Manchester City vs Stoke City: Player Ratings
Posted by Featured Articles | Published on April 23, 2016
Despite being a potential banana skin, Manchester City produced a quite simply brilliant performance against a lackadaisical Stoke City side to move above Arsenal into third place. City, who rested numerous players ahead of their crucial Champions League game against Real Madrid, strolled to an empathic 4-0 win.
After a competent yet unremarkable opening to the game, City opened the scoring in the 35th minute through an unlikely source, Fernando, after he nodded in Jesus Navas’ in-swinging corner. City doubled their lead just before half time, as Kelechi Iheanacho was brought down by Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross, resulting in a penalty. Sergio Aguero made no mistake from the spot as he scored his 101st City goal. After the break, City extended their lead to four as Kelechi Iheanacho got in on the act with two goals, including a sumptuous run and finish for his second.
Here, I grade the performances of the Blues players’ who started the game against Stoke City.
A few fantastic saves to deny Arnautovic and was fantastic when called upon. All in all, didn’t have a great deal to do – but he sure will be busy on Tuesday, I’m sure! (6.5)
Not the greatest performance from the right-back but dealt with the presence of Arnautovic well – brilliant assist for Kelechi’s first goal. (6.5)
An excellent game from him in general apart from presenting Arnautovic with a chance, which was eventually saved by Hart to save his blushes. Big performance from him required on Tuesday. (7)
Once again, this man keeps on impressing me. Not only have my views on him changed, the majority of the City fanbase have changed their opinion! If he plays on Tuesday, another big performance is needed. A rich vein of form that could, potentially, keep him at the club. (7)
Just like Zabaleta, he struggled in parts of the game but all in all, had an average game. Would expect Clichy to come in on Tuesday to deal with the pace of Bale and is the best option at left-back. (6.5)
Often unfairly criticised, Navas’ work rate down the right flank is exceptional. Provided the assist for the opener and ultimately, was a thorn in Stoke City’s midfield and attack. (8)
Another game, another average Yaya Toure performance. For City fans, it is infuriating watching him as we all know how much he’s capable of but against Stoke he hardly broke a stride. Despite this, his influence in midfield was noticeable. May not start on Tuesday, but I’m sure he will feature. (6.5)
Similar to Mangala, my hope in Fernando has been rejuvenated. Defensively solid and looked like a completely different player to the one we have witnessed before. A fantastic performance, which was optimised by his inventive glancing header to open the floodgates in front of goal. (8)
Once again, he simply did not perform. City fans can keep telling themselves it is due to his injuries, but game by game, he keeps underperforming – age could be beginning to reveal it’s self and our little maestro could be starting to fade away, unfortunately. Hopefully, on Tuesday, he will return to his usual self and play to the best of his abilities against one of the best teams in Europe. (6)
It still baffles me as to why Iheanacho doesn’t play frequently, because watching this game, he was majestic. Along with many City fans, I am simply lost for words to describe this young man. He started slowly but once he grew into the game, he won a penalty and scored two well-taken goals. He looked comfortable in possession and could easily be mistaken for a £30M player at first glance. Magnificent performance from Kelechi, who seems to be getting better and better each time he plays, which isn’t very often, strangely. Ultimately, today, we saw the Kelechi factor. Man of the match. (9)
Not his most glittering performance, but he still struck fear into the Stoke players every single time his colourful new Puma boots touched he ball. As anticipated when he stood up to take the penalty, it was never in doubt, as he expertly scored the Blues’ second from the spot. Expect him to play a massive part on Tuesday – as he has done on numerous occasions over the years! (7)
Overall, a dazzling performance from City, as we prepare for our simply enormous encounter under the lights against one of Europe’s elite, Real Madrid.
Agree or disagree with my ratings? Tweet me you’re feedback at – @VivaLaSergio