Although during pre-season it’s often said that results shouldn’t be taken too seriously or that not much can be or should be judged from a friendly, City certainly didn’t disappoint as they ran out 3-0 winners against Tottenham Hotspur. On tonight’s evidence you wouldn’t think that Spurs have beaten City in three of their last four league meetings as City took control from the very start and looked under little threat of conceding throughout the full ninety minutes. At times it was far from friendly with one or two flare-up’s but on a whole City were comfortable victors with a brand of exciting football which perhaps offers a promising glimpse of what is to come next season.
Ederson – 7
After unfair and premature criticism for his positioning in recent games most notably following Lukaku’s goal in the recent derby, whilst tested very little this evening the Brazilian didn’t put a foot wrong all game. An impressive save from an Eriksen free-kick and the first real signs of his long-distance distribution to lay it on a plate for Aguero will stand out but above all, another encouraging performance from Ederson who is looking more comfortable each game.
Kyle Walker – 7
Amid what quickly turned into a pantomime like atmosphere inside the Nissan Stadium as his every touch was booed by on looking Tottenham supporters, it was refreshing to see City now capable of attacking down the right wing with Kyle Walker. In his first match against his former club Walker repeatedly shown signs of both his pace and willingness to attack as well as defend and offers City a useful and much needed wide attacking outlet for the season ahead.
Danilo – 8 (Man of the Match)
Operating once again as a left wing back, Danilo stood out from the very first minute as City asserted their dominance from the outset. His strength on the left hand side of defence was coupled with what seemed a genuine determination to get forward at every opportunity and on another day could well have been on the score sheet had it not been for a couple of chances spurned, forcing an especially good save from Hugo Lloris. And for the price City paid, the early signs are promising and he could prove to be one of the signings of the summer.
Vincent Kompany – 6
Normally the rock at the heart of defence very rarely putting a foot wrong, it did feel that Kompany didn’t enjoy one his better games in a City shirt against Spurs. In what had the potential to turn into a feisty encounter, Kompany’s booking shortly after the second half perhaps sums up his performance as a whole, looking off the pace at times albeit with very little to do against a weak Spurs attack throughout the game.
John Stones – 7
Premier League golden boot incoming? Following up his goal against Real Madrid with another against Spurs, John Stones looks to be showing signs of maturity both defensively and his wider decision making. Whilst De Bruyne’s free-kick admittedly took a deflection on its way into the box, John Stones’ composure to head the ball past Lloris and put City one nil up well and truly set City on their way to what was a dominant performance.
Nicolas Otamendi – 6
One of very few players that lasted the full ninety minutes, Otamendi looks to have taken his good end of season form into pre-season and certainly looks more settled alongside Kompany at centre-back. Nonetheless there are still questions regarding his rashness when heading into tackles and perhaps on another day, a poorly timed tackle to restrict Vincent Janssen from getting a shot away could have turned out much worse with the player going down rather than staying upright as he did this evening.
Raheem Sterling – 7
Partnering Jesus at least on paper in what looked initially looked like a two man attack, as always Sterling looked lively from the very start, making runs which on occasion caught out Spurs’ usually solid centre-back pairing of Vertonghen and Alderweireld. His hard work and attacking threat throughout the game was eventually rewarded with a goal after being put through one on one by Nasri and followed by a cheeky flick into the bottom left hand corner. More of the same please Raheem!
Kevin De Bruyne – 7
A very close contender for man of the match, De Bruyne continues to dazzle this pre-season adding another assist and setting up Stones for the opening goal of the game. Yet despite his fantastic delivery of the ball and the fact he regularly creating assists, his wider distribution often goes unnoticed and was once again impressive during tonight’s game – effortless from start to finish from the Belgian and looks to be at the top of his game at the moment – long may it continue.
David Silva – 6
Although his (lack of) hair will perhaps be the main thing City fans take from Silva’s contribution to the Spurs game this evening, in what was his first appearance this pre-season David Silva fit back into a three man City midfield with complete ease. Showing no signs of aging, his repeated attempts to look for the intricate killer ball in to tee up a teammate were evident but sadly no assist for the Spaniard tonight.
