Manchester City survived a lethargic night and put in a respectable shift to see off West Ham at the Etihad. Sergio Aguero’s penalty on the hour mark was enough to give Guardiola’s team, who will need to refind their fitness soon to stay in this title race.
Here’s how we rated the players…
Ederson – 7
Except for THAT brilliant save from Carroll, he had nothing to do, but passed around as well as ever. There was one breathtaking ball late on through the West Ham press but I doubt he was fazed for a second.
Danilo – 7
Looked tidy enough, although Felipe Anderson rarely challenged him defensively. Against a lesser goalkeeper, he may have scored with his low long-range drive.
Nicolas Otamendi – 7
An important presence at the back. You can’t help feeling that his passing is not as far behind Stones as some would believe.
Vincent Kompany – 7
Did well in the absence of Laporte. He’s undeniably had busier nights in his impressive career than this, though.
Oleks Zinchenko – 8 (Man of the Match)
This kid keeps impressing. He looks like part of the furniture now, and there are very few signs left that he’s not a natural left back. Tonight he was classy as usual on the ball and faultless at the back.
Ilkay Gündogan – 7
His only crime at City has been that he’s not David Silva or Kevin De Bruyne but now those two are out of form, the German is becoming more appreciated. Understudying for Fernandinho, Ilkay was a metronome and I don’t see what Jorginho could have given us that Gundo can’t…
Kevin de Bruyne – 5
We need to talk about Kevin. He’s been bad. We’re talking about one of the best players in the world here, and he’s hugely struggling for form. Tonight nothing came off for the Belgian- it was a truly disjointed evening, especially in his linkup with Mahrez.
David Silva – 5
If De Bruyne is out of form, Silva has left form so far behind he can barely remember it. I don’t like to be harsh but this is, in my opinion, the finest player English football has seen in this decade – and he has looked so far off it lately. Tonight was better (he was unlucky not to score) but nothing really came off for him.
Riyad Mahrez – 5
Oh Riyad, Riyad, Riyad. Mate. You’re better than this.
He’s had a mixed season but this was the low point. I commend his effort, hence the somewhat respectable rating, but nothing he tried tonight worked. It wasn’t always his fault, no… but certainly more often than not, Mahrez’s huge talent deserted him tonight.
Sergio Agüero – 7
An anonymous opening hour was largely redeemed when he tucked away the vital penalty to give us a lead. This was a quiet game otherwise, but after hat-tricks against Chelsea and Arsenal lately Kun is easily forgiven.
Leroy Sané – 5
For the considerable abuse Mahrez has received tonight, it seems only fair that I point out Sané’s equally disappointing showing. However, rather than regularly wasting attacks like his teammate, Sané was below par in a less obvious way, often failing to even see much possession.
Raheem Sterling – 7
Raheem spent a brief time on the right before heading back to left wing tonight, and was a huge upgrade on those he replaced. As usual, he looked lovely and confident.
Bernardo Silva – 7
Arguably City’s current best player made a swift impact by winning a penalty soon after coming on. We need him starting as much as his legs can handle because he added quality to our counter-attacks.
Phil Foden – 6
Is this the first time Foden has played in a league game we weren’t winning comfortably? That must be a positive sign. He even played left-wing in an unusual move. Phil’s hunger and workrate in the press didn’t go unnoticed. His first league start is overdue.
Follow City Xtra on Twitter: @City_Xtra
Follow the author on Twitter: @nallensports