Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City cruised to an opening day victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon with goals from Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva enough to give the Blues all three points. But who stood out for the men from Manchester? It’s the return of Player Ratings...
Ederson - 6
Despite this being a relatively comfortable day at the office for the City keeper, he didn’t have it all his own way. He made only one real save of note in the game from Hector Bellerin that was right down his throat and one you’d expect him to make. Was a little lacklustre with his passing in the final 10 minutes and almost cost City a clean sheet with a poorly executed ball out wide which was intercepted by Mesut Ozil.
Kyle Walker - 8
What more can be said about this man, aye? On Sunday he was like a fully loaded Yorkshire steam engine marauding up and down the right hand side. He gave youngster Maitland-Niles the run around in the opening half hour and showed his cheetah like pace on more than five occasions throughout the game. He covered well as always and is a consistently so important to City’s attacking game.
John Stones - 9
Stones looks to have matured well after a successful world cup campaign with England and looks to be regaining the form shown prior to his injury last season. While he may at times lack aggression, he showed this in abundance yesterday. Always has an air of calmness about himself on the ball no matter the position he finds himself in. He handled the pace and threat of Aubameyang with consummate ease.
Aymeric Laporte - 8
Similar to Stones, the Frenchman is calmness personified. Rarely finds himself out of position for long enough to break stride and Sunday was no different. He and Stones seem to compliment each other well and may be the future at the heart of City’s back four.
Benjamin Mendy - 7
Mendy is only recently returning to full fitness after a horrific ACL injury last year and for this reason we won’t judge him too harshly just yet. Despite getting an assist for Bernardo’s goal on Sunday, Mendy’s overall display was a little sloppy at times. In the words of Guardiola in his post match press conference, “Mendy is Mendy. Sometimes we want to kill him and sometimes we think wow what a payer we have”.
Fernandinho - 8
I have said this on numerous occasions since Guardiola joined the club and i will say it again, City’s most important player. The Brazilian is simply phenomenal. Week in and week out he produces momentous performances. His reading of the game is exceptional and he proved this again on Sunday, stifling Arsenal attacks time after time. He is an 8 or 9 out of 10 player ever single week.
Ilkay Gundogan - 6
Didn’t really impact the game as much as he would have liked. Was neat in possession of the ball without actually being that effective. I will forever stand up for him after a couple of average games despite the pelters he seems to get from City fans at times.
Bernardo Silva - 9
Majestic. Plain and simple. He gets better and better every-time he puts on the shirt and is really growing into this City team. Guardiola seems to be utilising him in a more central role this season and already it is paying dividends. Still a long way to go before being on the level of his name sake David Silva, but he’s starting to scratch the surface. Absolutely wonderful finish for his goal to seal the victory.
Raheem Sterling - 8
Playing in yet again a different role than he is used to, Sterling stepped up to the plate. He looks to be improving year on year and is adored by City fans. He took his goal magnificently and worked tirelessly all day. Perhaps doesn’t always get the credit for his work rate and timing of his runs off the ball. Was a thorn in the side of Arsenal’s defence all throughout the game.
Riyad Mahrez - 6
Done nothing wrong on his full debut for the club but was guilty of slowing down City’s attacks at times. There is no doubt he adds another dimension to this attack but will take a few more weeks to settle in properly. Almost netted with a curling effort bent around Cech’s post.
Sergio Aguero - 7
After his two goals last week it looked as though Sergio could be back to his clinical best but in this one he struggled at times to get into the game. Like always he ran his socks off and in spite of little chances on the day he gave the Arsenal defenders something to think about, as he always does. Should of squared the ball to De Bruyne when clean through on goal.
Gabriel Jesus - 6
Only had 10 minutes on the pitch and didn’t see much action as his focus was mainly on seeing the game out.
Kevin De Bruyne - 6
Came on with 30 minutes to go and didn’t have a lot to do. Kept possesion of the ball well for the most part despite one or two passes that went astray. We’ll put that down to rustiness.
Leroy Sane - N/A
Only on the pitch for 3 minutes. Didn’t even have time to stretch his legs.
We’ll be back next week after the Huddersfield game with more player ratings. Lets hope we’re celebrating another accomplished performance.