjoyed a standout individual season, recording just five goals and four assists in 37 appearances in all competitions.

However, the England star has created 73 chances, with only Kevin De Bruyne (119) laying on more opportunities for City this term.

The 26-year-old was criticised after missing two great chances in City's stunning Champions League capitulation against Real Madrid last week, and admitted prior to the Newcastle win that he "could have done better" since his move.

But Grealish says he has enjoyed his debut campaign with Guardiola's team, which he is hopeful will end with the first major trophy of his career.

"I am loving it. This is what I have come here for, to play in these big games and that is what I want to do," he added. "I want to win medals, win titles, so I am really enjoying it.

"I have got the lads, the staff and the manager to thank for that for making me feel so welcome. Hopefully we can all win something."

Jack Grealish hailed a "perfect" response from Manchester City as a 5-0 thumping of Newcastle United banished their Champions League blues. 

City will not be champions of Europe this season after their dramatic semi-final exit to Real Madrid, but they are red-hot favourites for the Premier League title after this weekend's turn of events. 

Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Tottenham, which halted the Reds' 12-game winning run in the league at Anfield, allowed City to pull three points clear on Sunday. 

With only three rounds of games remaining, City would have to throw it away. They have Wolves, West Ham and Aston Villa to come, and the onslaught against Newcastle saw City go four ahead of Liverpool in the goal difference stakes too. 

As Grealish acknowledged, the destiny of the title is very much in City's hands. 

Grealish told Sky Sports: "We always knew there was going to be pressure on us today, especially after what happened in midweek, but we bounced back perfectly. 

"We've stuck together as a team and a unit in the past few days, which was needed. We'll just try to end the season strongly, and we've certainly done that today." 

City were 5-3 ahead on aggregate against Madrid heading into the closing moments in the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday, but Rodrygo's late double and a Karim Benzema penalty in extra time left Pep Guardiola's visitors shaken. 

"Today was a perfect response and a perfect performance," Grealish said. 

"We're in the driving seat. We can't look at what's going on around us. It's in our hands, and we have to go and win every game as we would anyway." 

It was the 30th time that City have scored five or more goals in a Premier League game since Guardiola took charge at the start of the 2016-17 season. 

Grealish teed up Oleksandr Zinchenko to cross for Phil Foden to score City's fourth, and the former Aston Villa man played in Raheem Sterling for the fifth in stoppage time. 

Rodri had earlier headed the third, and the Spanish midfielder said: "The personality we saw today was unbelievable – 5-0 after what happened [in Madrid] is incredible. 

"The mood wasn't very high as you can see, but on Friday the team woke up and focused on the game." 

Pointing to his head, Rodri added: "I think we do unbelievable work here. Sometimes it's more important than in the legs and that's what the champion teams do." 

Jack Grealish has been left out of Manchester City's biggest matches in recent weeks purely due to tactical reasons, Pep Guardiola has explained.

Grealish, signed for a record-breaking £100million last off-season, has started just three of City's eight games so far in April.

The Premier League leaders bookend what has been a hectic month with a trip to Leeds United on Saturday, and may well start the match at Elland Road in second place, should Liverpool get a result against in-form Newcastle United.

Grealish featured from the off in last week's 5-1 rout of Watford, but did not play against Real Madrid in Tuesday's thrilling Champions League encounter as City won the first leg of their semi-final 4-3.

The 26-year-old also started against Burnley at the start of April and in the FA Cup semi-final to Liverpool, scoring City's first goal in a 3-2 defeat at Wembley. However, he was a substitute against the Reds in the 2-2 league draw on April 10, and only featured from the bench in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final tie with Atletico Madrid. He also did not appear against Brighton and Hove Albion.

Only Bruno Fernandes (77) created more chances from open play in the Premier League than Grealish (70) last season, with the England international managing to craft 42 goalscoring chances from open play for City across 22 top-flight appearances this term. 

That is still the third-best figure in City's squad, behind Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva (both 52), and Guardiola has insisted the playmaker's recent omissions were purely tactical and not down to a disappointment in Grealish's level of performance.

"He can play," Guardiola replied when asked in a news conference why Grealish had been left out of the biggest matches.

"Nothing changes. In that position, in important games Riyad [Mahrez] gives something unique, special and Phil [Foden] is so determined, his will and his impact on the game is huge as well. Just for that reason.

"Raheem [Sterling], everybody knows how important he is for me. Always have the feeling with Phil and Riyad that the goal is there, they have the sense to score the goal. 

"Sometimes you need more control, maybe Jack. Most of the time it is a tactical decision, not because I'm unsatisfied or that they're not playing good."

While Grealish could be in line to play against Leeds, Kyle Walker remains sidelined through injury, with Guardiola unsure if the full-back will return before the end of the season. John Stones will also be absent in West Yorkshire.

City did not beat Leeds in either match last season, drawing at Elland Road before losing to 10 men at the Etihad Stadium. Indeed, the Whites have lost just two of their last nine home league games against City (W6 D1), doing so in consecutive meetings in December 1995 (0-1) and September 2000 (1-2).

