As City start a 12-game run they hope will propel them to a successful defence of their title, the manager knows he can count on the Argentine striker when it comes to the crunch.
Guardiola said: “The big players need to appear in the big games, in the big moments, and he has done it. Hopefully, he can continue to do it.
“In the big games, we need the important players. No Sarri is important, no Pep, no Jurgen or any manager. This game belongs to the players and the important games belong to the special players.
“Sometimes it helps to understand what he has done.
“That goal against Liverpool summed up what he is about. Sometimes the best tennis players on a point to save the break, they make an ace.
“In the big moments, always the big athletes come there, the big finals, the big moments.
“Sometimes some players hide in the scary moments. The other ones step forward and say, 'I'm the boss, I'm here and I'm going to win the game'.
“Big clubs need these kinds of players. It's simple."