Football Features

“Operating on another level” – Every player rated as Man City dismantle Aston Villa

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 18:28, 12 January 2020

Manchester City inflicted a humbling 6-1 defeat on an Aston Villa side that are now firmly entrenched in a relegation battle.

Pep Guardiola‘s men were at their ruthless and irresistible best with Kevin De Bruyne shining in the middle of the park. Sergio Aguero grabbed a record hat-trick whilst Riyad Mahrez helped himself to two goals.

As for Villa, who got a late consolation goal through Anwar El Ghazi, it’s a game to quickly forget as they now find themselves in the danger zone with 16 matches remaining this season.

Here’s how the players rated at Villa Park:

Aston Villa

Ørjan Nyland – 4 – Unfortunate to be on the receiving end as City turned on the style. Nothing he could really do. An outing to forget.

Ezri Konsa – 4 – On an individual level, carried out his duties well, the scoreline – as painful as it is – shouldn’t overshadow that.

Kortney Hause – 4 – He would have learnt so much from this experience particularly when up against the movement of De Bruyne, that aside put in a decent showing when all things considered.

Tyrone Mings – 4 – Attempted to keep those around him compact but could do nothing against City’s irresistible attack. 

Ahmed Elmohamady – 4 – Started lively, but as soon as the visitors grabbed hold of the game Elmohamady’s influence would start to wane.

Danny Drinkwater – 3 – Left for dead by his former Leicester City championship-winning teammate for City’s opening goal before being caught napping for Mahrez’s second. He’s not played in a while and it showed.

Douglas Luiz – 4 – Largely anonymous, but that was to be expected once De Bruyne and company took charge of the midfield battle.

Conor Hourihane – 5 – Been in good nick of late, but this is one game to forget for the Irishman.

Neil Taylor – 4 – Had no answer to Cancelo’s frequent bursts forward.

Jack Grealish – 4 – Barely in the game and his side needed him to. Grealish was simply overwhelmed and may already be considering where he will be playing next season.

Anwar El Ghazi – 5 – Villa’s only goal threat, had two shots at Ederson but was unable to make the Brazilian sweeper-keeper sweat though did score a 90th minute consolation penalty.

Substitutes:

Marvelous Nakamba (for Luiz 65) – 4- Could do nothing to hold back City’s constant waves of attack.

Trézéguet (for Hourihane 71) – 5 – Won a late penalty.

Henri Lansbury (for Drinkwater 79) – N/A – A late sub.

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Man City

Ederson – 7 – A welcome return to Premier League action. Couldn’t have asked for a more straightforward game.

João Cancelo – 7 – Spent as much time in Villa’s half as his own. Completed four take-ons, more than anyone on the field.

Fernandinho – 7 – Played his role to a tee. Even completed a ‘tactical foul’ to deny an onrushing Grealish in the second half.

John Stones – 7 – Got on the ball plenty of times and relished his role in building City’s attacks from the back.

Benjamin Mendy – 7 – Had the freedom of City’s left flank and joined their attack as much as possible. His marauding pinned Villa’s wide men back as Guardiola‘s men controlled proceedings.

Rodri – 7 – Kept things ticking over as he sat in front of City’s defence. Rodri was seldom tested by an opposition midfield bereft of ideas.

Kevin De Bruyne – 9 – Showed incredible positional awareness in the build-up for City’s opener and his sensational cross for Gabriel Jesus was par for the course. De Bruyne is operating on another level. He’s now six away from matching Thierry Henry’s record for most assists in a Premier League season.

David Silva – 8 – Recently turned 34 but Silva turned back the clocks today, created opportunities for his teammates and was rewarded with a well-deserved assist. 

Riyad Mahrez – 8 – A stunningly clever finish to put City in front. Before (fortunately) grabbing another. Whenever the Algerian winger has been picked to start he’s rarely let his manager down.

Sergio Agüero – 10 – Helped himself to the buffet Villa laid out for City by registering his 11th league goal of the season. A trademark ferocious strike which Nyland could do nothing about. Aguero’s second saw him become the league’s most prolific foreign goalscorer. His third ensured a record-breaking 12th Premier League hat-trick.

Gabriel Jesus – 8 – Wasn’t going to be left out, the apprentice followed in Aguero’s steps by also getting himself on the scoresheet, much of that goal belonged to De Bruyne’s scrumptious cross which Jesusslotted home.

Substitutes:

Nicolás Otamendi (for De Bruyne 63) – 5 – Didn’t look troubled as he eased into the game.

Phil Foden (for Fernandinho 63) – 5 – Understandably wanted to make an impact when coming on, but his eagerness wasn’t rewarded.

Ilkay Gündogan (for Rodri 71) – 4 – Foolishly gave away a stoppage time penalty to deny City a well-earned clean sheet.