Man City boss Guardiola praises versatile Torres after hat-trick

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(Reuters) - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola heaped praise on Ferran Torres after the Spain forward scored a hat-trick, securing the Premier League champions a 4-3 victory at Newcastle United on Friday.

City twice fought back from a goal down and extended the gap at the top of the table to 13 points. That was City's 12th consecutive victory in an away league game - a record in English football.

Torres, who signed from La Liga club Valencia for 20 million pounds ($28.20 million) last August, scored once in the first half of the game and twice in the second, taking his total goal tally for City this season to 13.

"He was fantastic all season and an incredible signing for us," Guardiola said of the 21-year-old. "He's a young player and can play in three positions up front.

"He can make incredible runs in behind but maybe we have to start to think about if he can play as a striker because every time he plays in that position he has a sense for goal, a real sense for goal."

Torres said he is happy with his performance in his first season in England.

"It's been a season of learning for me, the Premier League is a very different competition from what I was used to, it’s very physical," he said.

"But I think I have adapted very well and I keep improving every day."

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)