Match Coverage

De Bruyne masterclass begins 2018 in style for Blues: Man City Player Ratings vs. Watford

Manchester City get back to winning ways following a largely dominant display on a damp evening at the Etihad. Goals from Raheem Sterling, Christian Kabaselles (OG) and Sergio Aguero rounded off a performance that keeps further distance between the blues and their rivals, 15 points to be exact. Here is how the players fared:

Ederson – 7.5

Great positioning to push a first half Andre Gray shot behind for a corner and solid yet again in his distribution. Stepped up the pitch in the second half when City had possession to keep the blues on the front foot. Could do little about Gray’s goal in the last ten minutes of the match.

Kyle Walker – 7.5

Let Andre Carillo slip past him for Watford’s consolation but otherwise kept the Peruvian under wraps throughout. His pace on the flank also opened up many opportunities to get the ball into dangerous areas.

Nicolas Otamendi – 8

Almost conceded a late penalty, though I would be knit-picking to bring his mark down. The Argentine, repeating his undeviating form this season, was always there to dictate the blues’ play from the back when packing Watford in their own half. He is fast becoming a contender for one of the best centre-halves in Europe.

John Stones – 7.5

Should’ve scored following a superb cut-back from Sané in the opening ten minutes. Made his presence known as one of the anchors for City’s tempo. An all round solid return to the side for the Englishman with Russia beckoning.

Fabian Delph – 7.5

City have missed a certain cutting edge down the left-hand-side, Delph’s ability to provide incisive passes along the floor and contribute towards triangular passing moves is crucial to the way Guardiola wants his teams to play. Not only did the 28-year-old slot right back in. he even managed to pocket Watford danger man Richarlison.

Fernandinho – 8

Pin-pointing diagonals, closing down and cleaning up loose balls are but a few of Fernandinho’s benefactions to this record-breaking City side. The Brazilian was at the forefront of the Blues’ fluid attacking play all night long and linked up with the forward players effortlessly.

David Silva – 8.5

After returning to the side following personal issues in Spain, ‘Merlin’ looked like he never left. Playing a killer one-two for City’s second goal and partnering Kevin De Bruyne in a midfield masterclass, pulling all the strings with his Belgian counterpart in a mesmerising individual performance.

Kevin De Bruyne – 9 (Man of the Match)

Our Man of the Match and rightly so, De Bruyne picked off devastating passes all over the park effortlessly and threatened whenever he came forward. Assisted by Silva, the 26-year-old menaced Watford’s backline. Gliding around the pitch, linking up with his teammates like the horror challenge from Jason Puncheon never happened. Exquisite, unmatched, remarkable.

Raheem Sterling – 8

Got on the end of Sané’s by-line cross for the opening goal after just 39 seconds of play and continued to threaten down the right-hand side. His neat little touches inside and bursts of pace had little to no challenge except when Watford doubled up on him to contain the threat.

Sergio Aguero – 7.5

You could class this as another off day for the Argentine, even if he did manage to get on the score-sheet in the end. A tap in following Gomes’ horrendous parry doesn’t excuse the squandering of numerous chances beforehand. However, you could also argue that luck was against him as he should’ve been awarded a blatant penalty.

Leroy Sané – 8.5

Out of form recently, the German prodigy returned to his blistering best on a damp evening at the Etihad. Turning Daryl Janmaat inside-out throughout the 90 minutes and setting up Sterling’s opening goal with a wonderful over-lapping run and cross. What we are all used to seeing from the 21-year-old.

Subs:

Danilo – 7

Filled in for John Stones mid-way through the second half and largely did his job.

Yaya Touré – 6.5

A few sloppy passes here and there, especially in the last five minutes, but you could that down to lack of game time.

Bernardo Silva – 7

Put a perfectly weighted through ball on a plate for Raheem Sterling who had a great chance to make it 4-1.

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