The international break is over and City are back in business. A professional performance in what can be a daunting trip to Crystal Palace puts them back on track and in the right form going into a pivotal run. The very makeshift backline stood firm as City ran away 2-0 winners on the day. Here’s how the team fared in South London…
Ederson – 8
Largely a spectator for much of the match. However, he stood up tall when it mattered to make a stunning save on Benteke to keep the two goal lead alive on 75 minutes. Following that, a diving save down to his left secured the clean sheet for the makeshift backline.
Joao Cancelo – 7
Linked up very well with Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva on the right side of City’s attack. Offers a different dynamic than Kyle Walker and he could continue to see more and more minutes if performances like these become a regular.
Fernandinho – 9
Deputised the defensive lines very well on the day. I never thought I would watch the 34 year-old Brazilian outpace Wilfried Zaha, but that just goes to show the good form Fernandinho was in.
Rodri – 9
Stepping in for Nicolas Otamendi, in an unfamiliar position, he did well. The former Atletico Madrid man hardly put a foot wrong all game. He stood tall and consistently won long balls from Palace defenders to allow City to continue attacking.
Benjamin Mendy – 7
Continuing to gain match fitness and offers a huge threat when he is fit. His presence keeping the width on the left hand side opens up so much room for David Silva and Sterling to work with in the half-space. Got up and down the pitch well, hopefully he can finally secure a sustained run in the side.
Ilkay Gundogan – 7
Controlled the pace of the game very well. Looked at home in the number six role. A great player on form. Hopefully Gundogan can keep this form as City make a push to catch Liverpool.
David Silva – 9 (MOTM)
Merlin was at his best on the left side of the midfield today. The rest over the international break did him well, and rounded off his fantastic performance with the second goal of the evening. The captain delivered a man of the match display.
Kevin De Bruyne – 7
Always a threat down the right hand side of the pitch. Didn’t add to his Premier League leading assist tally, but created space for Bernardo Silva and Cancelo to be a threat due to the sheer presence he represents.
Bernardo Silva – 8
We finally got to really see the Portuguese connection on the right side of the pitch. And we saw glimpses of the potential it has. Bernardo has not found his form of last season but was on target today. His beautiful cross cutting in on his left was put on a platter for Gabriel Jesus to open the scoring.
Raheem Sterling – 8
Our English winger picked up right where he left off on international duty. His assist for David Silva’s goal in the first half will be what gets in the highlights, but Sterling put in a fantastic defensive shift today. His intervention early in the first half on Zaha as the Palace winger beat his defender and got into the City box was essential.
Gabriel Jesus – 8
Jesus continues to put in a great shift every time he is given the opportunity ahead of Sergio Aguero. The Brazilian scored a brilliant diving header off of a cross from Bernardo Silva. Should have squared a fast break to De Bruyne in the 76th minute but a good overall performance from City’s number nine.
John Stones – N/A
Phil Foden – N/A
Unused Substitutes: Bravo, Garcia, Angelino, Mahrez, Agüero
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