Ederson – 8
The hero. The saviour of our unbeaten run. Milivojevic never misses penalties. Granted, it wasn’t the best of penalties from the Serbian, but Ederson can proudly claim to be the only Premier League keeper to keep him out from the spot. Apart from the dramatic finale, he didn’t have much to do. There was a defensive mix up with Mangala, and a flying header to deal with an awkward back-pass, but the penalty save steals the show.
Kyle Walker – 7
Thought he used his blistering pace and superior strength to deal with the similarly rapid Wilfried Zaha really well, who didn’t have too much joy on his side. He also made the most interceptions in a Blue shirt today, showing his defensive solidity. Going forward and on the ball, things did look slightly wayward, aside from making a great chance for De Bruyne on 80 minutes. It has to be said, however, that he wasn’t the only one with a faulty radar today.
Nicolas Otamendi – 8 (Man of the Match)
Looked like a real leader out there today for the Blues. He’s a defender, and he kept a clean sheet, and with ten clearances to his name, it’s clear he played his part and did all he could do – it’s just a shame the forwards couldn’t deliver to add gloss to his performance. He dealt well with the physicality of Benteke, and pulled off some incredible touches and wonderful forward passes to get City on the move. Fast becoming one of our more influential players, I fear Otamendi’s performance may go slightly unappreciated today, but I think he was excellent.
Eliaquim Mangala – 6
I think we’re just going to have to accept that Mangala is no John Stones. He’s not going to ping a perfect 50-yard ball to the wings, or break the lines by stepping into the midfield or producing a killer pass up to the strikers, because he just can’t do that – not consistently anyway. What Mangala can do is get in the way, and cut things out. He was in a very physical battle today, and while he may have looked wobbly in possession and especially when facing his own goal, I think he deserves some credit for stepping in and keeping guard, despite being out in the cold for so long.
Danilo – 6
Another player who came in and did what he had do to, albeit rather unspectacularly. He broke up attacks and provided cover on numerous occasions, but didn’t offer the same attacking potency that Fabian Delph, and certainly Benjamin Mendy, do whenever they play. Let’s not forget that he is a right-back playing on the left, but he’ll have to do more going forward if he wants to leap above his competitors for a full-back spot.
Fernandinho – 7
Another typical Fernandinho performance, scurrying around tirelessly cutting supply lines and steaming in to tackles. Comfortable on the ball as well, I thought he played some excellent passes, incisive and inventive, out to the wide players and in behind. Unfortunately for him, there was no end product to reward him for his authoritative performance.
Ilkay Gundogan – 6
Worked hard in the midfield and was always a lingering threat with his late runs into the box, but struggled to really grab the game by the scruff of its neck. I feel if the team as a whole would’ve combined better while the German was on the pitch, he might have had a bit more joy. He came close with a curler just before he was hauled off, but it wasn’t quite his day.
Leroy Sané – 5
There’s no denying that his first half was abysmal. He was kept in check by the impressive Fosu-Mensah, who didn’t allow the German a sniff. Everything he tried seemed to go wrong, every pass wayward, and every touch heavy. A mini argument with Kevin De Bruyne after a breakdown in communication, along with a petulant yellow card for kicking the ball away, summed up his first 45 minutes. Credit where credit’s due, he looked determined to salvage some dignity in the second half, putting in a bit more of a shift and posing much more of a threat. Nonetheless, it’s been a while since Sané has really put in a good performance – he needs to work hard to prove himself worthy of a regular starting spot over Bernardo Silva for example, who is knocking at the door, increasingly loudly.
Kevin De Bruyne – 6
Not one of Kevin’s best days in a City shirt. His quality, as always, was evident, as he pulled off some magnificent passes effortlessly, as well as contributing to some of City’s best moves. However, nothing seemed to come off for the Belgian in a frustrating afternoon. His miscommunication with Sané along with the long list of free-kicks he pelted at the wall were signs of his blip. He, like Gabriel Jesus, suffered a nasty injury after being scathed down by Jason Puncheon. We wish him all the best and hope that he’ll be back very soon.
Bernardo Silva – 7
I thought Bernardo was very unlucky not to get something from this game. There were many occasions where he found himself out wide with not much on, but managed to wriggle free and find a pass. There weren’t many openings for him, he had to work very hard to find the ones that he did. Even still, he played some very clever balls in behind and came up with some nice touches to make as much as he could of the limited chances he had to shine.
Gabriel Jesus – 6
With tears rolling down his face as he limped down the touchline, it didn’t look good for Gabriel Jesus. Nonetheless, the 20 minutes he did play before he left the field were typically tenacious and energetic from our Brazilian wonderkid. Here’s to a speedy recovery.
Sergio Aguero – 6
Not quite Sergio’s day. Didn’t really make many chances for himself, apart from his deflected effort that hit the post. His service certainly wasn’t the best, but he didn’t really help himself in a quiet performance that saw very few opportunities fall his way.
Raheem Sterling – 6
His introduction led to a noticeable rise in tempo and urgency, as his bustling style of play looked to cause problems to the Palace defence. He looked the most likely to make a breakthrough , but like most other players on the pitch today, just couldn’t seem to get it right.
Yaya Touré – 6
Didn’t really contribute much to the game in the short time he had on the pitch. We thought it could maybe be his time when he lined up a last-gasp free-kick, but another effort slammed into the wall was characteristic of an underwhelming and uninspiring attacking performance by the whole side today. Not to worry though, I guess a 14-point gap is better than nothing.