Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola lauded David Silva having netted both goals in the Citizens' 2-0 win over Stoke City in the Premier League on Monday night, describing the Spaniard as 'perfect'.
Speaking to Sky Sports in his post-match interview at the Bet365 Stadium, Guardiola waxed lyrical of his midfield maestro, stating the Spanish international had confounded his doubters that he was more than just a technical footballer.
He said: "He [Silva] controlled the tempo perfect. Normally the people say how his skills, his technical ability and after that he cannot be aggressive a competitor...and he has balls..."
The former Valencia man now in his eighth season in Manchester has had another excellent season in the English top-flight, having scored eight goals and made nine assists this term, despite personal issues off the field in recent months.
As City close in on the league title - potentially against their arch rivals Manchester United in few a weeks time - Silva has been one of many pivotal cogs in the Citizen machine this campaign.
Up until now, the 32-year-old former World Cup and European Championship winner had more largely been regarded for his superior skill on the ball added to his high level of technical discipline, but a part of Guardiola's high-pressing set-up, Silva has now shown he has the physicality for the Premier League also, which his manager is keen to emphasize.
"In the bad moments always there," said Guardiola. "He controlled the game how have to play quick, have more control. I think the mix with Gundo and Kevin [De Bruyne] they are more and more aggressive, more attacking with runs in behind so that helps us a lot to control the games."
With City out of the FA Cup and their league game postponed, City now head off to Dubai for a warm weather training camp, before reconvening in a fortnight's time away to Everton.
If they pick up full points against the Toffees - providing the Red Devils beat Swansea also - Ciy can then wrap up the title at home to their former noisy neighbours at the Etihad on April 7.