Manchester City have won their first trophy in the Pep Guardiola era. It certainly wasn’t a classic by any stretch of the imagination, mostly because Arsenal hadn’t really come to play. I remember only a couple of shots throughout the whole game, with one of the more nervy moments for City being self-inflicted.
I am sure Pep was looking for a reaction from the Blues after Monday’s defeat in the FA Cup. This game was vital for Manchester City, who could have seen last weeks talk of a quadruple turn into talk of a tough double.
So how did the Manchester City players do? Here are my player ratings:
Bravo – 7.
It’s a strange one, because he kept a clean sheet and provided an assist. On the other end of things he had that nervy moment when he came running out the area, swinging and missing. Kyle Walker had it covered, but a rush of blood to the head saw a flashback to last seasons Bravo.
That said, his distribution was better and he made a couple of blocks
Walker – 7.
Provided pace going forward and equipped himself well after that mistake Monday. He did make one big mistake during the Cup Final, but came back and recovered well.
Kompany – 9.
I was so nervous when Vinny’s name appeared on the team sheet. However, the guy was immense. He organised the defense well, and even beat Aubameyang in a foot race. Getting the goal was a nice touch, both personally for him, and for the fans who love him.
The reaction from the goal was everything you want to see, and would expect, from a guy who wears the badge on his sleeve and had the issues he’s had.
Otamendi – 7.
Quietly went about his business. I like the guy this season, and he is much improved. A threat at set pieces, Nico provides some much-needed height in the opposition half.
Danilo – 6.
Was never going to win Man of the Match for his performance, but didn’t really do anything really poor either. Well, certainly nothing note worthy.
Fernandinho – 6.
We saw the frustrating side of Fernandinho today. He is the enforcer in the middle of the park, but got himself booked for no real reason in the first half. Hopefully the injury, which saw him leave the field, isn’t too bad. However, it did force a change by Pep, which I think opened up the game, and ensure Fernie didn’t see red.
De Bruyne – 8.
Great performance from the Belgian, providing some great balls into the box. Didn’t get on the score sheet but he’ll be happy with the team performance.
Silva – 8.
Got on the score sheet, and what a strike that was. After the last few months the guy has had, it was great to see him enjoy scoring a goal to that extent. His passes, like KDB’s, were too hot to handle.
Gundogan – 7.
I like the way he handled the midfield, and dropping deep after Fernandinho went off. Maybe he didn’t have the impact he would have wanted, but did the job needed.
Sane – 7.
One of the brighter City lights in the opening exchanges. Was substituted for Gabby Jesus with a little over twenty minutes left.
This was Sergio Aguero’s first Cup Final goal, and it was brilliantly taken. There was talk of a foul by the Argentinian, but I think the Arsenal mans positioning was more at fault. When Sergio was through on goal you’d expect a shot low and hard to a corner. Instead, we got a confident, chip of the keeper.
Bernardo (sub on 52) – 8.
Coming on as an enforced change, I think he provided the spark needed. Able to keep the ball in close quarters, he always looked lively.
Jesus (sub on 77) – 7.
On for Sane, and back from injury. Didn’t do a great deal, except from get fully under Jack Wilshire’s skin. The Englishman was booked for his troubles, despite trying to get the reverse to happen.
Foden (sub on 97) – not enough time to rate.
Good to see the youngster getting on the pitch for a Cup Final. He’ll have plenty more opportunities to impact these important games you would have thought.