Football Features

“As threatening as a small child” – Man City 1-2 Man Utd player ratings

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 19:34, 7 December 2019

In an incredible evening of football, Manchester United shocked the league by beating Manchester City 1-2 at the Etihad.

The win was United’s second over a fellow “big six” side in a week and all but ends Manchester City’s title challenge as the Champions are now a massive 14 points behind league leaders Liverpool.

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

Manchester City

Ederson – 7 – Made several big stops to keep the score down as United danced through the defence in front of him.

Kyle Walker – 7 – City’s lone defence against the blistering United counter.

John Stones – 5 – Looked unable to cope with United on the break. Had to leave the field injured.

Fernandinho – 6 – A reasonably solid defensive display although he never did get to grips with Martial.

Angelino – 4 – A poor display both in terms of defensive diligence and his use of the ball.

Rodri – 5 – Kept the ball moving nicely but didn’t do anything progressive with it.

Kevin de Bruyne – 5 – Kept quiet for the most part but still managed to produce one or two glorious passes.

David Silva – 5 – Looked City’s brightest attacker in the early going. Created lots of openings with his short passes. His influence waned as the match wore on.

Bernardo Silva – 3 – A shocking and needless challenge to concede a penalty in the first-half. Put City behind the eight ball with some uncharacteristic sloppiness. Never really got into the game as a creative force either. Subbed off just after the hour mark.

Raheem Sterling – 6 – A one-man attack at times, carrying the fight to Manchester United. Got no change out of Aaron Wan-Bissaka but managed to create danger running away from the full-back.

Gabriel Jesus – 4 – Moved nicely enough but missed a glorious chance to make it 2-1 with a header and was otherwise about as threatening as a small child.


Nicolas Otamendi (for Stones 59′) – 7 – Did alright defensively but most impressively thumped City back into the game with a lovely header from a corner.

Riyad Mahrez (for Bernardo 65′) – 7 – Had an instant impact in terms of thrust. Ripped Luke Shaw to pieces so much so that the defender had to go off with cramp. Created City’s goal with an absurd corner.

Ilkay Gundogan (for Rodri 86′) – n/a – Came on and added little. A bizarre change.

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Manchester United

David de Gea – 6 – Wasn’t that active in the first hour but did well in the last 30 minutes. Did what he had to do with aplomb; although could have come and claimed the corner that City scored from.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 8 – An absolutely monstrous defensive display on the deck. Shut down nearly every single Manchester City attack that came down his flank and was only caught wanting from a set-piece.

Victor Lindelof – 7 – Solid at the back. Made a big error under the press but made up for it with a superb block to deny De Bruyne.

Harry Maguire – 7 – Cool, calm and composed when defending although strangely erratic with the ball at his feet. Made a game-high 10 clearances and made an impressive 3 interceptions.

Luke Shaw – 5 – Did well 1v1 but allowed loads of space for Manchester City to create chances from the right-flank. Got absolutely rinsed by Riyad Mahrez.

Scott McTominay – 7 – A warrior’s performance in the middle. Didn’t pass it too well but was absolutely all over the place in a defensive sense, closing down spaces in the half-space to prevent City incursion.

Fred – 8 – Another immense display in the heart of midfield from the Brazilian. Tackled, pressed and passed all with supreme confidence. Was the best no. 17 on the field, which given his opposite number was Kevin de Bruyne, is genuinely impressive.

Jesse Lingard – 7 – Another bright December display from Lingard. He hurried and harried City in possession and offered a constant link between defence and attack when United broke.

Daniel James – 7 – Was a bright spark in attack. Made excellent runs into space and used the ball well.

Marcus Rashford – 9 – Won and converted a penalty to give United the lead. Nerveless from the spot and an absolute menace on the break. Ran Manchester City ragged and were it not for Kyle Walker’s remarkable recovery pace he would have scored a couple more. He’s already equalled his best-ever goalscoring season and looks to be a maverick coming into his own.

Anthony Martial – 8 – Looked to have the beating of every City defender. A constant menace on the break in the first-half. Scored a sublime second for United with an early shot but tired in the second and was subbed off.


Andreas Pereira (for Martial 74′) – 4 – Came on and immediately got booked. Did nothing but disrupt United’s attack. Abysmal.

Ashley Young (for Shaw 88′) – n/a – A late sub.

Axel Tuanzebe (for Lingard 88′) – n/a – One nice headed clearance.