Player ratings as citizens facilitate victory
Manchester City clinched a 2-0 victory over Newcastle United on Saturday night, closing the gap on Liverpool to five points at the top of the table.
The Citizens took the lead early in the first half, when Raheem Sterling slipped through space in the penalty area and returned the ball to Ilkay Gundogan, who crashed into a sea of bodies. The hosts had a number of opportunities to increase their advantage in the opening 45 minutes, but failed to beat Karl Darlow for the second time.
Man City never seemed to lose control of this game and put Newcastle to bed in the 55th minute, when Ferran Torres hit a shot into the corner of the net from close range, after a cross from Joao Cancelo .
The hosts had a much better chance of winning the game, but were ultimately content with a 2-0 victory.
Let’s take a look at the player ratings on a comfortable night out for Man City at the Etihad Stadium.
Ederson (GK) – 6/10 – When Ederson took a look at his schedule to see which games he could stay up late and watch Gossip Girl without worrying it would affect his performance, he likely drew this one as a sleepless night. Almost nothing to do.
Joao Cancelo (RB) – 8/10 – Played more of a central midfield role for the citizens, bombing and adding his presence in the box from tight areas. Provided pre-assist for Gundogan’s goal and has found Sterling time and time again with that sharp bullet over defense.
John Stones (CB) – 7/10 – Somehow a header was skewed in the second half, seeking to match it with a teammate. I probably should have tried the goal itself. Once again dominate in defense. Good to see.
Ruben Dias (CB) – 7/10 – Charged only with defensive work, and although he didn’t have much to do, he did it well. Another steady and silently impressive performance.
Nathan Ake (LB) – 8/10 – A great display. Go up and down the field, participate in attacks and put out the occasional fire behind him. Never looked out of place.
Kevin de Bruyne (CM) – 6/10 – An unusual waste in front of the goal. Had almost too much time to think about it when one on one with Darlow, and puffed up his lines. Still a baller in midfield, however.
Rodrigo (CM) – 7/10 – Sitting at the base of the midfield, keeping an eye out for Newcastle’s brave attacks. I didn’t have much to do and probably could have nodded if needed. Replaced.
Ilkay Gundogan (CM) – 8/10 – Timed his run to perfection to hit the crucial first goal, ghosting into the box and placing the ball through countless defenders.
Bernardo Silva (RW) – 7/10 – The least efficient of the attackers. Flyed and sought to occupy dangerous areas, but often had to let go in search of joy. Hit the post when you have a chance on goal.
Ferran Torres (ST) – 8/10 – Didn’t miss his chance when presented with a golden opportunity. Hit home from close range with all the aim to aim. Yet people have already missed this position.
Raheem Sterling (LW) – 9/10 – The best player on the pitch. Stuck in dangerous spaces time and again, picked the right pass, or had decent cracks on goal. Provided the opener with endless patience and skill.
Fernandinho (CM) – 7/10
Sergio Aguero (ST) – 6/10
Phil Foden (CM) – N / A
Karl Darlow (GK) – 7/10 – Defeated by Sterling’s invention on first base, and left completely exposed by a diving defender for the second strike. Some smart backups between and after these benchmarks.
Fabian Schar (CB) – 6/10 – Tasked with keeping the Titanic from sinking with nothing but a teaspoon to bail out the water. I tried it but the inevitable happened quickly.
Federico Fernandez (CB) – 5/10 – Must have thought he was doing the right thing by throwing himself in the way to the center of Cancelo, but instead he killed the ball eight yards from goal for Torres. The ultimate assistance.
Ciaran Clark (CB) – 5/10 – Torn apart by the movement of Sterling and Torres, and caught up with his flank on countless occasions. Difficult evening for all.
DeAndre Yedlin (RWB) – 5/10 – Unable to stem the flow of De Bruyne’s charge strokes or Sterling’s clever movement. Nothing to foresee either forward or backward.
Isaac Hayden (CM) – 6/10 – He stepped aside and tried to break Man City’s fluid attacks. Stuck to the game plan, and did their best in a team that only managed 24% possession.
Matty Longstaff (CM) – 6/10 – Perhaps the best of the midfield bunch, although he can provide nothing but desire and courage. Fans love to see it, but a bit of quality is needed next to it.
Matt Ritchie (LWB) – 5/10 – I was really shocked. All the joy of Man City descended on the left flank, and Ritchie had no answer for their speed or profession. Replaced.
Jacob Murphy (RW) – 6/10 – Had to go up and down the field, and was rarely gifted with support in attack. Ederson tested with low drive when fully isolated. A difficult afternoon.
Joelinton (ST) – 5/10 – I spent the evening jumping as high as possible trying to beat three defenders in the air. A tactic unlikely to bear fruit.
Miguel Almiron (LW) – 5/10 – Run a lot – but not with the ball at his feet. Unfortunately, lost the ball in preparation for the second goal. Not at all his afternoon.
Jamal Lewis (LWB) – 5/10
Andy Carroll (ST) – 6/10
Dwight Gayle (ST) – 5/10