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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 23 October, 2018

Nothing epitomises Pep Guardiola's Man City more than this Ederson stat from today's Spurs win

The goalkeeper’s arrival has been a crucial, if underplayed, development this season.

Image: Anthony Devlin

STATISTICS CAN BE misleading, certainly. Context is important, etc. A team may have 85% of the ball but still lose 1-0.

But, sometimes stats help illustrate a greater point.

And there was one that did the round immediately after Manchester City’s resounding 4-1 thumping of Tottenham that seemed to perfectly reflect Pep Guardiola’s style and approach.

It wasn’t about his outfield players and their work on the ball but his goalkeeper.

After Claudio Bravo’s stint with the side didn’t exactly go to plan, the club shelled out a world record to bring Ederson to the club.

And it seems to have been a really smart move.

Guardiola always wants his keeper to be a shot-stopper but also a valuable outfield player when required. So that means being good in possession.

During the Spurs game, Emerson managed more completed passes (26) than two of Tottenham’s main attacking threats Christian Eriksen (24) and Dele Alli (17).

Now, an easy counter-argument is that Ederson’s role sees him sweeping a lot – making himself available as an out ball for full-back or centre-halves – and just keeping things tidy with short passes.

But he’s much more than that and he conjured an absolutely remarkable pass to Raheem Sterling in the second-half to prove it.

City have substantially upgraded this term but while the likes of Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne get the headlines, it’s the development between the posts that has provided a crucial foundation.

The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):

De Bruyne shines again as Man City steamroll Spurs to make it 16 wins on the trot

As it happened: Manchester City v Tottenham, Premier League

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About the author:

Eoin O'Callaghan

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