Manchester City made it back to back wins and continued their impressive defensive form as they secured a comfortable 2-0 win against Newcastle United on Saturday night.
One player who will have delighted Pep Guardiola with his performance was Portuguese defender Ruben Dias.
The centre-back has been a mainstay in the City side since joining from Benfica during the summer transfer window, and produced another solid display against the Toon on Boxing Day.
As per SofaScore, the 23-year-old picked up a strong 7.1 rating for his display against Steve Bruce’s side, on a night where the Manchester City defence was rarely troubled.
Whilst Joao Cancelo may pick up a lot of praise for his performance, earning a 7.9 match rating for his display, it was arguably Dias who stole the show.
The defender won four out of six of his duels during the game, and made three clearances, so was clearly solid from a defensive perspective.
However, it was the consistency of his passing that will perhaps please Guardiola most, as he completed 116/119 of his passes during the game, resulting in a superb accuracy rate of 97%.
Dias also had 126 touches of the ball against Newcastle United, so was clearly heavily involved throughout the game but still only lost possession on four occasions, which emphasises just how much quality he has on the ball.
Guardiola’s side have now kept six clean sheets in the league this season, which is the joint-second most of any team in the league, which demonstrates just how much of an impact Dias has had since joining the club.
Before he signed for City in the summer, he was heavily praised by international teammate Jose Fonte, who said:
“So, for me, it’s a great acquisition for Manchester City. They’re getting a top, top player, who wants to get better and better and that’s very important.
“He’s humble. He’s very, very skilful with the ball at his feet. He has a good pass between the lines. He reads the game well, he attacks the ball well in the air. He’s strong in the duels.
“They’re getting a very good player. I have no doubt he’s ready; he’s been playing at the highest level for the last two, three years.
“He gives instructions, he commands from the back and that’s very important for a defender. So he’s already a leader.”
Certainly, the Portuguese international has been a revelation in Guardiola’s side since joining the club, and if this partnership at the back alongside John Stones continues to reap rewards for Manchester City, there seems no reason why they can’t challenge for the Premier League title this season.