Pep Guardiola claimed Bernardo Silva is "on another level" after the Manchester City midfielder helped his boss collect a 150th Premier League win on Wednesday.
Guardiola became just the fourth manager to the 150-win mark in the English top flight after defeating Aston Villa 2-1, achieving the milestone in 204 games to surpass Alex Ferguson's record of 247 matches.
Ruben Dias proved the unlikely scorer of City's first before Silva netted his fourth goal in seven league games, as many as he had in his previous 55 in the competition.
Ollie Watkins' fifth goal in three outings against the reigning champions halved the deficit, but City comfortably held on for another win to remain a point behind leaders Chelsea.
Guardiola's post-match focus was on Silva, who he feels is a class above in the Premier League at the minute.
"He scored a fantastic goal," Guardiola told Amazon Prime Video. "We depend on him, when a player has this quality it depends on them. He is a player on another level."
Guardiola reiterated the same sentiments to reporters at the post-match news conference: "He's the best. He was the best when we got 98 points three seasons ago and he's the same now."
150 - Pep Guardiola tonight earned his 150th Premier League win at Man City – only the fourth manager to reach this total for a club. After just 204 games, this beats Sir Alex Ferguson’s record at Man Utd, who celebrated his 150th win in his 247th match. Mastermind. pic.twitter.com/FAQvccT740— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 1, 2021
City face a gruelling December schedule, in which they play seven times before the end of the month as they search for domestic and European glory.
But Guardiola insisted all his side can do us front up the challenge as he praised the visitors' performance at Villa Park.
"No words," he continued on City's showing. "The game we played was fantastic. What a team against Aston Villa.
"A difficult game, we knew it, with the new manager, we understand why they won two in a row. The way we reacted to conceding the goal... We played really well.
Asked about December's fixtures and a potential title challenge, he added: "Do we have another alternative? No. So we're going to face the challenge.
"You see the Liverpool machine scoring goals and the consistency from Chelsea. What is important is being there.
"We had an incredibly tough first part of the league with tough games away and we are only one point off."