Riyad Mahrez a 'more efficient' goalscorer for Manchester City

9 months ago 3153
Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez (right) celebrate a goal for Manchester CityRiyad Mahrez (right) has eight goals in his past eight outings for Manchester City

Manchester City forward Riyad Mahrez believes he is getting more efficient in front of goal after netting twice in the 4-1 win over Manchester United.

The Algeria captain took his tally to 21 goals in all competitions for City this season, and helped Pep Guardiola's side re-establish a six-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

"I don't know if I am a great goalscorer but I am trying to help the team as much as I can every game," Mahrez, 31, told BBC Radio 5 live.

"This season I am more efficient but it is because of the work we are doing in training.

"I am trying to be more in the box and trying to be involved everywhere to try to score goals and help the team. That is the only thing I am trying to do."

In just 33 appearances Mahrez has far surpassed his previous best goalscoring return for City since his move from Leicester in 2018, which came when he found the back of the net 14 times last season.

He is City's join-top scorer in the league in 2021-22, level with Raheem Sterling on 10 goals, and his two second-half strikes against United at the Etihad earned him a post-match hug from boss Guardiola.

"It was very good, especially the second half. We totally controlled the second half," Mahrez said.

"When we are like that it is difficult to take us [on]. That is our identity and we have to keep it.

"We are happy to win and we give a hug to each other and congratulate each other because it was a tough game and we did a good job."

Mahrez's ability 'comes from his mum and dad'

Since returning from a disappointing group-stage exit with Algeria at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, Mahrez has eight goals across his past eight appearances for Manchester City.

Asked about how he has improved players in his squad, Guardiola said Mahrez's natural ability was a more important factor.

"You are mistaken with what you said about improving players," Guardiola told BBC Radio 5 live.

"Riyad was the best player when they won the league at Leicester.

"The quality belongs to them. I just try as a manager to make them feel together and the movements they do together can increase their abilities.

"The ability comes from his mum and dad, so I cannot help them. The goals belong to them - I cannot do anything."

However, Mahrez has paid tribute to Guardiola, who has won three Premier League titles with City following trophy-laden spells in charge of Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

"Of course it is down to parents and education and everything," Mahrez said.

"Obviously Pep has a big influence on me, on us and made me improve a lot with my football. That is why he is one of the best managers."

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