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De Bruyne, not Salah, would've got Pienaar's PFA vote

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Kyle Walker insists Man City relish 1-0 wins as much as lopsided victories

Manchester City correspondent Jonathan Smith grades Pep Guardiola and how his side have performed so far this season.

Manchester City aren't afraid of grinding out 1-0 wins if that's what it takes to bring success, according to defender Kyle Walker.

Pep Guardiola's side have scored 52 goals already this season -- including 38 from their 11 Premier League games that has seen them open up an eight-point gap at the top of the table.

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City have scored four or more goals in six games already, including a 7-2 win over Stoke City, but Walker says the 1-0 win at champions Chelsea was just as satisfying.

"The 1-0 wins where we can contain those players that Chelsea have, that's like a 7-2 win to us, so we need to keep that going," he said ahead of City's trip to Leicester City on Saturday.

"In the last couple of weeks we know as a defensive unit we've been a little bit under par but luckily the forwards have been flying and long may that continue.

"We're professionals. We train hard day in day out, come a Saturday or if it's in the Champions League so we need to apply ourselves in the right manner, and not not take our foot off the gas, keep plugging away and even if we have to grind results out and get the 1-0 victory, it's three points at the end of the day and that's the most important thing."

Guardiola will be forced into at least one change against the Foxes with centre-back Nicolas Otamendi ruled out through suspension.

City's defence has conceded just seven goals in the league this season -- the second meanest in the division behind Manchester United -- and Walker believes the whole side deserves credit.

Kyle Walker, left, says 1-0 wins are just as satisfying to the team as their more lopsided victories.

"Nico's been fantastic, he doesn't get the credit he deserves," the former Tottenham defender added. "We've got flying forwards that are scoring goals left, right and centre but Nico's been a rock at the back.

"Obviously coming in new and playing with him for the first time, you don't really know what he's capable of and he could go onto anything because he's that good.

"It's the back four plus Fernandinho and the whole team. They say that you start your defence from the front so it's the whole team collectively.

"We score goals together and we defend goals together. For Ederson, to come into the Premier League, as physical as it is, he's took to it really well and he should be very pleased with himself."

City have won 10 and drawn just once in the league this season with some claiming they already champions in waiting. But Walker insists there is no danger of them losing focus with Guardiola around.

"I think just having him standing on the touchline is enough motivation in itself," the England international said. "You want to impress one of the best managers in the world.

"He's won a lot of things, he's got a lot of knowledge in the game so you need to take it on board and listen to him because he's managed the best players in the world.

"If we can just keep playing and keep doing what he's saying then we're going to be a force to be reckoned with.

"He's very similar to [Mauricio Pochettino] my last manager in the way that they want to play. He helps me out -- they want the fullbacks to be attacking but obviously make sure the back door is shut.

"It helps me and that was a big reason for me coming here, not changing too much in my game."

Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.

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