Raheem Sterling got Manchester City back to winning ways with the only goal in their 1-0 victory over Arsenal on Saturday – but who performed well and who struggled at the Etihad Stadium?
Here, we assess the individual performances after Pep Guardiola’s side earned their first Premier League win in three games, while Mikel Arteta suffered another defeat to his former mentor.
Read on for our player ratings…
City did well to limit Arsenal for much of the first half but Ederson pulled off two brilliant saves just before the break. He was off his line quickly to deny Saka and then did the same to Aubameyang moments later, when an offside flag was raided but may have been overturned by VAR. Had just one simple stop to make in the second half.
Tasked with virtually a man-marking role on Aubameyang, the England defender did a fine job of restricting Arsenal’s talisman. Turned on the afterburners to catch the striker on one occasion, although perhaps fortunate not to give up a penalty for a high foot against Gabriel on the stroke of half-time.
Playing at the heart of City’s three-man defence (without wing-backs) on his home debut, Dias did well to marshal the unconventional system. A real presence defending set-pieces, but booked for a physical block on Saka. His encouraging start to life at City continued though and an important late clearance underlined the point.
Positioned on the left side of City’s unusual defensive set-up, but performed well and made sure he won the majority of his battles with Pepe.
Worked back hard from his wide-right role to help contain Aubameyang but did get caught out by smart runs off him by Saka on a couple of occasions. Booked for catching Tierney in the back of his leg with his studs. Best moment came when he tricked his way past Tierney and nearly forced David Luiz to turn in his low cross.
Booked for holding back Saka but repeatedly won back possession for his side – a game-high 14 times in all – to get them back on the front foot and looked after it well, completing 79 of his 83 passes.
Cut in from the left throughout and his too-hot-to-handle shot led to Sterling’s opener. Should have scored a one-on-one not long after when teed up by Aguero and had a couple more efforts at goal blocked. Didn’t quite get lift-off but starting to look more and more at home in the first-team.
Bright from the start and, in the absence of Kevin De Bruyne and with David Silva gone, took on the role of linking City’s play in the middle of the park.
Lively start, flashing a shot wide of the far post inside a minute and that set the tone for a fine performance. Pulled off a wonderful pass for Aguero in the build-up to Sterling’s opener. Could have scored himself when he fired straight at Leno from close range before later shooting over and ended up taking a game-high six shots.
Man City’s star striker was back in the fold and gave them their focal point in attack once more. An early header flew over the bar but teed up Foden twice in the first half, first in the build-up to Sterling’s opener and then for a one-on-one the youngster should have done better with. Subbed off on 65 minutes – applauding the empty Etihad!
On the scoresheet once again and City’s man of the match once again. Sterling repeatedly gets in the right position to tuck away loose balls in the box and he slotted in his fifth goal in eight appearances for club and country this season. Threatened to add to his tally on a couple more occasions but didn’t quite fall for him again.
Had around half an hour on the pitch and did just what Guardiola would have wanted, controlling possession and finishing the match with a 100 per cent completion rate from his 19 passes.
Sent on in the final moments to see out the victory.
Should have done better for the opening goal, when he palmed Foden’s effort out into the path of Sterling. Parried another shot, from Mahrez, back into the danger zone soon after that but fared better thereafter.
Poor for the goal, allowing Foden to cut inside and get his shot off too easily, but improved after that, making more tackles (five) than any other Arsenal player and getting forward well.
A late inclusion after Holding pulled up with a hamstring injury during the warm-up. His last outing at the Etihad Stadium ended in disaster but he looked more assured this time. Produced an excellent late cross from Aubameyang but the striker was unable to capitalise.
Made some important blocks and clearances but didn’t always look comfortable when put under pressure on the ball. Rescued by Leno after his loose pass resulted in the Arsenal goalkeeper saving from Foden in the first half.
Struggled to contain the dangerous Mahrez and had some awkward moments defensively. Better going forward, combining effectively with Saka on Arsenal’s left flank, particularly in the first half.
An England debutant last week and arguably Arsenal’s best player at the Etihad Stadium. His speed and skill caused City plenty of problems on their right flank in the first half, although he faded slightly in the latter stages.
Allowed Aguero to get away from him in the build-up to City’s goal but worked tirelessly throughout, winning possession more times (10) than any other Arsenal player.
Struggled to keep up with City’s runners at times but, like Ceballos, he worked hard off the ball and also offered composure on it, completing all but one of his 38 passes before he was replaced by Arsenal new boy Thomas Partey in the closing stages.
Back in the starting line-up having scored the decisive goal in the 2-1 win over Sheffield United before the international break but unable to convert his chances this time. Went close with a couple of headers and sent a free kick wide in the closing stages.
Arsenal’s hero the last time these two sides met, in the FA Cup semi-final in July, but a peripheral figure this time around. Well marshalled by Walker on Arsenal’s left and failed to register a single shot on goal.
Deployed in the false nine position and offered plenty of industry but little in the way of attacking threat before he was substituted for Alexandre Lacazette in the second half.
Deployed in a deeper role than usual after replacing Willian and struggled to make much of an impact.
A late introduction but had little time to make a difference.
Replaced Xhaka for his debut but it came too late for him to change things.
You read correctly. The £1m Super 6 jackpot is up for grabs for one last time this weekend. Play for free, entries by 3pm Saturday.
Source: Read Full Article