City trio Kevin De Bruyne, Aymeric Laporte and Rodrigo all make the headlines this morning for varying but praiseworthy reasons.

While match reports of City’s 2-0 win over West Ham are few and far between, individual focus and praise is easier to find.

De Bruyne is picked out as this season’s standout Premier League player; Laporte’s importance to City is underlined and Rodrigo’s incredible passing masterclass sets a new record – here are the stories behind the headlines.


Daily Mail: De Bruyne should get PFA award says Redknapp

David Wood writes: “Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp claimed Kevin De Bruyne should be crowned Player of the Year following Manchester City’s victory over West Ham.

“The Belgium international caught the eye again in the 2-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night, setting up Rodri for the opening goal before adding the second in the second half.

£Redknapp said De Bruyne was outshining Liverpool trio Virgil van Dijk, Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane this season.

“He said: ‘When he’s on the pitch he’s head and shoulders above anyone else. I didn’t think Silva could be beat but KDB is taking it to the next level.

‘It was like he had a force field around him today – no one was allowed to tackle him. His passes are always so inviting, cutting open defences.

‘It was also what he did without the ball – his all-round game right now is on another level. He’s not in the team of the year but for me he’s the player of the year. The contenders VVD – amazing season, Henderson – big fan, even Mane – but look at KDB‘s numbers – 20 assists - miles ahead of those around him. He is the best player in the country right now by a mile.’

Sky Sports: Laporte underlines City importance

Adam Bate writes:  “Aymeric Laporte did all he could to get his boot on the end of Rodri’s header but the defender was unable to claim Manchester City’s opening goal in their 2-0 win over West Ham. No matter.

“Nobody leaving the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening could be any doubt that Laporte’s return to fitness transforms the potential of Pep Guardiola’s team.

“How the Frenchman has been missed this season. This was only his sixth start of the campaign, having limped off with a serious knee injury against Brighton in August.

“There was an abortive comeback in the 1-0 away to Sheffield United last month but Laporte was forced to miss the subsequent defeats to Manchester United and Tottenham.

“Back in the team and back to winning ways.

“Even in what has been an underwhelming season so far, Manchester City’s record with Laporte in the side hints at what might have been. It is five wins and a draw from those six games. The record would be 100 per cent had the ball not brushed his hand on the way to Gabriel Jesus in the 2-2 draw at home to Tottenham at the start of the season.

“Without him, it’s been a different story.”


Metro: Rodri is pass master

The feature reads: “Rodri set a Premier League record and completed more passes than the entire West Ham team in Manchester City’s routine victory on Wednesday night.

“Goals either side of half-time from Rodri and Kevin de Bruyne saw the reigning Premier League champions secure a comfortable win over relegation-battlers West Ham at the Etihad.

“Spain international Rodri, who joined City from Atletico Madrid last summer, produced an impressive performance and completed a Premier League record 178 passes in the match.

“David Moyes’ Hammers, who remain one point adrift of safety following the defeat, completed only 169.”

That’s all for this morning – stay with throughout the day for more reaction plus build-up to Saturday’s clash with Leicester City…