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Stoke v City: Talking points

TWO UP: Everything David Silva touches turns to gold.

TWO UP: Everything David Silva touches turns to gold.

A competent display secured a comfortable 2-0 win at Stoke’s expense before Manchester City jetted off to Abu Dhabi for some warm weather training.

Here, we take a closer look at some of the game’s key talking points.

1 Silva service

Brilliant. But then again, he always has been.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to bestow any new praise on David Silva, such is the level of performance he reaches week in week out.

He was majestic against Stoke. Typically probing in his passing to knit things together for the Blues and showing great desire and instinct to finish off two fine moves.

But perhaps the biggest indicator of his form this season is that those beyond the confines of the Etihad Stadium are starting to recognise what we’ve known since his earliest days in Manchester.

He’s quite simply, one of the finest players we've seen on these shores.

2 Goals all over

Silva was the beneficiary off City’s slick attacking play, but it could have quite easily been Fernandinho, Raheem Sterling or Kyle Walker.

All this without Sergio Aguero and with Gabriel Jesus still in the early stages of his comeback from injury.

Pep Guardiola’s approach, in which off the ball movement combines perfectly with a passing style that drags defenders across the pitch, leaves space for a host of players to profit from.

It gave Silva his eighth Premier League goal of the season, leaving him, Jesus and Leroy Sane only two away from Aguero and Sterling in double figures.

Goals win games and even without our sharpest shooter, City have them in abundance.

TWO UP: Everything David Silva touches turns to gold.

Highlights

Video

Stoke 0 City 2: Brief match highlights

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3 Game management

There’ll be bigger tests to come this season, be that domestically or in Europe, which is why City’s in game management is important.

Capable of upping the tempo with a single, defence-splitting pass, we are equally adept at taking the sting out of the game when required.

At 2-0 we did that, confidently keeping the ball in a manner which allowed us to conserve our energy.

It’s sensible stuff and it could be crucial as this gruelling campaign reaches its finale.

4 Returning stars

A period on the side line has evidently done nothing to hamper Fernandinho or Sterling’s form.

The duo were back in the starting line-up after injury and performed as if they’d never been away.

Sterling’s weaving runs were a constant thorn in Stoke’s side and one nearly produced a remarkable goal, while his pace stretched the Potters’ defence to allow him to expertly tee up Silva for the game’s opener.

Fernandinho meanwhile, proved why his ability to excel on either side of the halfway line make him the fulcrum of the midfield.

The chief menace to Stoke’s forays forward, his passing allows him to turn defence into attack, as he did for Silva’s second.

Media Watch

Media Watch: Superlatives for Silva

MAGICIAN: David Silva was the match-winner at Stoke.

David Silva is the name on everyone’s lips after Manchester City’s 2-0 win away at Stoke.

The Spaniard scored both goals for the Blues and has, not for the first time this season, earned rave reviews in the press.

Men's Team

Guardiola: Silva is the complete player

Men's Team

Kompany: City won't let up in title pursuit

​COMMITMENT: Vincent Kompany blocks Jesé's effort on goal.

Vincent Kompany believes Manchester City's excellent 2-0 win at Stoke City was further evidence that the club will not let up their standards even with the Premier League title looming ever closer into view.

Skipper says focus won't slip after Pep Guardiola's side move another step closer towards being crowned champions