Player Ratings: Manchester City 2-1 West Ham United (Premier League)

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The streak continues! Manchester City weren’t at their best but did enough to see out a win against an in-form West Ham United to make it 20 wins in a row.

The first thirty minutes saw the home side test and probe the visitors until a sublime cross from De Bruyne found Dias at the back post to head City in front. West Ham consistently looked a threat, though. Too often the Blues were lackadaisical with the ball and easily dispossessed; which the Irons took advantage of to equalise just before half-time.

Clearly leggy from their Champions League win three days earlier, Pep’s team lacked verve on and off the ball, but some inspired substitutions from the manager improved the sides’ overall quality resulting in a well worked team goal to snatch the win.

Here’s how we rated the players…

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Ederson – 5.5

Didn’t have the best game looking uncomfortable playing out from the back. Despite his distribution being off, the Brazilian improved in the second-half; collecting nearly every ball he came out for.

Kyle Walker – 7.5

Put in some good tackles and interceptions, and came off well in his duels with Antonio. Played a nice long-field pass in the first-half to put Mahrez through on goal, which needed the keeper to intervene. 

John Stones – 8.5 (MotM)

Brilliant in both boxes. Defended well aerially and was on the end of a well-timed pass from Mahrez to slot home the winning goal. Brimming with of confidence and with performances like this it’s well deserved.

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Ruben Dias – 8

Scored with a powerful header after having the intelligence to stay forward following a clearance from a City corner. Could do little about the goal the team conceded. The defence is the best functioning part of this side right now and Dias is the cornerstone of it.

Oleksandr Zinchenko – 7

Operated in the free-roaming Cancelo role at the start of the game and fell back to assist in the defence when West Ham saw more of the ball. Was capable defending out on the left despite being doubled up on at times.

Fernandinho – 6.5

A solid game from the captain, breaking up play and winning the ball with his head when needed. Had the ball passed around him a little easily on occasion, though. Threw a bone to the betters out there with a customary booking for a tactical foul in the final minutes.

Kevin De Bruyne – 7

Obviously has the moments of individual brilliance in his locker, which he pulled out for a left-footed cross, assisting the first goal. Aside from that, the Belgian still looks rusty. Some passes and decision making was way off the mark.

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Ilkay Gündogan – 6

When De Bruyne comes into the side, Ilkay seems to take more of a passenger role in the side. He kept the ball moving and made some clever runs in behind the Irons back-line but wasn’t found by his teammates. 

Rayid Mahrez – 7.5

Had the run of the game on the right-wing and got an assist; picking out the right pass for the second goal. Had to stay wide to stretch the play, but if he could have cut inside more often, we would have seen more individual quality.

Ferran Torres – 5.5

Took his shots at goal when they came and had a varied success rate when tracking back. Without Bernardo, you’d have expected the young Spaniard to have been the man in the forward line to contribute most to the high press, but that doesn’t seem like part of his game. Perhaps this is unfair but this was a brilliant chance for Torres to fight his way into City’s best eleven. On that he fell well short and is likely to be just a rotational option in the immediate future.

Sergio Agüero – 5

Dropped deep at times to help with the build-up play from midfield, but overall saw very little of the ball. Had an average game which was to be expected given it was his first league start in four months. Good to see him back.

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Substitutes:

Gabriel Jesus – 6

Was lively when he came on and gave the side more energy up front.

Phil Foden – 6.5

The threat from the left-wing improved massively once he replaced Torres, putting in some good crosses. The fact he provides an actual threat from corners is also a plus.

Rodri – N/A

Subbed on to give Gundogan a four-minute rest before the final whistle.

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You can follow Richard on Twitter here: @ignoblewretch

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