Manchester City are still very good and, by the looks of it, wiser and with more gears. After three straight defeats, the media had gone on a frenzy and the atmosphere pre-match was one of nervousness. Fernandinho was out with a suspension, Aguero injured after a horror tackle from Young in the derby. It would have been a disappointment for such a great season to fizzle out because of a few setbacks. However, the blues responded to end a tough fortnight with a hard fought but in the end straightforward win over Tottenham, who had not lost in the league since being beaten by City at the Etihad.
Here’s how I rated the players at Wembley.
Ederson – 7
Great on the ball, proactively coming off his line, and collected almost everything that came at him aerially. Unlucky for the goal as it deflected off Laporte and onto Eriksen and back into the goal.
Kyle Walker – 7
Industrious and reliable from him against his former club. Cut out most of the danger and was athletic enough to get forward especially later on in the match when he played as a wing-back. Almost got an assist off Sterling’s missed chance.
Vincent Kompany – 9
A colossus in defence. He beautifully weighted a long ball from which Jesus scored the opener. In the absence of Fernandinho, the defence had a lot more on their hands, but our captain was up to the task. Whenever Spurs looked close to getting in he was there. Didn’t give Harry Kane a sniff and was absolutely dominant.
Aymeric Laporte – 8
Had a good game alongside Kompany. Technical ability allows him to step forward and pass the ball out to transition the game. Proactive with his tackling and was unlucky for the goal.
Fabian Delph – 8
Was great to see him back. His quick feet, athleticism and desire allow him to get out off sticky situations, support Sané further forward and also tackle most of the attackers who come his way. Struck a fine balance between defending wide and drifting centrally.
Ilkay Gundogan – 7
A quiet game from him was highlighted by a nerveless penalty, just as you would expect from a German. Stepped in well for Fernandinho, although he doesn’t have the Brazilian’s tenacity. His tactical astuteness allows him to read the game well and get into good positions on both sides of the pitch. Neat on the ball as well.
David Silva – 7
Gave the Spurs midfield a lesson in incisive passing and intricate football in the opening 30 minutes, finding all kinds of space and although he tailed off later into the game, he was crucial for City to stay in control of the match.
Kevin De Bruyne – 9
Even though he did not provide an assist or score a goal, he was integral to everything City did. Contributed massively to the cause, dribbled his way through tough spots and found his teammates with passes that didn’t even seem possible at first glance. A joy to watch and probably the most complete midfielder in the world right now.
Leroy Sané – 7
Hit the post early on and he used his trickery more than pace today. Was involved in most of the good stuff City did but got tired and was taken off in the second half.
Gabriel Jesus – 8
Excellent finish for the opener and another tireless runner. Needs to be calmer and have patience. Got his third yellow card in four matches for petulance and could cost City in another game.
Raheem Sterling – 8
Ran at Spurs the entire night. He put them under pressure, dribbled past opponents and could’ve had a hat-trick easily. People will criticise him for his finishing but he never put his head down and came up with the crucial third goal.
Nicolas Otamendi – 7
Shored things up when Spurs were looking to be in ascendancy.
Bernardo Silva – 6
Tried his best to support Sterling up front but the pair often ended up isolated as City sat back and made sure their lead did not slip.
Yaya Touré – N/A
Late appearance will help him earn a medal.