Ranking impact of each Man City player in title success

1 Comment

Manchester City won the Premier League title on Sunday after West Bromwich Albion beat their crosstown rivals Manchester United to hand City the title without kicking a ball.

[ MORE: Full reaction to Man City’s title win ]

With five games of the season still to go, they have equaled the earliest title win in English top-flight history and Pep Guardiola‘s men are on course to break records for most wins in a season, most goals scored and the highest number of points in a single PL campaign.

But which players have been most responsible for their success this season?

Here’s a mark out of 10 for the impact each player in Man City’s squad have had in their title-winning season.


Ederson – 10 – Elevated himself to the conversation as the best goalkeeper on the planet. Not only is he wonderful with his feet, he also provides City’s entire defensive unit with extra confidence.

Claudio Bravo – 4 – Made just one PL appearance so far but was in the team that won the League Cup and his experience will have helped Ederson have a fine season.

Danilo – 7 – A decent stand in at either left back or right back. The Brazilian filed in whenever needed and did a steady job. Fine goal at Burnley.

Kyle Walker – 9 – One of the main reasons City won the title. Walker’s $75 million arrival from Tottenham was scoffed at due to the huge price tag but he added pace and power going forward and he has excelled defensively as well as improving with the ball at his feet and moving inside.

Nicolas Otamendi – 8 – Much improved this season and likely to be in the PFA Team of the Year. A few shaky displays here and there but this was by far, by far, his best season in a City shirt. Dangerous from set pieces with five goals.

Vincent Kompany – 9 – Stunning season from Kompany. The captain for all three of City’s PL titles was finally back to full fitness after a nightmare stretch and he also came up big in the League Cup final, scoring to lead the way. Always led by example and this season he rescued his career after multiple injuries.

John Stones – 6 – Stop-start would be the best way to sum it up. Plenty of injuries and a drop in form but still some promising displays. Guardiola bringing in Laporte will be a worrying sign for Stones.

Eliaquim Mangala – 4 – Loaned out to Everton in January after nine PL appearances but some shaky displays before his season-ending injury. Unlikely to be at City beyond this season.

Fabian Delph – 7 – Stood in admirably at left back for the injured Benjamin Mendy for most of the season and got back into the England squad. Calm on the ball and despite a few bad challenges and getting caught out of position, filled in at left back really well.

Aymeric Laporte – 6 – Only arrived in January but in his limited minutes City’s club-record signing showed he is a solid defender. Much better at center back than left back and will probably play as one of a back three moving forward.

Benjamin Mendy – 5 – Really tough for him to get injured so early after some incredible displays from left back. His #SharkTeam moments made sure he remained in the headlines (plus got him a higher rating) and he seems to be at the heart of City’s locker room. Mendy is almost back and will be the best left back on the planet very soon.

Oleksandr Zinchenko – 5 – Did fine when called upon, which wasn’t often, but Pep used him more as a left back than an attacking midfielder.

Fernandinho – 8 – The Brazilian’s season was a fine one as he put aside injuries and suspensions to become a guaranteed starter. His defensive work went unnoticed but there’s a reason why Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva were so good. Fernandinho did a lot of their dirty work.

Kevin de Bruyne – 10 – Simply stunning, especially in the opening months of the season in his new deeper role in central midfield. Leads PL with 20 assists and has scored 11 goals so far. Some of his assists, passes and crosses were out of this world. KDB will fight with Mohamed Salah to win all of the player of the year awards in the PL.

David Silva – 10 – Like KDB, his passing, movement and creativity was sublime and Silva was reinvented as a deeper central midfielder. Like a fine wine, Silva is getting better each season and he is working with a manager who truly understands him. Majestic. Nine goals and 11 assists.

Yaya Toure – 4 – Didn’t play a lot this season but was kept around for his influence behind-the-scenes. This will be his last season at City and this is the season when he has had the least impact, at least on the pitch.

Ilkay Gundogan – 7 – Struggled to get in the team week in, week out but when he did, he often made a difference with goals and assists. The German playmaker can sometimes get overrun in midfield but he oozes class on the ball.

Bernardo Silva – 7 – Some stunning goals later in the season after he settled in the PL and the Portuguese playmaker will surely take over from David Silva in the future in a more central role. Seven goals and 10 assists a very decent return.

Raheem Sterling – 9 – His best goalscoring run in his career with 22 goals and nine assists and he could have scored at least 10 more. Sterling has kept his pace and trickery but can now see a pass and in the opening months he scored plenty of clutch late winning goals. A superb season.

Leroy Sane – 9 – Like Sterling, the winger matured this season with both nominated for the PFA Players’ Young Player of the Year award and Sane also nominated for the main POTY gong. The German winger has wonderful balance and his direct running scares the life out of defenders. Star for the future.

Phil Foden – 5 – Only played in a handful of games and he will be disappointed to have been injured just when he was breaking into the team on a regular basis. The time will come for the “Stockport Iniesta” to shine (he’s still just 17) as Pep has high hopes for the academy graduate who led England’s U-17 side to glory during the season.

Brahim Diaz – 3 – Like Foden, used mostly in the cup competitions but showed plenty of promise. Will surely get minutes in the remaining games of the season.

Gabriel Jesus – 8 – Scored 14 goals and added three assists as the young Brazilian battled back from a knee injury around the turn of the year. He’s shown he can step in for Aguero long-term and will only get better.

Sergio Aguero – 9 – Was benched at times this season but broke Man City’s scoring record and definitely adapted his style to Guardiola’s philosophy of high-pressing from the front. 30 goals and seven assists in all competitions says it all.

