Football Features

Man City 4-3 Spurs: Every player rated as sensational Son inspires European win in seven-goal thriller

By Ben Green

Published: 22:14, 17 April 2019

After a riveting seven-goal thriller at the Etihad, Spurs have booked their ticket in the Champions League semi-final with 4-4 aggregate win over Man City.

The first-half will likely go down in football folklore after five goals were scored in the first 20 minutes. Raheem Sterling’s scintillating opener was quickly canceled out by a dazzling Son Heung-min brace, but City refused to lie down and Bernardo Silva soon levelled proceedings on the night, before Sterling then popped up shortly after to make it 3-3 on aggregate.

With the onus still on City to attack after the break, Sergio Aguero made it 4-3 on aggregate with a thumping effort, but the celebrations were shorted lived as Fernando Llorente stepped up with a winning goal in the 73rd minute, sending the travelling Spurs fans into raptures.

And so, after a pulsating Champions League encounter, how did the players rate?

Manchester City

Ederson – 5 – The Brazilian gloveman didn’t exactly cover himself in glory for Son’s opening goal, but he was off his line so quick at every opportunity, playing the sweeper ‘keeper role very well, though ultimately conceded three goals.

Kyle Walker – 7 – The buccaneering full-back was enjoying himself so much down the byline that Mauricio Pochettino was forced to tinker with his tactics and manoeuvre Son from central forward to out wide on the left.

Vincent Kompany – 6 – Recovered from a tentative start and made an elite tackle on Son in the second half after it looked like the Spurs speed merchant was through on goal – the tackle enhanced tenfold after Aguero went up the other end seconds later and fired City into the lead.

Aymeric Laporte – 4 – Endured a quite horrendous start to the match, proving shaky with a number of nervous touches and wayward passes; the Frenchman’s double-clanger gifted Spurs two goals after Son capitalised on his mistakes, dearly costing his side the tie.

Benjamin Mendy – 6 – A constant presence in the final third, the Frenchman has been solely missed in the North West, with this fine form down the left working well in tandem with Sterling.

Kevin De Bruyne – 8 – We all knew Guardiola made a massive mistake affording his Belgian wizard just a few minutes in the first leg, but what a way to justify a starting berth. Despite the loss, De Bruyne was the fulcrum of City’s break-neck speed in attack this evening, constantly picking the ball up in the final third and unlocking doors.

IIkay Gundogan – 7 – Meanly locked up the middle of the park, forming a luxurious axis for City while procuring the ball for his more attack-minded teammates. A constant recycler of possession to restart City’s perpetual attacks – ultimately left short in the middle when Spurs attacked, though he was virtually a one-man central midfield at times.

David Silva – 7 – The quieter of the Silvas, but by no means a subdued performance from the seasoned Spaniard who played an elegant game further back than his namesake, picking the ball up and innately distributing to all areas of the pitch.

Bernardo Silva – 8 – The Tottenham full-backs will breath a huge sigh of relief this match is over; Silva was majestic on the right, causing Rose to consistently play on the back foot with his timely runs and twinkle-toed feet. A fortuitous goal to level the match, but a much needed one none the less.

Raheem Sterling – 9 – Wreaked havoc on the left the entire evening, pulling Trippier apart, while finding ample room time after time. The diminutive magician was City’s talisman, scoring a quite outrageous goal in the opening minutes, before stepping up to the plate once again to change the dynamic of the match with his second.

Sergio Aguero – 8 – A completely different match from Aguero after his lacklustre and cumbersome first leg appearance, playing with more bite and intensity in the final third as he looked to link play and cause problems. And it wouldn’t be a City scoring fest – on the night – without the Argentine getting his name on the scoresheet.

Substitutes:

Fernandinho (for Silva 63) – 6 – Came on to break play up and disrupt any flow Spurs would try to create, and played out his role well.

Leroy Sane (for Mendy 85) – N/A – When Spurs scored he should have been on the pitch – five minutes was simply not enough time.

Spurs

Hugo Lloris – 5 – Endured an onslaught on his goal as City unleashed a barrage of shots, and while he conceded four he did manage to make a number of vital saves.

Kieran Trippier – 6 – An ominous task marking Sterling, the England full-back struggled significantly to snuffle out the danger from his international teammate, who had the beating of him all game. Fared much better in the latter stages of the match and when Sane was introduced; and whipped in a brilliant cross for Llorente’s winner.

Toby Alderweireld – 5 – Kept Aguero quiet last week, but had little joy tonight as City ran rings around the Spurs defence, with the Argentine flourishing with De Bruyne in the team – in truth the Belgian had little protection from those in front of him.

Jan Vertonghen – 6 – The better of Spurs’ centre-backs, the veteran defender made a number of crunching tackles – more than any defender on the pitch – though Aguero lulled him into a booking after the restart.

Danny Rose – 6 – Had a difficult time trying to contain Silva, first being dragged out of position for Silva’s goal after De Bruyne executed a world-class run, while his tame block failed to keep out the resultant strike. Made amends in the second half with a goal line block on Silva, though.

Victor Wanyama – 6 – Anchored the midfield at times, but often struggled to provide his defence the requisite protection as City threw the kitchen sink at Spurs for most of the match.

Moussa Sissoko – 6 – The engine in Spurs’ midfield during his time on the pitch, Sissoko was industrious as ever before injury forced him off.

Dele Alli – 7 – The England international was finding pockets exceptionally well during his time deployed in the No. 9 role, though after Son was moved out wide, and then Sissoko came off injured, his form waned. That said, whenever Spurs attacked he looked threatening and he made more successful passes than any Spurs player other than Vertonghen.

Christian Eriksen – 7 – Cool in possession, neat and nimble on the ball, Eriksen was a significant threat whenever Spurs went forward, providing Son the assist for his second, while creating more key chances than any of his teammates.

Lucas Moura – 6 – Whenever the north London club found themselves in the final third the Brazilian was a problem for the City defence, though he made the least number of touches of any player – bar Llorente – during his time on the pitch.

Heung-Min Son – 9 – Sterling at one end, Son at the other, these two were simple mesmeric tonight, stepping up on the big stage and wowing the 55,000 fans packed into the Etihad. The South Korean sensation has continued to impress in Harry Kane’s absence, with his second goal, in particular, an absolute thing of beauty.

Substitutes:

Fernando Llorente (for Sissoko 41) – 7 – Entered the pitch earlier than he perhaps anticipated after Sissoko was forced off through injury, but he certainly left a lasting impression after his goal from a corner swung the pendulum back in Spurs’ favour.

Ben Davies (for Lucas Moura 82) – 6 – Came on for the final 10 minutes and held the fort well.

Davinson Sanchez (Rose 90) – N/A – Brought on with just minutes remaining.

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