Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola lauded David Silva as one of the best players he has ever seen after the Spaniard starred in his 400th appearance for the club, a 3-1 win at Bournemouth.
Silva started in an attack-minded midfield as both Fernandinho and Rodri were left on the bench, with City's approach ultimately paying dividends.
The 33-year-old split open the Bournemouth defence to set up Raheem Sterling to make it 2-0 to the Premier League champions, while he also claimed an assist for Sergio Aguero's second goal.
It proved a fitting display from the playmaker, who joined from Valencia in 2010, as he reached a notable personal milestone on the south coast.
Guardiola admitted on Friday he had doubts about Silva's suitability for the Premier League before the midfielder made the move – now he ranks him among the greatest footballers he has witnessed.
"He played incredibly well," Guardiola told BBC Sport. "David, in this kind of game – with a defence so deep and with such few spaces – is so good. He's one of the best players I've ever seen.
"What can I say? Everyone knows David. He moves between the lines like no one else in the world, he is a fighter."
Sterling's goal was his fifth in the league already this season and Guardiola was delighted with his side's clinical finishing, particularly given the champions did not craft a huge number of clear-cut opportunities.
"We didn't create so many chances, but Raheem is still scoring goals, which is good for us," he added.
"There are a few things to improve that's good that that has happened while winning games, but we knew it, every time they set up so deep 5-4-1, long balls and they are so strong with King, Wilson and Billing and set pieces with good throw ins all the time in the boxes they are stronger than us.
"But, okay. The quality of our players made the difference and we won the game."