In the first of 3 games against the Top-6 of the Premier League, City needed a win to catch up with Chelsea in the title race. Liverpool weren’t far behind either, and they could have gained some momentum with a win over City.
The match was filled with many chances and penalty shouts, and somehow we only got two goals. James Milner and Sergio Agüero were the goal scorers, and a sensational match ended with a draw that helps neither team in the title race, but keeps them in the hunt for a top-four finish.
Let's take a deeper look at how City did in a fantastic game:
While the defense couldn’t hold the clean sheet, there was one man who emerged as the City savior at the back: Willy Caballero.
The Argentine keeper saved three shots (two in one minute), and also helped the team's buildup with an 81% passing percentage. John Stones and Gaël Clichy played solid matches, even though the Frenchman conceded a poor penalty.
Nicolas Otamendi played better than the rest of the defense, and he shouldn’t have been on the bench for the last few matches. Fernandinho isn’t as efficient in a full-back role, and he played much better as a holding midfielder.
While City only bagged one goal, the midfield played pretty well. David Silva had plenty of chances and created some as well, but he couldn't convert.
Yaya Touré is starting to struggle with the pace of the City midfield, and he cannot hold the midfield alone without help from City’s attacking players. Meanwhile, Leroy Sané and Raheem Sterling are beginning to waver from their world class form. While they did show flashes of brilliance during the match, they ultimately couldn't affect the match as they have lately.
Kevin De Bruyne’s performance was the best of the game, and he's certainly the Man of the Match. De Bruyne assisted City’s lone goal with a perfect cross, had four key passes and also hit the woodwork from his only shot in the game. The Belgian created chances in the middle and on the wing, and De Bruyne led the Sky Blues throughout the match.
Sergio Agüero did score the equalizer, but was not as clinical as usual. Only one of his five shots were on target, and his only effort on target beat Simon Mignolet. He also struggled with his dribbling and was dispossessed seven times.
Ultimately, City need to play just a bit better than they did on Sunday, and they can improve their finishing and their defense. With the next two matches coming against Arsenal and Chelsea after the international break, City must get at least one win to help their chances to grab a spot in the Top Four.