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Sevilla v City: Spotlight on Fernandinho

When the whole City team is on song and running opponents ragged, it takes something truly special to stand out on your own.

Step forward Fernandinho.

The Brazilian combined attacking brilliance with defensive solidity to leave fans, pundits and reporters purring.

Collecting an 8.62 rating from WhoScored for his influential display, Fernandinho touched the ball more than any other City player bar Bacary Sagna, had the most shots on target of any player and combined his attacking heroics with three crunching tackles.

A quick look at his passing stats, courtesy of FourFourTwo's stat zone, illustrates just how involved in the game he was. He covered every blade of grass - and usually found a successful pass at the end of it. 

He was also involved in all three goals – finishing one and assisting another. All in all, not a bad night’s work!

If it was mathematically possible, I would give Fernandinho an 11 out of 10 for his performance tonight. @MCFC

— tomchadwick (@tompchadwick) November 3, 2015

Fernandinho has been the best CM in PL & CL this season so far

— Shri (@UnitedShri) November 4, 2015

The markers certainly agreed. ESPN’s David Mooney even honoured the midfielder with a rare perfect score in his ratings, writing:  “Busy at both ends of the pitch, the Brazilian barely put a foot wrong all match. He was key in releasing the Blues on the break and providing vital support on the edge of the box. When it got down to the nitty-gritty, he did the ugly stuff perfectly. 10.”

There was more of the same in the Daily Mail, although he had to make do with a 9/10 there: “Scuffed an early shot wide from the edge of the box but made up for it moments later with a fine through ball for Sterling to open the scoring and his planted header to make it 2-0 was perfect. Could be his best in City blue (or green).”

Meanwhile, in the Manchester Evening News, Stuart Brennan had some lavish praise for the Man of the Match, scribing: “Made first goal, scored the second, involved in the third, and was simply outstanding in every other facet of his game. World-class.”  

Manager Manuel Pellegrini can be reticent about singling out the performances of individuals when it’s a team game and his squad is loaded with talent.

Last night, every player contributed to what was one of the club’s best European nights of recent memory, but the boss still felt moved to dole out some special words of praise to the Brazilian star.

He revealed: “I allowed him and Yaya to go forward so they started more in the Sevilla half. I think Fernandinho is very dangerous because he has a lot of pace and he arrives in the other box.

"It was one of the reasons we dominated in the midfield because we had Fernandinho and Yaya both going forward and just Fernando staying back.

"He and Sterling had a very good performance, as did all the players.''

On twitter, you couldn’t stop raving about him either…

Still can't over how good Fernando and Fernandinho were last night, especially Fernandinho, I've never seen him play so great

— David (@AssistingSilva) November 4, 2015

Said it time and time again Fernandinho is world class. Consistently outstanding

— liam willingham (@liamw03) November 3, 2015

Indeed, his influence in the European arena was a major factor when he was signed from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013, and with performances like Tuesday night it’s easy to see why. 

City fans aren't the only ones noticing his dynamism either. Prior to his Manchester move, he'd made five appearances in a Brazil shirt for the senior team, and since then the figure now stands at 26. 

Earlier this year, Fernandinho said: “What I want the most is to win titles for City because I already feel an enormous warmth for everyone here.”

Sorrisão de felicidade pela vitória, com o meu irmão Fernandinho! #MCFC #UCL @fernandinho pic.twitter.com/lxLKYmeN3S

— Fernando Oficial (@Fernando_Reges) November 4, 2015

Back to his sparkling best since the summer, if City are lifting trophies at the end of the 2015/16 campaign, Fernandinho’s influential displays at the heart of midfield are likely to be a big reason why. 

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