Manchester City demolished Swansea in scintillating fashion at the Etihad today to remind the world why they’re the Champions of England. Here’s how I rated the players in a wonderful performance…
Ederson – 7
The Brazilian did everything he was asked to do very well today, although that wasn’t much at all. A couple of decent saves and some typically slick passing were the highlights of yet another faultless Ederson performance.
Danilo – 7
I thought this was a great little performance from Danilo, who may still have an outside chance of making Brazil’s World Cup squad. He got forward frequently and put in a few great balls, as well as registering an assist (which I’m sure he worked very hard for) for De Bruyne’s goal. When he’s on song, it’s hard not to like this energetic addition to the squad.
Vincent Kompany – 8
Who doesn’t love Kompany? The captain dominated Swansea today, sniffing out almost every sign of danger with the air of a man who finds this whole football thing rather easy. In fact, the Belgian was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet late on.
Aymeric Laporte – 7
Laporte earned a clean sheet with which he’ll be rightly thrilled today, contributing well to the efforts of a well-drilled backline. It’s becoming more and more apparent that we should be very excited about our record signing, who could well be one of the key players in Guardiola’s City revolution.
Fabian Delph – 7
I thought this was Delph’s best game in a long time, the highlight of which was undoubtedly a rare assist when he fizzed a perfect ball across goal for Sterling to tap home. I’d say he’s one of the best tacklers in our squad, and I see no reason why he shouldn’t be starting for England in Russia.
Ilkay Gundogan – 9 (Man of the Match)
Imagine not rating Ilkay. It hasn’t all been plain sailing for the German since he became Guardiola’s first City signing, but this was one of his best performances. He absolutely ran the show, nothing happened without his consent and it looked at times like De Bruyne and Silva could just sit down in the centre-circle and Gundogan would play all three positions by himself. He may not be Sergio Busquets but he’s the closest thing City have.
David Silva – 8
Another silky-smooth masterclass from the Spanish magician, who opened the scoring early on with a fantastic finish. I’ve really enjoyed watching Silva become better and better in front of goal as this season’s gone on and today he bagged the kind of goal that I’d expect to see from him on international duty. Until he came off in the second half, Silva was utterly flawless and, like Kompany, seems to have perfected the art of looking like he puts more effort into a crossword than a football match, even though he actually works incredibly hard for his team.
Kevin De Bruyne – 8
In a match filled with some memorable, magical moments, De Bruyne’s unbelievable goal will stand out for a long time. It was an absolute belter, ripping fiercely past Fabianski before he could react. It’s a sign of how many incredible goals City have scored this season that this rocket might not even make the top five. Another great moment from our star man was the pass to Sterling that set up Silva’s opener – a trademark KDB ball.
Raheem Sterling – 8
What a season Raheem Sterling is having. The ‘man who can’t finish’ bagged his 18th league goal of the campaign – more than ‘world superstars’ Lukaku, Hazard, Sanchez and Morata. Funny old game, huh? This was one of the easiest professional goals he’s ever scored but his movement shouldn’t go unnoticed. The only negative in his performance today was how often he was caught offside, but that’s relatively out-of-character so I’m not concerned.
Bernardo Silva – 8
If we ignore Jesus’ poor penalty, Bernardo Silva did a great job to score City’s fourth. He was the first to react after the save was made and didn’t let the tight angle put him off as he rifled home. The Portuguese’s all-round performance was excellent as per usual, giving the ball away very rarely and dazzling the Swansea defence with his movement and dribbling. I’m very excited to see how he progresses next season.
Gabriel Jesus – 8
Jesus is starting to remind me a bit of Karim Benzema – in a very good way. Even when he’s not scoring, his movement, workrate and link-up play are so incredibly important to the team. He’ll kick himself for missing that penalty, and I suspect it might be a while before he takes another for us, but his overall performance was commendable in my opinion and he got his rewards late on when he finally scored with a fine header. His dip in form and injury around Christmas haven’t changed anything in my eyes – he’s still going to be world-class.
Phil Foden – 7
This was probably my favourite Phil Foden performance in the senior team, as he looked like part of the furniture with a generously long run-out. The youngster’s talent was plain for all to see as he confounded the Swansea defence with some great footwork and was extremely unfortunate not to claim what would’ve been a wonderful assist for Jesus. Pep needs to let him build on this promising display with more minutes in the final four games of the season
Benjamin Mendy – 7
It was just brilliant to see Mendy back. The Frenchman made his long-awaited return today as a second-half substitute and it was clear that the fans absolutely love him already. He started shakily with some defensive lapses but grew into the game and by the end looked back to his best as he sprayed top-class crosses into the box. If he can stay fit next season, he’s a game changer.
Yaya Touré – 7
There was a pang of nostalgic sadness around the Etihad today as Yaya rolled back the years with a lovely cameo. The big Ivorian will play at most two more home games for City, and he looked like his old self with some beautiful passing today, including a marvellous ball to Jesus for the fifth goal late on. Thanks, Yaya. We’ll miss you.