Man City have an unlikely new attacking threat who has stepped up in Kevin De Bruyne absence – Joe Bray

City saved their best performance of the season to pick apart United at will (just like Newcastle did this week as well), and Pep Guardiola will be pleased that he was finally able to field his strongest XI without Kevin De Bruyne. With Ruben Dias and John Stones partnering each other for the first time this season, City can kick-on ahead of a difficult run of fixtures that takes them up to the Club World Cup in December.

United&aposs spiral into full-blown crisis this week has been impressive even by their standards, and it has overshadowed a few aspects of City&aposs brilliant performance. One of the unsung heroes from Old Trafford, however, has not really gathered many headlines: Rodri.

This isn&apost highlighting Rodri&aposs calmness and composure in midfield. It&aposs clear he&aposs the best in the world in his position, and City are far weaker when he isn&apost playing. Having Stones and Bernardo around him only make his influence greater, and make City a better side. Seeing Rodri treat Old Trafford like his back yard (again) is no surprise at all, and not particularly newsworthy.

But seeing Rodri play a part in an eighth goal of the season in just 12 appearances is a growing trend that maybe needs some attention. It was Rodri who won a penalty when Rasmus Hojlund sloppily dragged him back in the area.

Last season, Rodri popped up with four goals and seven assists – including that strike in Istanbul – in 55 appearances. He has 72 per cent of last season&aposs attacking returns in 21 per cent of the games.

Two of those assists have been him winning penalties – something is increasingly boosting a player&aposs assist total with the FPL-ification of football. Rodri won&apost complain, he won the penalties, and City scored the goal that wouldn&apost have happened without him. His clipped assist for Cole Palmer in the Super Cup, layoff for Haaland at Young Boys, and cutback at Burnley are more conventional assists.

He also has three goals – all well-taken against Burnley, Sheffield United and Red Star. Only Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland have been involved in more goals this season so far, and no player has more assists (Alvarez also has five and Foden has four).