Belfast Telegraph

Manchester City v Liverpool player ratings

Manchester City

JOE HART: Left exposed for Liverpool's goals, but still made some important saves. 7 (out of 10)

BACARY SAGNA: Never got to grips with Philippe Coutinho until it was too late. 5

MARTIN DEMICHELIS: Bamboozled by the movement of Liverpool's Brazilian duo, failed to provide leadership in the absence of injured captain Vincent Kompany. 5

ELIAQUIM MANGALA: Without an out-and-out striker to mark looked a little lost. 5

ALEKSANDAR KOLAROV: Provided some width on the left, but not nearly enough penetration when City were dominating. 5

YAYA TOURE: Despite City's first-half dominance of possession failed to impose himself on the game. 5

FERNANDO: Given the run-around by a more mobile and aggressive opposition midfield unit. 5

JESUS NAVAS: Ineffective out wide, never provided enough service for Aguero. 4

KEVIN DE BRUYNE: Flitted in and out of the game, but never reached the levels previously seen or expected of him. 6

RAHEEM STERLING: Began brightly but faded quickly. Missing a sitter late on against his former club capped his miserable evening. 5

SERGIO AGUERO: Usually struggles coming back from injury, but produced a world-class finish to give his side some hope when there appeared to be none. 6

Substitutes

FABIAN DELPH (on for Navas, 46): Sent on to drastically change things and injected some dynamism into midfield, but it was too late. 6

FERNANDINHO (on for Toure, 46): Tried to gain control of midfield, but the game had already gone. 6

KELECHI IHEANACHO (on for Aguero, 66): Asking a lot of the youngster to have an impact after his more illustrious team-mates failed. 6

Liverpool

SIMON MIGNOLET: Could do little about the goal he conceded, pulled off a couple of important saves and, more importantly, gave off an air of confidence. 7

NATHANIEL CLYNE: Another solid display by the England right-back, who defends and attacks in almost equal measure. 7

MARTIN SKRTEL: Dominant display by the Slovakian at the heart of defence, which was just what Liverpool needed. Rarely troubled and scored a brilliant volley. 8

DEJAN LOVREN: Back in the side because of injury to Mamadou Sakho and showed signs of rustiness and had the odd shaky moment, but a decent performance. 7

ALBERTO MORENO: Charged forward at every opportunity on the counter-attack and provides an important outlet down the left. 6

JAMES MILNER: Worked hard to stifle his former team-mates and support the attacks when they broke forward. 6

LUCAS LEIVA: Held things together in front of the back four doing his usual bits-and-pieces job. 7

EMRE CAN: Put himself about and formed a cohesive unit with his fellow midfielders. 6

PHILIPPE COUTINHO: First-half inter-play with Roberto Firmino was the best seen by a Liverpool for some time. Great finish for his goal. 8

ADAM LALLANA: Understated but decent performance by a player who continues to knit things together in and around the penalty area. 7

ROBERTO FIRMINO: Best game by far for the Brazilian, who was instrumental in the first half. Scored one, made two and could have added a couple more. 8

Substitutes

KOLO TOURE (on for Lallana, 90): Just sent on to shore things up when it was not really needed. 5

CHRISTIAN BENTEKE (on for Firmino, 77): Gave City's defence something else to think about and had a hand in the fourth goal. 5

JORDON IBE (on for Coutinho, 69): Injected some more pace down the left and had City back-pedalling with his directness. 6

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