Manchester City supporters have been in high spirits in recent times after seeing their team crucially get back to winning ways in the Premier League on Sunday.
Pep Guardiola’s men went into their clash with Southampton off the back of surprise defeats at the hands of Leicester City and Crystal Palace in their preceding two matches, thus handing the initiative to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in the title race. Yet the Citizens bridged the gap to seven points on Sunday as goals from David Silva and Sergio Aguero alongside a James Ward-Prowse own goal inspired the visitors to a 3-1 success at St Mary’s, in turn clinching their 15th Premier League victory of the campaign.
As such, there have been many thrilled City fans up and down the country in recent times, with Spain international Silva likely coming in for much praise for supporters for returning to the team with quite the effect on Sunday, netting once and overall playing a key role in help Guardiola’s side bounce back to win once again.
And while nothing should be taken away from the 32-year-old, it was £150,000-a-week teammate Fernandinho (as per Spotrac) who was the real inspiration behind City’s vital victory on the South Coast at the weekend.
Ultimately, there is surely no coincidence that the Citizens produced a much better display and eventually picked up all three points upon the Brazil international’s return to the starting eleven, given he missed clashes against both Palace and indeed Leicester – two of the three league games City have lost this season.
And Sunday highlighted just why the 33-year-old is so crucial to Guardiola’s side as he again produced a masterclass in the midfield of the park, whether that was on the ball in completing 51 of his 60 attempted passes, or indeed off it in winning three aerial duels over the course of the 90 minutes (as per WhoScored).
Add in one tackle made, three clearances, and an interception, and the Brazilian was at his very best once again in helping break things up in the middle of the park, while his healthy 85% pass success rate underlined his ability to help City transition from defence to attack – that is what he does best.
So while the return of Silva was very timely indeed, it wasn’t as timely as 33-year-old Fernandinho, who was the real inspiration behind City’s crucial win over Southampton on Sunday.
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