Man City vs Crystal Palace: How the Players Rated


Manchester City 3 (Silva[2], Yaya Toure) – Crystal Palace 0

‘They have no strikers?! Whatever will Manchester City do , without their star man Sergio Aguero, or their famous belated saviour Edin Dzeko? Even Stevan Jovetic is out!’ shouted the media in the lead up to an ever-more in form Man City’s match-up with Crystal Palace. Although Palace haven’t thus far been slaying giants like last season, it was still valid to have some doubt with regards to City, who have found themselves sporadically losing big names, such as Kun Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Vincent Kompany. Manuel Pellegrini started a team with no strikers, and many wondered where the goals would come from. Three of them later, those who questioned City’s ability to finish the game had no choice to admit their fault.


Joe Hart: 7.5 – Many of Palace’s attacking forays ended wide of the post, yet when called into action, the England number 1 came up big, particularly from the opposing team’s set pieces. Got lucky once or twice when caught out late, but got the ball out when needed. Very, very glad to see him stay at City until 2019.

Pablo Zabaleta: 8.5 – He has already succeeded in transforming himself from unsung hero to widely acclaimed, and this performance was nothing more than we’d expect from the league’s best right back. Slipped through Palace’s defence a good few times, even nearly sneaking a scoop over Speroni thanks to a pin point Yaya Toure pass. Had the chance to have an attempt later on, but had the awareness to play it back to Silva to open the scoring. Defended just as well too.

Pablo Zabaleta managed to somehow attack brilliantly and defend brilliantly at once…and they say men can’t multi-task.

Martin Demichelis: 7.5 – 34 on game day and ended with a celebration. Might not have much pace whatsoever, but his years-matured footballing brain never fails to keep the defence in shape.

Eliaquim Mangala: 7.5 – Recognised earlier in the week that he hasn’t quite caught up to his new league but ensures he improves by rewatching his performances – and his commitment shows. Always busts a gut to catch up to any striker who has managed to get past him, and is constantly becoming more steadfast. Along with his quick feet, Mangala’s aerial ability is a serious asset.

Aleksandar Kolarov: 8 – Should consider himself fortunate to get a start over Gael Clichy, who has been brilliant throughout Kolarov’s injury and beyond. Pulled off an on-par performance, striking the ball in with power into dangerous positions almost every time he received it on the left wing.


Fernandinho: 7 – Always ready to support the defence when Toure inevitably rushes forward, and does so brilliantly. 

Yaya Toure: 8.5 – Shooting was off colour in the first half, leading to the big Ivorian blasting the ball over and wide on a couple of occasions; his passing, however, was almost perfect. Toure truly thrives when given time to look up and control the game –  a chance he often gets when playing teams that defend deep. Picked out some brilliant balls, and along with Silva, Nasri and Milner, he helped create some pretty beautiful passing artistry.

Yaya Toure capped off a low key game deep in central midfield with an unstoppable finish.

Jesus Navas: 6.5 – He’s praised by many for having a fiery turn of pace and an eye for a cross, but I just can’t help but think he doesn’t use these talents enough to even be praised. He won Man City plenty of corners, though.

James Milner: 7.5 – It seems Milner, like Joe Hart, will be staying at Man City for a while longer, and of that I’m glad. He’s got a reputation as a hard worker, but his one touch interchanges with his fellow midfielders exhibited a whole different side to him. Flicks and flair aren’t necessarily what the name James Milner brings to mind, but without his strength and ability to control and read David Silva’s passes, City would’ve had even more trouble finding the goal today.

David Silva: 9 – The only player I would happily see back before Aguero. He’s just so good, at almost everything he does. Sorry for fanboying, but he’s one of the best in the world at doing what he does – playmaking. Got himself two goals too – the playmaker just became the play-made.

Just like when they’re missing Aguero, or Kompany, City just don’t quite perform to the same level without David Silva (or ‘Merlin’ to the fans).

Samir Nasri: 8.5 – Manchester City’s rollercoaster of a player, Samir either falls into periods of mediocrity or flies high with game after game of man-of-the-match performances. Against Palace, he was quick footed, a threat to Speroni’s goal, and ever-aware of the runs of his teammates. We can only hope he keeps playing as he is now, as he’s really great right now.

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  • SUBS:

    Frank Lampard: 7 – Solid as usual, showing why he is such a good player to bring on to round off the game. No offence, but he should realise by now that he’s still a little too good for the MLS right now.

    Fernando: 6 – The only thing he did of note was selfishly not pass to a clean-through Scott Sinclair, which – given how little Sinclair touches grass – is a deed punishable by…well, slagging off.

    Scott Sinclair: N/A – I don’t know whether he even touched the ball. I was slightly peeved that Sinclair was brought on instead of Thierry Ambrose, but it appears that Sinclair’s short run out was simply a case of dressing the shop window, so to speak. If Sinclair chooses not to leave in January, he’ll be making a huge mistake in my opinion.