City made it four wins on the trot, as they battled through a testing start against Sunderland to win 2-0. It was one of the first wins under Pep Guardiola where City really had to dig in, and actually succeeded at it.
Let’s take a look at how Joe Hulbert rated the City performances at the Stadium of Light.
Willy Caballero – 6
Every little thing the Argentine does gets a bit overrated purely because of Claudio Bravo’s ineptitude, but Caballero was pretty solid against Sunderland. None of his saves were that difficult, but his distribution was good, and he looked comfortable at corners.
Bacary Sagna – 6
Sagna wasn’t troubled in the slightest by Fabio Borini, so his afternoon was relatively easy. He snuffed out Borini, but he didn’t offer a lot going forward and he ballooned a cross over the bar when it should have been an assist, as Sergio Aguero was wide open inside the six-yard-box.
John Stones – 7
Stones looks comfortable alongside Kolarov, because he doesn’t have the tendency to dive in in the way that Nicolas Otamendi does. He distributed the ball well from the back, which is essential in a Pep Guardiola team. The one worry for me, is that he was outjumped at corners a few times, he needs to be more aware at set pieces.
Aleksandar Kolarov – 9 (Man of the Match)
This might be the best game that the Serbian has played for Man City in a couple of years, as he completely pocketed Jermain Defoe. Kolarov ushered the back line well, and started moves with good passing and sensible dribbling. I think it’s clear that Kolarov is much better than Otamendi, and he deserves more credit from City fans.
Gael Clichy – 7
Clichy remains a good defender, and he helped City at the beginning of the game as he made a couple of key interceptions when Sunderland were trying to get the ball in behind. He doesn’t bring a lot in the final third, but he did well against a tricky customer in Adnan Januzaj.
Fernandinho – 7
Fernandinho had an easy job as Sunderland don’t really play between the lines, but he still played well. He had a couple of nice touches, and he remains amazing at breaking the lines with good touches and dribbles.
Yaya Touré – 7
Some may find this rating a little harsh, but Touré was inconsistent during the game. On the whole, he played well, but there were too many fancy flicks attempted that simply weren’t going to come off. I think he is much better suited to a deep role, than an advanced one.
David Silva – 8
Silva started slowly, but when he got going, he was nearly unstoppable. He played with composure around the edge of the box, and his pass to Leroy Sané for the second goal was made to look a lot easier than it actually was.
Raheem Sterling – 7
Sterling wasn’t at his best for long spells, but the fact he still managed to grab an assist despite not playing that well shows how far he has come under Pep. Last year, he would have buckled under the pressure and his head would have dropped, but he still produced in ugly circumstances against Sunderland
Leroy Sané – 8
Sané is the most destructive wide player I’ve seen in the Premier League since Cristiano Ronaldo, the ease in which he glides past players is just incredible to watch. His movement was excellent, and the fact he mixes up his runs just creates headaches for opposing backlines. His goal was well taken, and he might be our best player right now.
Sergio Aguero – 8
Aguero’s goal was well taken, and he did a good job against a very physical Sunderland backline. Aguero for some reason has his haters, so every goal he scores is just silencing people who don’t have any clue what they are talking about. He isn’t the perfect player, but he is still the most clinical striker in the League.
Kevin De Bruyne – 6
De Bruyne came on and had a couple of opportunities in transition, but he often opted to just retain possession.
Nolito – N/A
A late appearance for the Spaniard in a game that was already won.
Fabian Delph – N/A
A brief cameo with time almost up for the England midfielder.
Do you agree with Joe’s ratings? Comment below or tweet us to let us know your thoughts.