It was certainly a night to be forgotten for Manchester City supporters. On a night when the Champions League produced one of its finer moments, City played out a boring draw with Stoke City. Credit should go to the Potters, who set up smart defensively and prevented City from ever generating a threatening attack.
This was a frustrating contest for all 90 minutes. Whether it was laughable dribbling attempts or awful crosses, City just didn’t have it. With a tough stretch coming up Guardiola opted to rest regular starters David Silva and Raheem Sterling, but the team looked out of sorts with only the two changes.
Going forward the decision to rest and play it safe against Stoke has to pay off. City’s next two games are in the FA Cup and Champions League and going through to the next round should be expected in both ties.
Below are the ratings for each Citizen who played against Stoke.
Willy Caballero: 6.5
The Argentine keeper recorded another clean sheet, and didn’t have much to do against Stoke. The Potters were very defensive, but when called upon Caballero was there.
Bacary Sagna: 6.5
Supporters know what they’re going to get with Bacary Sagna each time he makes the starting lineup. It was more of the same from the Frenchman against Stoke.
Nicolas Otamendi: 7.0
Otamendi has been the third center-back for Pep for a while but got the start in this game and was pretty solid. Considering the competition for starting spots on defense, this was a good showing for the Argentine.
Aleksandar Kolarov: 6.5
Nothing poor but also nothing special from the Serbian defender against Stoke. Kolarov was solid enough but didn’t do much to inflate his rating.
Gaël Clichy: 5.5
After what seemed like a renaissance performance from the Frenchman against Sunderland, Clichy wasn't great. Even forgetting the slip that almost cost City another early goal, Clichy was poor going forward and poor tracking back.
The Brazilian played well enough lying deeper in City’s midfield. The whole midfield group really suffered without David Silva, but Fernandinho was probably the best of the bunch.
Yaya Touré: 6.5
Touré had been dominant in games against lower opposition, but looked out of place when pushed forward by the presence of Fernandinho.
Kevin De Bruyne: 6.0
The Belgian worked hard all game, but very little came off for the superstar. It looked like De Bruyne was always an inch or two away from something magical, but it wasn't meant to be.
Jesús Navas: 5.0
It was painful watching Navas patrol the right wing against Stoke. I’m not sure what Guardiola expected from the Spaniard, and City supporters should be hoping that was Navas’ last Premier League appearance for the club.
Leroy Sané: 7.0
Sané was his usual lightning quick, dribbling self, but had very little help moving forward. Clearly missing the service of David Silva, the German winger could do very little with what he was given.
Sergio Agüero: 6.5
The Argentine striker had been in amazing goal scoring form, but it looked as though Agüero was completely uninterested in playing against Stoke.
David Silva: 7.5 (Man of the Match)
City’s play clearly changed when the Spanish midfield was brought on. Silva offers the kind of passing and ability no other City midfielder really does.
Kelechi Iheanacho: 5.5
The Nigerian missed a chance that was tough to take, but at the highest level he really should have put away what would have been City's game winner.