Manchester City bounced back from defeat against Tottenham Hotspur last weekend to record a resounding 5-0 win against Norwich City at the Etihad.
An own goal from Tim Krul sent Pep Guardiola’s side on their way before goals from Jack Grealish, Aymeric Laporte, Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez secured a comfortable win, to earn the Citizens their first three points of the new campaign.
Guardiola is still getting back players to full fitness due to the extended holidays many players had during the summer, with the likes of Kyle Walker, Laporte and Gabriel Jesus making their first starts of the season after featuring heavily at the Euros and the Copa America.
One man who impressed with his performance against Daniel Farke’s side was Laporte, with the Spain international sending Guardiola the message that he is more than good enough to start regularly this season after he spent much of the last campaign as the third-choice centre-back behind Ruben Dias and John Stones.
As per SofaScore, the former Athletic Bilbao man, who was once dubbed “incredible” by his manager, would earn a superb 8.1/10 rating for his performance, which was the joint-best score of any player to feature in the game.
Whilst it is difficult to judge the centre-back’s defending against a Norwich side that failed to register a shot on target at the Etihad, he was confident in everything he did and scored City’s third goal with an impressive finish on his right foot.
His passing, however, was a joy to behold at times, as he completed a remarkable 111/113 passes during the 90 minutes which was the most of any player in the game.
Despite having so much of the ball, he only lost possession on two occasions, when two of his 11 attempted long balls went astray, which emphasises just how much quality he has with the ball at his feet, which led Guardiola to label him as the best left-footed centre-back in the world when it comes to build-up play following the game.
It had been rumoured earlier in the summer that Laporte could be one of the first-team players to be sold in order to fund moves for Grealish and Harry Kane, but if this performance is anything to go by, Guardiola needs to keep him at the club.
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