Here are the City player ratings as the world champions round 2023 with a routine 2-nil win over Sheffield United at the Etihad. The win keeps the pressure on the sides above Manchester City in the Premier League table as Pep Guardiola’s side closed out a historical year in emphatic fashion.
The game kicked off with all five trophies won this year paraded at the Etihad before kick-off. It was a fabulous moment for all Manchester City fans to see the trophies displayed after such a memorable year.
The game kicked off with the news that Kevin De Bruyne was back in the City squad after a long injury layoff. City ominously started the game and monopolized possession. It took only two minutes for the world champions to create the first chance of the afternoon with Julian Alvarez firing wide after a lovely layoff from Phil Foden.
Pep Guardiola’s side would open the scoring in the 14th minute through their midfield general Rodri. He made a surging run from midfield and played a one-two with Phil Foden and fired a low strike past Wes Foderingham to set City on their way.
The Sheffield United keeper then made a stunning save in the 21st minute to deny Bernardo Silva. Four minutes later Kyle Walker fired a rocket just wide of the post as City pressed for a second.
The champions dominated possession for the remainder of the half without creating any clear-cut chances. Sheffield United grew into the game and a Manual Akanji block denied the lively William Osuala. Despite their dominance, City went in at the break with a 1-nil lead.
The treble winners began the second half looking to put the game to bed. Jack Grealish was substituted in the 52nd minute. He was replaced by Oscar Bobb and the change paid dividends for City 8 minutes later.
The Norwegian wonderkid played a sublime ball to Phil Foden from City’s left-hand side. Foden then laid off a sublime cross for Julian Alvarez to tap in to make it 2-nil. The goal will be replayed for some time such was the all-round quality on display.
After the second goal, the European champions dominated possession and could’ve added a third. But Sheffield United dug in and the hosts took out a routine 2-nil win.
The win completed an unbeaten year at the Etihad for Manchester City. Here are the City player ratings from the win as Phil Foden stole the show.
City player ratings
Ederson-7/10: Made a couple of routine saves and was immaculate with his feet. Gets a 7 for his performance as an outfield player more than a keeper.
Kyle Walker-7/10: Held the width well on City’s right-hand side as his team dominated possession. Had nothing to do defensively but was a threat when Pep Guardiola’s side had possession.
Manuel Akanji-7.5/10: Fantastic all-round performance from the Swiss defender. Was all over the pitch and even popped up as a number 9 late on.
Nathan Ake-7/10: A standard Ake performance. Rarely fails to deliver and was good again today.
Josko Gvardiol-7/10: Was better in the second half than the first half. Is developing into a very good left-back and becoming a key piece of the City set-up
Rodri-8/10: Finished the year in fine fashion. Took his goal well and was superb for the entire game.
Mateo Kovacic-6.5/10: Gave a calming presence to midfield and showed what his team lacked while he was out injured. Picked up a booking after his own misplaced pass that prevents him from getting a 7.
Bernardo Silva-6.5/10: A quiet game by Bernardo’s lofty standards. With the play predominantly on the left-hand side in the second half he didn’t get into the game as often as usual.
Phil Foden-8.5/10: Another man-of-the-match performance from Foden. Picked up two assists and is on another level now. Has become the player he was always destined to be.
Jack Grealish-6/10: Toiled away on City’s left-hand side but couldn’t get into the game. Did well to start the game considering the stress he has been under the past couple of days.
Julian Alvarez-7.5/10: Picked up his goal and was busy all afternoon. Four goals in his last three City appearances shows how important he has become.
Oscar Bobb-7.5/10: A dazzling second-half cameo from the youngster. His pass to set up his side’s second goal will be shown for a long time. Looks set to explode in the second half of the season.
Ruben Dias-N/A: Not on long enough to mark.
Rico Lewis-N/A: Not on long enough to mark.