It was a Manchester City team playing at 80% yet they still made it look so simple, as Pep’s men got off to the perfect start to the campaign with a 2-0 win. However, some players certainly looked more settled than others.
Here’s how I rated the City team on the opening weekend of the season…
Ederson – 6
Made an important save in the first half from Bellerin which would’ve put the Gunners level, yet gave the ball carelessly to Mesut Ozil late in the game and got away with it. For the most part he wasn’t threatened.
Kyle Walker – 7
Was dangerous on the overlap and forced Maitland-Niles off after a powerful 80-yard run in the first half. Was relatively solid defensively.
John Stones – 8
Carried his World Cup and pre-season form into the league with another commanding display, I think this’ll be the season where he really comes of age in this City squad and cements his place as a regular starter.
Aymeric Laporte – 9 (Man of the Match)
Looked today as if he’d played in this league for ten years, covered superbly for Mendy when he was caught upfield and played a couple of inch perfect switched balls. He could’ve got his name on the scoresheet as well.
Benjamin Mendy – 7
Considering it was his first Premier League start in nearly a year, at a tough away ground, Mendy had a superb game. Got caught with the ball in midfield a few times but made up for it getting the assist for both goals. Great to see him back.
Fernandinho – 6
Failed to control the midfield as well as he did last season, whether that’s down to rustiness or the absence of David and Kevin I don’t know. Avoided making any costly errors though.
Ilkay Gundogan – 6
It was a mixed game for Gundogan today, really should’ve released the ball a lot better for a couple of City breaks that led to Arsenal ones. However, he was tenacious and maintained a high press on the Arsenal midfield for the duration of the game.
Bernardo Silva – 7
He looked a shadow of his Community Shield self in the first half, making only 9 passes and struggling to really impose himself on the game. Yet he did that and some with his emphatic second half strike that took the game out of Arsenal’s reach. You get the feeling that he’s going to be a huge player for us this season.
Riyad Mahrez – 6
It’ll take time for Riyad to show his best form in a City shirt, just like it did with Sané and Bernardo. But today he did give Cech and Lichtsteiner a couple of things to think about with his trademark cut insides and far corner efforts.
Sergio Aguero – 7
Linked play up superbly today and had everything to his game today except a goal. He’d be getting a higher mark if it wasn’t for that one-on-one miss that he really should’ve buried, or alternatively squared for De Bruyne.
Raheem Sterling – 9
Who said Sterling can’t finish eh? Struck an uncharacteristic rocket past Cech that had him rooted to his spot and gave Hector Bellerin an absolute nightmare today. He looked the sharpest attacking player in the team despite today being his first minutes of the new season.
Kevin De Bruyne – 8
An hour into the game and our midfield was crying out for Kevin, he came on and did exactly what we needed him to do which was hold the ball and intensively press Arsenal when we lost it. The moment he entered the pitch the game was won.
Gabriel Jesus – 6
Continued Aguero’s job of bringing others into play and showed a couple of neat touches.
Leroy Sané – N/A
A late appearance for Raheem.