Fernandinho has lauded team-mate Ederson as a complete goalkeeper after the Brazil international made two crucial saves in Manchester City's win at Crystal Palace.

City lost to Wolves before the international break but were in dominant form at Selhurst Park – quickfire goals from Gabriel Jesus and David Silva just reward for their display.

However, Pep Guardiola's side – who, temporarily at least, closed the gap between themselves and Liverpool to five points with Saturday's triumph – failed to add to their tally; Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Jesus squandering chances to put the result beyond doubt.

De Bruyne also had what looked a strong penalty appeal turned down, much to Guardiola's frustration, and City might have been made to pay if not for Ederson's heroics.

Having tipped Christian Benteke's header onto the bar, the former Benfica man made another fine stop to deny Wilfried Zaha in the closing stages and Fernandinho was full of praise for his compatriot.

"I think we had a very good performance, we created a lot of chances to score many more goals," said the 34-year-old, who started at centre-back alongside fellow midfielder Rodri.

"Ederson made also two important saves. If you look at the game overall, we deserved to win from the beginning. We went for it, we found the spaces, we missed a lot of chances.

"[Ederson] has shown the player he is since the day he arrived. When the club signed him, in the first training sessions, I was impressed with him.

"He's a goalkeeper and the club signed him, first of all, to save, but it's a great bonus that he can play with his feet, the quality he has to play with his feet is amazing. To me, he is a very complete goalkeeper."

With his opener, striker Jesus took himself on to 50 goals during his time at City, becoming the seventh player to achieve that milestone while being coached by Guardiola.

Jesus has now scored in his past seven starts for the club in all competitions, but Fernandinho insists no player can be sure of their place in Guardiola's line-up.

"It might be surprising but not any player has his spot guaranteed in the starting 11," he added.

"You have to prove yourself in every training session, the players know that and you have to be ready any time an opportunity comes.

"You need to understand what the manager wants and what the team needs from you. [Jesus] has understood and every time he is on the pitch, he tries to give his best, no matter if he plays 90 or 10 minutes."

Manchester City star Ederson believes compatriot Alisson deserves to win The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper award following a brilliant year for club and country.

Brazil international Alisson moved from Roma to Liverpool in July 2018 and enjoyed an exceptional first season at Anfield as the club won the Champions League.

The 26-year-old was named the competition's best goalkeeper and won the Golden Glove at the end of his maiden Premier League campaign after recording 21 clean sheets in 38 games.

He then helped Brazil triumph at the Copa America and looks a clear frontrunner to be crowned the third winner of FIFA's top goalkeeping honour after Gianluigi Buffon and Thibaut Courtois.

Ederson and Marc-Andre ter Stegen of Barcelona are also in the running but the City player views his Selecao team-mate as the standout.

"I think the three of us were the best, but I see Alisson one step ahead," said Ederson.

"He was great in the Premier League, won the Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and had a great Copa America as well.

"So I think whoever wins will be deserving and I'm happy for two Brazilian goalkeepers to reach this level."

Only a calf injury suffered on the opening day of the new Premier League season has interrupted Alisson's dream run, ruling him out of Brazil's upcoming friendlies against Colombia and Peru.

His absence gives Ederson a rare chance to stake a claim for the national team's number one shirt.

"We all know the great period that Alisson is living. And I'm having a good time too. Of course, these are opportunities," said the former Benfica goalkeeper.

"As a player you must be prepared for everything. I train as if I am always playing, which makes it easier for me to be used.

"I hope to make the best of the opportunities I have here and I'll give my best."

Brazil goalkeeper Ederson said star team-mate Neymar is happy after linking up with the national team following his failure to return to LaLiga champions Barcelona.

Neymar was keen to move back to Barca, however, the Spanish giants were unable to re-sign him from Paris Saint-Germain before Monday's transfer deadline.

It was a transfer saga that dominated headlines, but Neymar has since joined up with Brazil in Miami ahead of Friday's international friendly against Colombia, while Peru await on September 10.

Asked about Neymar, Manchester City's Ederson told reporters on Wednesday: "We had just one training. And it was yesterday. It was a training session with the ball, so I cannot answer about it.

"Of course Neymar is happy. I don't know if he will play. This is a question that [head coach] Tite must answer. Because he's the only person who can answer if he [Neymar] plays or if he does not play."

Ederson added: "I see him happy. Any player who wears the Brazilian national team shirt is happy.

