Southampton vs Manchester City: City Player Ratings


Southampton vs Manchester City, a game admittedly, oddly titled “A TOP FOUR CLASH.” The stakes for Manchester City were undoubtedly high — win, and close the gap with Chelsea to six points; lose, and float further adrift of the top. Manchester City eventually came out on top with a 3-0 win, but the main talking point will be referee Mike Jones’ poor decision-making. Sad, given how great the game was to watch, but understandable.


Joe Hart: 7.5 – Was tested a few times in the first half, but will be thankful that Graziano Pelle wasn’t on top of his game today. Hart commanded his box during set pieces too, charging out to punch with none of the shakiness he had last season.

Pablo Zabaleta: 8 – After a few lukewarm performances, Zabaleta regained the solid defensive ability he was somewhat lacking recently, played with aggression and tenacity. His sly shove of Pelle — who was sent hurtling into a TV camera in a comical turn of events — gets a special mention.

Pablo Zabaleta returned to the City team after sitting out last week’s win, and proved exactly why he’s nominated for the FIFA Team of The Year.

Vincent Kompany: 7.5 – The type of player who when faced with an oncoming striker — you would bet on coming out with the ball. As I said in my last ratings article, Kompany seems to thrive on pressure situations, and he proved this once again with an altogether strong game against the league’s formerly second-placed team. Went off injured late on, which will have City fans biting their nails in anticipation of the physio’s verdict.

Eliaquim Mangala: 7.5 – Although the media seems to have a target on Mangala’s head, he’s really starting to come good in the blue of City, albeit with some errors along the way. It’ll be easy to blame him for the sending off, but the young center back had little else he could do in that situation. I commend him for putting his neck, and dignity, on the line to prevent his team from conceding.

Gael Clichy: 8 – Not only did he ACTUALLY SCORE for City after 120 games of waiting, Clichy seems to be looking to keep injured Aleks Kolarov out of the team after he returns. Dealt with a drifting Dusan Tadic very well, given how hot the playmaker has been since he joined Southampton. Again, I must add that he deserves congratulations for his goal.


Jesus Navas: 7.5 – I could probably copy and paste the same comment for Navas every game — pace was great, crossing was suspect. The only thing that changes is how inconsistent his passing will be.

Yaya Toure: 8 – Not the same Toure of last year, but Yaya is looking more like himself with every game. He’s no longer trying to forge out bursting runs with every touch, but is quietly controlling the game and getting forward exactly when needed. Got himself in a perfect position for his goal, and even did well filling in at center back when Kompany went off.

Yaya Toure is returning to form – and the scoresheet.

Fernandinho: 8 – An unsung performer from last season, Fernandinho worked and worked in midfield to rival Southampton’s hefty middle-section, knew when to stay back and let Yaya loose.

Samir Nasri: 7.5 – Nasri was good at keeping possession despite constant pressure from a finely-tuned Southampton team. Did his bit in building attacks and even tracking back, but didn’t necessarily have a blinder for Manchester City.


Stevan Jovetic: 7 – Tried as usual to force the ball up to Aguero from deeper positions, although Aguero’s best chances came from solo efforts. Didn’t impact the game hugely, and — possibly due to his own fine run of form — Aguero never looked confident in passing to the Montenegran.

Sergio Aguero: 8.5 – Although incredibly, incredibly hard-done by Mike Jones (who gave him a yellow for diving, despite the clarity of the penalty call), Aguero kept his head up and chased every ball thrown at him. Got himself two assists, a fine output in a game where the ever-scoring Argentinian didn’t hit the back of the net. Manchester City’s star man.


With every goal he scores, New York City FC get further away from getting Frank Lampard in February.

Frank Lampard: 8 – The main reason many football fans will want Lampard to stay at City is so he can offer us glimpses of his former self – glimpses of a player once regarded as one of the world’s best. His goal exhibited exactly what he does best: run to the edge of the box and smash one in when he has the opportunity.

Martin Demichelis: 7 – Came on immediately after Mangala’s dismissal and defended consistently.

James Milner: 7 – Rivaled the ball-chasing exploits of Southampton when he came on, offering more to Man City’s defence than to their attack.