Manchester City avoided a potential banana skin in Switzerland. With the away tie now in the books, and a 4-0 score line in City’s favor, Pep’s boys have one foot in the last eight of the Champions League.
Of course, there are still 90 minutes to play at the Etihad in March. Certainly, even if some pundits have already rubber stamped the progression, Pep will not have. It does, however, allow the City boss to possibly rotate some players for the home leg. With the home leg coming only three days after hosting Chelsea in the league, that ability to rotate would be welcomed.
So, for last night’s performance, how did the boys do?
Ederson – 7.
Didn’t have that much to do between the sticks. Once again his distribution was good. Had a few nervy moments in the opening exchanges but luck, and the lack of quality finishing, was in his favor.
Walker – 7.
I gave him a seven because of his work down the right once again. He still hasn’t scored and didn’t get an assist tonight, but his effort levels are good.
Good to see the Captain back and he got in a full 90 minutes. Like Ederson he too had some moments in the first half where he was bailed out, but all in all he had a solid performance. Certainly good considering his time away from the first team.
Otamendi – 6.
Lucky not to have given away a penalty and was probably below his usual performance this season. Maybe tiredness for the Argentinian is becoming a factor and a rest is needed. I know Stones and Laporte (along with Kompany now) will all be ready to accommodate.
Delph – 7.
Another returnee from injury. Straight back in the line up ahead of Danilo and Zinchenko was a bit of a surprise but the guy performed well. Probably, in hindsight, a good game for him to get back to fitness in.
Fernandinho – 8.
What is there to say about the guy which hasn’t already been said? He has been such a problem for sides to play though, Basel just decided to launch long balls over him. It nearly paid off on a couple of occasions.
De Bruyne – 8.
Another decent performance from the future Balon d’Or winner! Not his best but he was still somewhat influential in the City attack.
Gundogan – 8.
Two goals, and yet didn’t make my man of the match. The German has made the most of his opportunities with David Silva being out. His first headed goal was fantastic, while his second was inch perfect. Despite all this I am not sure he keeps Silva out of the line up when both are fit.
Bernardo – 9.
Got on the score sheet with a sublime dipping shot. I really enjoyed the way his tight ball control on the wing can leave the opposition looking for the ball. I think the reason City were so dominant in this particular game was down to this Portuguese guy.
Not a bad performance from the winger and he will be pleased with his reaction to that open goal miss a few weeks ago. Hopefully his performances will get back to the pre christmas levels we remember.
Aguero – 8.
Got his name on the score sheet once more and also assisted in another goal. Talk is that the Argentinian may not be in Peps plans after this season. If that’s the case he is certainly doing what he can to win everything on offer before that day.
Sane (sub on 57) – 6.
Good to see the winger back so soon after his injury. He wasn’t at his best and looked a little rusty. Coming on right after the fourth goal, this game was ideal to dust off those cobwebs.
Silva (sub on 63) – 6.
Same for David Silva as with Sane. Good to see him back and minutes in the legs were more important than any solo performance on this day.
Danilo (sub on 85) – N/A.
Too little time to rate.