Manchester City 2-0 Newcastle United: Player ratings as Citizens ease to victory

Max Cooper
Dec 26, 2020, 10:05 PM GMT
Manchester City players celebrate taking the lead on Boxing Day
Manchester City players celebrate taking the lead on Boxing Day | Pool/Getty Images
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Manchester City cruised to a 2-0 victory over Newcastle United on Saturday evening, closing the gap on Liverpool to five points at the top of the table.

The Citizens took the lead early in the first half, when Raheem Sterling wriggled into space in the penalty area, and cut the ball back to Ilkay Gundogan, who drilled home through a sea of bodies. The hosts had a number of chances to increase their advantage in the first 45 minutes, but they failed to beat Karl Darlow for a second time.

Man City never looked like losing control of this game, and put Newcastle to bed on 55 minutes, when Ferran Torres stroked a shot into the corner of the net from close range, following a Joao Cancelo cross.

The hosts had plenty more chances to win the game, but ultimately settled for the 2-0 win.

Let's check out the player ratings from a comfortable evening for Man City at the Etihad stadium.

MANCHESTER CITY

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Cancelo leaping highest
Cancelo leaping highest | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Ederson (GK) - 6/10 - When Ederson glanced at his calendar to see which games he could stay up late before and watch Gossip Girl without fear of it affecting his performance, he probably pencilled this one down as an all-nighter. Almost nothing to do.

Joao Cancelo (RB) - 8/10 - Played in more of a central midfield role for the Citizens, bombing on and adding his presence in the box from narrow areas. Supplied the pre-assist for Gundogan's goal, and found Sterling time and time again with that cutting ball over the defence.

John Stones (CB) - 7/10 - Somehow skewed a header wide in the second half, looking to square it to a teammate. Probably should have had a go at goal himself. Once again dominate in defence. Good to see.

Ruben Dias (CB) - 7/10 - Tasked purely with defensive work, and although he had little to do, he did it well. Another steady and quietly impressive performance.

Nathan Ake (LB) - 8/10 - An excellent display. Up and down the pitch, joining in attacks and putting out the occasional fire behind him. Never looked out of place.

2. Midfielders

Goalscorer and assister
Goalscorer and assister | Pool/Getty Images

Kevin de Bruyne (CM) - 6/10 - Unusually wasteful in front of goal. Had almost too much time to think when one on one with Darlow, and fluffed his lines. Still a baller in the midfield, though.

Rodrigo (CM) - 7/10 - Sat at the base of the midfield, keeping an eye out for any brave Newcastle attacks. Didn't have much to do, and probably could have nodded off if needs be. Substituted.

Ilkay Gundogan (CM) - 8/10 - Timed his run to perfection to strike the crucial first goal, ghosting into the box and placing the ball through countless defenders.

3. Forwards

Sterling scrapping
Sterling scrapping | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Bernardo Silva (RW) - 7/10 - The least effective of the attacking players. Flitted about and looked to occupy dangerous areas, but often forced to drop deep in search of joy. Hit the post when gifted a crack at goal.

Ferran Torres (ST) - 8/10 - Did not miss his chance when presented with a golden opportunity. Stroked home from close range with all the goal to aim at. Still, people have missed in that position before.

Raheem Sterling (LW) - 9/10 - The best player on the pitch. Darted into dangerous spaces time and time again, picked out the right pass or had decent cracks at goal. Supplied the opener with endless patience and skill.

4. Substitutes

Fernandinho (CM) - 7/10

Sergio Aguero (ST) - 6/10

Phil Foden (CM) - N/A

NEWCASTLE UNITED

5. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Darlow in action
Darlow in action | Pool/Getty Images

Karl Darlow (GK) - 7/10 - Beaten by Sterling's invention on the first goal, and left completely exposed by a diving defender for the second strike. Some smart saves in between and after those landmarks.

Fabian Schar (CB) - 6/10 - Tasked with stopping the Titanic from sinking with nothing but a teaspoon to bail out the water. Gave it a go but the inevitable soon arrived.

Federico Fernandez (CB) - 5/10 - Must have thought he was doing the right thing by throwing himself in the path of Cancelo's cross, but instead killed the ball dead eight yards from goal for Torres. The ultimate assist.

Ciaran Clark (CB) - 5/10 - Ripped apart by Sterling and Torres' movement, and caught out over his flank on countless occasions. Tough evening for all.

6. Wing-Backs & Midfielders

Yedlin carrying the ball
Yedlin carrying the ball | Pool/Getty Images

DeAndre Yedlin (RWB) - 5/10 - Couldn't stem the flow of De Bruyne's charging runs or Sterling's clever movement. Provided nothing going forward nor at the back.

Isaac Hayden (CM) - 6/10 - Put himself about and tried to break up Man City's flowing attacks. Stuck to the game plan, and did his best in a team that only managed 24% possession.

Matty Longstaff (CM) - 6/10 - Possibly the best of the midfield bunch, although he couldn't provide anything other than desire and grit. Fans love to see it, but a bit of quality is needed alongside.

Matt Ritchie (LWB) - 5/10 - Had a shocker really. All of Man City's joy came down that left flank, and Ritchie had no answer for their speed or craft. Subbed.

7. Forwards

Surrounded
Surrounded | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Jacob Murphy (RW) - 6/10 - Had to get up and down the pitch, and was rarely gifted support in attack. Tested Ederson with a low drive when completely isolated. A tough afternoon.

Joelinton (ST) - 5/10 - Spent the evening jumping as high as he could to try and beat three defenders in the air. A tactic that was very unlikely to bear fruit.

Miguel Almiron (LW) - 5/10 - Ran a lot - although not with the ball at his feet. Unfortunately lost the ball in the build up to the second goal. Not his afternoon at all.

8. Substitutes

Lewis warming up
Lewis warming up | JASON CAIRNDUFF/Getty Images

Jamal Lewis (LWB) - 5/10

Andy Carroll (ST) - 6/10

Dwight Gayle (ST) - 5/10

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