Man City strolled to a 3-0 win over West Brom on Wednesday at the Etihad Stadium to move closer to the Premier League title.
Here, we focus on new signing Aymeric Laporte’s performance.
Shots – 0
Tackles – 0
Touches – 81
Passes – 76
Pass Accuracy – 94.7%
Key passes – 0
Aerials Won – 2
Interceptions – 1
The 23-year-old produced a solid display on his Manchester City debut – although it is hard to say he was tested defensively against a lacklustre West Brom side.
The centre-back started the game well, sending a cleverly-weighted cross field pass into the path of Bernardo Silva down the left flank and looked comfortable with the ball throughout as he attempted to tee up team-mates in fluent attacking positions.
With only one full training session with his new team, he did little wrong defensively but the fact that he won two aerial duels, had 81 touches and a pass accuracy of 94.7% speaks volumes of his influence on the City defence.
With John Stones still very much learning on the job as the fulcrum of the City defence and add to that Vincent Kompany’s constant injury problems, Laporte’s leadership and crisp passing qualities make him a fearsome addition at the Etihad Stadium.
His calmness on and off the ball – coupled with his solid work rate – rubbed off on his back four and will be a vital ingredient as City home in on a first league title since 2014.
The Frenchman did attempt a few superb penetrating passes and was consistent with his advances – apart from one overstretched pass to David Silva – but overall it was top marks for the Agen-born man.
6th minute: Fires a superb cross-field path over to the right wing and into the path of Bernardo Silva. The Portuguese then flicks the ball to Raheem Sterling, but his pass to David Silva is blocked.
10th minute: Comes bounding into the West Brom half but his attempted pass to David Silva is overhit, and the Spaniard is unable to beat Ahmed Hegazi for the ball.
43rd minute: Fernandinho storms through the middle, but Laporte bumps Gareth Barry off the ball, just as the Brazilian steps into the penalty area. The referee blows for a West Brom free-kick and Laporte was lucky not to receive a yellow card.
Looked nearly flawless on his first league start.
Whether he is the missing piece to an already star-studded squad is another question, but with City competing on all fronts this term it is crucial Guardiola has solid reinforcements in all areas.
If the Spaniard opts for Vincent Kompany in the next game, then it is still positive to know a player of Laporte’s calibre can come off the bench and make an impact with his accurate passing and imposing aerial ability.
Solid across the park, the Frenchman will be a commanding presence as the Sky Blues bid to continue the season on a successful note.
All statistics are compiled using whoscored.com
The game was goal-less at half-time before the Cherries scored three times in the space of 17 minutes.
First Jordon Ibe played a cool one-two with Callum Wilson who slotted home, before goal-scorer turned provider to set up Junior Stanislas at the near post.
Ake then rubbed salt in the wounds of his old team by tucking in the third – leaving Chelsea fourth behind Liverpool on goal difference in the Premier League.
Elsewhere £57m man Aymeric Laporte celebrated his Manchester City debut with a clean sheet as Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero goals led the league leaders to a 3-0 victory over West Brom.
City now hold a mammoth 15-point advantage over second-placed Manchester United after their rivals’ slip-up away to Tottenham.
There was joy for another new boy on Merseyside as Theo Walcott scored a double for Everton, beating Leicester 2-1 at Goodison Park.
Walcott had the simplest of tap-ins from Gylfi Sigurdsson’s cross, and then latched onto Michael Keane’s header to slot home before half-time. Jamie Vardy’s penalty proved a mere consolation for Leicester.
Sam Vokes rescued a point for Burnley, bringing to an end a run of three Premier League defeats, in a 1-1 draw with Newcastle after Magpies skipper Jamaal Lascelles had opened the scoring.
Jack Stephens was the hero for Southampton as he cancelled out Glenn Murray’s strike in their 1-1 draw with Brighton, but the Saints remain in the dropzone.
And Javi Gracia marked his first EPL game in charge of Watford in a stalemate at Stoke.
Everton forward Ademola Lookman has joined RB Leipzig on loan – two days after manager Sam Allardyce insisted the youngster would not be leaving.
The Toffees boss told Monday’s pre-match press conference ahead of the visit of Leicester that “he wouldn’t be available on loan because Aaron Lennon went a few days ago (to Burnley)”.
Lookman joined Everton 12 months ago from League One Charlton and scored on his debut in the 4-0 Goodison Park victory over Manchester City.
He has made 24 appearances for the Toffees in all competitions, playing 16 times this season and scoring twice – both in the 3-0 Europa League victory against Apollon Limassol last month.