I think everyone’s interest in the City game piqued once the line-up was released. Debuts for Zack Steffen and Liam Delap, and the inclusion of other academy graduates in Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Adrian Bernabe, Tommy Doyle and Phil Foden.
The game did not disappoint, with a relatively entertaining affair as City recorded a 2-1 victory that was thoroughly deserved and hard earned. City’s grip on the Carabao Cup shows no signs of loosening any time soon…
Here’s how we rated the players this evening…
Zack Steffen – 6: The US international did not have much to do on his debut, but he looked assured in possession and was faultless for Bournemouth’s goal. He made one excellent Ederson-esque charge off his line to deny a 1 v 1. Positive signs so far.
Kyle Walker – 7: Entrusted with the captain’s armband for the evening, you could tell the full-back was the most experienced player on the pitch. Intelligent when defending and he used his pace well at both ends of the pitch.
Taylor Harwood-Bellis – 6: It was a decent effort from the defender. Still only 18, there were a couple of shaky moments but on the whole another good showing for the local lad.
Eric Garcia – 7: The wantaway Spaniard was sporting an impressive helmet for the game, and he gave a typically competent performance at the heart of the defence.
Rodri – 7: The versatile Spaniard was excellent in possession and he brought some much needed nous to the team.
Adrian Bernabe – 5: Pep did him no favours playing him out of position as a left wing-back, where the teenager looked uncomfortable prior to his injury. Fingers crossed Bernabe can recover quickly and earn another chance in his favoured position.
Tommy Doyle – 7.5: The best player on the pitch in the first-half; you can tell the English midfielder has City in his genes. He was so composed on the ball, on my dodgy stream he could have easily been mistaken for de Bruyne at times – and there’s no bigger compliment I can give than that.
Phil Foden – 8 (MoTM): We really have someone special on our hands here. Set up the opening goal with a great pass and secured the victory with a tidy instinctive finish. He plays like he already has at least 100 first-team games under his belt.
Ferran Torres – 6: An underwhelming start for the Spaniard. He was anonymous in the first-half but admittedly that was the system’s fault. A little sharper in the second half but I get the impression Torres will need a few games before we see his true qualities.
Riyad Mahrez – 7: Like Torres, the system left him hardly seen in the first-half. Saw more of the ball afterwards and he looked threatening. Set up the second goal after his shot hit the post.
Liam Delap – 8: Wow. He lived up to hype. His goal was beautifully taken, guiding the ball into the top corner without breaking his stride on his left-foot. He played like an old-fashioned centre forward: great hold-up play, strong and quick. Loved getting stuck in – I’d be disappointed if we do not get to see him in the Premier League soon.
Benjamin Mendy – 6: I beg, someone teach this man how to cross a football.
Kevin de Bruyne – 6: Solid showing off the bench but some of his deliveries were below par.
Raheem Sterling – 6: Brought a lot of energy to the attack with some good runs and got stuck in, without doing much of note.
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