Man City loses, advanced to UCL quarters on aggregate

AP Photo/Rui Vieira
Leave a comment
  • City advances to 2nd quarterfinal in 3 years
  • First home loss since Dec. 2016
  • Jesus scores lone City goal

Mohamed Elyounoussi and Michael Lang scored for Basel, who became just the fourth team to beat Man City over 90 minutes this season, but the Premier League hosts advanced to the UEFA Champions League Final with a 5-2 win on aggregate at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

Gabriel Jesus scored Man City’s lone goal in the 2-1 loss, as City goes onto the UCL quarterfinals after a year away from the final eight.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

City handed a start to 17-year-old Phil Foden and brought in 18-year-old Brahim Diaz after 66 minutes

Jesus may’ve thought Bernardo Silva‘s pass would find him near the back post, but it’s unlikely he expected Man City’s opener to come through not one but two defenders’ legs.

Leroy Sane drove across the heart of the Basel defensive third to find Silva, and the Portuguese playmaker sent a cross back post that Jesus tapped in for 1-0.

Basel leveled the leg at one through the young Norwegian-Moroccan attacker Elyounoussi, a name you’ll likely hear in the transfer rumor mill soon.

Elyounoussi took the ball in the center of the pitch and rifled his shot past Claudio Bravo.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Pep pumped up as kids get away win

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Pep Guardiola says don’t even think about a quadruple — “Forget about it. That is not going to happen.” — but the fact remains a double is nearly on the doorstep.

Already unbeaten in league play with an 11-point lead on the field, Manchester City is now two round wins from a League Cup title following a quarterfinal win over Leicester City in penalty kicks.

[ RECAP: Leicester 1-1 (3-4 PKs) Man City ]

City did the job despite starting a bunch of kids and subbing in a few more. Oleksandr Zinchenko was impressive in the midfield, one of a few irregular starters including Tosin Adarabioyo, Brahim Diaz, and Phil Foden. Tom Dele-Bashiru and Lukas Nmecha subbed into the match, with the latter converting a penalty.

It’s all about trusting the kids — along with some steely vets in Yaya Toure and Ilkay Gundogan — and those youngsters probably should’ve won in regulation. Referee Bobby Madley gave a penalty to Demarai Gray for a very soft run-in with Kyle Walker in the sixth of eight minutes of stoppage time (in a 1-0 game where the goal came in the first half!).

Guardiola loved it, dancing on the field and gesticulating toward the visiting support. The kids had done it on the road.

From the BBC:

“I’m so happy. A lot of young players played. I’m so happy for all the players. The way we had to react was not easy, we were tired, we had a lot of young players, Danilo was playing at centre-back for the first time in his life. It’s not easy because Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez were there.

“What I liked the most is how we reacted and overcame that situation. It’s a good indication for the future. They showed me very good things. How you react is important and there were no complaints from the players in extra time about how it was unfair that they had scored a late goal.”

The Danilo comment shows another wise play by Guardiola who, in an emergency, has now taken another player and earned him experience against good competition at multiple positions.

It’s hard not to glow about Man City right now. Even those who want to rip Guardiola for only coaching big budget teams can’t say much about a win like Tuesday’s at the King Power Stadium.

Young Man City wins in PKs (video)

Leave a comment

A penalty deep into eight minutes of stoppage time nearly cost Manchester City its chance at a quadruple.

The Premier League leaders’ B-Team led Leicester City 1-0 on a Bernardo Silva goal when Demarai Gray was awarded a controversial penalty.

The teams played 30 minutes of scoreless stoppage time before moving to penalty kicks, where Jamie Vardy missed Leicester’s fourth kick after Ilkay Gundogan, Yaya Toure, Lukas Nmecha, and Gabriel Jesus had connected for Man City. Claudio Bravo then saved Riyad Mahrez‘s attempt to seal it.

[ MORE: Arsenal eliminates West Ham ]

Manchester City really switched up its XI, with only Ilkay Gundogan and Gabriel Jesus semi-regular starters in the XI. Tosin Adarabioyo, Oleksandr Zinchenko, and Brahim Diaz were among the unusual starters.

Leicester City boss Claude Puel, having seen his side buried 3-0 by Crystal Palace at the weekend, did not start Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy, or Demarai Gray.

But once down at halftime, Puel put Mahrez and Vardy into the fold.

Gray later entered, and just as Gundogan’s goal looked set to carry the match, hit the deck under Kyle Walker‘s challenge.

Vardy converted the penalty just into eight minutes of stoppage time to promise extra time.

Here is City’s goal: a nice pass from Gundogan, but what a tidy and powerful jab strike from Silva to make it 1-0.

Jesus turned a Walker cross onto Ben Hamer as extra time started at the KP.

Leicester had its chances, none better than Claudio Bravo’s dalliance with a clearance nearly caroming off Vardy and inside the goal.

Hamer then corraled a Yaya Toure free kick just before the break. Mahrez tested Bravo in the second frame, and Toure had another dig toward Hamer in the 120th minute.

Man City’s unbeaten run ends in Ukraine

AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky
Leave a comment

Manchester City lost for the first time in 23 matches this season, as a young back line was a part of an otherwise meaningless 2-1 UEFA Champions League group stage finale loss at Shakhtar Donetsk.

Bernard and Ismaily scored six minutes apart as the Ukrainian hosts built a 2-0 halftime lead, and a stoppage time penalty from Sergio Aguero was all City could muster against Paulo Fonseca’s hosts.

[ MORE: Liverpool crushes Spartak ]

City started youngsters Tosin Adarabioyo and Phil Foden as well as Eliaquim Mangala and Danilo. Pep Guardiola also handed a rare appearance to 18-year-old Brahim Diaz.

The win gives Shakhtar a spot in the knockout rounds, though they still finish three points and nine goals worth of differential behind City in Group F.