That’s two wins out of two in Manchester City’s 2019/20 UEFA Champions League campaign. It took a little longer than expected for City to find the net, but the win rarely looked in doubt. Here’s how we rated the players on a chilly night under the lights at the Etihad…
Ederson – 6
An average but fair rating for the goalkeeper. Ederson had little to do but defend the goal from the half way line.
Joao Cancelo – 7
Defended well when he needed to, but didn’t seem to offer as much in attack as his left-back counterpart. Cancelo looks to still be finding his feet in this team.
Nicolas Otamendi – 8
If you’re comparing Otamendi’s game to the rest of the team he did well. If you’re comparing him to his own standards he was exceptional. Winning headers, preventing counter-attacks, and he even successfully made a sliding tackle! Here’s a salute to the General.
Fernandinho – 8
He defended with quality, combined well with the midfield, and got his customary booking for a tactical foul (much to the delight a crowd feeling hard-done by dodgy refereeing decisions). Classic Ferna.
Benjamin Mendy – 7
At times it looked like Mendy was playing a Sane role; glued to the left-wing. What was missing was runs at the full-back, too often playing the ball back into central midfield. With Dinamo Zagreb crowding the centre of the pitch it was a little frustrating; but it was an all-round decent showing from the Frenchman.
Rodri – 9 (Man of the Match)
The boss, baby. Rodri was immense with the ball at his feet, being the architect for the first goal, and created a defensive wall against almost every counter. He commanded the midfield from beginning to end and rightly deserves man of the match. In a game where nearly every attack felt like ‘one pass too many’, Rodri’s were never wasted.
Ilkay Gundogan – 7
With Dinamo’s defence crowding out City’s attack in front of him, Gundogan found himself often in space and used it to his advantage – bursting forward or laying the ball off to the men out wide. Unlucky not to get a goal in the first half when his shot almost broke the crossbar.
David Silva – 8
Ridding himself of defenders with a simple turn then picking out pin-point passes, and combining well on the left; it was a vintage El Mago display. It occurred to me early on in the game, watching him take on a deer-in-the-headlights defence, that we won’t have the joy of watching this for much longer. We should revel in it while we still can.
Riyad Mahrez – 6
Nailed on for a start today after being in great form recently but Mahrez didn’t carry his momentum into the game. For most of the match he found himself stuck to the right-hand side of the penalty area, but as soon as he moved and found himself space, he was in position to provide the assist for Sterling’s goal.
Bernardo Silva – 5
Our little Portuguese seemed slightly off-pace last night. He missed his chances to put City in the lead several times in the first half and was substituted before he got the chance to fully redeem himself.
Sergio Aguero – 7
After his early one-on-one chance was saved, Aguero struggled to shake defenders off him for the rest of the game. He always looked lively and alert and on another day he could have passed instead of shot, or vice-versa, and pulled something off.
Raheem Sterling – 8
An uncharacteristic early second-half substitute from Pep saw Sterling replace Bernardo and City’s attack looked all the better for it. The game was crying out for a player to take the ball run at the defence, and 10 minutes after coming on the pitch Raheem put the blues ahead.
Gabriel Jesus – 7
Although he came on very late in the game, the Brazilian got stuck in right away. With the referee denying City a penalty at every turn, Jesus did what he needed to by keeping the ball in the oppositions half.
Phil Foden – 8
Foden was well up for it! Closing down the opposition then tackling them off the pitch; he played like he had a point to prove. Making the most of his few minutes, Foden was rewarded with an injury time goal and showed all City fans why you should stay in your seat ’til the final whistle.
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