Fernandinho hailed Bernardo Silva as one of the jewels in the Manchester City squad after the Portugal midfielder’s brilliant performance in 2-1 win over Liverpool.
The 24-year-old was outstanding with and without the ball as City cut Liverpool’s lead at the top of the table to four points.
He covered 13.7km, which is more than any other player has managed in the Premier League this season, and Fernandinho, who himself delivered arguably his best Etihad performance, was full of admiration for him.
“I think he showed his class,” Fernandinho said.
“He has shown his technique so many times, but today he was so aggressive, recovered so many balls and he proved he is very good – one of the best players in our team.
“He is so important for us.”
The result ends Liverpool’s unbeaten Premier League run and reignited City’s title challenge after a run of three defeats in five matches saw us slip seven points off the pace.
It wasn’t a classic, but on a night full of tension and pressure it was City who prevailed thanks to goals from Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane.
Fernandinho believes the result and performance prove City’s recent results were a mere blip, and he also paid tribute to the fans, who produced a superb atmosphere throughout.
“We had a chance and opportunity to show our quality after a couple of bad results,” he said.
“The team has been playing good games and this is the most important for us. If you play bad you can win the games, but you have to play good and get the three points.
“It was a nice game for everybody and of course for the fans. They were so excited, and I am happy for them.
“I think all the big games are like this [tense]. You cannot blink. You get punished, all the games are high tension, so you have to be careful all the time and everyone who was involved had the same feeling, the same sensation.
“We had to play our football and try to defend as well as we did, not concede goals.”