But City did win the reverse fixture 7-0 this season and are looking to complete their first league double over Leeds since 1981-82. Guardiola, though, knows Jesse Marsch's team, who are five points clear of the relegation zone after a five-game unbeaten run that has included three victories, stand in the way of what could be a crucial win.

"Last season we dropped five points against Marcelo [Bielsa]," he said. "Jesse Marsch did an incredible job in Salzburg, [RB] Leipzig wasn't the perfect place maybe, but many teams in England play that way, I have a lot of respect.

"This is the most important game that we have for the position we will be in between the Champions League games, after Madrid we have just four games all in the league. We accept the challenge, know exactly what we have to do and we will try to do it."

Jack Grealish firmly believes Manchester City can win a Premier League and Champions League double and insists their FA Cup loss to Liverpool will not affect their ambitions.

Pep Guardiola's men suffered a thrilling 3-2 semi-final defeat to Jurgen Klopp's team on Saturday, with Sadio Mane's double adding to Ibrahima Konate's opener to give the Reds a comfortable half-time lead.

Goals from Grealish and Bernardo Silva threatened an incredible turnaround, but City were unable to find a leveller and fell to their first Wembley defeat to Liverpool, having beaten them on penalties in both the 2016 League Cup final and the 2019 Community Shield.

City have now lost on four of their last five FA Cup semi-final appearances, but Grealish said the loss would not affect their attempts to beat Liverpool to the Premier League and Champions League trophies.

"Yes, 100 per cent [City can win both competitions]," he told the club's official media channels. "You go in there and look at the talent and experience that we have in that dressing room, I don't think anyone else in the league has one like it.

"Our performances and where we are in the league speak for itself. We just have to pick ourselves up, go again and hopefully by the end of the season we'll have [won] the Premier League and the Champions League.

"That's what you'll get at Manchester City, because you're always in [multiple] competitions come the end of the season, it's always game after game."

City's slow start to the encounter resulted in them conceding three first-half goals for the first time since April 2018, when they trailed the same opponents 3-0 at the break in the Champions League.

 

The former Aston Villa man conceded their poor display in the opening period ultimately cost them a place in the final, suggesting City would have levelled an absorbing tie had it gone on for just five more minutes.

"Obviously we started slow, for the whole of the first half Liverpool were on top," he added. "For us, it wasn't an ideal first half and in the end it cost us.

"I'm not going sit here and say excuses. I just think we came out slow. That was it. Liverpool have been the same as us, they've travelled the same amount as us in the last few weeks, played the same as us.

"We didn't have the first half that we wanted to, but we came in at half-time and the manager made a few changes. In the second half I think we were much better for it, but I think in the end it was too little, too late.

"With another five minutes I think we'd have gotten another goal, and if we took it to extra time there would only have been one winner, but it wasn't meant to be."

City will turn their attentions back to the Premier League when they host Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday, although they could begin that game in second place with Liverpool, one point behind the leaders, facing Manchester United one day earlier.

Jack Grealish has revealed his Manchester City team-mates have told him to become more selfish in front of goal.

England winger Grealish was a £100million signing for City at the start of the season but has scored just four goals in all competitions since leaving Aston Villa.

However, this is as much due to the 26-year-old's selfless play in front of goal as any wayward finishing.

Grealish has slightly underperformed his expected goals tally of 6.2, but he has attempted only one shot for every 30 touches on average.

Fellow winger Riyad Mahrez has averaged a shot every 17 touches, Gabriel Jesus every 19 touches, Raheem Sterling every 21 touches and Phil Foden every 23 touches.

Even Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan, who can occasionally play in deeper roles, average shots every 24 and 27 touches respectively.

It is no surprise then that Grealish's City colleagues are calling on him to shoot more often.

"I shoot way less than anyone," he told BBC Sport. "I'm not even sure why, the guys say it here. Like say if I score in training, the lads are like, 'why don't you shoot more?'

"I probably should become more selfish. But I don't really count myself as a selfish player. If someone's in a better position I'm going to pass it to them.

"I actually love the feeling of having an assist – players coming over and thanking you for their goal. It's just nice. Scoring is the best feeling in football, but I just love assisting."

Yet Grealish has only supplied three assists this term – "I should definitely have more assists," he says – even if the deeper statistics are more forgiving.

He has created 66 chances, including 64 from open play; both rank third among City players. Those include nine 'big chances', from which Opta would expect a player to score, explaining his expected assists total of 5.9.

These numbers have been relayed to Grealish by the City staff, offering encouragement during a slightly tricky debut campaign.

"I can see why people [focus on goals and assists], but it's been so much different," he said.

"I sat down with the manager and the analyst guys from City, they've showed me stats that you want to see as an attacking player that aren't goals and assists – expected assists, passes in the final third, successful passes in the final third and stuff like this, where I've been quite successful in.

"I just need a few to fall my way and then they'll come."

Jack Grealish will prove a good signing for Manchester City, says David James, even if the former England goalkeeper remains unsure whether the playmaker has lived up to his record-breaking price tag.

Grealish became the most expensive British transfer of all time when he moved to the Premier League champions from Aston Villa for £100million last year.

