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
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