Vincent Kompany hailed a perfect evening despite being forced to miss his own testimonial through injury.
A crowd of 51,602 turned up at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday to say farewell to the former Manchester City captain, who left the Premier League champions at the end of last season.
They were denied the chance of seeing the inspirational defender in action for one last time due to yet another injury, however – a frustration the man himself knows only too well.
He said: "By losing Laporte you lose a big player. You need big players in the bigger games but the key strength of this Manchester City team is relying more on the system than the individuals.
"I don't see City weakening. Pep is way to aware of this danger to let it happen."
He also revealed that he believes Liverpool's Virgil Van Dijk is the best defender to have played in the Premier League
Kompany said: "I go back to players that really impressed me when I played against them. I would bring it back to Virgil Van Dijk.
"From what I have seen on having an impact on a team – and being a defender is never about yourself, it's how you make your team more solid – Liverpool before Van Dijk and after him, it is a completely different set-up."