Manchester City went 15 points clear at the top of the table with a routine victory over West Bromwich Albion. Goals from Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero sealed a 3-0 win for the Blues. Here’s how I rated the players.
Ederson – 6
Literally had nothing to do such was West Brom’s apprehensiveness but did well to fly out of goal for Sturridge’s chance and made a great save from Phillips at the end.
Kyle Walker – 8
A superb game from arguably the best right-back in the world at the moment. Offered himself as an outlet to Bernardo Silva on every occasion and was solid in tracking and supporting runners behind Otamendi. An exceptional snuffing of Sturridge’s chance too.
Nicolas Otamendi – 7
A typical fighter-like performance from your favourite Argentinian defender. Nico dueled aggressively and relentlessly against Rondon all game and was the calming partner Laporte needed on his debut.
Aymeric Laporte – 7.5
A solid debut from the Frenchman who was thrown right in despite only signing yesterday. Just as we’d heard, Laporte looks uber-calm on the ball, comfortable using his weaker right-foot too. His passing is crisp and usually first-time while he also showcased his ability to switch play with some wonderful lofted balls over the top. Rarely troubled, I’m sure we’ll find out more about him as the weeks go by. But so far, so good.
Oleksandr Zinchenko – 6.5
It’s very noticeable that Zinchenko isn’t particularly quick – which isn’t his fault considering he’s an attacking midfielder and not a left-back. He played okay tonight, mostly retaining possession in a good manner. However, he doesn’t offer that natural width and whilst being a decent dribbler compensates for that, his defensive deficiencies leave you longing for Delph and Mendy’s return.
Fernandinho – 7.5
A dominant, complete display up against a very decent West Brom midfield. Fernandinho popped up early with a rare goal and then shuffled back to see out the game and keep play ticking under pressure.
David Silva – N/A
Forced off in the first half with an injury after taking a kick.
Kevin De Bruyne – 8
Started slow admittedly, fluffing a glorious one-on-one, but he stayed cool and kept feeding Sterling on the left-side. A fantastic first half-assist for Fernandinho was signature De Bruyne while his one-two with Sterling for his goal was almost as good as him evading McLean’s reckless challenge.
Bernardo Silva – 7
Another good performance from Bernardo who is starting to feel like an important member of this team now. His season started slowly but he’s really come into his own these past two months. He’s popping up in good positions to shoot/head and whipping in dangerous crosses when he can too. You can see why he’s been scoring and assisting recently and with Sane out for a number of weeks, Silva will be crucial.
Raheem Sterling – 8
Sterling was on fire today even if he was guilty of missing several chances. He produced two great assists to compensate but it was his overall game that West Brom couldn’t handle. He showed remarkable strength, turn of pace and dribbling qualities to really hurt the opposition defence. Got a cheeky kiss from Pep Guardiola too.
Sergio Aguero – 9 (Man of the Match)
An exceptional all-round performance topped off with a peach of a goal. His link-up play was world class and his passing was precise and creative. Aguero is still one of the best strikers in the world and his form in 2018 has served a timely reminder to those who doubted him. Without a doubt my Man of the Match.
Ilkay Gundogan – 8
A great pass to start the break for De Bruyne’s goal and a wonderful half-way line attempt at a lob that Foster had to push away. Gundogan is growing and growing and has become a more than worthy deputy for David Silva. He’s recovering that box-to-box ability he had in his early days at Dortmund and City will be better for it.
Brahim Diaz – 6.5
Subject to an awful challenge from Matt Phillips, the latest in a series of horror challenges against City that seemingly go unpunished. Otherwise a good cameo from the 18-year old.