It’s the Riyad Mahrez and Kevin De Bruyne show on Sunday morning’s back pages.

Both men worked in tandem as the architects of City’s hard fought victory over Everton on Saturday and the press have paid tribute to their performances.

It’s not only their display on Merseyside that has caught the eye, however, with sections of the media expressing a belief they have been the defending champions’ standout players so far this season.

READ | Pep happy to come through difficult Everton test

WATCH | Mahrez: We have to go through this type of game


Manchester Evening News: City might have found a new attacking combination

Writes Tyrone Marshall: “Along with De Bruyne he's [Mahrez] been the outstanding performer for Pep Guardiola's side so far this season and the two are becoming a destructive duo on the pitch.

“He [Mahrez] has stepped up a couple of levels this term, to the point where he now appears undroppable.

“Whether that's as a result of his Africa Cup of Nations heroics with Algeria this summer, having had a year to acclimatise to Guardiola's City or a release of pressure by no longer being the club's record signing, who knows?

"What we can say is that the 28-year-old has been of the players of the season so far for the Blues, along with the always brilliant De Bruyne.”

WATCH: Everton v City: Extended highlights

Match reaction

The Telegraph: Manchester City survive edgy Everton contest to close the gap on Liverpool

Sam Wallace reports: While City can compensate for missing defenders, it was the fast feet of Mahrez that played a part in all three goals, and he scored the second himself with a nicely-whipped free kick that Jordan Pickford should have done better with.

“Mahrez was the part of the City team with which Everton never got to grips, twisting and doubling back into the space to create the margins of victory – the pass before the assist for both Gabriel Jesus’s first City strike and the third from Sterling.”

The Independent: Everton v City: Five things we learned

Writes Mark Critchley: “Another week, another assist for Kevin De Bruyne in the inside-right channel. It was his eighth of the season.

“The record, Thierry Henry’s 20 in 02-03, already seems in sight.

“And just like Tottenham and Watford before them, Everton could not stop De Bruyne finding a pocket of space and sweeping the ball to the far post.

“It is, in a way, predictable. De Bruyne is constantly looking to take up this specific position, sure that his supreme crossing ability can overcome even the most organised defence.

“You know what is coming next, but can do next to nothing about it.”