Manchester City moved one step closer to the Premier League title as they comprehensively dispatched Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal for the second time in five days. Following an embarrassing afternoon at Wembley, Arsenal changed their formation and showed much more attacking intent, which is a credit to City, who still were far better on the night. First half goals from Bernardo Silva, David Silva and Leroy Sané were enough to see off the Gunners on a cold night in London.
Here’s how I rated the players…
Ederson – 9
Assured, assertive, dominant – just three of the words Gary Neville used in commentary to describe City’s Brazilian goalkeeper, who again impressed in between the sticks. Ederson was tested a few times and dealt with everything, including a penalty stop from Aubameyang, a penalty which may have gave Arsenal some hope if it had been converted. His passing was superb again, and City’s £30million Brazilian is looking like one of the signings of the season.
Kyle Walker – 8
Every time I do player ratings, I try for a different way to describe the king of consistency on City’s right, Kyle Walker. If I’m honest, I struggle to think of new ways of explaining a solid shift both offensively and defensively.
Vincent Kompany – 7.5
Following a man of the match performance at Wembley, Vincent surprised a few when he was named on the team-sheet again. Despite a couple of misplaced passes, Vincent showed that he is at his best. He may not have the legs, but he still has the footballing brain that got him to the top of the game – showing tactical astuteness in 1v1 situations, winning the ball early rather than backing off and letting quicker players run at him and cause problems.
Nicolas Otamendi – 7
Another pleasing display for the Argentine, who has been the best defender in the league this season. His passing is improving game by game, and he makes some impressive blocks. He was at fault for giving the penalty away, but we will let him off.
Danilo – 7.5
Sunday was perhaps Danilo’s best game in a City shirt, with only Liverpool at home and Napoli away challenging that. Again, the Brazilian full back showed maturity with a very good display at left back, keeping danger-man Mkhitaryan quiet throughout.
Ilkay Gundogan – 8.5
All the talk before the match, on City Twitter at least, was worrying about Ilkay stepping in for Mr Reliable, Fernandinho, in the defensive midfield role. It was obvious that Fernandinho was missing early on, with Ilkay failing to track runners from deep as Fernandinho does. However, the German grew into the game and was (surprisingly to some) brilliant. To add to his work in a newish role, he made some brilliant through-the-line passes.
Kevin De Bruyne – 7
As on Sunday, City were that good, that they didn’t even need Kevin to be at his best. For the most part he was coasting around the pitch, but showed some great intent and desire with his pressing. Kevin was unlucky with a few balls too, but overall a top performance.
David Silva – 7.5
After a couple of quiet performances following a minor setback, David looks to be back to his best. As ever, David looked assured on the ball, with neat one-touch passes throughout. David is adding something to his game that is new, that he is popping up in the box at the right times and adding goals more frequently.
Bernardo Silva – 8
Bernardo is excellent, I love watching him play – in the absences of Sané and now Sterling, Bernardo has played a lot of minutes over the last couple of months. Following a slow start, he is proving why he was so sought after in the summer. It is so blatantly obvious that he is going to cut inside, but defenders can’t deal with it, and Bernardo punished them with a great finish into the top corner, giving Cech no chance.
Sergio Aguero – 8
No goal for Sergio tonight, but another performance to prove he has turned a corner and is moulding into a Guardiola striker. He shows a willingness more and more often to drop deeper to receive the ball and help the buildup play. In 2018, he has been the best striker in Europe statistically, and will be looking to secure the Premier League player of the month award for the second month running, following a very good February.
Leroy Sané – 9.5 (Man of the Match)
Magic. Absolutely magic. Leroy was outstanding tonight, especially in the first half. It was possibly his best performance in a City shirt, as he played a huge part in all of the goals. Many joked leading up to Sunday that Sané was set to ‘end’ Bellerin again, following some brilliant performances against the Spanish full back, and it would be wrong to say this is not true. The German admitted after the match that Guardiola is helping him improve every day, and it is evident with performances like tonight.
Oleksandr Zinchenko – 7
The Ukrainian came on for a hobbling Kyle Walker, and looked very assured at left-back both on and off the ball.
Yaya Touré – N/A
A very rare cameo for Yaya, but not enough time to mark.
Gabriel Jesus – N/A
Not enough time to mark.