Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Rodri And Sterling Make The Difference | Manchester City Players Rated In Their Win Over Dinamo Zagreb

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

Manchester City strengthened their position in Group C of the UEFA Champions League after beating Dinamo Zagreb 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium earlier this evening.

The English champions were in command throughout the ninety minutes and rarely showed any signs of weakness. However, some diligent defending from the opposition prevented the home side from finding the opener in the first half.

But, some sustained pressure from Man City after the restart saw the substitute, Raheem Sterling break the deadlock in the 66th minute. Zagreb were still quite resilient at the back until another substitute, Phil Foden scored at the very last minute of added time to heap more gloss to the scoreline.

Here is how Pep Guardiola’s men fared in their comprehensive 2-0 victory over the Croatian champions.

Ederson 6.5

Barely had anything to do this evening, with Dinamo Zagreb amassing only one shot on target. It was a header from Dilaver, which was saved pretty easily.

Joao Cancelo 7.5

Went forward and provided extensive offensive support to Mahrez throughout the entirety of the game. He did, however, get booked.

Fernandinho 8.5

Continues to shine, deputising for the defensive duo of John Stones and Aymeric Laporte. The Brazilian was rock solid at the back and barely let Zagreb make any inroads.

Nicolas Otamendi 7

Complemented the defensive work-rate of Fernandinho and kept the Zagreb attack at bay. However, he wasn’t the standout defender of the evening despite being an out and out centre-back.

Benjamin Mendy 7.5

Camped himself in the opposition half as he had no defending to do. The Frenchman looked bright in the build-up and combined well with Sterling and Co.

Ilkay Gundogan 7.5

Dictated the tempo and operated as the ball-carrier. The German also combined well with the attackers and hit the post once. His deliveries weren’t great, though.

Rodri 9

Ran the show in midfield with his measured passes and imposing physical presence in the centre of the pitch that prevented the Zagreb players from making a fuss. The Spaniard’s world-class ball to feed Sterling for the opener was the turning point of the game.

David Silva 6.5

Not exactly a productive evening from David Silva, who struggled to break the shackles of a well-disciplined Dinamo defence. Got fouled a few times and kind of looked out of place, at times.

Riyad Mahrez 7.5

After a slow start to the campaign, Mahrez gradually improved and his combination with Sterling in the second half, made it difficult for the opposition to remain solid at the back.

Sergio Aguero 8

The Argentine was completely isolated in the final third. But, his ingenuity and willingness to track back and receive the ball in midfield paid off as he managed to create several chances during the game.

Bernardo Silva 6

A disappointing performance from the Portuguese international, who never really looked comfortable dealing with the opposition. Got subbed off minutes after the restart.


Raheem Sterling 9

Changed the complexion of the game with his dynamic runs and almost telepathic connection with the likes of Mahrez, Mendy and Aguero. Scored the all-important opener while taking part in almost all of Man City’s attacking stances. Not to mention – he assisted the second goal.

Gabriel Jesus N/A

Replaced Aguero late in the game and made a couple of runs, which looked threatening.

Phil Foden N/A

Scored a beautiful goal right in the dying embers of the game. The goal will serve as a confidence booster after a disappointing start to the campaign for young Foden.

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