Manchester City highlighted their title credentials as they eased to a 3-1 win against Chelsea on Sunday afternoon, despite several first-team players missing after an outbreak of the virus in their camp.
The Citizens were without the likes of Ederson, Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus for the game against Frank Lampard’s side after they tested positive for the virus, whilst Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake both missed out through injury, leaving Oleksandr Zinchenko to start at left-back.
However, Pep Guardiola’s side blew Chelsea away in a 20-minute spell which saw Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne score to effectively seal the three points, before Callum Hudson-Odoi’s late consolation goal.
Although both De Bruyne and Foden will get a lot of plaudits for their superb displays, which earned them 8.3 and 8.2 match ratings from SofaScore respectively, it was perhaps the performance of Gundogan which will have pleased Guardiola the most.
As per SofaScore, the former Borussia Dortmund man picked up a 7.7 match rating for his display, which was joint-third with Ruben Dias as the highest of any player who started the game.
During his time on the pitch, the 30-year-old midfielder would complete 34/38 of his passes, resulting in an impressive success rate of 89%, emphasising that it was not just his goal that marked him out as one of the better performers at Stamford Bridge.
The German international, who reportedly earns £140,000-a-week, was also successful in all three of his dribble attempts during the game, whilst he impressively won six out of eight duels, which demonstrates that he was just a class above the Chelsea midfield on Sunday afternoon.
Back in 2019, Guardiola heaped praise on the midfielder, saying:
“Definitely, but he gets the credit from all of us, not just myself. He’s an exceptional player. Also, he knows how good he has to play, as there are many others in that position.”
It is clear that the Spanish manager is a huge fan of Gundogan, having urged the Manchester City board to sign him in 2016 despite his injury issues with Dortmund and he will no doubt be delighted that his decision paid off, after what was another superb display from the midfielder against Chelsea.
And, in other news, Guardiola can sign Mendy upgrade in PL beast with a taste for goals…