Manchester City extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to seven games as they beat Chelsea 1-0 away from home on Saturday.
The Cityzens have now kept five clean sheets in six Premier League matches this season, with the only goal they have conceded in the campaign coming on the opening day against Tottenham.
Gabriel Jesus’ deflected shot won Pep Guardiola’s side the match against Chelsea, with the Brazilian turning in the box and seeing his effort swerve off a Blues body and into the bottom corner past a helpless Edouard Mendy.
Forget Jesus, though, as another player ran the show for City at Stamford Bridge – Spanish international midfielder Rodri.
City ended the match with 59% possession of the ball away at one of their title challengers and Rodri’s sublime midfield performance played a large role in their dominance throughout the match.
Defensively, the midfield beast was immense. Per SofaScore, he won 71% of his duels, winning four of his six on the ground and his one aerial battle, whilst also making three tackles, two clearances and one interception to stop Chelsea attacks.
On the ball, his quality allowed City to dictate the flow of the match. Per SofaScore, he had 91 touches of the ball and completed a whopping 95% (75/79) of his passes. He also completed five of his six long pass attempts and only gave possession of the ball away five times throughout the 90 minutes, highlighting how secure he was with the ball at his feet.
The midfield beast was able to run the show for City against Chelsea. The likes of Jorginho, Kovacic and Kante were unable to get the better of him on a regular basis at either end of the pitch and that allowed City to control the game and win the midfield battle, which was the foundation for the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Jesus, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden to then work their magic in the final third.
Therefore, Guardiola will have been left delighted by Rodri’s performance, particularly after calling upon the Spaniard following his spell out on the sidelines. It is now down to him to maintain that level of display in the holding midfield role to ensure that he keeps his place in the side for the rest of the season.