Pep Guardiola hailed an "extraordinary" Fernandinho performance after the midfielder scored a stunning strike in a 5-0 defeat of Burnley that sent Manchester City back to the top of the Premier League.
City were already on track for victory at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday thanks to goals from Sergio Aguero and Bernardo Silva before Fernandinho's rocket secured all three points for the champions.
Riyad Mahrez and Leroy Sane added further goals in the closing stages, with an ideal day for City completed by Kevin De Bruyne's return to action after two months on the sidelines.
But it was Fernandinho and John Stones - the England defender filling in on the right side of defence - who caught Guardiola's eye.
"All the players make a good performance, especially John, playing in a position that is not natural for him in the absence of Kyle [Walker] and Danilo," Guardiola told a news conference.
"He did really well, Fernandinho made an extraordinary performance and in general, especially in the second half, it was a good performance.
"Fernandinho was so important for us, no doubt. Today he was clever in finding more time to find the strikers, wingers and attacking midfielders. His body shape, every time he received the ball he was ready to play.
"So he was incredible, today was one of the best performances of the season and we're delighted, he is a key player for us."
Mahrez bounced back from missing a penalty at the end of a 0-0 draw at Liverpool before the international break with a fine display that was capped with the goal of the day, a 25-yard curler.
"He played so good at Anfield, that's why I decided to play him again," Guardiola told reporters of the former Leicester City star. "It was not easy there, he plays with a lot of personality, football can happen, but only takers can miss penalties.
"He scored an incredible goal, with an aggressive approach with the ball to go to the full-backs, the movement between the full-backs, especially in the second half with Phil [Foden], was so good. The second half Bernardo moved better in that position and we made a good performance.
"But we knew it - he [Mahrez] is a talented player and a guy who likes to play with the ball and he doesn't miss balls. In the box, he is a dangerous guy because he can go to the byline or score with his left or his right, he is a good signing for us."
City face Shahktar Donetsk in the Champions League on Tuesday and Guardiola indicated the returning De Bruyne is ready to play a part.
"He has no pain, physically he is a guy who is so strong, he needs minutes, this is the first time he played 30 minutes and this is so important," the Catalan continued.
"We have a lot of games but of course he's not new - not like Riyad - three years together so when I say something he knows what we have to do. He's another important player and he's back and will help us to achieve what we want to do. The first target is to play good."
|Casillas reaches 100 Champions League wins|
|Expansion franchise Cincinnati sign Garza, send Kamara to Rapids|
|Manchester City sign United States goalkeeper Steffen for reported £7m|
|Schalke 1 Lokomotiv Moscow 0: Russians miss chance for Europa League reprieve|
|Galatasaray 2 Porto 3: Terim´s men into Europa League after penalty drama|
|Jackman leaves Dragons role|
|Tottenham boosted as Barcelona bench Messi|
|Mane and Henderson in Liverpool XI to face Napoli|
|Mourinho shoots down question over how to get the best from Pogba|
|Ronaldo to start as Allegri aims to avoid Champions League big guns|
|Odriozola: I´m in love with Benzema, he´s the best number nine in the world|
|Vikings fire OC DeFilippo after loss to Seahawks|
|Marcelino suggests Valencia open to Batshuayi departure|
|Bottas to make rally debut in title-winning M-Sport Ford Fiesta|
|Kovac dismisses Pavard speculation|
|Yaya Toure leaves Olympiacos after just five appearances|
|Riise challenges Liverpool to banish Champions League disappointment against Napoli|
|We rallied around it - Durant on Green confrontation aftermath|
|Valencia ´p****d off´ with Fellaini´s controversial Young Boys winner - Soler|
|More must be done to combat racism at Premier League grounds – Chalobah|
|Napoli will not sack ´big signing´ Ancelotti if they miss Champions League qualification, says De La|
|Guardiola not interested in ´exceptional´ Saul|
|Shai gives Windies hope with thrilling ODI run chase|
|Ten Hag unsure whether to risk Ajax stars against Bayern|
|Erasmus to work with Bulls as Springboks assist Super Rugby sides|
|Paul Gascoigne pleads not guilty to sexual assault|
|Joshua is ´begging´ for unification fight, claims Wilder|
|Silva, Fernandinho add to Guardiola´s injury woes|
|Hosszu storms to 14th gold, Seto smashes Le Clos´ world record|
|Raheem is an incredible human being - Guardiola rallies behind City star Sterling|
|Sexton pens IRFU extension until 2021|
|Ajax boss Ten Hag can do big things, says Bayern chief Rummenigge|
|He´s good at basketball – Kerr running out of superlatives for Curry|
|Green thrilled to make Warriors return in victory over Timberwolves|
|Madrid squad great and humble - Solari responds to Ronaldo|
|Langer unsure what to expect from Perth wicket|
|Fournette subjected to alleged racial abuse in Titans loss - Marrone|
|Better and better - Mbappe hails Neymar link|
|It´s the end of one of the best movies you could ever see - James pays tribute to retiring Wade|
|NASA invites Curry to see moon rocks|
|No plan B for LaLiga Miami game after Barcelona withdrawal|
|Messi´s English haul, Neymar eyes hat-trick record - Champions League in Opta numbers|
|LeBron trumps Wade in last dance, Curry scores 38 points|
|Seahawks secure dominant win over Vikings|
|Iniesta visits Messi and former club Barcelona|
|Drake makes plea for ball thrown into stands after Miami miracle|
|´Toughest pretty boy I´ve ever met´ - Langer dismisses Paine concerns|
|Van Dijk says Liverpool can challenge for double ahead of Napoli decider|
|Hazard: I´ve always loved Real Madrid|
|Yankees interested in Machado, not Harper - Cashman|
|Warriors´ Curry believes moon landing was faked|
|76ers star Butler suffers strained groin|
|Brady: Patriots still have a lot of football to play|
|´No one died´ - Belichick´s message to Patriots after stunning loss|
|Silva lauds Digne after stunning free-kick|
|Aduriz joins Messi, Ramos in LaLiga history books|
|We have a plan - Ravens coach Harbaugh prepared for Flacco return|
|´It´s difficult to accept´ - Gracia calls for introduction of VAR|
|LaLiga press on with overseas match plan despite Barcelona withdrawal|
|PSG open Coupe de France defence at fifth-tier Pontivy|
|Hazard backs Sterling as Neville reveals England star´s Euro 2016 concerns|
|Everton 2 Watford 2: Digne salvages draw with 96th-minute free-kick|
|Barcelona could ´steal´ Kane, says Pochettino|
|Oakland Raiders fire general manager McKenzie|
|Struggling Villarreal appoint Garcia Plaza as Calleja successor|
|Warriors assign Cousins to G League team|
|Barcelona pull out of plan to play LaLiga game in Miami|
|Pochettino to keep an eye on Inter when Spurs face Barcelona|
|Pochettino confirms Walker-Peters set to start against Barcelona|
|Denver Nuggets add free agent Young|