Match Reports

Manchester United VS Manchester City Player Ratings as City lose more ground in title race


The anger has subsided, partially at least. Manchester City controversially lost the derby 2-1 courtesy of two goals in three minutes from Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford, the former goal being awarded when Rashford was clearly interfering with play and should have been called for offside. However, yet again City shown their vulnerability when the Blues concede a goal and now face a monumental battle to stop Arsenal from being crowned champions for the first time since 2004.

Here are my player ratings from the defeat:

GK: Ederson- 5/10

Horrendous decision-making when deciding to come and clear the ball and should have been punished by Rashford but the forward’s finishing let him down. Relatively little work to do besides the two goals.

RB: Kyle Walker- 7/10

Kept United’s key man Rashford relatively quiet and grew in confidence when deployed in his favoured position. Walker not inverting and keeping his width will be key for City from now until the end of the season.

CB: Manuel Akanji- 7/10

Progessively a little timid at times to really take the ball and drive City forward, however defensively superb and would have easily cleared the ball that lead to United’s dubious equaliser if Marcus Rashford wasn’t interfering with play.

CB: Nathan Ake- 6.5/10

Similar to Akanji previously, composed when tasked with defending. However, I can’t help but feel City lack build up efficiency and progressiveness without Stones or Laporte.

LB: Joao Cancelo- 7/10

Cancelo’s best performance since the return of club football. The left-back was City’s most dangerous tool offensively, excelling in the second half at utilising space and beating his marker. However, Cancelo’s defensive frailties were still on show as the Portuguese yet again was caught in no man’s land trying to dive in and regain possession in the lead-up to Fernandes’ controversial equaliser.

CDM: Rodri- 8.5/10

The best in the world in his position. Controlled proceedings, kept possession superbly and helped regain the ball within seconds when City were dispossessed. World-class.

CM: Bernardo Silva- 5/10

Ineffective. Silva was dropping into pockets of space as a make-shift centre-back and slowing down City’s play to a walking pace. De Bruyne and co in the final third were isolated and possession came to them much too late. By then, United had covered the space and passing lanes were closed. Silva needs a spell out of the team as his performances have plummeted, and his focus is seemingly away from the Etihad with a summer move likely.

CM: Kevin De Bruyne- 6/10

The Belgian displayed his genius for City’s goal, providing a probing cross to the back post for Grealish to head in. However, De Bruyne’s radar just isn’t fully optimised as of late, passes are going stray and his final ball just isn’t up to De Bruyne’s elite standard. I feel Bernardo’s role in the team starved De Bruyne especially of receiving the ball in his favoured right-half space, as for large spells of the game City’s tempo was just too slow.

RW: Riyad Mahrez- 7/10

Mahrez was a victim of the slow tempo set by the champions in the first half especially. I thought the Algerian was one of City’s bright sparks in the second half however and provided the ball to De Bruyne to set up Grealish’s opener. Mahrez’s upturn in form is one of the only positives City have had since the World Cup.

ST: Erling Haaland- 6/10

The talisman was tasked with dropping deeper and trying to drag Varane and Shaw with him to create openings in behind. The Norwegian completed 93% of his passes and was quite effective when the ball was at his feet, only losing possession two times. Haaland also made at least three piercing runs in behind United’s defence and City players either chose to recycle possession or didn’t see the run. Whatever the answer is, City need to play to Haaland’s strengths.

LW: Phil Foden- 4/10

Ahead of City’s Champions League final against Chelsea in 2021, Guardiola said at some point in his early career, Foden will be on a downward trajectory and that when Foden is on the ascendancy again, he will be a better player because of it. The time of Foden’s downward trajectory has come, and City’s number 47 is absent from games and often ghosts through proceedings without getting involved. Was hooked for Grealish in the 57th minute and Grealish found the net just there minutes later. City looked like an infinitely better team because of the substitution.


Jack Grealish- 8/10: Instant impact scoring his second goal of the season from a delightful De Bruyne cross. The champions looked a much better-balanced side once Grealish replaced Foden. 4 goal involvements in his last 5 games, I hope Grealish can use his recent successes to just play without fear, and finally kickstart his City career.

Pep Guardiola- 6/10

Guardiola cannot be attributed to the defeat, there were no complications, no overthinking from the City boss and the substitution of Foden for Grealish was seemingly a masterstroke in securing the three points before City were rocked by the incompetency of the officials. Looking ahead, perhaps the City manager needs to revitalise his system, the 4-3-3 needs dynamism and explosiveness of the wings to succeed, and as of right now the profile of wide men that City have at their disposal are of a similar ilk, they all to receive the ball to feet. With the departure of Raheem Sterling, City have lost pace out wide and that is an issue that I would look to see solved this summer.

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