Football Features

Arsenal 0-3 Man City: Full player ratings as De Bruyne destroys Gunners

By Ben Green

Published: 18:35, 15 December 2019

Manchester City have reduced the gap to second-placed Leicester City to just four points after steamrolling through Arsenal 3-0 in the Premier League.

It was the Kevin De Bruyne show in the first-half as the brilliant Belgian scored his first-ever Premier League brace with two sumptuous finishes, while he also managed to tee up Raheem Sterling for Man City’s second with a precise cross on his supposed weaker foot.

Arsenal posed little threat after the restart as the reigning English champions suffocated Freddie Ljungberg’s frontline and claimed a much-needed three points in the capital.

Here’s how the players rated at the Emirates Stadium:

Arsenal

Bernd Leno – 7 – A shining light in Arsenal’s beleaguered defence, the German shot-stopper has arguably been the club’s best player this season and it’s clear to see why as he made some exceptional saves this evening, notably De Bruyne’s curling effort in the opening 45 minutes and Jesus’ one-on-one opportunity after the restart.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 4 – Never an easy task playing in defence against any Man City side, and that was made evident moments into the game. As Man City ran amok in the final third, Maitland-Niles struggled to contain their exhilarating strikeforce.

Sokratis – 3 – A nervy and uninspiring performance from the Greek centre-back, who looked clueless at times when Man City slalomed forward and was unable to play out from the back as rhythmically as Ljungberg would have liked.

Calum Chambers – 3 – All at sea for Man City’s opener and it didn’t get much better from there. The 24-year-old looked unsure of himself when Man City galloped forward and was guilty of one or two defensive aberrations throughout the match, particularly when Jesus stole the ball off him and raced through clear on goal in the second half.

Sead Kolasinac – 4 – The buccaneering Bosnian surged forward in his typically threatening manner but both of Man City‘s opening goals came from his end with De Bruyne and then Sterling finding ample space on Arsenal‘s left to finish past Leno.

Matteo Guendouzi – 4 – Many had been crying out for a Guendouzi-Torreira double pivot in central midfield, but the duo just weren’t able to provide Chambers and Sokratis with the requisite protection, while the Frenchman wasn’t quite able to influence proceedings as Man City held the fort tremendously well.

Lucas Torreira – 4 – Certainly ran around a lot and crunched into challenges, but his job must have been to mark De Bruyne and too often the Belgian eluded him and dictated the tempo in Man City’s final third.

Nicolas Pepe – 5 – Tried to make things happen for Arsenal. The Ivorian had a few flashing moments of quality, but for £72m, match-going Gooners are still waiting for the incisive winger to turn on the charm on a consistent basis.

Mesut Ozil – 3 – Another frustrating evening for the German playmaker who simply looks a shadow of his former self and unable to reignite the sparks of his once creative genius.

Gabriel Martinelli – 6 – Arsenal‘s best outfield player, the young Brazilian was a nuisance on the flank and gave Benjamin Mendy a tough game at times. He was unlucky not to break the deadlock, but was one of the game’s more threatening players.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 3 – The Gabon international was simply anonymous throughout this match. Granted, Arsenal scarcely conjured up flowing moves in the final third, but the skipper really was completely isolated up-top.

Substitutes:

Bukayo Saka (for Kolasinac 38) – 5 – Entered the fray in difficult circumstances while also playing in an unnatural position but put in a solid enough display given the circumstances.

Emile Smith-Rowe (for Ozil 59) – 5 – Showcased a few glimmers of his technical quality but not enough in the locker to truly expose a well-drilled Man City side.

Joe Willock (for Torreira 81) – N/A – Came on for the final 10 minutes.

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Man City

Ederson – 6 – Commanded his box well and looked to play out from the back in his typically audacious manner, but really had little to do between the sticks as Arsenal mustered just two shots on target.

Kyle Walker – 7 – Powered forward and played almost as a second winger. The England right-back provided the Man City flank with significant energy, bite and dynamism.

Fernandinho – 7 – Completely stifled the attacking threats of Aubameyang and formed a formidable centre-back partnership alongside Otamendi.

Nicolas Otamendi – 7 – Held his own at the back, the Argentina international was strong and dogged alongside Fernandinho and worked well in tandem to keep the hosts’ attack quiet and disjointed.

Benjamin Mendy – 6 – Had a difficult game at times trying to handle one of the few good players on Arsenal’s side in Martinelli, but continued to support Phil Foden and later Riyad Mahrez down the touchline and made a few solid challenges.

Ilkay Gundogan – 7 – Controlled the tempo of the game and never looked unnerved when Arsenal hogged possession at times. Man City knew they didn’t always need the ball as Gundogan and Rodri formed a strong axis and shut Arsenal out.

Rodri – 8 – The Spaniard once again showed his dark side as his ‘tactical foul’ saw Kolasinac pick up an injury, but Pep Guardiola certainly won’t mind that one bit as his defensive midfielder consistently broke up play, initiated attacking moves and recycled possession.

Phil Foden – 7 – Looked every bit a first-team regular for Man City, creating space between the lines, playing slick passes and even closing down like a raging bull when out of possession. The teenage playmaker had a hand in Sterling’s goal to set De Bruyne through, before assisting the the Belgian for Man City’s third.

Kevin De Bruyne – 10 – An awe-inspiring performance from the Man City fulcrum, who opened proceedings within minutes of the first whistle and maintained his world-class level throughout the game. Simply irresistible and unplayable this evening.

Raheem Sterling  – 8 – Brought up his 75th Premier League goal in trademark fashion, evading Kolasinac at the back stick before slotting into an empty net. The England international was a real livewire throughout proceedings, always posing a threat when in possession and causing the Arsenal backline significant problems.

Gabriel Jesus – 6 – Did brilliantly to set up De Bruyne for the opening goal and certainly linked play very fluidly for Man City, but the Brazilian squandered a number of clear chances and really should have increased his own scoring tally.

Substitutes:

Bernardo Silva (for Foden 56) – 6 – Played with his usual elegance and composure when introduced. There was nothing frantic about his play, just simple and mesmeric.

Riyad Mahrez (for Gundogan 70) – 6 – Brought a renewed energy to the flanks and nearly added to his tally late on but was denied by the brilliant Leno.

Oleksandr Zinchenko (for Mendy 85) – N/A – Came on for the final five minutes.

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