Manchester City secured their progression into the FA Cup fourth round with a comfortable 4-0 win over Chelsea at the Etihad, with Aymeric Laporte impressive.
Riyad Mahrez set Pep Guardiola’s side on their way with a brilliant free-kick over the wall, before Julian Alvarez made it 2-0 from the penalty spot after Kai Havertz’s handball.
Phil Foden added a third before half-time after a beautiful passing move and City’s total domination was emphasised further from another penalty in the second 45, with Mahrez ending his poor run from 12 yards by smashing in the fourth.
While the Algerian winger was undoubtedly impressive against Graham Potter’s side it was arguably Laporte who was the star performer at the Etihad.
As per Sofascore, the Spain international would earn an impressive 8.2/10 rating for his performance, which was the second-highest of any player to feature in the game behind Mahrez (8.8).
During the 90 minutes, the former Atletico Bilbao man would enjoy 117 touches of the ball, which was the most of any player in the game.
He would also complete 104/108 passes with a superb pass success rate of 96%, which included one key pass. Considering he has averaged just 61.3 passes per game in the Premier League with a success rate of 91%, it is clear that he raised his game to another level against the Blues on Sunday.
Laporte was also able to complete 11/13 long balls in the game, helping to create a big chance, so he really emphasised his ability on the ball in what was his first appearance of the new year.
While City didn’t have too much defending to do against the lacklustre visitors, the 28-year-old would still manage to complete four tackles in the game, which again was a significant increase on the 0.5 tackles he has averaged in the top flight this season.
It was no surprise that Guardiola labelled Laporte “exceptional” after just a few months at the Etihad and he has continued to live up to that praise over the last few years, with his return from injury undoubtedly a big boost for the Spanish manager ahead of the second half of the season.