Man City's Gundogan, Guardiola bag Premier League January honours

Premier League - West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City

(Reuters) - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and midfielder Ilkay Gundogan have been named Premier League Manager and Player of the Month respectively for January, the league said on Friday.

Guardiola, 50, led City to six successive league wins last month as they returned to the top of the table and took control of the title race with a five-point lead.

City secured nine wins in all competitions during January, the most by a team in the top four tiers of English football in one month since the Football League was formed in 1888.

"What this team achieved in January – winning all our games, despite all the (COVID-19) restrictions we face – is remarkable," Guardiola said in a club statement.

"This just shows how focused my players and staff are. They are incredible, and I am so proud to work alongside them."

Gundogan scored five league goals and beat team mate John Stones, Aston Villa's Jack Grealish, Leicester City's James Maddison and four others to the award.

"I am very happy, but it is always a team effort," Gundogan, who is the first City player to win the award since striker Sergio Aguero in January 2020, said.

"I have always been someone who does not pay a lot of attention to individual trophies but it is always nice to be recognised."

City, who have 50 points after 22 games, host eighth-placed Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis and Ken Ferris)