There were signs of first-half wastefulness for Manchester City today despite Raheem Sterling’s early goal against Rotherham in the FA Cup third round. Gabriel Jesus missed a series of chances and it looked like it’d be one of those days… and then it rained goals.
Phil Foden scored his first Etihad goal, an own goal followed, then Jesus, Mahrez, Otamendi and Sané struck in the second half to give merciless Manchester City a 7-0 win.
Guardiola’s strong selection meant it was a comfortable day out and Paul Warne’s side forced just one real save out of Ederson.
Here’s how we rated the City players from their demolition job of Rotherham:
Ederson – 6.5
He had very little to do all game, but showed his alertness late on, pulling off a fine save to keep his clean sheet intact. His passing was for the most part crisp, although he almost short-changed Stones in the first half.
Kyle Walker – 7
Walker got himself a start and it was an easy game for the England right-back, who was solid on the right and forced Ajayi’s own goal with a dangerous low cross.
John Stones – 7
Calm, composed, classy. We say that a lot about Stones but it’s so often the case. He’s developing a knack for big clearances, and after his heroics against Liverpool, he managed to clear a lax pass by Ederson to keep Rotherham off the score sheet. Otherwise, didn’t have much defending to do.
Nicolas Otamendi – 7
The General was rock solid at the back, although again, there wasn’t much of a challenge to go up against in fairness. At the other end, he powered in a brilliant header from a Gundogan corner to net a rare goal.
Oleksandr Zinchenko – 6.5
A solid, if somewhat non-descript performance by the Ukrainian. Didn’t have to do much defending and got forward well enough.
Ilkay Gundogan – 9 (Man of the Match)
A masterclass in decisive passing by the often criticised German who registered assists for Foden, Mahrez, Otamendi and Sané’s goals. His last three assists came in the span of 12 minutes. It looked like KDB would be the pick of the midfielders early on, but that accolade went to Ilkay by the time the full-time whistle was blown.
Phil Foden – 7
Another day the local lad will never forget as he scored his first Etihad goal, a slightly strange finish that was either quite genius or a bit fortunate. A goal is a goal anyway. Besides that, he linked up well with the more experienced players and showed his potential with some nice runs. Could start once more against Burton during the week.
Kevin De Bruyne – 8
While Gundogan got four assists to De Bruyne’s one, it could have been a different story as the Belgian was handing chances on a plate to Gabriel Jesus, which the Brazilian wasn’t taking. De Bruyne was running the game for much of the first half, and it was his lovely pass that led to Sterling’s opener. Replaced after 67 minutes and this fine performance came despite KDB not even being at 100% yet.
Raheem Sterling – 8.5
A sensational performance by the winger. His driving runs were a nightmare for the Championship side, and his goal broke the deadlock. Though he scored, his run to create Gabriel Jesus’ goal was the highlight of his performance, showing his pace, skill and composure in one action.
Riyad Mahrez – 7
A little frustrating throughout and needs to impose himself on the game more at times, but he did make several good passes that led to others creating chances. He then got his name on the score sheet in the second half, finishing well after a Gundogan cut-back.
Gabriel Jesus – 5
He finally got his goal when he couldn’t really miss, but Jesus was really poor in front of the net today. De Bruyne was handing him glorious chances that he kept missing or making a mess of. The talent is there as we’ve seen many times, but perhaps the confidence still isn’t.
Leroy Sané – 7
A menace after he arrived and was rewarded by scoring City’s seventh and final goal.
Phillipe Sandler – 6
A debut for the young Dutchman who did nothing particularly right or wrong. Did look a little nervous, which is understandable.
Danilo – N/A
A late replacement for John Stones.