Manchester City were back in action in the Premier League today and it was an all too familiar game for Pep as the Blues put another four past Bournemouth at the Etihad. Goals from Aguero, Sterling and a first for Danilo in a City shirt were enough to brush aside the Cherries in a game that, in all honesty, never really saw Guardiola’s team reach their top gear.
Here’s how I rated the City players…
Ederson – 6.5
A clean sheet and another game of top distribution for the Brazilian keeper will see him go home happy today. However, Bournemouth’s reluctance to commit many men forward made it an easy day for him and therefore he didn’t get much of an opportunity to impress between the sticks.
Kyle Walker – 7.5
As good overlapping down the wing as he is in the ‘inverted full-back’ position. He’s such an important player for us, largely down to his impressive consistency, and once again had a solid game down the right.
Vincent Kompany – 7
It’s always a good sight to see the captain back on the pitch, especially after a quick recovery from an injury. Like most of the defence he wasn’t really tested and given much of a chance to display his last ditch defensive qualities but looked comfortable coming straight back into the team.
Nicolas Otamendi – 7.5
There was a clear difference between the two centre-backs today. Nico was obviously given the green light by Pep to bring the ball forward and effectively act as a midfielder for most of the game. He has more quality on the ball than Kompany and played some balls over the top that De Bruyne would have been proud of.
Fabian Delph – 7.5
I’m always pleasantly surprised by Delph as the games go on. The cynic in me is waiting for that one right winger to show him up and make us all realise that he can’t just slot in at left-back. He keeps improving though and I love it. He showed the energy to win the ball very high up the pitch which resulted in the first goal and was so solid at the back again, keeping his concentration for the little chances Bournemouth had.
Fernandinho – 7
Like the rest of the defence his defensive qualities weren’t really tested but the Brazilian was important to recycle the possession and interrupt the amount of counter-attacks that the Cherries had to a minimum.
David Silva – 7.5
El Mago is back and again he was a joy to watch. He’s a natural with the ball at his feet and although he didn’t record a goal or assist he was still an instrumental part of moving the ball around in the right places which ultimately broke Bournemouth down.
Kevin De Bruyne – 6.5
A rare quiet game for the Belgian. A few misplaced passes and no luck with a few long range shots were evidence of a frustrating seventy minutes. It’s understandable though playing against a very defensively set up team and we can all expect him to be back to his best on the 27th.
Raheem Sterling – 8
Lucky for us when one key player has a quiet game, usually another steps up and Sterling was one that did. He was a constant threat in behind on the right hand side and made an incredible run to get on the end of the ball over the top from Aguero to put City in a comfortable leading position. He was also the main threat leading the counter attacks late on in the game, one of which he assisted Danilo’s goal.
Leroy Sané – 6.5
Like KDB it was a forgettable game for the young German. A few misplaced passes and little luck getting in behind Smith proved to be frustrating for himself and fans as he never really managed to get into full stride. He was replaced by Bernardo just after 60 minutes.
Sergio Aguero – 8.5 (Man of the Match)
What a way to show his value to the team this evening. Amidst stories emerging that he’s unhappy (again) this was the type of performance that was needed by him today in an attempt to prove his worth to the club. Two headers and a lovely assist for Sterling topped off his game but I was also impressed by his desire to come deep and collect the ball and be involved in the build-up of the move as well as the execution. Small criticism would be his reluctance to square the ball in a two on one to Bernardo and instead try and get his hat-trick. Understandable in the context of the game but I imagine Pep will have something to say about it.
Bernardo Silva – 7.5
Came on as the game was winding down and was largely involved in recycling possession across the midfield but put in a lovely cross to Aguero for his second which deserves some credit.
Ilkay Gundogan – 6.5
Came on around seventy minutes to replace KDB. Didn’t have too much of an impact on the game. Did nothing wrong but not enough time to showcase what he can do.
Danilo – 7.5
Came on for Delph really late on but managed to score his first goal for City.