Belfast Telegraph

Manchester City v Arsenal - player ratings

MANCHESTER CITY

CLAUDIO BRAVO: There was no extra ammunition for the naysayers on Sunday given Theo Walcott's goal was not simple to stop. 6

PABLO ZABALETA: A surprise goalscorer in the midweek defeat of Watford, he was ineffective against Arsenal and withdrawn at half-time. 6

NICOLAS OTAMENDI: The Argentinian was caught out embarrassingly inside five minutes, being pulled out of position and punished by Walcott. Otamendi responded manfully and held firm from that point. 6

ALEKSANDAR KOLAROV: Pep Guardiola decided against John Stones and the Serbian put in a solid display at the heart of defence. 7

GAEL CLICHY: The left-back, whose City future looks up in the air, overcame initial struggles against his former club. 6

FERNANDO: With Ilkay Gundogan's season all but ended, the man chosen to protect the backline did his job impressively and pushed forwards too. 7

LEROY SANE: A quiet first half was forgotten within minutes of the restart as the German fired City level. Petr Cech did well to prevent him grabbing a second soon after. 7

YAYA TOURE: A resurgent force since last month's recall, his attitude and aptitude was important when the teams re-emerged for the second half. 7

DAVID SILVA: Adds sparkle to City's midfield and quietly went about his business once again in the impressive comeback. 7

KEVIN DE BRUYNE: A far more effective attacking option after the break, the Belgian was key in the build-up and his exquisite diagonal ball led to the winner. 7

RAHEEM STERLING: The England attacker was selected to spearhead the attack and came close with an early header, then produced a lovely second-half effort to secure City victory. 7

Substitutes

BACARY SAGNA (for Zabaleta, 45): Jeered by those supporting his former club, his discipline helped settle City's backline. 7

JESUS NAVAS (for Sane, 76): The Spaniard's pace is always a weapon and his cross saw City hit the post shortly after his introduction. 6

KELECHI IHEANACHO (for De Bruyne, 84): Had little time to add extra gloss to the victory. 6

ARSENAL

PETR CECH: Failed to keep a clean sheet for an eighth consecutive Premier League game and was beaten at his near post by Sterling. 6

HECTOR BELLERIN: The lung-busting full-back, a target for City, played an important role in the opening goal and was solid, if unspectacular, defensively. 6

GABRIEL: Playing in place of the injured Shkodran Mustafi, the Brazilian equipped himself well as City kicked on. 7

LAURENT KOSCIELNY: The classy centre-back led the defence impressively and needed to as the pressure ratcheted up. 7

NACHO MONREAL: The left-back kept things tight down his side until allowing Sterling space, which was punished by a fine winner. 6

GRANIT XHAKA: Calm and collected in possession but anonymous, playing carelessly at times. 5

FRANCIS COQUELIN: The defensive midfielder can be integral but underperformed in Manchester. Did not dovetail well with Xhaka. 5

THEO WALCOTT: The England attacker's fine season continued, opening the scoring after five minutes by coolly directing home. 7

MESUT OZIL: A key man for Arsenal on his day, he went missing at the Etihad Stadium. Peripheral figure in the second half. 5

ALEX IWOBI: Arsenal's only change in place of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain showed flashes of danger in the first half but petered out as the match wore on. 6

ALEXIS SANCHEZ: Worked tirelessly in attack, proving a nuisance throughout the first half and setting up Walcott. Quieter after the break as City starved him of service. 7

Substitutes

ALEX OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN (for Iwobi, 65): The reported City target came on for just 13 minutes. The attacking midfielder did not look happy as he went off. 6

OLIVIER GIROUD (for Coquelin, 75): Brought on in a bid to change the match, like he did at Manchester United recently. The move did not have the same impact. 6

MOHAMED ELNENY (for Oxlade-Chamberlain, 78): Shielded the defence with Xhaka for the dying embers of the game. 6

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