Discussions regarding Premier League passing stats have largely revolved around Manchester United’s Michael Carrick in recent weeks, with the England international helping to provide the creative spark which has carried the Red Devils to four straight wins.
He has, however, been trumped by a local rival in the latest round of top-flight fixtures.
Manuel Pellegrini needed a big performance from his title-chasing side at Sunderland on Wednesday, and got one as City hit back from a goal down to break their Stadium of Light hoodoo with a convincing 4-1 victory.
Fernandinho was a key cog at the heart of that success, with the visiting midfield dominating to leave the Black Cats chasing shadows and unable to get a foot on the ball.
|Team||Match||Total Pass||Accurate Pass||Fwd Pass||Total Through Ball||Mins Played|
|Fernandinho||Man City||Sunderland vs Man City||133||123||53||0||90|
|Yaya Touré||Man City||Sunderland vs Man City||127||119||33||0||90|
|Samir Nasri||Man City||Sunderland vs Man City||101||94||20||2||83|
|Michael Carrick||Man Utd||Man Utd vs Stoke||89||84||25||0||90|
|Nabil Bentaleb||Tottenham||Chelsea vs Tottenham||87||78||20||0||90|
More the same will be required from City’s playmaking stars on Saturday as they prepare to play host to Everton, before attention switches to Champions League duty and a must-win clash with Roma.
Fernandinho’s return to top form bodes well heading into those contests, with the Brazilian’s high-energy style all about dictating proceedings and forcing opponents onto the back foot.
Having played more passes, found more teammates with them, and looked forward on more occasions than any other player in his last top-flight outing, he should help to cover the loss of Toure to suspension in continental competition.
For the others on the list above, Carrick just needs to keep ticking things over, with United’s clamber into the top four leading to talk of a possible title tilt at Old Trafford.
Nabil Bentaleb, meanwhile, can take heart from the fact that he saw plenty of the ball at Chelsea on Wednesday, but he will be disappointed to have not done more with it, with Spurs’ struggles at Stamford Bridge continuing with a 3-0 defeat.