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Pep Guardiola hails ‘unbelievable’ impact of Manchester City foursome 



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has praised the impact of four recent substitutes ahead of a crucial concluding week of the campaign. 

The 53-year-old has hailed the impact of Jeremy Doku, Julian Alvarez, Rico Lewis and Oscar Bobb following their cameo appearances against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon. 

The foursome were introduced during the closing stages of the weekend win in west London, as Manchester City took another step towards the Premier League title with a 0-4 triumph. 

Julian Alvarez scored in successive appearances, netting from the penalty spot against Fulham after previously marking his 100th appearance for the club with a goal against Wolves at the Etihad Stadium. 

Doku, Lewis and Bobb have also proven particularly influential from the bench since the turn of the year, with the latter scoring a last-gasp winner at St James’ Park against Newcastle United in the Premier League in January. 

Manchester City’s agonising penalty shoot-out loss to Real Madrid came despite a glittering display from Doku, who replaced Jack Grealish during the second-half of the quarter-final defeat. 

The Belgian international signed for £55.5 million last summer, and is bidding to win a first Premier League title during his maiden campaign in England. 

Ahead of a defining final week of the season, with Manchester City visiting Tottenham and looking to move two points clear of Arsenal with a victory on Tuesday, manager Pep Guardiola has praised the performances of recent substitutes. 

“It’s really important, it is. Look at the last game, Jeremy (Doku) and the impact he played in his minutes, and Julian (Alvarez) the same with the goal, and especially the young lads like Rico (Lewis) and Oscar (Bobb) – they were unbelievable in the last minutes. 

“The result was 0-2, 0-3 but the game was, OK a little bit more comfortable, but even with that they played really good. 

“We need it of course because we can play in a certain way and after we need another specific quality for the game in the last minutes or whatever, and we need them.” 

Guardiola could have a fully fit squad for the midweek visit to Tottenham, with both Grealish and Nathan Ake potentially available. 

Grealish missed last weekend’s win over Fulham due to illness, meanwhile Ake was withdrawn in the first-half due to an injury issue at Craven Cottage.