Manchester City faced Arsenal at the Etihad on Sunday afternoon, with both sides needing points in order to keep up with Premier League leaders Chelsea.
The visitors were handed the best possible start after just five minutes, when a moment of sloppiness in the Man City defence allowed Theo Walcott to put Arsenal into an early lead.
However, they were not able to capitalise on their advantage in the first half, and were punished just minutes after the restart when Leroy Sané scored his first goal for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Man City then pushed on in search of a second, and were rewarded for their pressure when Raheem Sterling collected a fantastic long pass from Kevin De Bruyne and struck past Petr Cech. That proved to be enough for the home side, they get their win and move to second in the table.
Manchester City Player Ratings
Claudio Bravo – 6: Could perhaps have done better for Walcott’s opener. Other than that, Bravo didn’t have an awful lot to do.
Pablo Zabaleta – 4.5: Exposed badly on numerous occasions in the first half. Rightfully taken off at half time.
Aleksandar Kolarov – 7: A solid display from Kolarov. The argument as to his suitability in the centre will rage on, but he did little wrong here today.
Nicolás Otamendi – 6: At fault for the first goal, but recovered well and helped keep Alexis quiet in the second half. Perhaps made to look better by Kolarov’s good form.
Gael Clichy – 6: Solid yet quiet display from Clichy. Allowed Arsenal too much space down the right at times but never let it become an issue for him or his side.
Fernando – 7: Disciplined and composed performance from Fernando. The team will miss Gundogan, that much is obvious, but the Brazilian broke up potential attacks brilliantly and never allowed Özil into the game.
Yaya Touré – 7.5: Took control in the midfield when his side needed it. Brilliant in the tackle and never gave his opponents an inch. His restoration to the Man City first team has been massively beneficial for them.
David Silva – 7.5: After a first half in which he did little, David Silva came alive in the second and played a brilliant lofted ball to Sané for the young winger’s goal. A persistent threat thereafter.
Leroy Sané – 8: Skillful and confident display from the young German. Always wanted the ball and looked capable of really hurting Arsenal at times. Not quite the finished article but Sané’s potential is enormous.
Kevin De Bruyne – 9: Sensational. A constant threat to Arsenal’s defence, created seven chances, played a sublime cross-field ball to Sterling for the winner, and had a key role in turning the tide of this game.
Raheem Sterling – 8: A constant nuisance to the Arsenal backline, even if (as is normally the case with Sterling) the end product wasn’t always on point. However, he took his goal brilliantly.
Bacary Sagna (Zabaleta 46) – 7: A lot more solid than Zabaleta. Facilitated Man City’s attacks much better once they knew the right flank was in safe hands.
Jesús Navas (Sané 76) – 6: Worried a tired Arsenal defence but wasn’t really on long enough to make a decisive impact.
Kelechi Iheanacho (De Bruyne 83) – N/A: Not enough time to make an impact.
Arsenal Player Ratings:
Petr Cech – 5.5: Largely faultless for the first goal, but he will feel that he shouldn’t have been beaten at the near post for Sterling’s effort (and he’d be right to feel that).
Héctor Bellerín – 6.5: A big threat going forward. Bellerín is one of the best attacking full-backs in the league and showed that in abundance today. However, his defensive contribution could have been better.
Gabriel Paulista – 5: A decent showing in the first half but fell apart badly in the second. Reacted poorly when Man City increased the pressure in the second half.
Laurent Koscielny – 6.5: Lost Sané for the equaliser, but other than that Koscielny was solid generally. Coped admirably with the constant Man City attacks even as Gabriel was faltering next to him.
Nacho Monreal – 5: Stood off of Sterling as his opponent scored the winner, allowed David Silva far too much space soon after. Positionally and defensively, Monreal was poor.
Granit Xhaka – 4.5: Sloppy in the pass and overrun by the Man City midfield. Struggled to adapt to the pace of the game and looked out of sorts throughout.
Francis Coquelin – 5.5: Lively and physical, but was rarely able to use that to good effect. Outclassed by David Silva and dominated by Yaya Touré as the game wore on.
Theo Walcott – 7: Probably Arsenal’s best player. Fine finish for his goal and looked composed throughout. Faded slightly in the second half but still looked like his side’s biggest threat.
Mesut Özil – 2: Woeful. Meandered around the pitch with all the intensity of a puppy rolling in hay. Disappeared completely when his team needed to fight in the second half. Let himself and his team down.
Alex Iwobi – 6: Never shied away from the ball but was visibly tires in the second half. The battle with Sané simply wore him down.
Alexis Sánchez – 5.5: Started brightly with a great pass to Walcott for the opener, and that was it. Marked out of the game in the second half, and appeared to be carrying a knock at one stage.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Iwobi 65) – N/A: Came on, lasted twelve minutes, went off injured. The end.
Olivier Giroud (Coquelin 75) – 5: Every bit as isolated as Alexis was.
Mohamed Elneny (Oxlade-Chamberlain 77) – 5: The booking he received was pretty much Elneny’s only contribution to this game.