Manchester City go top of the league, humiliating Liverpool at the Etihad after Sadio Mane’s controversial sending off. Here are the ratings from the blues’ performance of the season so far:
Ederson – 8
Composed, commanding – everything Claudio Bravo wasn’t in his tenure as City’s first choice. Always with a look of reassurance, he read the game well throughout; standing his ground to palm away Salah’s one on one drive in the first half and getting Mane sent off by coming to clear a lobbed pass with his head. The latter resulted in an injury for the keeper, with a stretcher needed to bring him off for Bravo. Great display, sadly ended.
Kyle Walker – 7
Did well to nullify the threat of Mane until the winger’s sending off and continued to threat down the right hand side, linking up with De Bruyne to get into some very promising positions. An excellent addition to an excellent team performance.
Nicolas Otamendi – 5
Vacated position often, left City vulnerable and got booked five minutes in for a reckless challenge. Although Salah ultimately took advantage of his waywardness for a time, the Argentine wasn’t helped by the temporary absence of Mendy during Liverpool’s sweeping counter attacks in the first half. Eventually taken off for Mangala when City were cruising.
John Stones – 7
The only instance of uncertainty was a sliced clearance in the second minute, but from thereafter Stones was all but uncertain; dealing with whatever Liverpool thrown at him whilst also taking charge against Salah when Otamendi went missing. Assured performance.
Benjamin Mendy – 7
If it wasn’t for his exemplary attacking in the second half, his rating would be lower. After seemingly going missing in his assistance to Otamendi, everyone’s favourite new signing made up for it by whipping in countless crosses. One of which found Sané for City’s fourth. Encouraging signs from the Frenchman.
Danilo – 6.5
Tasked with providing some clarity to a back line without Vincent Kompany, the former Real Madrid man showed just why he’s worth every penny of the £26 million spent on him. Showing his versatility, coming forward as well on occasion, Danilo looked solid all game – helping where needed.
Fernandinho – 6
Forced a fingertip save from Mignolet inside 15 minutes and got back regularly to contribute to City’s defensive duties. Saw glimpses of his quality, and despite assisting with a brilliant through ball for the blues’ third goal, City fans will still expect more from the Brazilian international this season.
Kevin De Bruyne – 9 (Man of the Match)
Started the best out of anyone, consistently working to create anything he could. Perseverance usually pays off, and that was exactly the case for De Bruyne this afternoon; chalking his first assist on the board with an inch perfect through ball to Aguero and his second with a standard whipped cross onto the head of Gabriel Jesus. It only got better from there, the threat from the Belgian never ceased; constantly creating chances – he was the cog that made the team tick this afternoon.
David Silva – 6.5
More of the same from Merlin this afternoon, playing in his slightly deeper role, his slick passing and ability to retain possession helped City maintain their dominance of the ball – as well as showing a desire to make anything happen with numerous final ball attempts throughout the match. A fair effort.
Gabriel Jesus – 9
A true workhorse, early evidence of this tag was displayed when he stole the ball from Klavan just outside the penalty area and forced a save from Mignolet. It wasn’t long after when the young Brazilian got on the end of De Bruyne’s cross to make it 2-0. Followed up by converting Aguero’s unselfishly squared pass to all but seal the three points for City.
Sergio Aguero – 8
Despite never being the star of the show, Aguero was always there threatening to break through the Liverpool defence alongside his more flashy strike partners. The Argentine eventually got his reward with the opening goal, feeding off De Bruyne’s through ball to round Mignolet. Arguably should’ve had at least a brace, having forced a great save from the Liverpool keeper, attempting to convert Sané’s floor cross.
Leroy Sané – 8
The definition of super sub, his lack of game time and being played out of position so far this season more or less evaporated with the German’s stellar contribution off the bench. Two goals – smashing in a Mendy cross for his first and curling a hopeful shot into the top corner for his second – surely helped his position.
Claudio Bravo – 6
Had nothing to do but distribute, bar one moment where he came out to gather the ball. However, he filled the boots of Ederson well when it came to starting the play.
Eliaquim Mangala – N/A
Came on a little to late to make any real difference, it was more of a generous run out when the game was sealed.