PLAYER RATINGS: Manchester City 5-2 CSKA Moscow

City beat CSKA Moscow 5-2 to secure qualification for the knock-out stages of the Champions League with two games to spare. Here are the player ratings for the game.

Costel Pantilimon – 6

Can’t be blamed for either of the goals and generally dealt with most things well. Looks uncomfortable defending set pieces and his distribution occasionally lets him down.

Pablo Zabaleta – 6

Pablo’s form has regressed a little after his Player of the Season award last season. A few misplaced passes aside, though, and he was generally solid in this game.

Martin Demchelis – 6

Brings experience in Kompany’s absence. Lacks pace and his passing looks wayward at times, but he brings a claming, steadying influence.

Matija Nastasic – 7

Occasional lapses concentration put City on the back foot and was found wanting for CSKA’s first goal. After such an exceptional debut season, where he barely put a foot wrong, he’s still only 20-years-old, and a dip in form was almost inevitable. He is still a quality player and he made a couple of great last-ditch sliding tackles.

Gael Clichy – 6

A severe lack in confidence seems to be hampering Clichy. His form has definitely regressed and his refusal to cross when in advanced positions on the left has become frustrating. He’s at his best when he’s up and down the flank but he seems inhibited after his poor showing at Chelsea.

Fernandinho – 8

Despite being substituted at half time as a precaution his form shows no sign of letting up. Whilst City fans collectively mourned the departure of Gareth Barry at the beginning of the season his absence is more than made up for by the Brazilian. Outstanding.

Yaya Toure – 8

It is hard to imagine City with Toure. So much of our play goes through him and his partnership  with Fernandinho in central midfield allowed the more creative players to flourish.

David Silva – 8

Silva’s current form is irrepressible and he is a joy to watch. A constant threat to the opposition with his skill, passing and positioning. Works hard off the ball and always looking for possession.

Samir Nasri – 9 (man of the match)

Another outstanding performance from the Frenchman. His creativity on the ball and his tenacity off it have elevated his form to levels that few City supporters would have believed possible at the beginning of the season. Superb performance.

Sergio Aguero – 9

It is fair to say Aguero’s current form has surpassed that of his debut season for City. With another two goals and assist the diminutive Argentine looks unplayable at the moment. Long may it continue.

Alvaro Negredo – 9

Another great performance from “The Beast” and a deserved first hat-trick for City. His partnership with Aguero is growing all the time and it seems his understanding with the rest of the team is progressing nicely. He has everything: goals inside the box, great vision, skill and hold up play outside of it.

Subs:

James Milner – 8

A rare opportunity for Milner to play in central midfield and he put in an excellent performance. Set up Negredo for his hat-trick at the death after some brilliant skill and a lovely cross.

Aleksander Kolarov – 5

An anonymous cameo on the left wing. Ineffective defensively and offered little to nothing going forward.

Jesus Navas – 6

Fitted in nicely as City saw out the game.

Written by Robert Toole & Robert Pollard

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