PLAYER RATINGS: Josko Gvardiol is becoming a key player for Pep Guardiola during the title run-in but who has grown into his role at Man City with incisive moments?

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Manchester City continued their ruthless march towards a record fourth-consecutive Premier League title as they brushed aside Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon. 

Just 13 minutes into the clash, Josko Gvardiol got the visitors on the scoresheet with a clinical finish to cap a well-worked team move, and although the hosts were able to hold Pep Guardiola's side off until the half-time break, it was ultimately to no avail. 

Newly minted FWA Footballer of the Year Phil Foden made it 25 goals across an exceptional campaign after picking up a loose ball and driving it into the bottom left corner on the stroke of the hour mark. 

Gvardiol then claimed his second 12 minutes later as Fulham looked increasingly wearied in the face of the Manchester City machine, and a penalty in added-time from Julian Alvarez completed a commanding 4-0 win away from home. 

But who were the standouts on an enormous afternoon in the title race? Here, Mail Sport's Jack Gaughan runs the rule over Guardiola's team in west London.  

Josko Gvardiol was the hero of the hour as defender bagged a brace to keep City in the hunt

Josko Gvardiol was the hero of the hour as defender bagged a brace to keep City in the hunt

Josko Gvardiol was the hero of the hour as defender bagged a brace to keep City in the hunt

Phil Foden looked every inch a worthy honouree of the FWA Footballer of the Year award

Phil Foden looked every inch a worthy honouree of the FWA Footballer of the Year award

Victory against Fulham on Saturday afternoon sends Man City shooting to the top of the table

Victory against Fulham on Saturday afternoon sends Man City shooting to the top of the table

Manchester City (4-2-3-1)

Ederson – 6.5

A quiet afternoon in terms of shots but had to stay alert in spells when Fulham threatened to create decent opportunities.

Manuel Akanji - 7

Started on the right and reverted to left centre half. Equally measured in both positions and someone Pep Guardiola heavily relies upon.

Ruben Dias – 7.5

Back in the side and proved why within five minutes with two big blocks from dangerous crosses. Communication as important as anything.

Nathan Ake – 6.5

Completed a couple of crucial interventions early on but was forced off in the 22nd minute with what seemed a shin problem.

Ruben Dias slipped back into the side with ease and pulled off a classy showing at the back

Ruben Dias slipped back into the side with ease and pulled off a classy showing at the back

Rodri's (right) titanic record in the Premier League is a credit to his footballing intelligence

Rodri's (right) titanic record in the Premier League is a credit to his footballing intelligence

Josko Gvardiol - 9

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Becoming a key player for Guardiola during the run-in. Superbly taken opening goal calmed City down and then got another. And he’s not really a left back.

Rodri – 8

Game understanding allows others to flourish. Barely ever has to make a tackle or interception because of his intelligence.

Mateo Kovacic - 8

Incisive going forward in a way that shows Kovacic has grown into his role at City. Picks his moments perfectly.

Bernardo Silva – 8.5

Disciplined role off the right for the Portuguese, embarrassed Antonee Robinson for the second and then whipping in the cross for the third.

Antonee Robinson (left) found himself red-faced after tangling with Bernardo Silva (right)

Antonee Robinson (left) found himself red-faced after tangling with Bernardo Silva (right)

Kevin De Bruyne scythed through the powerless Fulham midfield and should have picked up more assists to add to his tally

Kevin De Bruyne scythed through the powerless Fulham midfield and should have picked up more assists to add to his tally

Foden's defensive understanding has improved in another boost for Pep Guardiola's team

Foden's defensive understanding has improved in another boost for Pep Guardiola's team

Kevin De Bruyne – 8.5

Nine assists in 16 Premier League appearances. Should have had another two more when Akanji and Erling Haaland spooned over the bar.

Phil Foden - 8

Glides through games and even when making mistakes, his added defensive understanding means Foden rectifies them nowadays. Nice finish for his goal too.

Erling Haaland - 7

Major physical presence through the middle and gave Calvin Bassey real problems. But then fluffed when he should have netted with a one-on-one after the break.

Kyle Walker came on to pull off a hardy performance in west London on Saturday afternoon

Kyle Walker came on to pull off a hardy performance in west London on Saturday afternoon

Julian Alvarez provided the icing on the cake as he slotted away an added-time penalty

Julian Alvarez provided the icing on the cake as he slotted away an added-time penalty

Subs

Kyle Walker (for Ake, 22) - 7

Jeremy Doku (for De Bruyne, 75)

Rico Lewis (for Kovacic, 82)

Oscar Bobb (for Foden, 82)

Julian Alvarez (for Haaland, 82)

Fulham (4-2-3-1): Leno 6; Castagne 6, Diop 5, Bassey 5.5, Robinson 5; Palhinha 7; Cordova-Reid 6 (Traore 46, 5), Iwobi 6.5, Pereira 6 (Wilson 74, 6), Willian 5 (Cairney 46, 6); Muniz 6 (Broja 67, 6)

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