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Guardiola praises ‘best holding midfielder’ Rodri & Alvarez after City avoid Red Star scare

Manchester City survived an early scare to secure a 3-1 victory over Red Star Belgrade as they began the defence of their Champions League title. 

Julian Alvarez and Rodrigo helped Man City to snatch a crucial victory today. The Argentine was bright and electric, while Rodrigo continued his incredible form from last season.

The Serbian club took the lead despite City’s expected pressure. The Premier League champions missed several good chances, and Osman Bukari gave Red Star the lead.

City had applied the pressure, dominated possession and created the better chances, but their opponents went into the half-time break with a 1-0 lead.

However, turned it around in the second half to secure a win. Alvarez took an Erling Braut Haaland pass before finishing deftly to equalise after 47 minutes.

Alvarez then forced Omri Glazerto to spill a shot, but Haaland could not capitalise. The goalkeeper then fumbled Alvarez’s cross into the net as City took the lead.

Rodri ensured the win, showing good footwork and balance before curling a gorgeous effort in. 

City manager Pep Guardiola praised both men for their performances at the Etihad Stadium.

Guardiola said on Alvarez (via Man City’s official website): “He deserves it. Every single game, he is working, scoring, and making assists. He deserves it.” 

On Rodrigo, he added: “Right now, yeah, he is the best (holding midfielder). Hopefully, he can be better and improve, but he is an extraordinary holding midfielder.

“We were lucky the club signed this player, and when he arrived, he was not this type of player. Now, he is one of the captains. He is a top-class player.”

The key clash for City will be when they face RB Leipzig in the next round of games on October 4.

Leipzig kicked off their campaign with a 3-1 victory over Young Boys.

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