Manchester City continued their bid to retain the Carabao Cup defence with a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side.
Seven changes in the Manchester City line-up saw the likes of Zack Steffen, Phil Foden, and Oleksandr Zinchenko start at the Emirates, along with defender Aymeric Laporte starting the game at centre-back following a lengthy omission on the side-lines.
The game started strong, with Gabriel Jesus showing some great link-up play to find himself free to put the visitors 1-0 up. A strong Riyad Mahrez free kick slipped through Runarsson’s fingers to put City back in the lead after Lacazette’s header, followed by goals from Foden and Laporte to seal the victory and send the Blues through to the semi-finals.
Here is how we rated the City team after tonight’s performance…
Zack Steffen – 6.5
A name on the starting sheet made it Zack’s fourth competitive appearance in a City shirt. The defenders clearly trust him with the ball at his feet, and he made a gutsy, committed run to stop Martinelli from breaking through before half time.
Joao Cancelo – 5.5
Played on his less-preferred right side at full-back, and that showed when he looked lost and allowed Martinelli the space to find Lacazette for the equaliser. Bar that, Joao had a strong performance and did well to halt the Arsenal counter-attack.
Aymeric Laporte – 5.5
Personally, I was happy to see Aymeric back in the starting squad, even if it meant giving in-form Stones a rest. He looked comfortable on the ball, worked well in partnership Dias, and nearly squeezed his header inside the post in the first half.
He made a costly error whilst marking Lacazette for his goal, giving him too much space and allowing him to get a header away, but mostly made up for hit when he headed Foden’s accurate cross away.
Ruben Dias – 6
The controller. Once again, Dias showed to us why he is an undroppable option in defence. During pockets of the game where Arsenal seemed to be gaining confidence, Ruben was the man who shut them down.
Oleksandr Zinchenko – 5.5
Made an encouraging start to the game when his link-up play with Jesus allowed him to land a perfect cross on the striker’s head. Had a quiet game after that and was rarely called upon, but good to see him get on the starting sheet.
Rodri – 5
Had a relatively negligible part to play in the game but helped Fernandinho control possession in the midfield. Cannot help but think an attacking midfielder in his place may have been a more positive move from Guardiola during times when possession was more contested.
Fernandinho – 6.5
Dr Dependable. Strong as always in the centre and made an excellent run to assist Foden and make it 3-1 and put the game away. We really will miss him if he does leave at the end of the season.
Bernardo Silva – 5.5
Spent the majority of the game on the right wing, a position that proved to be his best position two seasons ago. Unfortunately, he did not have a great deal to do, but seemed more confident on the ball than he has been previously. Subbed off in the 69th for Ferran Torres.
Riyad Mahrez – 6.5
Had a strong performance throughout the game, and his powerful free kick slipped through the keepers’ fingers to put City ahead in the second half. Perhaps he could have been less wasteful when trying to dribble past defenders in the box.
Jesus – 6.5
Looked really strong throughout the game. The movement for his first goal in eight appearances was exemplary and he did very well to find the space to get his header away. Possibly could have done better to finish his 1v1 in the first half, but we cannot be too critical looking at the score line.
Foden – 7.5 (MOTM)
As always, Foden’s work rate was one of the highlights of the game. He either wants the ball passed to his feet, or he wants to get the ball from the opponent’s feet. Although it should have been ruled out for offside, his finish was exemplary, and put City in the driving seat for the remainder of the game. The exquisite delivery from his cross found made it easy for Laporte to put the game to bed. Well played, Phil.
Ferran Torres – N/A
Sergio Aguero – N/A
Kyle Walker – N/A
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