On a dismal afternoon at Goodison Park, the almost comically consistent issues arose again. Appalling finishing, stagnant defending, poor decision making – a sight all to familiar this season. On a weekend with the teams at the top winning, City needed to keep the pace especially considering Spurs at the Etihad follows. This loss makes the prospect next week all the more horrifying, especially considering Spurs’ frightening form.
Claudio Bravo – 4
Bravo is an easy target, perhaps rightfully so as seemingly every shot slides past him, but the chances City concede would leave a goalkeeper of even the highest quality exposed. Inevitably, it’s hard watching shots go through his legs.
Bacary Sagna – 6
One of the better performers this afternoon, he showed his experience and his maintained physical abilities but that is hardly saying much.
Nicolas Otamendi – 5
Definitely not the worst defender, but that is hardly flattering. Gave Lukaku too much space for the first goal, but that is very critical. A theatrical fall off of Lukaku was embarrassing and pathetic.
John Stones – 3
There is undoubtedly so much potential with Stones and it is key to protect young defenders, especially those that are adventurous with the ball. Pique and Boateng both endured similar stints of poor form but came out good, Stones has that ability. However, it was a risk starting him and it did not pay off. Returning to an old club is never easy, especially the circumstances Stones departed under, but his mistakes on the ball and poor positioning will not do his confidence any good.
Gael Clichy – 3
Week in week out, City’s left back scenario is one of picking your poison. There’s plenty of questions regarding Kolarov and Clichy is nowhere near the answer. A poor pass from him led to the first goal and his defending of Davies along with Yaya was embarrassing. It’s truly incredible how city’s full backs, left backs in particular, have survived so many managerial changes.
Pablo Zabaleta – 4.5
Zabaleta has a special place in the heart of most blues, but at his age and considering the injuries he has sustained in recent seasons, he should not be near the first team. Playing West Ham in a cup match is one thing, but Everton clearly was a higher ask. Midfield would never be an easy ask for him and he just does not seem to have the legs and skill set required for midfield or fullback anymore.
Yaya Touré – 4
Yaya Touré has the ability to cruise through matches and his beautiful passing is always a sight but his defensive side of the game was fully exposed last season and it certainly has not dissipated under Guardiola. Obviously, injuries play a hand in picking the line up but Yaya’s defending of Davies resulted in the third goal and his dribbling into trouble caused the second.
Raheem Sterling – 6
He was City’s best outlet throughout the match and showed how dangerous he can be centrally, running off the shoulder of the striker. There was a penalty shout, which did look to be a penalty but it was a difficult call for the goalkeeper. He had a great shot skin the post, but that technique was lacking with two early first half misses. It has been the story of his career at City.
David Silva – 4
He couldn’t get going all day and severely looked off the pace. When City play well, Silva plays well but far too often this season, when the team is struggling, he hasn’t pulled through for City. Silva joins Yaya, Clichy, and Zabaleta as part of the old core which needs replacing.
Kevin De Bruyne – 8 (Man of the Match)
As he is so often, De Bruyne was City’s best player and creator. He created numerous chances squandered by Aguero and Sterling, where have we seen that before. De Bruyne was picking the ball up very deep and still creating chances, which is a real testament to his abilities.
Sergio Aguero – 5
Another big game breezes by Aguero with little impact, bar needlessly involving himself in arguments. Glimpses of sharpness with less than opportunistic finishing the tale once again for a player that increasingly looks off the pace. His lack of edge and intensity makes the arrival of Jesus all the more tantalizing.
Kelechi Iheanacho – 5
Undoubtedly a promising youngster but the raw side of his game becoming more and more evident this season. His touch often lets him down and for a Pep system of attacking, it is not up to standard. He has proven himself when given the chance but in a game of this magnitude, City require more firepower. On a ground where Edin Dzeko often proved his worth, it was very clear that City still have not replaced him. Having a player capable of scoring off the bench against any opposition remains huge loss for City.