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City's rock-solid rearguard

BLUE STEEL: Benjamin Mendy and Aymeric Laporte have played their part in City's sound defensive displays so far this season

BLUE STEEL: Benjamin Mendy and Aymeric Laporte have played their part in City's sound defensive displays so far this season

As Sunday’s impressive defensive display at Anfield demonstrated, City now boast a formidable back-line that can thrive in the most hostile of environments.

The fact that City became the first side in the Premier League this season to prevent Liverpool’s much-vaunted attack from finding the target spoke volumes.

Under Pep Guardiola’s inspired management, City have deservedly earned widespread praise for our commitment to dynamic attacking football of the highest quality.

But, with several key additions to our back-line acquired over the past 18 months, the Blues now also boast a defensive solidity that perfectly compliments the squad's myriad attacking options.

So far from the first eight Premier League games of the season, City have conceded just three goals – in tandem with Liverpool the least amount of goals conceded by any top-flight side.

READ: Nicolas Otamendi hails City's squad strength

WATCH: Liverpool 0-0 City | Brief highlights

In many ways, City’s defensive solidity is perfectly illustrated in the reassuring shape of goalkeeper Ederson.

The Brazilian enjoyed a stellar first season in English football following his move to the Club from Benfica in the summer of 2017, catching the eye with his commanding physical presence, all-round agility and wonderful shot-stopping. 

Allied to that, Ederson marries impressive natural skill on the ball and coolness under pressure with a prodigious kick and those qualities have only been reinforced so far this season.

So, it’s no coincidence that the 23-year-old has already kept five clean sheets from our first eight league games and is already in pole position to challenge for the Premier League’s coveted golden gloves prize.

INTERVIEW: Ederson.

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Full-backs Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy also both joined 18 months ago though were unable to operate in tandem for the best part of last season due to the serious injury sustained by the French left-back a month into the 2017/18 campaign.

Now, with Mendy also over the metatarsal injury that disrupted the early part of this season, the duo are set to complement each other's individual games..

Their willingness to power forward and offer extra attacking width for City is well renowned but, as Sunday’s display at Anfield illustrated, Walker and Mendy combine defensively to powerful effect, as exemplified in the way Mendy nullified Mo Salah’s room to operate down City’s left channel.

When you take into account that the Blues can also call upon Danilo, Fabian Delph and Oleksandr Zinchenko at full-back, it further illustrates City's riches in terms of defensive personnel,.

READ: In focus | Aymeric Laporte

WATCH: Vincent Kompany | Best City moments

The Sunday shut-out on Merseyside also offered an exciting glimpse into what a formidable centre-back partnership Aymeric Laporte and John Stones could go on to forge.

Calm, measured and composed with the ball, tactically astute and alert to danger, the pair dovetailed in perfect harmony at Anfield, earning widespread praise for their displays.

Even more encouragingly, at just 24, the pair’s best years are still ahead of them.

Of course, Guardiola also has the stellar talents of club legend Vincent Kompany and Argentine star Nicolas Otamendi to call upon as central defensive options.

Rock-solid and physically imposing at the back, comfortable in possession and capable of supplying crucial goals, Vinny and Nico have been the scourge of many opposition attacks down the years and there is little doubt they will each have a crucial role to play as the season progresses.


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