Manchester City eased to a professional win over Neil Warnock’s Bluebirds at the Etihad on Wednesday night to return to the Premier League summit. Here’s how we rated the players on an understated but vital win in Manchester…
It was a deathly quiet day of the occasional pass and a lot of spectating for our Brazilian ‘keeper- so business as usual by his standards, then. There was a simple save late on but his only real moment to shine was a brilliant rush off the line to deny Niasse and protect his 16th league clean sheet of the season.
Oleksandr Zinchenko- N/A
No real time to mark before an unfortunate and worrying injury early on.
Aymeric Laporte- 8
Deserved the clean sheet tonight as he employed his usual imperious style mixed with some deadly passing. Got the assist for De Bruyne’s opener and was a threat in Cardiff’s box, too.
John Stones- 7
It was great to see John back and looking solid once again, reminding us that he, along with Laporte, is the future of the defence at this club. Didn’t put a foot wrong.
Impressed with his workrate and willingness to overlap. At one point he was fouled so far up the pitch I assumed he was Jesus until I looked more closely. Defended well.
After coming off the bench on Saturday, this was a return to normal for Fernandinho, who provided the base of the midfield and did an excellent job- as normal.
Kevin de Bruyne- 9 (Man of the Match)
Even though he’s admitted his goal was accidental, De Bruyne looked back to his best tonight. Every hallmark of vintage KDB was there: long shots, crosses, clever flicks, workrate, movement, bursting runs forward, threaded passes and two-footedness. If he really is back to his best then the quadruple seems that little bit less impossible.
Phil Foden– 8
I will never know how Foden didn’t score tonight. His first Premier League start was every bit as good as we knew it would be, and he even managed to smash the post in the second half. Phil looked part of the furniture, as if this was league start number 100 rather than 1. Can’t wait to see even more.
Riyad Mahrez– 6
It’s fair to say it didn’t quite click for Mahrez tonight- he wasted a couple of attacks and blazed a few shots wide. However, he deserved a penalty and was important in the creation of the second goal.
Leroy Sané- 8
Scored a lovely goal at the end of the second half in an otherwise mixed game.
Gabriel Jesus- 6
Finishing was simply not good enough from the birthday boy. He kind of made up for it, though, with his energy and movement. Needs to do better on Saturday.
Kyle Walker- 7
An industrious showing from the right-back, despite an injury scare.
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