Player ratings: City stars shine; champions labour

Man City hammered Liverpool in the Premier League on Thursday – but who impressed and who disappointed?

Last Updated: 02/07/20 10:45pm








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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City’s win against Liverpool.

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City’s win against Liverpool.

Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling were outstanding but Andy Robertson had a night to forget as Man City hammered newly crowned Premier League champions Liverpool 4-0 on Thursday night.

As well as De Bruyne and Sterling, Phil Foden was also on target before Sterling forced Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s own goal.

Here we assess the individual performances at the Etihad…

Kevin De Bruyne opens the scoring from the penalty spot for Manchester City against Liverpool Kevin De Bruyne opens the scoring from the penalty spot for Manchester City against Liverpool

Kevin De Bruyne opens the scoring from the penalty spot for Manchester City against Liverpool

Manchester City

Ederson – 8

Saved smartly from Salah and Mane early on and raced off his line to deny the Egyptian later in the first half. A spectacular diving header kicked off the second half in style.

Kyle Walker – 6

Several wayward passes in the first half put City at risk and a foul on Mane on the edge of the area after the break presented Liverpool with an opportunity.

Aymeric Laporte – 6

Carelessly gave it away to Mane for a Firmino chance in the second half but will take the shutout.

Eric Garcia – 6

Caught out on a couple of occasions as Liverpool found space in the box without adding a clinical finish.

Benjamin Mendy impressed his boss Pep Guardiola Benjamin Mendy impressed his boss Pep Guardiola

Benjamin Mendy impressed his boss Pep Guardiola

Benjamin Mendy – 7

A poor touch allowed Mane an early effort but showed his attacking threat with his crossing. Bizarrely booked for time-wasting in first half but an encouraging display.

Ilkay Gundogan – 7

Dictated the tempo and kept City’s midfield buzzing.

Rodri – 7

Almost immaculate in possession, City’s composed stalwart in the centre of the park pulled off a fine long-range pass to find De Bruyne in the build up to the fourth.

Phil Foden – 8

Slide-rule pass through the Liverpool defence to set up Sterling and brilliantly converted a sharp one-two with De Bruyne to make it 3-0. Gave Robertson a wretched evening and could have had another if it wasn’t for Van Dijk’s goal-line clearance. An unfortunate handball denied him an assist for Mahrez in final seconds.

Phil Foden demonstrated again why he's so highly rated Phil Foden demonstrated again why he's so highly rated

Phil Foden demonstrated again why he’s so highly rated

Kevin de Bruyne – 9

Passing exquisite as always – include his wall-pass for Foden’s goal – and his penalty was precise. Had the pundits purring once again and only denied a second assist on the night by Oxlade-Chamberlain’s own goal.

Raheem Sterling – 9

Twisted in the box with excellent close control to win the penalty then finished impressively for the second. A threat throughout and forced the Oxlade-Chamberlain own goal.

Raheem Sterling was at his brilliant best Raheem Sterling was at his brilliant best

Raheem Sterling was at his brilliant best

Gabriel Jesus – 6

Twice denied by Liverpool’s offside trap in the first half but shot straight at Alisson when Alexander-Arnold threw him the ball after the break. Subbed off inside an hour.

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Riyad Mahrez – 7

Immediately linked up with De Bruyne and kicked off the move for the fourth. Shot a good opening just wide late on and denied a goal of his own due to a handball by Foden in the build-up.

Cancelo – 6

A tidy performance after coming on for Walker midway through the second half.

David Silva – n/a

Gave Sterling a breather for the final 10.

Nicolas Otamendi – n/a

A late introduction to shore up the City backline.

Liverpool

Alisson – 6

Didn’t make a mistake but conceded four times on a chastening evening for the champions.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 5

Not at his best. Almost set-up a third goal for City with a bizarre throw-in straight to Jesus while his forward forays and passing lacked their usual sharpness.

Joe Gomez – 3

As Jamie Carragher generously put it during commentary, “Gomez didn’t have his best night”.

The generosity was the understatement: Gomez was guilty of bringing down Sterling for City’s penalty and was then beaten – and nutmegged, for good measure – by the same player for City’s second. Given the parallels with David Luiz’s offence at the Etihad two weeks ago, Gomez was very arguably fortunate not to be dismissed for the penalty foul on Sterling. Not that Gomez’s evening was extended in any case: subbed at half-time.

Joe Gomez struggled against City's attacking play Joe Gomez struggled against City's attacking play

Joe Gomez struggled against City’s attacking play

Virgil Van Dijk – 6

As so often, Liverpool’s best defender. But unusually, that didn’t amount to much.

Andrew Robertson – 3

What happened? Toyed with and taken to the cleaners by the outstanding Foden. “Robertson has been outstanding for Liverpool for the past two seasons but he is playing tonight as if he has had a week on the lash. He is getting played around,” observed Gary Neville.

Andy Robertson was below his usual levels Andy Robertson was below his usual levels

Andy Robertson was below his usual levels

Jordan Henderson – 5

Completely overshadowed by his City counterpart, failing to get to grips either with De Bruyne or the contest. But his commitment never wavered and one wonderful pass early in the second half deserved better than Mane’s wasteful touch.

Fabinho – 6

The only meaningful bulwark to the rampaging De Bruyne, twice making crucially-timed tackles on the Belgian before the damn burst. Switched to defence following Gomez’s exit.

Georginio Wijnaldum – 5

Quietly efficient with the emphasis on quiet. Taken off after 62 minutes for Keita’s introduction.

Mohamed Salah – 6

On a night when the champions lacked sharpness at both ends of the pitch, Salah was the profligate in chief, spurning a great opening in the first few minutes before hitting the post when the fixture was still scoreless. How different the game may have been if either of those chances had gone in.

Mohamed Salah failed to find the net Mohamed Salah failed to find the net

Mohamed Salah failed to find the net

Sadio Mane – 5

When Liverpool review this match, one of their first conclusions will probably be that they had almost as many chances to score as City. That they didn’t was as much a consequence of Mane’s wastefulness as it was Salah’s.

Roberto Firmino – 4

The quietest of Liverpool’s attacking three and was relatively anonymous before being replaced on the hour mark.

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6

On at half-time in place of Gomez and couldn’t be blamed when he diverted Sterling’s shot into his own net.

Divock Origi – n/a

Failed to make any sort of impression as the ball refused to fall his way.

Naby Keita – n/a

Lively after his introduction and it will be interesting to see how much game time he is given in the final matches.

Neco Williams – n/a

Nearly made a immediate impact when his cross fell to Salah in the City penalty box only for Ederson to make a comfortable save.

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