Pep Guardiola believes Bernardo Silva is back to his best after Manchester City continued their imperious winning run with victory at Everton on Wednesday night.
Silva set up one and scored another as Guardiola’s side pulled away in the second half, winning 3-1 for a 17th consecutive victory in all competitions and one that puts them 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League.
Silva was at the heart of so much that City did, with the 26-year-old looking fully back in the groove after a slow start to the season.
“What a player is all I can say,” Guardiola said. “Everything he does he does incredibly well. The year we won a second Premier League title in a row he was unstoppable and now he is back.
“He is a lovely person and as a manager you love to have players like Bernardo.
“His mum and dad must be so proud of the son they have.”
Though Richarlison cancelled out Phil Foden’s opener late in the first half, City’s class showed after the break as they took the game away from Everton.
Silva laid on the ball for Riyad Mahrez to bend in a fine second goal just after the hour before getting his own name on the scoresheet, killing off Everton with a 77th-minute strike.
Mahrez’s shot was the best moment of the night, but the Algerian was quick to praise Silva for his own role.
“We have always had a good connection,” Mahrez said. “We don’t even need to speak to each other, we know where we are. We all know each other.
“We train so well we know the movement. When you keep winning and scoring goals the confidence grows.”
A key to City’s winning run has been the way players have kept stepping up to fill in voids when injuries have struck the likes of Kevin De Bruyne.
De Bruyne made his first appearance in almost a month at Goodison, coming on as a late substitute while Guardiola gave a positive update on Ilkay Gundogan, who missed the match at Goodison with a groin problem.
“He is much, much better,” Guardiola said. “It is not a big issue, but to avoid risk we have given him a few more days to recover.
“But for Arsenal (on Sunday) and Borussia Monchengladbach he should be ready.
“Of course Gundo is exceptional. We spoke about that. If you want to win titles and finals we need the whole squad.”
While City roll on, it was a third straight home defeat for Everton after the disappointing performance against Fulham at the weekend.
Ancelotti’s side remain in the fight for a top-four finish, but cannot afford to let too many more points pass them by.
The Merseyside derby is next against a Liverpool side in indifferent form, and the Italian has urged his players to seize their chance.
“We have to prepare for the next game,” he said. “It is a great opportunity.
“We don’t need to have regrets about (losing to City), the regrets were against Fulham.
“We have to try to get points on Saturday. The derby is a special game. We know how important it is for our supporters.”