Manchester City supporters have been making a lot of noise in recent times after seeing their side record a 13th Premier League victory of the season on Tuesday night.
Pep Guardiola’s men went into their encounter with Watford at Vicarage Road having won each of their preceding six league matches, and still having yet to taste defeat in the league so far this term. And that unbeaten record remains in tact after a hard-fought 2-1 victory for the Citizens in Hertfordshire, with goals from Riyad Mahrez and Leroy Sane proving too much for Javi Gracia’s side, albeit they did threaten a late comeback when Abdoulaye Doucoure netted five minutes from time.
Nonetheless, there have been many buoyant City fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are likely to have been raving about the efforts of winger Mahrez, who returned to the starting eleven with a bang by scoring one and setting up Sane for the other.
Thus, it was a scintillating performance from the Algeria international on Tuesday night, yet his fine efforts were somewhat eclipsed by the midfield masterclass produced by City teammate Fernandinho, who earns £150,000 a week as per Spotrac.
The Brazil international has often been an unsung hero at the Etihad Stadium following his arrival at the club back in 2013, and he again proved his worth to manager Guardiola with yet another superb midfield performance on Tuesday night.
The 33-year-old, winner of two Premier League titles with the Citizens, touched the ball more than any other player on the pitch (110) to emphasise his involvement and willingness to get on the ball and make things happen for the visitors (as per WhoScored), while he finished the match with a very healthy pass success rate of 87%.
And with two of his 83 completed passes proving to be key ones, alongside completing his one and only dribble over the course of the 90 minutes, Fernandinho once again underlined his underrated ability on the ball for the Citizens – albeit it was off it against a strong Watford side in which he really proved his worth once again.
The Brazilian, capped 49 times by his country, won four aerial duels during the match to help minimise the impact made by the Hornets as they went more direct towards the front men, while he also completed a team high four tackles to thwart the home side’s advances through the midfield.
Add in an interception as well as a team high five clearances, and the 33-year-old again underlined his excellent anticipation and reading of the game to help steer Guardiola’s side to yet another three points – he was simply outstanding in the middle of the park.
So while Algerian ace Mahrez will earn the plaudits for his excellence going forward, there is little doubting that his fine display was eclipsed by the brilliance of Fernandinho slightly further back.
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