The month of September has come and gone. But it will be remembered in the annals of the Premier League. Manchester City suffered a shocking 3-2 defeat to league newcomers Norwich City in scintillating fashion. But what was as eye-catching was the team’s reaction to the loss. Putting eight goals past a hapless Watford calmed the nerves for the City faithful who were becoming concerned it was going to be a bad season. Several players including Rodrigo, Riyad Mahrez, and KevinDe Bruyne, were instrumental to the performance and continued to shine for the remainder of the month.
No wonder then that the trio has been nominated for the Etihad Player of the Month award.
Although the likes of Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero and David Silva also shone brightly during the period, the initial trio emerged as the final three in consideration for the award. Spaniard Rodrigo has been a superb addition to the side. For a player who moved to a new team in a new league, the 23-year-old has acclimatised perfectly to both English football and his manager’s tactics. He has been solid in midfield both on the defensive side and in carrying the ball forward.
He was on the score sheet with a clean strike from outside the box that found the back of the net for City’s second goal against Norwich. In the next game, a Champions League encounter with Shakhtar Donetsk, the former Atletico Madrid man was a beast in midfield. He posted a 100 percent passing accuracy to help City defeat the Ukrainian side 3-0.
Speaking of which Riyad Mahrez was also instrumental getting among the scorers on the night.
The Algerian has been a player reborn after leading his country to win the African Cup of Nations in the summer. Since returning to the team, he has been one of the most in-form players with several goals and assists to his name. A lovely free kick at Everton last weekend found the back of the net to put City ahead in a match that had become difficult to find the breakthrough. Sterling added a third to secure a 3-1 win but the result does not tell the whole story.
Kevin De Bruyne was less influential in the encounter, but the Belgian has been back to his best this season. The fact that he leads the Premier League assist charts with eight to his name in just seven appearances says it all. The 28-year-old has been a machine in the City midfield unlocking opposition defences with relative ease. The only downside to the story is his susceptibility to injuries. He was sidelined for the Champions League fixture against Dinamo Zagreb during the week with his creativity really missed.
In view of the foregoing, whoever emerges with the award in the end would have thoroughly deserved it.