Manchester City started their title defence with a 0-2 victory away at Newcastle on Sunday. It wasn’t a classic by any means but City were made to work hard by a Newcastle team buoyed by new arrivals. Here is a look at the player performances:
Joe Hart – 6
Rarely tested and a fairly comfortable afternoon for him in spite of Newcastle’s late spell of pressure. Flapped unconvincingly at one cross which could have easily gifted the Magpies a goal.
Gael Clichy – 6
Deployed as a right back, not for the first time, and acquitted himself well. Unlikely to feature there again once Zabaleta and Sagna’s match fitness is established. His selection surely must be the final nail in the coffin of Micah Richards’ City career. Manuel Pellegrini confirmed as much after the game.
Vincent Kompany – 7
A typical early season performance from our captain who is still working up his fitness levels. Fitness aside, his influence on the side is unparalleled. Expect him to improve as the season wears on.
Martin Demichelis – 6
Solid and calm as we’ve now come to expect from the Argentine veteran: a far cry from his early days at the club. His introduction to the advertising board was about the most noticeable moment of an otherwise uneventful performance.
Aleksandar Kolarov – 7
A real threat down the left and seemed to strike fear into the Newcastle rear guard. Clichy will need to up his game if he is to dislodge Kolarov as first choice left back. Alan Pardew oddly singled out him for praise after the game saying “Kolarov at left back is like having three players”.
Fernando – 8 (Man of the Match)
An excellent debut from the man they call “the Octopus”. City don’t really have another player like him and should be a great asset for the team. His only interest is defending and he is full of running, is strong and quick in the tackle. A real pleasure to watch.
Yaya Toure – 7
Whatever that thing was that happened in the summer (not the World Cup, the other thing) doesn’t appear to have affected him but like so many of our squad that have participated in Brazil this was game was the first football they have played since June or July. It’s a relief to be going into the season with a seemingly content Toure.
Samir Nasri – 7
A relatively quiet game for the Frenchman. A great long range shot in the first half was about the sum of his goal scoring opportunities but he was part of some wonderful one touch passing moves which have become a feature of City’s style under Pellegrini.
David Silva – 8
City’s best player and capped a top performance with a lovely goal. Works so hard off the ball in addition to being majestic on it. His class is obvious even at this early stage of the season.
GIF via @HighlightHub
Stevan Jovetic – 7
An excellent debut (disclaimer: this was not his debut) from City’s illusive Montenegrin. City fans have finally seen what he is all about after an injury ravaged first season in Manchester. Though he didn’t reach the heights of some of his pre-season form, he is an exciting player who is always looking for possession and has a bag full of trick up his sleeve.
Edin Dzeko – 8
A great performance. Seemingly has picked up where he left of last season. The back heel which led to Silva’s opener has surprised a few given that Dzeko is not a player known for his finesse. Held the ball up well and seems to have a good understanding with Jovetic. More of the same please, Edin.
Fernandinho – 6
Enabled City to get more of a foothold in midfield as Newcastle pressed for an equaliser and worked the ball well to set Aguero on his way for City’s second at the death.
James Milner – 6
Solid if not unspectacular. A useful player in games like this where City had to defend well and concentrate whilst the opposition press.
Sergio Aguero – 6
A quiet cameo until his goal and showed great reactions and agility to steady himself for the rebound shot. Welcome back, Kun.
Written by Rob Toole who is on Twitter