In a game that was far more tense than the scoreline would suggest, Manchester City moved to the top of the Premier League above Liverpool following an uncomfortable match against their cross-town rivals Everton.
Aymeric Laporte opened the scoring half an hour later than he probably should have done, guiding home a far tougher header than the one he squandered earlier in the game. After a testing second 45, Gabriel Jesus sealed the win with a scrappy header brought about by Kevin de Bruyne’s inch-perfect through ball.
Here’s how I rated each player’s performance at Goodison Park tonight:
Ederson – 8
The Brazilian did very well to protect his clean sheet, which sounds silly as Everton managed just one shot on target – a speculative effort from Idrissa Gueye. Nevertheless, Ederson brought some much-needed security to a tense match. His score was bumped up in particular by his expertly-timed interception of Richarlison’s pass to Cenk Tosun in the latter stages.
Kyle Walker – 5.5
It would probably be harsh to rate a defender five or lower when they keep a clean sheet and win the game, and some may use that fact to claim Walker had an OK game. My heart rate whenever he’s in possession would disagree, as would his perfectly cushioned pass to Richarlison before Ederson’s heroics.
John Stones – 8
Like Walker, you can’t complain too much when you keep a clean sheet. Stones has had worse games in his time, and his periods in midfield were quite impressive.
Nicolas Otamendi – 7
Despite struggling in some aerial duels, Otamendi kept out Everton’s attacks with relative comfort and controlled possession well in defence.
Aymeric Laporte – 9
Domineering, in a word. Yes, he should have scored early on but after his miss the Frenchman was immense. His header was well taken and his passing was supreme throughout.
Fernandinho – 9
He played his usual role very well – that is, clipping the heels of everyone on the pitch and somehow, inexplicably, amazingly, not getting booked until the 73rd minute. A fantastic all-round performance from the 33-year-old earns him the man of the match award.
Ilkay Gundogan – 7
Generally quiet from the German, especially considering his current form. He did, however, pick out some good passes and was perhaps unlucky to miss out on a penalty.
David Silva – 6
Another relatively poor game from the Spaniard, who did, to his credit, produce some flashes of brilliance and the assist for our opening goal.
Bernardo Silva – 8
I can’t remember the last time Bernardo Silva received lower than a seven in my view when he’s started a game. Some fantastic touches tonight from the man labelled impossible to drop by his manager before the game.
Leroy Sane – 6
Not at his best – one of those “not quite” games from the young winger. He was rightly replaced by Raheem Sterling on the hour mark.
Sergio Aguero – 7
A decent game from the striker. He would have found it hard to match his performance against Arsenal at the weekend.
Raheem Sterling – 7
I thought Sterling looked sharp on his entrance to the game, and certainly more so than the man he replaced. He might have been unlucky not to score after finding good spaces in the box late on.
Kevin de Bruyne – 8
Despite making a late entry, the Belgian was excellent on the ball and played a perfectly measured ball to Jesus to finish off the game.
Gabriel Jesus – 7
Just the one or two flashy moments were only the highlights of his brief appearance until he found space in the Everton box in the dying embers of the game. The finish was as messy as could be, but it did secure a massive win. I can’t complain too much in the end.
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