EPL 2016/17: Manchester City 1-3 Chelsea: Player Ratings
Chelsea produced a devastating second-half display to come from behind and beat nine-man Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. Pep Guardiola’s side went in front late in the first half thanks to Gary Cahill’s unfortunate slice from Jesus Navas’ cross.
Kevin de Bruyne fluffed a massive opportunity to double the lead for City. Chelsea duly punished that missed chance with a wave of pacey counter-attacks that resulted in three goals – scored by Diego Costa, Willian and Eden Hazard – to complete an excellent fightback.
A frustrated City ended the game with nine men – Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho receiving red cards deep into injury time for a high tackle and for grabbing Fabregas’ neck respectively.
The result puts Antonio Conte’s side four points clear at the top of the Premier League with 34 points, with City staying in third place on 30 points.
We analyse each player’s performance from a memorable game at the Etihad Stadium:-
Claudio Bravo – 5/10
A late save from Willian with the result out of question was Bravo’s only meaningful contribution to the game.
John Stones – 6/10
Stones was the best out of the three centre-backs, committing to blocks and making confident clearances each time he was called upon to do so.
Nicklas Otamendi – 5/10
A solid first half was followed by a terrible second half for the Argentine. He could be held guilty for two of Chelsea’s goals, being easily held off by Diego Costa on each occasion.
Aleksandar Kolarov – 6/10
Kolarov made a number of decent clearances, but was left for dead on quite a few occasions when Chelsea injected pace into their counter-attacks.
Fernandinho – 5/10
The Brazilian defensive-midfielder was nowhere near as reliable in the second half as he was in the first, losing the ball in dangerous positions and not providing cover in the event of Chelsea counter-punches. He lost his cool in injury time and was given his marching orders for grabbing Fabregas by the neck and pushing him over the advertising hoardings.
Ilkay Gundogan – 6.5/10
The summer signing was not at the forefront of City’s attacking pursuits, but managed to initiate a couple of potential chances for City, one to release Sane in a build-up which culminated in Kevin de Bruyne missing the target with an open goal, while the other saw a fine cross delivered by him from the byline dealt with by Chelsea.
Jesus Navas – 6/10
He provided the cross which helped City open the scoring. However, his credentials as a wingback are questionable. He was too easily attracted to Marcos Alonso midway through the first half when he should have marked an advancing Hazard following a long ball from the Chelsea box.
David Silva – 8/10
Silva was exquisite through the middle, getting into pockets of space and finding that killer pass to locate his team-mates in front of him. With de Bruyne by his side, Silva was able to create multiple goal-scoring chances.
Kevin de Bruyne – 7/10
Like Silva, the Belgian puppet-master also had a fine outing, locating even the slightest of space in the Chelsea defence to deliver a cross or play a defence-splitting pass for the likes of Navas and Sane on the wing. His failure to convert a golden opportunity into a 2-0 lead in the 57th minute – hitting the crossbar from 4 yards out with the goal gaping – strikes him down. The miss was the impetus Chelsea needed to make a comeback, doing so with three fantastic goals.
Leroy Sane – 7/10
His pace on the wing gave Moses a tough time in the Chelsea half, but the German will have to learn the art of tracking back to defend (as a wingback). Both Sane and Navas appeared out of position trying to cover the wide areas on either side of City’s back three.
Sergio Aguero – 5/10
The Argentine had a fruitless game, seeing every shot of his either saved by Courtois or blocked by a Chelsea body. He compounded his misery with a high lunge on David Luiz in injury time, earning himself a straight red card and the prospect of a long ban.
Gael Clichy – 4/10
He replaced Sane when City were 1-0 up, but with the rout that followed, Sane would have been the better choice of personnel to stay on the pitch. Clichy found no joy on the wing, seeing each cross headed away by the Chelsea back-line with conviction.
Yaya Toure – 5/10
The Ivorian was brought on to produce a moment of magic to bring City back in the game, but was not given enough time to make a mark.
Kelechi Iheanacho – 5/10
A wild shot from the edge of the box in the late stages was all that could be summarised from Iheanacho’s short stay on the pitch.