Manchester City made it nine straight Premier League wins as a Raheem Sterling double was rounded off by a late Gabriel Jesus strike to ensure they overcame a tricky hurdle at Selhurst Park. A Luka Milivojevic free-kick meant the last ten minutes were slightly nervy for City, who had nullified the Palace threat well all afternoon.
Here’s how we rated the players for City’s win in London…
Ederson – 6
Arguably could’ve done better with the Palace goal, he seemed to be overly worried of Milivojevic placing it over the wall rather than a potential low strike into his near post. Nevertheless, Ederson will be pleased with his distribution as ever, as he played a few exquisite passes to the widemen over the top.
Kyle Walker – 8
One of Kyle Walker’s best performances this season, as he nullified the huge threat of Wilfried Zaha throughout. City fans are quick to scapegoat Walker when City aren’t at their best, but credit has to be given for his performance today. Zaha is the sort of winger that has caused Walker and City problems in this sort of fixture for a few seasons, and Walker dealt with everything that was thrown at him.
Vincent Kompany – 7
A typical Kompany performance in a tricky away fixture on a tight pitch – the sort he loves. Kompany made some vital clearances and interceptions, none fewer than the one that led to City’s first goal. City always seem much more dangerous when attacking set pieces when Kompany is in the team, which is food for thought in big matches to come.
Aymeric Laporte – 6
An assured outing for Laporte, but nothing to write home about, such is his consistency this term. The Frenchman played some lovely cushioned passes through the lines into the likes of David Silva and Sergio Aguero, and provided good cover for Benjamin Mendy, who was in his first Premier League start since November.
Benjamin Mendy – 6
Didn’t put a foot wrong on his return to Premier League action, and ensured Andros Townsend didn’t get a sniff. Mendy loves to overlap and cross the ball, but played a more conservative role today, often drifting inside to support the buildup. It’ll be interesting to see what part Mendy has to play in the final month or so of the season.
Ilkay Gundogan – 7
Gundogan has been one of City’s most consistent performers this calendar year, and that didn’t stop today. The German looked assured on the ball, playing some deft chipped passes over the top to on-running forwards. His defensive work was smart, too, and he dealt with Benteke quite well, attacking many long balls in the air. The only thing letting Gundogan down today was his finishing, as he skied a couple of efforts from the edge of the box.
Kevin De Bruyne – 9 (Man of the Match)
Kevin De Bruyne’s last couple of starts have proven he is very nearly back to his best. There is still potentially one gear change to go for De Bruyne in his recovery, but he is certainly doing what he does best – dictating games with his astute eye for a pass. His pass for Sterling’s opener was up there with the best of his ever-growing highlight reel of passes. He also got the assist for Gabriel Jesus’ goal at the end.
David Silva – 7
David Silva has been poor of late, and this performance will bring mixed reviews, but he occupied some interesting positions and played some lovely one-touch football. He was a constant threat in the pocket of space in between Wan-Bissaka and Dann, and Leroy Sane always seems to play better when Silva is on that side with him.
Raheem Sterling – 9
It was a surprise to see that this is Sterling’s first away double for City, and in truth he should’ve had a hat-trick. The first goal was his best, a typical defense-splitting run before a delightful finish. It was a finish Aguero would’ve been proud of – I don’t think he would’ve shot a couple of years ago, but he finished in fashion. His second goal was a lovely finish that secured the win for City.
Sergio Aguero – 5
In a weekend where golf has dominated conversation, it was a performance significantly below par for Sergio Aguero. He struggled to impact the game, with Jesus looking much brighter when he came on.
Leroy Sane – 8
A very good outing for Leroy Sane, who made youngster Aaron Wan-Bissaka prove why he has been so talked about this season. The German winger was a menace all afternoon, and provided a tidy assist for Sterling’s second. He could’ve had a goal or two for himself, but for good goalkeeping.
Bernardo Silva – 6
Came on for David Silva after the second goal, and played a big part in City running down the clock at the end. City will be pleased to have him back ahead of the big Champions League night on Wednesday.
Gabriel Jesus – 6
Scored the goal that secured the three points, and looked lively from the minute he came on, dropping deep to impact the buildup.
John Stones – N/A
No time to mark.
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