ManchesterCity earned a rock-solid, well-rounded 2-1 victory against Everton at the Etihad Stadium on New Years Day, as a second-half brace from Gabriel Jesus was enough to outlast a late push from the Toffees.
Here’s how we rated the players...
Claudio Bravo – 5
With Ederson left out of the team due to illness, the 36-year-old Chilean was called into action again on Wednesday, and did the job quite well for about 70 minutes, until making a horrendous error that ushered Everton back into the game with open arms. Bravo did make an excellent reaction save early in the match.
Fernandinho – 7.5
Fernandinho maintained his steady form in the centre-back role, making a number of strong tackles and clearances to stymie would-be Everton attacks.
Eric Garcia – 7
A muscular problem for mainstay Nicolas Otamendi presumably paved the way for a rare Premier League start for Manchester City’s young Spanish defender, who had very little to do in the first half and played admirably when called into action for Everton’s late efforts. Perhaps the best praise you can give the 18-year-old is that he certainly did not look out of place. A very mature performance!
Joao Cancelo – 7.5
The seldom-utilised Portuguese right-back looked very solid going forward. Indeed, Cancelo was instrumental in creating Manchester City’s disallowed goal in the first half and played a number of nice balls forward throughout the match, including a pinpoint ball to Jesus in the 73rd minute. Joao is still acclimatising to Pep Guardiola's offensive movements, but his growing connection with Riyad Mahrez is a positive sign. He also showcased some impressive defensive ability.
Benjamin Mendy – 8
Mendy looked great down the left on Wednesday evening, in particular on the counter-attack where he created quite a few chances with smart balls into Jesus and Mahrez. Still prone to aimless cross into the box, Mendy showcased a more dynamic attacking ability against Everton - an encouraging development.
Rodri – 7.5
Playing amidst a trio of centre-backs for Manchester City, Rodri was his usual, sturdy self and did a nice job building from the back.
Ilkay Gundogan – 8
Another strong outing for Ilkay. Despite a turnover that led to a spell of possession for Everton and their only true chance of the first half, Gundo played a number of quality balls to Mendy down the flank and helped create a variety of Manchester City moves. He also sliced a brilliant ball into the path of Jesus, leading to City’s opening goal.
Phil Foden – 7
Foden positioned himself well to tap-in City’s disallowed goal, but was otherwise fairly quiet in the first half. Nevertheless, Phil was his usual, tireless self when City were without the ball, both pressing up the pitch and dropping back in defense as needed. In the second half, Foden looked livelier, making a number of fearless runs through the middle and nearly earning a penalty for his efforts.
Kevin De Bruyne – 6.5
While City as a whole looked a well-oiled machine for most of the match, Kevin De Bruyne did not have his best outing in a Manchester City shirt. The Belgian was lively moving up the pitch, but a few uncharacteristically heavy touches stalled some promising attacks.
Riyad Mahrez – 7.5
Unsurprisingly, Riyad Mahrez had a number of chances in this one, forcing a save out of Jordan Pickford in the 29th minute and missing a golden opportunity just before half-time. The Algerian did stray marginally offside in the build-up to Foden’s disallowed goal, but made up for it with a slick assist for Jesus’ second.
Gabriel Jesus – 8.5 (Man of the Match)
Somewhat surprisingly starting in place of Sergio Aguero, Jesus enjoyed a decent first half, drilling a good chance over the bar and setting up Mahrez for what should have been the first goal. However, the Brazilian was excellent after half-time, scoring a lovely curled effort past Pickford and, a few minutes later, slotting a tidy left-footed shot into a small window at the near post. A big miss in the 78th minute kept Jesus from notching a hattrick.
David Silva – 6.5
It was good to see Silva earn some match minutes as he returned to full fitness, but Manchester City were clearly trying to just see out the match by the time he was subbed on.
Raheem Sterling – N/A
No real time to mark.
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