A cagey win for Manchester City as they knocked Chris Hughton’s Seagull’s out of the FA Cup in the Semi-Final at Wembley Stadium, sending them through to the final in May and keeping the question of a quadruple alive. Here’s how we rated the players in a closely contested match…
Ederson – 7
Another relatively quiet game for the City’s number one with very little to do in the first half. He had the goal covered for Knockaert’s quick-fire shot before the break. Composed as ever and came out for the ball when he needed to.
Kyle Walker – 4
While there was some decent passing from Walker, his reaction to a foul by Jahanbakhsh changed the tone of the game and could have easily led to a red card. His half-time substitution could be put down to resting him for Tuesday’s Champions League game, but more likely due to his thigh problem that he picked up prior to the incident with Jahanbakhsh.
Nicolas Otamendi – 5
The General didn’t look his usual solid self, particularly in the first half. Some misdirected passing led to him having a fairly average game overall.
Aymeric Laporte – 8
It was a great across-field pass from Laporte to Bernardo in the build-up to the only goal of the game. His tackling was on-point all game and his almost goal-line clearance in the second half to prevent a certain goal nearly earns him our man of the match. But I felt like this wasn’t the Frenchman’s best game and there were a few players better than him today.
Benjamin Mendy – 6
Mendy’s unpredictable strong crosses with his left foot are a joy to watch, but didn’t come off as much as anyone hoped. Defensively naive at times, this was as good a performance as you can expect from a player who’s played so few minutes for City this season.
Ilkay Gundogan – 8
A brilliant performance which saw Ilkay dominate the midfield for most of the game. His interplay with Sterling and David Silva was great to watch, and only looked to get better after he moved up the pitch following Kevin De Bruyne’s substitution.
Kevin De Bruyne – 7
The perfectly placed assist to set up City’s only goal of the game showed everybody who needed reminding just what a classy player the Belgian is. Always quick to put the opposition defenders under pressure when he or his team-mates lose the ball, it wasn’t a surprise that he was taken off after 65 minutes after playing the full 90 just three days ago.
David Silva – 6
It was a bit of a quiet game for today’s captain. While his link-up play on the left hand side of the pitch was good – he didn’t assert himself in the game as we know he can do. His fresh new haircut was definitely his most impressive attribute.
Bernardo Silva – 7
Skillful play on the right and left, once again proving why he’s in contention for Manchester City’s player of the season, despite being well marked in this match by his namesake. Bernardo switched with Sterling to the left-wing position early in the second half in an attempt to get more space. While it didn’t work out as well as Guardiola would have hoped, the Portuguese international still looked promising whenever on the ball.
Raheem Sterling – 8 (Man of the Match)
Great with the ball at his feet, at some points it didn’t look like any of the Brighton players could take the ball from him. His play on the left in the first half led to City’s most promising chances aside from the goal – and his shots in the second half came so close to putting the game beyond doubt, leading to some great last ditch Brighton saves.
Gabriel Jesus – 6
While he scored the only goal of the game with a well-timed diving header, Jesus was largely missing for the rest of the game. Whenever City were attacking he didn’t seem to be involved – until the final minutes of the game where he set Sterling up for a one on one shot against Ryan.
Danilo – 6
After coming on for a hot-headed Walker at half-time, it took Danilo just five minutes to get himself booked. We’ll forgive him though as it was mainly due to yet another Jahanbakhsh dive which Anthony Taylor failed to notice. Danilo brought some much needed stability to the defense in the second half and did well switching over to the left late in the game too.
Fernandinho – 6
The second Brazilian to come on in the second half that made City more assured in preventing Brighton’s attack. Ferna looked to bring more confidence to the team and his more accurate passing than some other players helped as well. He might have got a higher rating if he didn’t give away an unnecessary free kick in injury time which could have cost the blues dearly.
John Stones – 5
Came on with little more than ten minutes to go so couldn’t impact the game too heavily. Stones snuffed out a counter attack late in the game and looked solid in his ability to win aerial challenges.
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