While the 26-year-old has not been at the sparkling best he showed during his time at Villa, he has made 31 appearances across all competitions, starting 26 times.

Those appearances have yielded only four goals, with Pep Guardiola happy to utilise Grealish as a rotation option, with City still in with a chance of a domestic and European treble.

Though Grealish's price tag hangs over his head, ex-City man James believes helping deliver more silverware will make the transfer worthwhile.

"You can't ignore the money," James told Stats Perform. "But there wouldn't be a value or a price tag which would arguably justify either way whether it was a good or bad signing.

"Grealish has been heavily involved in Manchester City's games this season. [They are] top of the league, [in the] quarter-finals of the Champions League and semi-finals of the FA Cup.

"Jack Grealish has been involved in that. He's part of the team which has been very successful at the moment. It's a good signing."

Grealish directly contributed to 16 Premier League goals last season at Villa (six goals, 10 assists), but that figure stands at just four so far this term (two goals, two assists).

He crafted 81 chances in total last season in the top flight, at an average of 3.3 per 90 minutes. That has dropped to 43 so far this season (2.5 per 90).

But James believes the switch has shown new shades to Grealish's game, such as having to become more of a team player in a squad packed with stars.

"The thing that I like more about Jack is that there's a different side to his game than what he had [at] Aston Villa," he added.

"As influential as he was, it was almost like they needed Jack to make Aston Villa work. [City] don't need in the same sense. They don't need Jack at Manchester City for Man City to work.

"He has to be part of the bigger team, which I think he's done successfully. I think he's been a successful signing.

"If City are to win the league, [if] they are to win the Champions League [and if they are] to win the FA Cup, then a big part of that will be Jack Grealish being in the club."

Jack Grealish is in awe of England team-mate Jude Bellingham, labelling his abilities as "scary" for one so young.

Bellingham played the full 90 minutes as the Three Lions beat 10-man Ivory Coast 3-0 at Wembley on Tuesday, catching the eye as he featured in an advanced role ahead of James Ward-Prowse and Declan Rice.

It was Bellingham's 12th senior cap, with England winning every single match he has played in – only Theo Walcott (14 matches) has enjoyed a longer winning start to his Three Lions career than the Borussia Dortmund midfielder.

Bellingham is in his second season in the Bundesliga with Dortmund and has already established himself as a key player, making 25 league starts from a possible 27.

Links to other major European clubs have been frequent for the youngster, and Grealish could not hide the admiration he holds for his fellow West Midlands-native after a mature performance.

Asked if he had ever played alongside a teenager as good as Bellingham, Grealish told reporters: "I haven't actually. It is scary how good he is at 18.

"He is just so mature. He is built like he is my age at 26. He has so much technical ability and he is mature for his age.

"I can tell you one thing, I was nowhere near as good at 18. I was at Notts County [on loan from Aston Villa] and I was a scrawny little thing as well.

"You see talented 18 or 19-year-old kids but not many are that mature as he is on the pitch. He is so versatile and can play in many different positions on the pitch.

"He can be a six, eight or a 10. It was good to play with him and I think it was my first time playing with him. It is nice to play with a fellow Brummie."

Gareth Southgate described the reaction of some England supporters towards Harry Maguire as "an absolute joke" after the defender was booed before kick-off on Tuesday.

Manchester United captain Maguire started the Three Lions' victory against the Ivory Coast, as goals for Ollie Watkins, Raheem Sterling and Tyrone Mings secured a 3-0 success at Wembley.

The centre-back has been a key performer for Southgate since breaking through into the senior set-up, and he was named to the UEFA Team of the Tournament for his performances at Euro 2020.

Yet since scoring in England's penalty shoot-out loss to Italy in last year's final, Maguire has struggled for form at club level, and has often found himself a scapegoat for United's on-field issues.

Those frustrations translated themselves into audible jeers from sections of the home support on Tuesday, leaving Southgate to launch a passionate defence of his player at the full-time whistle.

"I thought the reception was a joke, an absolute joke," manager Southgate said. "The way he has performed for us has been absolutely phenomenal.

"I don't get it. We're either all in this together or we're not. He's in an England shirt and [...] you support a player in an England shirt regardless.

"When you've played at the level he has for us and put the performances in he has, it should be total commitment behind him. I don't get it at all.

"His performance was pretty faultless really. He stepped out from the back really well for his first goal, was involved in the second one too.

"The team are totally united. We recognise everyone has difficult moments, but he's a top player and he will come through it.

"They are real England fans and some are influenced by whatever – social media or players that played previously who are influencing opinion.

"The club situation is obviously very difficult, but he's in an England shirt. I remember decades ago a few players being booed in an England shirt, and it's never been acceptable to me. Fans should always get behind their team."

 

Jack Grealish also came to Maguire's defence, with the Manchester City attacking midfielder hailing the defender's creative prowess as crucial to the Three Lions' success against Ivory Coast.

"Personally I think it's ridiculous," Grealish said. "Harry's been unbelievable for this country. Our first two goals have come from him.

"Not every centre-back can have those qualities. It was ridiculous for him to get booed, and it wasn't something the team liked one bit."

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