Typing will have to be kept to a minimum as my hands are suffering from carpal tunnel. I'm sure it didn't have anything to do with the dozens of tweets, texts, social media posts or just tapping the keyboard with incessant nervousness during an absolutely insane 2-2 cup tie between our boys in blue and PSG. So I've got one hand barely able to move and the other in pain, Five Thoughts will be pared down to player ratings only.
- 9 or above is man of the match
- 8 or above is a winning effort
- 7 or above did the job
- 6 or above could've been better
- 5 or thereabouts means the player did more harm than good.
GK--Joe Hart (8) He got helped by the crossbar and by some PSG misses but he came up with Joe Harts Great Save of the Day (trademarked) against Zlatan and it was far from his only contribution. I hope this guy wears the City shirt for years to come. What a player.
LB--Gael Clichy (6.5) I'm open to correction but I thought it was a largely nondescript performance from a guy who has been playing like the best left back in the league.
CB--Nicolas Otamendi (7) Baldly speaking, when Vincent Kompany is in the game, the through balls against City are limited. Without Kompany, the through balls increase two-to-three fold and we saw that against PSG. I'm not sure what to do about that but I know know when Otamendi goes to ground after a ball in the attacking half or even near the midfield stripe, he better get the ball because if he doesn't, a strong offensive team is off to the races.
CB--Eliaquiim Mangala (7) What was written about Otamendi could apply to Mangala minus the aggressive upfield tackling. He probably should've been red-carded for his tackle on Matuidi (pen and a red for me) but then again, David Luiz probably should have been sent off after 14 seconds, speaking of denying a clear goal scoring opportunity. Mangala, I thought, played very well in the second half which saved his rating considerably. I still have no idea if he'll be here next season.
RB--Bacary Sagna (8) City's best defender on the night. In the second half, he seemed to take the challenge presented by Zlatan personally.
CM--Fernando (5) I always have enormous empathy for someone who makes the kind of mistake Fernando made and I don't envy his sleepless nights if City don't make it through. Good on him for staying on the pitch and fighting through it. It's really all anyone can do.
CM--Fernandinho (8) Say hello to City's player of the year, 2015-2016.
LM--David Silva (7.5) A scrappy performance on a night where the magic passes were minimal but I never get tired of his ability to take care of the ball in close spaces. There were times, especially in the second half, where City players looked only for #21 and I could hardly blame them.
CAM--Kevin De Bruyne (8) I think he's the best signing we've made in five years. It occurred to me watching him yesterday that his most underrated quality might be his speed; he's a lot faster than he looks. As long as he keeps playing like he's' playing--and mind you, he might've been even better last season--he'll be one of the five best players in the Prem for many years to come, if not better.
RM--Jesus Navas (7) I got tired of him being muscled off the ball. I never got tired of seeing him fight back. A controversial player for people who aren't City fans--he gets pilloried on every broadcast (make a point to notice)--but I still say he's City's most underrated player.
ST--Sergio Aguero (6) My worry--and it's a profound one--is that we've seen the best of him. The injuries might just be starting to wear him down. Still a wonderful player but performances like the one he had last night, where there was very little impact, are becoming more frequent. I'd still take him over any striker in the Prem and most other strikers in the world but I miss the dominant Aguero.
Fabian Delph (7) A cagey move by Pellegrini putting him on the left side to help Clichy and he acquitted himself quite well. He was brought in to keep the peace and mission accomplished.
Wilfred Bony (NR) Wasn't on long but did have two touches which led to two turnovers. Heck of a nice guy, hard worker, great teammate and I'm on his side but he just has to show something better on the pitch. His job was to hold the ball and he couldn't do it.
Aleksander Kolarov (NR) On for the last minute of the match.
ONE MORE NOTE: It's 2am PST and I have that damn Champions League anthem stuck in my head. I didn't know this kind of pain existed.