Boom! City eased towards the Champions League round of 16 as they thrashed Shakhtar 6-0 — their biggest winning margin ever in this competition. Over the two games, City had less trouble with the Ukrainians than they might have expected, with a huge gulf in class between the teams.
Here’s how I rated the players tonight at the Etihad.
Ederson – 7
In the first half, all he had to do was save a Junior Moraes shot but it was an easy stop. He wasn’t much busier in the second period but made a decent save from a free-kick. 100% of his passes completed!
Kyle Walker – 7
Fully involved in the build up play and decent in defence, but nothing much to remember from his performance. Solid.
John Stones – 7
You won’t be surprised to hear ‘Stonesy’ had the most touches of the ball and as usual was involved in helping construct City’s moves. Never looks stressed with the ball. Defensively — like his team-mates — untested most of the night.
Aymeric Laporte – 7
Some nice passes by a player I believe to be the best young centre half in Europe. Like his partner, an easy night at the back with Shakhtar pinned back.
Oleksandr Zinchenko – 7
As long as he spends out of the team, whenever he returns he fits like a shoe. Guardiola should to keep him around but may have to offer him more game time. Pushed up the pitch and looked good.
Fernandinho – 8
Another good night out for the ageless midfielder who is having an great run of performances. He controlled the midfield against his old club — Guardiola took him off with 15 minutes to go in order to rest his legs for the weekend.
David Silva – 8
Is he really 32? He opened the scoring for City and couldn’t miss his chance. Almost won a penalty after a nice run in the box, then did win a penalty. Effortless, elegant — a pleasure to watch.
Bernardo Silva – 7
Wow’d the City faithful in the first half when he nut-megged a Shakhtar player during one of his trademark runs before getting a shot away. Another good showing by the ‘other’ Silva who you feel will soon be ‘THE’ Silva.
Riyad Mahrez – 9 (Man of the Match)
His skill created the opening goal for David Silva. Scored City’s fifth goal and it was a great finish — then got a second assist for Jesus’ chipped finish. An exciting, enterprising performance by a man who has truly found his feet at City.
Raheem Sterling – 9
The weekend MOTM wasn’t far off winning that accolade again but I’ve gone for Mahrez. He won a penalty by tripping over — but it wasn’t a dive. His goal summed up his talents — he’s now amongst the best wingers in Europe — a slick run and great finish.
Gabriel Jesus – 9
Scored two penalties but appeared to lack confidence to score from open play until an AMAZING chipped goal to wrap the game up for City. A hat-trick for the Brazilian could mark his revival.
Danilo – 6
He came on to give Walker a rest but in honesty I can’t remember much to write about from his 30 minutes.
Ilkay Gundogan – 7
Returning from injury the German made an impact with a lofted pass to create Mahrez’s goal.
Fabian Delph – N/A
At the moment he’s the man who comes on to give Fernandinho a rest — an important ‘squaddie’.