"I can't talk about this summer market because I don't know what happened. I didn't follow the news very much. So I don't know how to answer you about that. but I know that here, in the Brazilian team, he is happy."

Neymar is yet to play this season after suffering an ankle injury before Brazil's triumphant Copa America campaign on home soil.

The 27-year-old has scored 34 goals in 37 Ligue 1 appearances despite both his seasons at PSG being interrupted by serious foot injuries.

In total, Neymar has managed 51 goals in 58 games for Ligue 1 champions PSG.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk are the three finalists for The Best FIFA Men's Player award.

FIFA announced a 10-man shortlist for the gong in July and, following the initial voting period, the final three have been revealed.

Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt, Harry Kane, Eden Hazard, Sadio Mane, Kylian Mbappe and Mohamed Salah were the seven players cut from the initial list.

Liverpool defender Van Dijk is the favourite of many after playing a vital role in the Reds' Champions League triumph and their Premier League title challenge – finishing just a point behind Manchester City.

He was recognised for his exploits just last week, when he was named UEFA's Player of the Year, beating Messi and Ronaldo to the prize.

The Netherlands international also helped his country to the final of the Nations League, only for a Ronaldo-inspired Portugal to lift the inaugural title.

Ronaldo also enjoyed success at club level, helping Juventus cruise to an eighth successive Scudetto, finishing as their top scorer across all competitions with 28 goals.

Messi's numbers dwarfed Ronaldo's, though, as the Barcelona star scored 51 goals in total, including 36 from 29 starts in LaLiga, with Barca retaining their title.

Those goal-scoring exploits won Messi the European Golden Shoe and, on top of being LaLiga's most prolific player, he also set up 13 goals, a haul only matched by Pablo Sarabia.

Messi's Barca team-mate Marc-Andre ter Stegen is among the three finalists for the goalkeeper award, with City's Ederson and Alisson of Liverpool also in the hunt.

And there is a distinct Premier League feel to the final three of the coaches' award, with Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino all in the running.

The winners will be announced on September 23.

Manchester City secured a battling 3-1 win at Bournemouth to bounce back from last week's frustrating draw against Tottenham and climb to second in the Premier League.

The champions' latest VAR woe saw them slip two points off the pace at home to Spurs, but a display of character and quality on the south coast on Sunday ensured that setback was swiftly forgotten.

It had even looked as though City would enjoy a comfortable outing when they took a two-goal lead through Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling, who now has nine goals in eight league games against Bournemouth.

But after Harry Wilson struck a wonderful riposte just before half-time, Pep Guardiola's men were required to dig in for a time before Aguero netted again - his 400th goal for club and country - and City eased home.

City had needed just 15 minutes to forge the opener, with Kevin De Bruyne - inadvertently reaching 50 Premier League assists - miskicking Oleksandr Zinchenko's cross into the path of Aguero for a cool finish.

Aaron Ramsdale dealt with David Silva's volley as City chased a swift second, before Bournemouth were dealt a further blow as Charlie Daniels - just back from injury - was taken off on a stretcher.

The hosts should have levelled when Nicolas Otamendi chested the ball into the path of Adam Smith six yards from goal, but Ederson blocked and City were clinical at the other end.

Silva swept a gorgeous pass into Sterling's feet and the England man's instant control allowed him to poke beyond Ramsdale.

Six minutes of stoppage time granted Bournemouth the opportunity to hit back before the break, though, and Wilson's sensational 25-yard free-kick kissed the top of the right-hand post on the way in.

A lively start to the second half saw Ederson alert to keep out the speedy Callum Wilson, before De Bruyne was surprisingly wasteful on his favoured right foot inside the area.

A VAR review did not result in a penalty for Silva when he appeared to be felled by Jefferson Lerma, but the City captain soon weaved into the box and created space for Aguero to poke in the decisive third.

 

What does it mean? City up for the fight

While perhaps not as dazzling as the display against Tottenham, which had Guardiola purring despite the result, this was a show of why City are champions. Bournemouth were much improved from an aimless outing in this fixture last term, but the visitors would not shirk the battle, relied on their goalkeeper when needed and finished ruthlessly.

Ederson busy, brave and brilliant

De Bruyne assists and Aguero and Sterling goals are common currency, but so too are match-saving turns from Ederson. The goalkeeper started shakily, going into the book for clattering Callum Wilson, before making vital stops from Smith and the England striker, as well as commanding his box as City overcame the Bournemouth challenge.

