Vincent Kompany hailed David Silva as "a wizard" after the Spaniard returned to the Manchester City side and inspired a 5-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Silva hasn’t played since suffering a leg injury during the FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal at Wembley last month, and despite only returning to full training on Thursday, manager Pep Guardiola decided his craft and guile was needed against the resurgent Eagles.
And it proved an inspired move, with Silva opening the scoring after just two minutes with his 50th goal for the Club, and earning the man-of-the-match award for a brilliant all-round display.
City look a different proposition when Silva is orchestrating their attacks – and Kompany says it’s because he has the ability to do things no other player in the Blues squad can.
“Quite simply David Silva is the wizard,” Kompany said.
“He knows which pass to pick. As much quality as we have in the team, there is only David that can pick certain passes and I think he sets the tone with that.
“I can't only say that he has been performing well this season, he has been performing well since he joined the club.
“It is incredible to see his ability and make what is the hardest pass in football, that last pass.”
Kompany has now started six of the last seven matches, including the last five on the bounce, suggesting the injury woes that have impacted him over the past three seasons are finally behind him.
It’s great news for City, with Kompany’s return signalling more assuredness at the back.
He says he’s pleased with his form since getting back into the starting lineup and insists his injury problems are now a thing of the past.
“The story is done now. I am playing, I am happy. I'm just glad to be able to contribute,” he said.
“[My form] has been good. My level has been good since I came back.
“I work hard to be able to perform at the same level.
“In that case I can be pretty satisfied, but I am mainly satisfied about today's performance.”
City’s 5-0 win over Palace moved them back up to third and significantly improved their goal difference ahead of what is likely to be a tight race for a Champions League place between now and the end of the season.
City were dominant in possession and showed a ruthlessness they’ve been lacking in recent weeks, scoring five superb goals and carving out several other clear-cut chances.
Kompany, who bagged City’s second with a brilliant first-time strike that flew into the top corner from 15 yards out, says the second-half display was impressive on all fronts.
“I would say mainly in the second half [that City were at their attacking best],” he said.
“In the first half we were still a little bit chasing for goals, although credit to all the forwards, they kept going for it.
“Then in the second half, really everything unfolded the way we wanted it to happen - early second goal and then from that moment onwards we looked like scoring more.
“It was massive, and especially for the goal difference, winning 5-0.
“I don't think you can set out and say you want to win 5-0.
“First of all, you want to win but then when you do it you realise it was a big result and a big performance.
“It's all in our hands and it's a good feeling.”