Ten was the special number Saturday afternoon. Ten straight wins in all competitions for Manchester City and number ten Sergio Agüero was came back from suspension with a bang. On a very nervy day, City did not play their best but managed to find ways to score and inevitably find a way to escape with the three points, that’s what the best teams in the world do.
This was a tough match to rate as City looked very unusual during long spells of the game. A change in formation seemed to hamper the side, rather than free up City’s three fantastic midfield options in Gundogan, De Bruyne, and the returning David Silva.
Nevertheless, below we have rated each of the fourteen players who saw action on Saturday. Be sure to comment below with your ratings and who you think deserved man of the match!
Claudio Bravo: 7.5
This was one of the first games Bravo’s passing has really stuck out. He also made a couple of nice saves and controlled his area well, which earned Bravo high marks. There was absolutely nothing he could do about the goal either.
Bacary Sagna: 6.5
Sagna had a tougher day than one would have thought coming in. Slipping for Llorente’s goal was the worst of it, but he did provide the assist for Agüero’s opener. At the end Sagna was substituted for Zabaleta who appears to be the more defensive option.
John Stones: 6.5
Stones did well most of the afternoon. It’s hard to find any mistakes the England international made, but it’s also difficult to find many outstanding moment as well. Stones’ passing was crisp and his calmness on the ball shows maturity beyond his years.
Nicolas Otamendi: 7.0
The Argentine was arguably City’s best defender on Saturday. Winning challenges, breaking up counter attacks, and even dribbling forward and winning free-kicks! Nico was very good and on another day could abbe found himself on the score sheet.
Aleksander Kolarov: 6.0
This was easily Kolarov’s most difficult game of this early season. That really speaks to how well he’s played so far this year, but today Rutledge gave the Serbian all he could handle. His passing was still good, but defensively Kolarov struggled.
The Brazilian continues to impress no matter where he plays. Whether it’s near the defense or close to Agüero, Fernandinho is great. He really should have scored, gifted a one on one with Fabianski but the Swansea keeper did excellent to force a goal-kick off the Brazilian’s shin.
David Silva: 7.0
Silva returned from an injury layoff after suffering a slight knock before the Borussia Mönchengladbach game almost two weeks ago. Silva was constantly moved around the pitch and showed some signs of rust, but also showed why he will be difficult to leave out once City are at full strength.
Ilkay Gundogan: 6.5
A tough afternoon for the German international saw him substituted around the 70th minute for the more defensive Fernando. Gundogan’s first tough left something to be desired at times, though for the first half he was played deeper than his usual attacking midfield role.
Kevin De Bruyne: 8.0 (Man of the Match)
De Bruyne was shipped out wide in the first half and never really got in the game. Once the second half began, the Belgian was more central and began to take over the match from that point forward. He was my man of the match despite struggling for the first 45, and leaving early with a knock (hopefully through precaution only).
Raheem Sterling: 7.5
He’s top of the league, Raheem Sterling continues his growth under Pep with another great performance. Probably should have scored a second but if City continues winning, nobody will complain.
Sergio Agüero: 8.0
Welcome back Kun! Another two goals for the Argentine helped City secure the points in Wales. There were times Agüero looked like he was lacking match sharpness, but the best players can produce despite not playing their best, and Agüero did just that on Saturday.
Fernando played very well midweek and when called upon on the weekend as well. Once they took the lead again in the second half, City needed his defensive presence in the midfield, and he provided that and more.
Pablo Zabaleta: 6.5
Zaba seems to be the more defensive choice for Pep and he made a few vital tackles and clearances once Swansea started piling forward looking to get back into the game. Good work.
Jesus Navas: 6.5
Navas was brought on and played on the left, perhaps Pep is trying to see if the Spaniard can fill that role for Nolito while he’s out?
It must be mentioned that the City supporters were excellent today. The traveling support almost made today feel like a home match. While the Swansea fans were there usual boisterous selves, the City fans were loud all game. In what was a tight, cagey affair at times, the supporters were a huge boon for the Blues on Saturday.
Remember to comment below with your ratings plus who do you think was City’s man of the match!