Manchester City cemented top spot in Group F of the Champions League at the Etihad tonight, coming from behind to beat Hoffenheim 2-1.
Andrej Kramaric opened the scoring from the penalty spot for the visitors, before a Leroy Sané brace made sure the fans went home happy at the end of an entertaining night of football.
Here’s how we rated Pep Guardiola’s men tonight.
Ederson – 8.5
Ederson is a wonderful goalkeeper but is a king of the default ‘6’ rating, because he so often has very little to do. Tonight, he did, pulling off two high quality saves, the best of them a fingertip effort to deny Andrej Kramaric. Probably the busiest the Brazilian has been for some time and he showed his full talents, also playing an exquisite long ball up the pitch to Sané that could easily have led to a goal.
Aymeric Laporte – 6.5
Needlessly conceded a penalty that gave Hoffenheim the lead, but besides that mistake he had a very good night at the back. Towards the end after Reiss Nelson skinned Delph, Laporte’s positioning him allowed him to snuff out Nelson’s cross in a dangerous area. He’s also quite useful going up the pitch and was a set-piece threat for City.
John Stones – 5
With Kyle Walker needing at least half a game of rest, Stones found himself at right-back and wasn’t at his best for obvious reasons. A classy centre-back by trade, John had to ‘do a job’ today and struggled, being replaced by Walker at half-time for tactical reasons. Almost got himself on the score-sheet though, having a header saved by Baumann.
Nicolas Otamendi – 6.5
Wearing the captain’s armband today, Otamendi was solid at the back against a lively Hoffenheim side that posed a real attacking threat.
Oleksandr Zinchenko – 5
Defensively, like Stones on the opposite side, he was a liability at times in the left-back role and is a player who clearly prefers to be in the opposition half.
Ilkay Gundogan – 7.5
City’s best midfielder, Gundogan particularly stood out in the first half with some excellent set-piece delivery to create chances, and one unbelievable pass to Foden in the box. Filled in very well for Fernandinho tonight.
Phil Foden – 7
Talk about growing into the game. We always want our academy graduates to perform, but Foden was average in the first half. After the break though, he seemed more settled and really began to enjoy himself, having a couple of chances including a fantastic volley that forced Baumann into a top save. Also sent several high-quality crosses into the Hoffenheim box, one of which Sterling should have scored from.
Bernardo Silva – 6
His form has perhaps dipped a little in recent games, but he was fine tonight without doing anything particularly outstanding. Could have scored when City had a unique counter attack of Bernardo, Sané and Sterling against just the Hoffenheim goalkeeper, but didn’t finish a chance Sané probably should have taken himself.
Leroy Sané – 9.5 (Man of the Match)
A performance full of quality by the young German winger who scored both goals to make sure City came out winners tonight. His free kick before half-time is highlight reel worthy while his second goal was more routine but well taken. Besides the goals, Sané was a driving force down the wing and went on one ridiculous run in the second half. In this writer’s opinion, Leroy Sané has the potential to some day challenge for the Ballon d’Or.
Raheem Sterling – 8
After the unfortunate racism situation Stamford Bridge, Sterling put in a performance full of energy and skill. Set up Sané’s second goal and should have had one of his own following a cross from Foden which Raz couldn’t bury. Despite that, he performed very well on the day he was named Premier League Player of the Month for November.
Gabriel Jesus – 7
Should have scored his elusive goal when he headed against the post from a Gundogan corner early on. Once again, the Brazilian couldn’t score but otherwise worked very hard and was good. The highlight of his performance was a showcase of skill and amazing footwork that led to him being fouled on the edge of the Hoffenheim box. He was on the receiving end of some physical treatment from the Germans but never gave up.
Kyle Walker – 6.5
Replaced Stones at half-time and did a better job than his fellow England international at right-back, including a good example of last man defending where he kept his composure before calmly passing to Delph.
Fabian Delph – 6
Replaced Zinchenko and was generally solid on the left, but skinned by Nelson in a moment that could have led to a Hoffenheim equaliser had Laporte not been well positioned to block the Arsenal loanee’s cross.
Vincent Kompany – N/A
The club captain was a late replacement for Bernardo Silva.