The Premier League season of 17/18 drew its curtains today and this match was a perfect example as to why this league is the best in the world. The Champions of England were made to work their socks off by a team who were fighting to stay in the top flight of football. But City showed why they are the best team in the land, reaching the 100 point mark right at the last kick of the season. This is how I rated the team:
Claudio Bravo – 6
Considered to be one of the best between the sticks not a long ago, but he’s just not been able to find his feet in Manchester City colours. He showed composure on the ball when needed, but played a couple of bad passes from behind that led to decent Southampton chances. This might have been his last game in a City shirt and was another example as to why the Chilean captain still plays second fiddle to Ederson.
Danilo – 8
Solid first half by the Brazilian, his positioning while defending was top notch and his runs on the right were keeping the likes of Bertrand and Tadic at bay. With performances like these, and given his versatility, Danilo should have booked his place in Brazil’s World Cup squad.
John Stones – 7
Still seems a little rusty after the injury, with a couple of misplaced passes, and some naive defending throughout the game. But his confidence on the ball still is unquestionable and that is why he will be City’s first choice next season.
Amyeric Laporte – 7
After watching today’s match one might wonder why does this player does not have an international cap under his belt. Good in the air, decent speed, has a gem of a left foot and has got a decent cross in him. Laporte had a decent game, solid while at the back, and kept the ball with ease on the left side of the attack when needed.
Fabian Delph – 6
Not one of the best games by City’s makeshift left-back. Decent positioning while defending but contributed almost nothing while going forward. Rightly substituted by Pep at the hour mark.
Fernandinho – 9 (Man of the Match)
For a guy who just turned 33, the ground the Brazilian covers is truly remarkable. Another passionate perfomance by one of City’s old guard, with a crucial clearance off the line, and also contributed to the all important goal by winning the free kick right at the end.
Ilkay Gundogan – 6
I still don’t rate him as highly as Pep does, an average performance by the German and if he continues to play the way he has been in recent games, it’s not likely he’ll break into the first team any more often next season.
Kevin De Bruyne – 8
Even when this man is not having one of his best games, Kevin De Bruyne has the ability to grab the match by the scruff of its neck and change it completely with his sheer ability. The ball he played over the Southampton team for the winning goal is a ball you would expect the likes of Messi or prime Xabi Alonso to play. Watching this gem of a footballer is an absolute delight and as long as he gives moments like these to City fans, he will be a fan favourite.
Leroy Sané – 7
Another player who did not do justice to his recent form. Toothless in attack times, but did show glimpses of his true ability. He has the unique ability of bringing himself to a halt, and then using a burst of pace to give defenders no chance of catching him. Surely one of the best in the years to come.
Bernardo Silva – 6
Wasteful in attack while going forward, but does compensate for it by doing the hard work. He runs his heart out in every appearance and that is why he has made some 55 appearances this season. Will surely improve even more next season.
Raheem Sterling – 7
The most threatening out of the starting front three. He is quick, with and without the ball, he is strong, with and without the ball, and he finally has the confidence of a star player under Pep. His runs in behind and his positioning has been almost perfect and he has been a revelation this season.
Gabriel Jesus – 10
The Brazilian was brought on to score a goal that would lead City to a record 100 point haul, and score a goal he certainly did. His first touch was absolute class and the finish was even better. He’s had a rough couple of games recently, but he delivered when City needed him the most. An extra rating just because of his goal.
Brahim Diaz – 6
The young Spaniard hardly had a touch of the ball after coming on.
Phil Foden – 6
Had a couple of decent touches and tried to control the game, but didn’t make much of a difference.