Fernandinho – 6
In no way a bad run out by the Brazilian but at times ran the risk of picking up an unnecessary yellow card with a series of slightly clumsy tackles. Other than contributing offensively, Fernandinho had very little to do as City dominated in midfield areas but as always remained calm and composed in the heart of the pitch, accurately distributing the ball forward throughout and keeping things ticking over in central midfield.
Gabriel Jesus – 5
One of those nights for Jesus who should really have doubled City’s lead before half-time after another wonderful ball by De Bruyne leaving Jesus one on one with almost three quarters of an empty net to aim at. Although many will point to his one-off misfortune, knowing how good Jesus can be at his very best, tonight just didn’t go to plan for the young Brazilian who despite making clever moves forward into goal scoring positions, his finishing was nowhere at the level of what we have become used to expect.
Eliaquim Mangala – 6
With very little to do it was perhaps one of Mangala’s easier performances in a City shirt entering the pitch as a second-half substitute in place of Kompany. Under very little pressure for the thirty minutes or so that he appeared, his movement up and down the left wing was notable but produced very little in what was already very much a one-sided affair come the time of his arrival.
Yaya Touré – 7
City look to have made the right decision in extending Yaya’s contract by another season after another impressive performance from the substitutes bench. Never afraid of putting a tackle in or revving up a City attack, albeit a little but slower in possession Yaya Toure seemed to own the City midfield once again and grew into his role as captain after Kompany’s departure.
Phil Foden – 6
After his eye-catching derby day performance last week it’s almost difficult not to expect a similar performance from Foden in every appearance he makes in a City shirt. Nonetheless given his age and first-team inexperience in what was still a match against the Premier League Runners Up, Foden looked both comfortable and confident in possession with the very best intentions to make as great a contribution as in Houston.
Samir Nasri – 7
Just as you begin to write Samir Nasri off, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the Frenchman returns to City after an on-off season with Sevilla and produces as good a second-half performance as he did tonight. As an attacking threat he often looked like the Nasri of old, delicately flicking he ball backwards into Walker’s path and produce a good goal scoring opportunity before teeing up Sterling for City’s second. Whether City decide to stick with Nasri remains to be seen but with performances like that, he certainly won’t be without suitors this summer.
Sergio Aguero – 6
It could well be a case of preseason rustiness but Aguero was incredibly unlucky not to be on the score sheet against Spurs after being denied not just once, but twice by the woodwork. Always in the right positions and with an eye for goal, the Argentine certainly got the loudest cheer as he came off the bench but with a goal of his own he may well have sent the 70,000 capacity Nissan Stadium into frenzy.
Tosin Adarabioyo – 6
Similar to Mangala, Tosin had very little to do after coming on as a substitute and with City in full control, making only 17 touches of the ball in just under twenty minutes on the pitch perhaps sums that up adequately. Very little of note to comment on other than looking comfortable in the heart of defence and could well be an answer to Pep’s defensive headache after his reported struggles in sourcing an affordable centre-half this transfer window.
Demeaco Duhaney – 5
Making only his second first-team appearance for City, it certainly can’t be easy coming up against Real Madrid and Spurs within only a matter of days but sadly Duhaney’s inexperience did show on the big stage as the youngster settled in to tonight’s game. Clearly very early days for Duhaney with lots of potential to fulfil but tonight Duhaney did seem to struggle keeping up with a very speedy N’Koudou in wide positions.
Leroy Sané – 6
With the game dead and buried at 2-0, the pressure was off Sané after coming on as a late substitute. Nonetheless with more minutes under his belt, let’s hope he can recapture the form of last season and push on even more.
Brahim Diaz – 7
If Phil Foden is very much the man of the moment, this little man can’t be very far behind as Brahim continues to make a name for himself. Although his second goal in as many games was more of a close-range tap in than the long range effort which quite rightly grabbed the headlines against Real Madrid, Brahim really is one to watch and both looks lively and exciting every time he is on the ball. Watch this space.
Aro Muric – 7
Even with the victory all but sealed after coming on as a late substitute, in the ten minutes he did appear for City Muric certainly caught the eye with a fantastic save to deny Janssen late on. In what looked a simple finish to give Spurs a mere consolation goal, Muric appeared from nowhere with an outstretched arm to stop Spurs from scoring and persevering City’s first preseason clean sheet. For that moment alone, well worthy of a seven.
2017-18 pre-season, city vs. spurs