City must really love playing at the London Stadium.
Two clean sheets and nine goals scored in two matches is really exceptional. It was a great team performance against a West Ham side that were poor to be honest. What really impressed me is how far forward Pep Guardiola has come in recognising what his best team looks like with Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane on the wings, Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva playing in the free eight role in front of a holding midfielder and a back four. Also, the young front three of Sane, Gabriel Jesus and Sterling looks irresistible.
Here’s how I rated the players on the night.
13. Willy Caballero – 6/10
Had very little to do, however did well to make himself big coming up one-on-one against Aaron Cresswell and to palm away the ball when Robert Snodgrass was bearing down upon him. Is a more authoritative figure in the box than Claudio Bravo and I would like him to play some more games to bring consistency to the ailing defence.
3. Bacary Sagna – 6/10
Good and solid throughout, did well while getting forward and while getting back. Always a solid player in defence and will safely see out this season.
30. Nicolas Otamendi – 7/10
Solid from him, putting in great tackles at times and did not make any rash or poor decisions. Good aerially and good on the ball to keep possession with City.
24. John Stones – 8/10
What a response to being dropped by this young man. Cleared the ball, made last ditch tackles in the box, won headers and even put his body on the line leading him to play the second half with a bandaged head. Even showed his brilliance on the ball on occasions when West Ham pressured him deep inside the City half. Hopefully he can take it forward from here in future performances.
11. Aleksandar Kolarov – 6/10
Did well in the full back position even though West Ham didn’t really put much pressure on the defence. Is good on the ball in such situations but did misplace the odd pass in the attacking half.
42. Yaya Toure – 7/10
Can always trust him to put away the penalty away when we get one, which seemed a problem in the early part of the season. Was probably tired after playing a lot of football in recent weeks, didn’t track back as well as he could’ve but it’s not like he was found wanting often. As always, did great to keep possession.
21. David Silva – 8/10
Ran the show from deep and was pretty much faultless throughout, got himself a goal by being in a good position and finishing better than he has recently.
17. Kevin De Bruyne – 8/10
Played more advanced than he has recently facilitated by the harder running of Gabriel Jesus and Sane to help out in defence. Wasn’t at his ultimate best but you can trust him to come up with passes that win you the match. Picked up a loose ball to create the opening goal which he himself finished off superbly. Got a well deserved rest for the final third of the match.
21. Leroy Sane – 9/10
He’s really come into form in recent weeks and was mind blowing in the build up to the Silva goal and also I am sure he will make Pep really happy with the shift that he put in and won the ball back on a numerous occasions, dropping deep and helping build counter attacks. Looks to have a great understanding with his fellow attackers.
7. Raheem Sterling – 8/10
According to a recent stat, he has the most touches inside the box for any Premier League player this season, which is highlighted by how many penalties he wins for us with his great running. Was tireless as ever and was rested for the final 20 minutes with the game won.
33. Gabriel Jesus – 9/10
It’s a tough job to fill the boots of Sergio Aguero but we might finally have someone who can do it. A goal and an assist on his Premier League debut along with a display filled with the sort of play Pep demands from his strikers. Has really quick feet and a great attitude, which even got him a yellow card for his troubles.
1 – Gabriel Jesus is the first player to both score and assist in his first @PremierLeague start for Man City. Intervention.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 1, 2017
25. Fernandinho – 6/10
Surprisingly didn’t start the game, showing how the resurgence of Yaya has decreased the reliance of City on him. Was active and did well to track back and cut out any signs of an attack from West Ham.
10. Sergio Aguero – 6/10
Tried dropping deeper to get on the ball as City were essentially playing keep with the ball when he came on. I’m interested to see how he reacts to his position being under threat for what is essentially the first time in years. If Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud can start scoring scorpion kicks after feeling pressure from Alexix Sanchez, I can only hope Aguero ups his game too.
18. Fabian Delph – 6/10
Solid in possession and defensively after coming in to what was essentially a dead rubber by that time, even though Snodgrass was threatening to turn the screw.
Written by Manan Monga
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