EPL 2016/17: Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool, Player Ratings
Two second half goals and a host of missed opportunities meant that the two Top 4 rivals had to settle for a point.
A controversial penalty was awarded to Liverpool shortly after the half-time as Gael Clichy's slip allowed Roberto Firmino in on the City goal. The Frenchman attempted to amend his mistake by lunging in on Firmino. Despite evidently winning his challenge, referee Michael Oliver pointed to the penalty spot and James Milner expertly dispatched from twelve yards out.
City attempted to push for an equaliser and squandered numerous chances in the Liverpool penalty area before Kevin De Bruyne delivered an expertly weighted pass for Sergio Aguero to score for City with 25 minutes remaining.
Both teams pushed for a winner, but the game ended in a stalemate. Here's how each player fared for their respected teams.
Willy Caballero – 7/10
A solid performance once again from the Argentine goalkeeper who started ahead of Claudio Bravo once again. His punching from corners was rather susceptible; however, Caballero was faultless when called upon to prevent Liverpool from scoring.
Fernandinho – 8/10
Arguably City's best player on the day, Fernandinho ensured Philippe Coutinho's poor form continued. Not in his usual midfield role until Liverpool scored, the Brazilian was solid, full of energy and reliable every time Liverpool's fluid attack questioned him. Man of the match.
John Stones – 7/10
Stones was abysmal when City suffered defeat at the hands of AS Monaco, but the English international was one of City's best players with two imperative blocks guaranteeing City kept the pace with Liverpool.
Slowly but surely, Stones is adapting into the great young centre-back everyone predicted.
Nicolas Otamendi – 6/10
Otamendi escaped being penalised in the first-half when he appeared to foul Sadio Mané in the City penalty area. Regardless of the decision, Liverpool didn't trouble Otamendi, and the Argentine was stable and reliable from a City perspective.
Gael Clichy – 5/10
With little talk of a contract extension, Gael Clichy did his chances of remaining at City beyond this season no favours following his display against Klopp's men. Clichy was regularly beaten for pace on the left-side and gave away a penalty - rightfully or wrongfully awarded - to cost City two points at home.
Yaya Toure – 4/10
The game against Liverpool was one of Toure's poorest games of the season, and he was rather fortunate to remain on the field of play following a lunging tackle on Emre Can in the first-half. Liverpool's energy proved too much for the Ivorian who looked lethargic and somewhat showing his age before being substituted.
David Silva – 5/10
The Spanish international was superb in the first-half, however, throughout the second 45, Silva was showing signs of playing too much football in such a short space of time. A move to a wider role brought Silva back into the game, but he wasn't effective going forward for Guardiola's men.
Kevin De Bruyne – 6/10
Like Silva and Toure, De Bruyne is showing signs of playing a lot of football in a relatively short space of time. His pass for Aguero's goal was truly world-class, but people shouldn't shy away from the fact he disappointed for a large spell of the match.
Raheem Sterling – 6/10
For the first time since leaving Liverpool, Sterling produced a good performance against his former club. Deliberately denied a goalscoring opportunity, Sterling was City's biggest attacking threat in the first-half. Missed chances, however, meant Sterling would have walked away from the match somewhat disappointed not to find himself on the score sheet.
Leroy Sané – 6/10
Not his finest game for his new club, but Sané was faultless for the Citizens. The German certainly lacked that fearsome stride going forward, but barely put a foot wrong as City went in search of three points. Credit to Nathaniel Clyne also for not allowing Sané space to hurt the Reds.
Sergio Aguero – 7/10
Aguero lacked service in the first half, but the striker showed his class by notching home City's equaliser from Kevin De Bruyne's pass. He missed a guilt-edge chance at the end to score, but his goal now means he's just 18 goals away from becoming City's all-time scorer.
Bacary Sagna – 7/10
In his 30-minute cameo, Sagna added solidity to City's defence and midfield as Fernandinho moved into midfield. The 33-year-old kept Mané quiet during the last half-hour, and he certainly increased his chances of being offered a new contract.
Fernando – 6/10
Probably a bit generous to give the Portuguese midfielder a high-rating, but City had increased their protection by bringing on the former Porto man. Poor passing from him prevented City attacking the Reds at crucial stages.
Simon Mignolet – 7/10
It would be difficult to award Caballero a seven, and not provide Mignolet with a similar rating. Unlike Caballero, Mignolet didn't have a save to make for the entire match, but the Belgian provided Liverpool's defence with confidence when City attacked with such menace.
Nathaniel Clyne – 7/10
Not mentioned during the game, and indeed went under the radar, but Clyne is the first full-back in the past few months to prevent Leroy Sané being City's most dangerous outlet. Clyne didn't offer much going forward, but he certainly didn't neglect his defensive responsibilities.
Joel Matip – 7/10
Solid once again from the Cameroonian as he managed to overcome Aguero once again in the majority of the physical battles. Starting his seventh game in a row, Matip maintained consistency once again and increased his value as one of the signings of the season.
Ragnar Klavan – 5/10
Fortunately for Klavan, he played alongside Joel Matip - who virtually worked defensively for the pair of them. Without Matip, Klavan could have been embarrassed by his mistakes and cost Liverpool a valuable point at the Etihad. Liverpool desperately need to upgrade on the Estonian, and this game only added to his reputation.
James Milner – 5/10
Only for his goal, Milner would have been rated much lower as City had endless joy down the left side of City's defence. Milner was pulled in-field during the first-half, and Raheem Sterling was showing warning signs to the former City player. Milner was fortunate to be still on the field of play as he should have been sent off for a deliberate foul on Sterling just before half-time.
Emre Can – 6/10
The match saw a much-improved Can over 90 minutes, and his pressing and passing were instrumental in Liverpool being awarded a second-half penalty. The German international remains some way off his finest form but displayed how valuable he is to this Liverpool side at one of the toughest stadia in world football.
Georginio Wiljnaldum – 7/10
Without his trademark goal against the top teams, Wiljnaldum was Liverpool's best midfielder on the day. His energy and presence caused Toure to be replaced on the hour mark. The Dutchman only added to his growing reputation and becoming one of the more significant players in Klopp's aspiring Merseyside team.
Adam Lallana – 5/10
Lallana was woeful for large segments of the match. However, when the game was played in front of the City back-four, Lallana was the link between midfield and attack. His open goal miss will be one the English international will be desperate to forget in a hurry.
Sadio Mané – 7/10
The Senegal forward was Liverpool's biggest attacking threat, and some would say unfortunate, not to have been awarded a first-half penalty when he tangled with City defender, Nicolas Otamendi. Mané was without question Liverpool's go-to-man in the second half as they searched for a second goal to give them all three points. However, it wasn't to be for the forward.
Philippe Coutinho – 2/10
Another woeful display by Coutinho that will go without criticism because of his name. Coutinho was anonymous for large parts of the game, and when called into action, he either gave the ball away or choose the wrong option. The Brazilian is indeed struggling for form following his return from injury.
Roberto Firmino – 7/10
Like Clyne, Firmino put in a team performance to allow his team-mates to thrive in other areas. Having returned from injury this week, Firmino was robust and even won a penalty for his side early in the first half. His threat in front of goal was limited through no fault of his own.
Divock Origi – 4/10
His efforts cannot be denied after coming on midway through the second half, nonetheless, he was far superior an attacking threat than his replaced Coutinho was.
Lucas – N/A
Came on with too little time remaining to grant a rating.