Manchester City dismantled West Ham United in the third round of the FA Cup Friday evening. The early talk was how strong a side Guardiola chose, meanwhile West Ham opted to keep their best player (Dimitri Payet) on the bench. The game began just as one would have expected. City were trying their slick passes and possession-based play, while West Ham tried to get balls wide and whip in crosses for their big forwards.
It didn’t take long before City produced a great chance for David Silva to open the scoring, but Adrián was keen to the task. City pressed on and after a magnificent passing play from Silva, Zabaleta was brought down in the box and City were awarded a penalty. Yaya Touré tucked the penalty away and City were off and running.
The Sky Blues would add two more before halftime, one from an excellent Bacary Sagna cross that forced an own goal and another from a David Silva tap in. The game was pretty much done and dusted entering the second half but that didn’t stop Sergio Agüero and John Stones from adding their names to the scoresheet.
Below are the ratings for each player that saw the pitch for Man City. Worth adding a welcome back for Fabian Delph who has been as maligned as any City player since being bought from Aston Villa.
Willy Caballero: 6.5
The Argentine keeper played well and had a couple of nice stops when the score was relatively close. Other than a couple of long range efforts, though, Caballero was rarely troubled.
Bacary Sagna: 7.5
The Frenchman was excellent marauding down the right side of the pitch. Sagna hasn't marauded in years and it was great to see in this game. His cross for City’s second goal was excellent and more of this from Sagna could be key to City’s silverware efforts.
Nicolas Otamendi: 7.0
Otamendi had very little to do for much of the game. When called upon the Argentine produced a necessary tackle and did well in possession and passing the ball forward, but this was probably one of the easiest nights Nico has had in a City shirt.
John Stones: 7.5
Stones also had quite an easy night. There’s still a slight lack of confidence from the young Englishman, but this was the best Stones has looked in a number of weeks. His first goal in a City shirt was just the icing on the cake.
Gaël Clichy: 7.0
Another strong game on both sides of the pitch from Clichy. Left back has arguably been City’s worst position at times this season and Clichy has been much better over the last two weeks.
Yaya Touré: 8.0
Yaya is love, Yaya is life.
Pablo Zabaleta: 7.0
Perhaps Pep has found a new place for Pablo Zabaleta. This midfield role seems to be working a peach and with the long absence of Gundogan, Zaba might just be a great replacement.
David Silva: 8.5 (Man of the Match)
David Silva was excellent. Performances like the one City supporters got Friday night are why Silva’s name is thrown around when discussing City’s best player ever.
Raheem Sterling: 7.5
Sterling was wonderful against West Ham and was very unselfish in providing for David Silva’s goal. Sterling may have squandered one or two opportunities but hopefully his confidence is raised by this performance going forward.
Kevin De Bruyne: 8.0
De Bruyne was another exceptional performer for City against West Ham. It was a real treat to see De Bruyne move all over the pitch, whether it was out wide or even deeper in midfield. De Bruyne was wonderful.
Sergio Agüero: 7.5
Agüero seems to be returning to the form he had before his suspension. A goal on a deflection was only the icing on top of an excellent performance from the Argentine striker.
The Spanish winger was his usual energetic self, but the game was done and dusted once he came on.
Aleix García: 6.5
Was great to see the young spaniard given time, but once again the game was way and Garcia’s job was just to see it out.
Fabian Delph: 6.5
Good to see the Englishman back in action, he could be useful going forward but this game was over long before Delph came on.