City destroyed Manchester United 4-1 earlier today, and to a man they were superb.
Vincent Ralph rates the Manchester City display player by player…
Joe Hart 7
The Blues’ ‘keeper had very little to do and was completely helpless to stop the one shot that did beat him. In a match when the players in front of him all performed at their absolute best, it must have been fun for Hart to simply stand back and watch.
Vincent Kompany 10
When the Belgian centre-back is not in the squad, City are quite simply a different team. One of three players who could have easily been crowned man-of-the-match, Kompany did not give Wayne Rooney – or any of United’s players – a second on the ball; a perfect defensive display from a perfect defender. His run that ultimately lead to City’s third was outstanding.
Matija Nastasic 9
Kompany’s defensive partner did everything that was asked of him, and while he will not earn the plaudits his skipper does, all of City’s defenders can be proud of their performances. He played a huge part in a huge team effort. And Manuel Pellegrini will be glad he has his first choice defensive pairing back to full fitness.
Pablo Zabaleta 9
Taking inspiration from Kompany, Zabaleta did not let United’s players rest for a moment. City cannot play like this every weekend, but they did when it mattered, and the right-back was one of their best performers.
Aleksandar Kolarov 9
It was Kolarov whose run and cross set up the first goal, and while Sergio Aguero will rightly take the plaudits for a fine effort, the left-back played a major part. Question marks may remain over his defensive capabilities, but today he went some way to proving people wrong; although it was his marauding down the left flank that created plenty of issues for the United back-line.
Samir Nasri 9
The Frenchman’s goal was not as good as Aguero’s first, but it was not exactly shabby either. In the first 20 minutes – with City running riot – Nasri was at the core of much of their attacking play. He has not always played to his potential at the Etihad, but at times he was unplayable this afternoon.
Jesus Navas 8
Another solid outing from the winger, who will have enjoyed his first taste of the Manchester derby, with his cross for the third proving his most important contribution. Always offering an outlet, he did what Antonio Valencia could not, before he was ultimately replaced by James Milner with just under 20 minutes to go.
In a game of outstanding attacking dominance, the Brazilian’s contribution may have been in danger of going unrecognised. But Fernandinho does the dirty work so his teammates can reap the rewards. His partnership with Yaya Toure could become the best in the Premier League.
Yaya Toure 10
The man-of-the-match in a team full of outstanding displays, quite simply, Toure was a different class. His dominance in the early stages set the tone for what followed, and while his goal was the scrappiest of the lot, it was also the most important, coming just moments before half-time. It was the killer goal, from a player who towered over every single United player.
Sergio Aguero 10
A world-class strike and a second that ended the match as a competition, the Argentinian’s contribution was just about perfect. How he even connected with Kolarov’s cross, let alone guided it into the net, is a mystery. But on a day when everything came off for the Blues, Aguero played a blinder.
Alvaro Negredo 8
Picked ahead of Edin Dzeko, the Spaniard proved Manuel Pellegrini made the right choice, setting up Aguero’s second goal and proving a menace throughout. He does have a tendency to shoot on sight, but in a game like this, no one will blame him. Dzeko has a lot to do to win back his place.
James Milner 7
The man for all occasions came on for Navas after 71 minutes. By then the hard work was done, and there was little to do besides keep United at bay.
Edin Dzeko 6
The Bosnian replaced Negredo late on, and will wonder how many games he will start given the partnership developing between Aguero and the Spaniard.
Javi Garcia 6
Garcia came on for the final four minutes, touched the ball a few times, and went home.
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