Manchester City came through an extremely tough test to take three points from an impressive Aston Villa side, who defended resolutely for much of the match and offered an unnerving threat on the counter attack.
It took a wonderful late goal from Bernardo Silva to finally give the home side the lead, before Ilkay Gundogan wrapped it up with a penalty as the match entered the final few minutes.
Here’s how we rated the players…
Tonight’s match saw a showdown between two of the league’s best ‘keepers, and while Ederson was the quieter of the pair he had more to do than usual. He handled everything professionally and efficiently. Since City went on this winning run, we’ve seen an Ederson who’s probably the most mature he’s ever been.
Kyle Walker- N/A
Came off early with an injury.
John Stones- 7
Another clean sheet for our revelatory pairing tonight, but Villa came closer than most to breaching their defence. Stones continues to look like a man at the top of his game, and better than that- he plays like he loves defending.
Ruben Dias- 8 (MOTM)
Superb yet again. He may not have worn the armband yet for City but make no mistake, he will some day. This was a captain’s performance, and he backed up his vocal leadership with some brilliant defensive play.
Joao Cancelo- 7
Tightened up in the second half after some sloppy early passing. If he can learn to keep his shots down while maintaining the power, he’s capable of scoring five or six a season too, which would be a huge bonus.
Right at the heart of the controversy for the match-winning goal. Whether you think it should’ve counted or not, you have to applaud Rodri for being alert and available to win the ball back. Without his quick-thinking, we’d be two points worse off.
Ilkay Gundogan- 7
Another fine display from the midfield maestro, who’s really come into his own this season. Even after De Bruyne was subbed off, Ilkay kept pressing for the goal we needed and came close to scoring on a few occasions.
Kevin de Bruyne- 7
Hard to mark this match, because Kevin was below his best – but below his best is still way above almost any other midfielder out there. Looked the most likely to make something happen for most of the match.
Bernardo Silva- 7.5
After a mostly quiet showing, Bernardo came alive towards the end of the match and then won it with a beauty of a goal. The composure to finish a chance like that at a crucial time is the kind of thing he’s been missing for much of the season so far.
Raheem Sterling – 5
Thought he was poor, in all honesty, and rarely got involved. However, I’m willing to put part of that down to being played as a striker again, which clearly doesn’t suit him.
Phil Foden – 7.5
Another fantastic display. Constantly creating openings on the left and went on some Sané-esque mazy runs later in the game. He’s our main creative threat when De Bruyne’s not on the field.
Oleksandr Zinchenko- 7
Looked good again in his unusual position, keeping the ball moving fluidly.
Gabriel Jesus- 6
Worryingly, another game to forget for the Brazilian, who needs a goal badly.
Riyad Mahrez- 6
See above, but swap ‘Brazilian’ for ‘Algerian’. Way below his top form.
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