Another injury blow for Bournemouth

The Cherries were hit by injuries in the full-back position last season, with Daniels out following an April training-ground incident. He had only made his competitive return from a kneecap operation at Aston Villa last week but immediately looked in real trouble as he stayed down after delivering a cross against City. Howe will hope for better news.

What's next?

A seemingly favourable run of fixtures sees City face Brighton and Hove Albion before the international break, with games against Norwich City and Watford to come. Bournemouth have Forest Green in the EFL Cup on Wednesday and then visit Leicester City.

Aymeric Laporte and Ederson are already confident Rodri is the right man to provide competition to Fernandinho in the Manchester City midfield.

City lacked a genuine alternative to key man Fernandinho in the holding role last season, but Rodri has since arrived from Atletico Madrid in a club-record £63million deal.

Rodri started at West Ham on Saturday and soon looked up to speed in a 5-0 win at London Stadium.

Laporte praised the midfielder's ability to move the ball out of tight spaces in the middle of the pitch, comparing the Spaniard to Fernandinho.

"He can do that at Fernandinho's level," Laporte told The Athletic. "Fernandinho does it a lot.

"I think the two are very good, they offer a lot to the team, most of all when we play out from the back."

And goalkeeper Ederson recognises the importance of City having depth in the one position where previously they were light.

"He plays the same way as Fernandinho, he's strong in the air, goes up well, he fights well," Ederson added.

"That's important because last season we only had Fernandinho in this position and now we have two great players."

Joao Felix has become by far Benfica's biggest ever sale after completing a €126million move to Atletico Madrid, continuing the Portuguese champions' strong record of raking in massive transfer fees.

What makes the 19-year-old attacking midfielder's move even more remarkable is the fact he has spent just one full season in the first team.

It was certainly a successful campaign, however, as the teenager scored 15 goals and set up another seven in 26 league appearances, earning his first senior Portugal cap in the Nations League Finals.

A fine dribbler, good finisher and blessed with outstanding technical ability, Joao Felix has huge expectations to match at Atletico, given he is likely to be Antoine Griezmann's replacement.

Benfica will be delighted to receive such a hefty fee, as they have done for a host of other stars in the past, including these six…

 

Ederson - €40m (Manchester City)                   

Like Joao Felix, Ederson only played one full season in Benfica's starting XI before earning a move away. Nevertheless, he has settled in seamlessly at Manchester City with his combination of world-class shot-stopping and passing ability, winning back-to-back Premier League titles and establishing himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

Axel Witsel - €40m (Zenit)

Tipped for big things early in his career, Benfica snapped Witsel up from Standard Liege in 2011 and sold him on a year later, with Zenit – not one of the traditional European heavyweights he was linked with – making the move. He spent five years in Russia, then a season in China, before joining Borussia Dortmund last year. The 30-year-old enjoyed a strong first term in Germany.

 

Raul Jimenez - €38m (Wolves)

Jimenez's adaptation to Europe after leaving Mexico's Club America was difficult and he made little impact at Atletico. Benfica brought him to Portugal after a year and are reported to have eventually paid €22m for him. Despite a modest scoring record, the Aguias are said to have received €38m for him from Wolves in April after a strong debut season on loan in England.

Nelson Semedo - €35m (Barcelona)

An attack-minded right-back, Semedo was identified as the potential solution to Barcelona's post-Dani Alves full-back issue in 2017 and they paid Benfica a reported €35m fee. He is yet to truly establish himself in the starting XI, though signs at the end of the 2018-19 season suggested he was beginning to win the battle with Sergi Roberto for the right-back spot.

Victor Lindelof - €35m (Manchester United)

Five years at Benfica – split between the first team and reserves – saw Lindelof develop into one of Europe's most highly rated young centre-backs, as he mixed technical ability with uncompromising defending. After months of speculation, United completed a deal in 2017. After a difficult first season Lindelof was linked with an exit, but he stayed and was one of few to impress at Old Trafford in 2018-19.

Renato Sanches - €35m (Bayern Munich)

Sanches broke into Benfica's starting XI as a teenager and impressed with his explosive style in midfield, earning himself a call-up to the Portugal squad, whom he helped to Euro 2016 success. His subsequent big-money move to Bayern has not worked out, however, while he also struggled on loan at Swansea City. A move away in the next couple of months is a real possibility.

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