It was a bizarre game of both dominance and disarray, as Manchester City missed their opportunity to qualify from Group C after just four games.
The Blues started the match well but allowed Atalanta a route back into the game and never regained control. Much of the match felt like a warm-up for the big showdown at Anfield on Sunday, but the way things ended will leave City hoping it was anything but.
Here’s how we rated the players performances at the San Siro:
Ederson – 6
The first of three City goalkeepers this evening. Aside from a rare miss-kick early in the match, Ederson looked to be at his usual reliable best but was substituted at half-time with what’s reported to be a minor injury. In many ways his absence led to the confusion and capitulation of his team that followed.
Joao Cancelo – 7
Clever moving up the pitch being careful not to occupy the same space as De Bruyne. He gave City options on the right.
Fernandinho – 6
Made himself available for passes when the front line ran out of space and had to rethink. City’s captain understands the position well but hasn’t mastered it yet, which showed when he failed to pick up Pasalic’s run for Atalanta’s goal.
Nicolas Otamendi – 4
Being fooled by Gomez with a false run to allow him through on goal in the first half was a warning. The General then allowed Gomez too much time on the ball to pick out the cross for Pasalic’s header.
Benjamin Mendy – 6
Matched up well against Ilicic and for a while and did well considering he was clearly targeted as the weak-link in City’s back line. Things got awkward for him as the game went on; not linking up well with Sterling and Bernardo, while also straying his passes wide.
Ilkay Gundogan – 5
At times Gundogan looked like he didn’t want to put solid tackle in for fear of conceding a set-piece. He was often out of position for the goalkeepers central pass option, and his uncertainty on the ball led to a catastrophe in defence.
Kevin De Bruyne – 8 (Man of the Match)
His superb vision, not just to pick out the runs of his team-mates with perfect precision but also to know when to make the runs himself, showed once again how invaluable he is to this side. The Belgian’s tackles in the centre of the pitch were also key to starting up counter-attacks.
Bernardo Silva – 7
Combined very well on the left and filled in well for David Silva. He buzzed around the pitch for 90+ minutes and is hopefully finding the form he’s lost from last season.
Riyad Mahrez – 7
Provided a real attacking option with his cut-ins from the right of the box. It’s a shame Mahrez was fouled as often as he was or he could have contributed more.
Raheem Sterling – 8
His initiative to intercept the ball and combine with Bernardo and Jesus for the first goal was sublime. Sterling constantly made clever runs and but for stumbling on the ball once or twice would have scored more.
Gabriel Jesus – 6
The young Brazilian showed flashes of brilliance but will be remembered here for his poor penalty which went well wide. Shrugged off the ball by Atalanta and subbed off the pitch by Pep. Jesus’ chance to cement himself as City’s leading forward went begging.
Claudio Bravo (on for Ederson 45′) – 4
The second of three City goalkeepers this evening. Couldn’t do much about the goal, and ran out well to prevent Ilicic getting through on goal in the 55th minute. Sent off late in the game after his last man foul, but he had little choice but to come out in all honesty.
Sergio Aguero (on for Gabriel Jesus 73′) – 5
Came on just in time to witness City crumble and was then resigned to wasting time in the corner to see out the draw.
Kyle Walker (on for Riyad Mahrez on 87′) – 8
The third and final of City’s goalkeepers and arguably the most stable. You could tell he was up for putting on the gloves and gave the fans something to remember on what was ultimately a regrettable night.
John Stones, Angelino, Eric Garcia, and Tommy Doyle.
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