'One of the best players in our team' - Fernandinho heaps praise on Bernardo Silva

The Brazilian joined Pep Guardiola in highlighting the importance of the former Monaco man to Manchester City this season

Fernandinho lauded Bernardo Silva as one of Manchester City's best players following his man-of-the-match performance against Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Silva ran 13.7 kilometres – the most of any player in the league this season – to help reigning champions City beat Liverpool 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.

The Portugal international also claimed an assist as City closed to within four points of Liverpool, who were condemned to their first defeat of the Premier League campaign.

After manager Pep Guardiola lavished Silva with praise post-match, City midfielder Fernandinho followed suit, saying: "I think he showed his class.

"He has showed his technique so many times, but today [Thursday] he was so aggressive, recovered so many balls and he proved he is very good – one of the best players in our team. He is so important for us."

Kevin De Bruyne’s return to fitness has led to suggestions that Silva could lose his place in City’s side in the coming weeks.

But his performance against the Reds and his form this season is likely to ensure that he retains his role for the foreseeable future.

Altogether, the attacking midfielder has registered seven goals and seven assists for the Premier League champions this season and has thrived in a more central role to the one he was used in last term.

Fernandinho Mohamed Salah Manchester City Liverpool 2018-19

While Silva received the plaudits, match-winner Leroy Sane hailed City team-mate Fernandinho.

Sane scored with 18 minutes remaining after Sergio Aguero's opener was cancelled out by Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino in Manchester.

"Everyone knows Fernandinho is important for us," Sane said. "He has to defend the ball, win the ball, pass the ball!

"He had an amazing game and I'm so pleased he is back for us."

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City will now be looking to build some momentum in their quest to chase down Liverpool at the top of the table.

Their next match will see them take on Rotherham United in the FA Cup, before the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final against Burton Albion next Wednesday.

A home tie with Wolves is the next league fixture on the horizon, before away trips to Huddersfield Town and Newcastle United before the end of the month.