City picked up another vital three points in the Premier League as they beat Cardiff 4-2 on Saturday afternoon. As well as maintaining pressure on league leaders Arsenal, City surpassed the 100 goal mark for the season in record time. Here is a look at the player performances.
Joe Hart -7
Made a good save down low from Noone at 2-1 and continues to show he is much-improved from the ‘keeper struggling so badly before his hiatus from the side. Whilst Pantilimon is a fairly reliable replacement, it is clear that Hart is far superior and warrants his current starting position.
Pablo Zabaleta – 7.5
Got forward very well, as always, and was reliable defensively, as always. Could not be happier he is tied to the club for the long-term. Best right-back in the league and beyond.
Vincent Kompany – 7
Unusual to see him turned so easily like he was for the goal, but other than that he was solid. His presence is vital in the back four.
Martin Demichelis – 7.5
Another solid performance from the experienced Argentine. His dominance in the air is becoming more and more obvious and is invaluable against sides who attempt to play the long ball game. his reading of the game is outstanding, meaning that lack of pace not quite so obvious it might otherwise be.
Aleksandar Kolarov – 7
Was brilliant going forward and was offered far too much space by Cardiff to allow him to do damage. As effective as he was offensively, this was offset slightly by how much joy Cardiff enjoyed down the right hand side. Still switches off too often for my liking, but he is a prime example of how Manuel Pellegrin has transformed the fortunes of many of City’s previously ailing players.
Javi Garcia – 8
Excellent performance from the much-maligned Spaniard. Tackled well, won loads of headers and was always available to drop back when Kompany or Demichelis got forward. His influence grew as the game wore on and some of his challenges gave City the impetus to get forward and kill the game off. Also looked a threat from corners.
Yaya Toure – 8
Considering the amount of games he’s played, he looked unbelievably fresh in this game. Scored a superb goal that involved a run from deep inside his own half and a couple of one-twos, and played a beautiful ball to Aguero for his goal. Quite how City’s most prominent blogger can consistently criticise this guy I do not know.
Jesus Navas – 8.5
Navas’ obvious attributes are his pace and attacking prowess, but it if often overlooked how hard he works defensively. He supports Zabaleta at all times, yet can set City on the counter in the blink of an eye. His recent performances suggest he can compensate for the loss of Samir Nasri, and also offer an entirely different dimension to City’s style.
David Silva – 8.5
Technically the best player playing in England. When he’s on form, there’s no finer sight in the Premier League. Always wants the ball, can receive it and keep it no matter how tight the space and has the vision and ability to consistently find a Blue shirt.
Alvaro Negredo – 7
Not one of his best performances. Did his usual bullying and problem causing without anything coming off for him in the final third. Missed a great chance when put through by a brilliant Zabaleta ball. Replaced by Aguero on the hour mark.
Edin Dzeko – 8
Dzeko has turned his season around in recent weeks and gave another excellent performance against Cardiff. He held up play, linked up with the midfield and was always on the front foot. Set City on their way with the first of the day and City’s hundredth of the season. With Aguero back from injury, it is likely Dzeko will make way, but with the games coming thick and fast the Bosnian’s continued good form will be vital.
Sergio Aguero – 7
It is delight to have Aguero back. After a goal scoring comeback against Blackburn, the diminutive Argentine continued where he left off which another excellent cameo. The crowd sense something is going to happen every time he looks at goal, and it seems as if Sergio believes it as well. His goal was a joy to behold as he turned Caulker inside out before emphatically finishing to seal the three points for City.
James Milner – 7
Seemingly enjoyed toying with a ragged Cardiff side when he was brought on with the game won. A player high on confidence and an integral cog in City’s battle on four fronts.
Gael Clichy – 7
Fitted in comfortably as City saw out the game with relative comfort.
Written by Rob Pollard and Rob Toole