Pep Talk 35: Manchester City player ratings vs Real Madrid

Manchester City player ratings in their historic come from behind win vs Real Madrid in the Champions League round 16 first leg game played at the Santiago Bernabeau stadium.

Ederson Moares 8

Made a wonder save in the first half which would have given the Los Blancos an early advantage just when they were going full steam. Ederson was solid the entire night.

Benjamin Mendy 6

Typical Mendy..some good runs forward, some good defending, some good passing all interspersed with some bad passing, an unnecessary booking that rules him out for the second leg and some recklessness. If not for the win, his marks would have been lower.

Laporte/Fernandinho 7

Rocks in defence. Laporte’s calmness negated Real when they were firing from all cylinders. Fernandinho has been City’s best defender entire season and lived to that billing tonight too, once he came on.

Nicolas Otamendi 6

A typical Otamendi performance these days mean 2-3 mistakes per game; tonight it was one and a half. One of which cost a goal. Pep curiously hasn’t groomed Eric Garcia over the past six months and now needs to hope Aymeric Laporte comes back sooner. Otamendi can’t be depended upon in later stages of the tournament, should the sky blues proceed.

Kyle Walker 5

City’s worst player on the pitch. Vinicius Jr ate him for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Madrid goal was also due to error from him. Some of Walker’s adventurous forays wasn’t helping either.. exposing too many gaps behind. I fancy Cancelo may start in the return leg, on either side.

Rodri 7 Gundogan 7

Both of them took time to settle in the Bernabeau pitch and came into their own after the first quarter of the game. Were excellent after that … holding the ball, passing well and slowing down the game (much needed as Real were pressing well).

Bernardo Silva / Raheem Sterling 7

Bernardo Silva put in a terrific work rate and was epitome of what Manchester City needed to do tonight to make this season memorable. Raheem Sterling returned from injury raring, fresh and induced the tie changing penalty.

Kevin De Bruyne 9

The man who orchestrated the turnaround. City gave away a silly goal just when they were dominating. It was easy for shoulders to droop then and feel ‘typical City’ underachievers in Europe. But constant probing, killer passing, one assist and a great penalty kick by Kevin De Bruyne ensured Man City are in the drivers seat.

Riyad Mahrez 7

A weak first half followed by a very strong second half. Became a constant thorn in the Madrid left flank, kept defenders on their toes with his mazy runs, created chances and missed chances too! He was epitome of how City create so many chances and yet have that poor conversion rate.

Gabriel Jesus 9

Was a Pep Guardiola masterstroke to start him and even the commentators around half time said Jesus’s work rate was 10/10. Played the under-appreciated ‘Roberto Firmino’ role and was dazzling. Much deserved goal and for me the best player on the pitch. Although for home leg I will prefer Sergio Aguero back for his incredible scoring record at the Etihad.

Pep Guardiola 9

Absolute genius at work again today. If not for his defenders giving away a gift goal and some poor finishing from Mahrez, this tie could have been 0-4 to Manchester City. The Catalonia boy knows how to beat Real Madrid and should get past this tie. People who question his incomparable football acumen and managerial abilities; ask your manager to try win a league with Walker, Otamendi, Stones, Delph/Zinchenko in defence!

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