Willy Caballero – 6.5
Whilst he was left untroubled by Crystal Palace for large spells in the game, Willy was sharp and focused whenever he was required. He produced a vital save from a Christian Benteke header in the first half with the score at 1-0 and perhaps if that goes in the game plays out a lot differently. Overall, solid and dependable with his hands and his feet; just what you want from a ‘keeper.
Fernandinho – 6.5
An industrious performance from the makeshift full back that proved why Guardiola is so fond of him. He worked extremely hard off the ball and his efforts in the teams pressing movements played a key role in preventing Palace from establishing any threat during the game. It should be noted he had a few moments in the first half in which his positioning was atrocious, but his effort and work rate allowed him to paper over the cracks.
Vincent Kompany – 7.5
A real captain’s performance. He dominated Benteke and marshaled his fellow defenders effectively throughout, leading to a much needed clean sheet. Add to that a fantastic sweeping finish for his first goal at the Etihad this season; his fifth consecutive game where he played every single minute and it’s about as good as it gets for Vincent.
Nicolás Otamendi – 7.5
He matched Kompany every step of the way today, even getting on the scoresheet as well. This centre-back pairing is looking increasingly solid and if their distribution and ability to break the lines with their passing continues to improve Pep will be delighted.
Gaël Clichy – 6.5
Much, much, much better. He may not have been particularly useful going forward, but Clichy had a good game defensively. He handled the threat of Townsend very well early on and made some very important interventions throughout the game.
Yaya Touré – 7
Did his job well throughout the game. Was always available to receive the ball from the defence (or Caballero) and looked to feed De Bruyne and Silva as often as possible. Still, a few of of his passes were wayward today. It might be due to fatigue and I’m sure if we had the options available Yaya would be given a well deserved, extended rest.
Kevin De Bruyne – 9 (Man of the Match)
What a second half! It was almost as if watching Silva run riot during the first half made him a little jealous. Two assists and a goal along with an abundance of fantastic passes and touches made for fantastic viewing. I almost felt bad for the Palace defenders as the game wore on, it seemed as if every time he received the ball he could slice them open at will.
David Silva – 8.5
It was honestly a toss-up between Silva and De Bruyne for the man of the match. If Silva had played the full 90 and continued to work his magic then I’d definitely have given it to him. The first half was just beautiful to watch, nobody could get close to him. Without eulogising too much, I could have watched him play all day.
Raheem Sterling: 7
Sterling was flying at times today. I’d hate to be a full back going up against him as his pace and dribbling ability is just terrifying. What might go under the radar is how useful he is to the team in his ability to resist opposition pressure. He wriggled out of numerous tight spots during the game and as a result opened up huge spaces for his team mates. A great performance, topped off with a well taken goal.
Leroy Sané – 7
I was frustrated with him today. He played with great intent, but the end product just wasn’t there. He could have had a couple of goals, a couple of assists. Nonetheless, he caused problems down both flanks today and for that reason, I can’t be too mad at him.
Gabriel Jesus – 7
A very selfless performance. He might not be coming away with headlines or glory today, but he put in a real shift. His effort off the ball set the tone for the rest of the team to follow; there wasn’t an instance when he failed to harass his man or close down a loose ball. His hard work paid off as well, his lay-off to De Bruyne resulted in a goal and earned him an assist.
Pablo Zabaleta – 6.5
Very solid once he came on and helped to kill the game for the team. He defended well through the brief period of Palace pressure towards the end. He even managed to grab an assist with his cushioned header providing the set-up for Sterling’s strike.
Jesús Navas – N/A
Replaced a tiring Leroy Sané late in the day.
Kelechi Iheanacho – N/A
Like most of his appearances of late, he was only given a few minutes on the pitch.