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Manchester City 2-0 Watford, 2016 Premier League: Player Ratings

Man City got back in the win column on Wednesday evening, but at the cost of an important player.

Manchester City v Watford - Premier League Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Manchester City finally picked up a win in the Premier League on Wednesday evening dispatching Watford at home. In what was a game full of both good and bad for City, the most important thing is the three points the Sky Blues desperately needed. With the prospect of falling ten points behind league leaders Chelsea plus facing a giant match against Arsenal at the weekend, this was a game City could afford no slips.

The good City displayed were their usual possession game, obviously the clean sheet, and the play of more than a few players who had been underwhelming recently. The bad came in the form of losing midfielder Ilkay Gundogan for what looks to be a long time, as well as nearly conceding the game-tying goal shortly before David Silva sealed the game and put City 2-0 ahead.

On first glance it appeared Gundogan suffered a serious knee injury. The German missed the beginning of his first City season because of his recovery from a broken knee last year. The ability to walk off, and even attempt to keep playing, says it might be an issue with his ligaments. If anything is torn Gundogan may be lost for the season but a sprain, even a bad one, can be healed in a month or two.

Below are the ratings for each City player as well as the Man of the Match. More than a few high numbers in this one, and a few surprise performances one couldn't be sure would be possible for the players who started this game.

Claudio Bravo: 7.0

The Chilean really needed a game like this to help boost his confidence. It was clear from the past few performances that something wasn't quite right and in this one Bravo wasn't asked to do too much, but was good when called upon. Keepers want to keep clean sheets and getting one for Bravo was big.

Pablo Zabaleta: 7.5

What a warrior Pablo Zabaleta was in this one. I was very close to naming him Man of the Match as his goal was actually a really tidy finish and he was regularly putting in work both offensively and defensively. With regular captain Vincent Kompany out, Pablo Zabaleta is going to play a more important role than most of us thought he would this season.

Nicolas Otamendi: 7.0

Perhaps arguably City’s most important player at the moment, with the lack of depth at the position Nicolas Otamendi has been very dependable for City. Sure, he might not be the best stand-up defender, but you know what you’re getting every week with the Argentine and I’ll take his performance in this one every game.

Aleksandar Kolarov: 6.5

Kolarov got the starting nod over John Stones in this one and was better than he had been lately, which is something. I still believe Kolarov’s days as a left-back are over because he’s simply too slow, but in a back four he could be a serviceable center-back.

Gaël Clichy: 5.5

I was actually impressed with the play of Clichy for the first 50 or so minutes of this game, but then Nordin Amarabat switched to his side and essentially had Clichy on toast for the rest of the game. Had Odion Ighalo not missed an absolute sitter in the final ten minutes, the narrative would have been how Clichy cost City more points.

Ilkay Gundogan: 6.5

What a shame for Gundogan. In what seemed his most preferred role, dropping deeper with a midfield partner, the German looked very comfortable until he was injured. Hopefully nothing is torn in his knee and we’ll have our Gundogan back as soon as possible.

Yaya Touré: 7.5

The Ivorian was imperious in this one, it was a complete performance from him. With Fernandinho still suspended and Gundogan now out for a while, look for Yaya Touré to begin taking on the responsibility of linking the defense with the attack.

Raheem Sterling: 8.0

The young Englishman had an excellent return to the starting lineup. After missing time with a knock, Sterling was the only true wide player on the team and ran the show on the right side for most of the match, and was unlucky not to score himself.

David Silva: 7.0

Despite scoring Silva always seemed on the outskirts of whatever offensive move City were putting together. It was by no means a poor game from the Spaniard, but City supporters know there’s more Silva can do.

Kevin De Bruyne: 8.0 (Man of the Match)

Through the middle, on the right, dropping deeper, it doesn't matter: the Belgian midfielder can literally do it all. Not just can De Bruyne play anywhere, but he can affect the game from nearly any spot on the pitch. This guy is an unbelievable talent and he was lively all night long to the detriment of Watford's hopes.

Nolito: 7.0

Personally I love the way Nolito plays and he might give City the best chance to win at the moment. Kelechi Iheanacho might be the future, but there are certain things Nolito does better, especially applying the press which is key to Guardiola’s style of play. Seeing what Pep does at striker against Arsenal will be very interesting.


Fernando: 6.5

The Brazilian was able to keep it simple and was good in that midfield role. Considering Gundogan and Fernandinho won't be available for the Arsenal game, I expect to see Fernando in the starting lineup on Sunday.

Jesús Navas: 6.0

Navas came on late to see the game off and still had time to deliver a Classic Navas Cross Right Into The Feet Of The First Defender.

Leroy Sané: 6.0

The young German also came on late to see the game off so there was no real time to mark.