Stoke vs. Manchester City Review

Manchester City walked to a second Premier League win in a row after a 4-1 win against Stoke City to climb up to second in the table. Pep Guardiola’s side weren’t comfortable for most of the game but in the end opened Stoke up far too much to claim two late goals and win by a pretty emphatic scoreline.

Fantastic Refereeing & Clinical Aguero 

All of the big talking points from the game come from the refereeing decisions of Mike Dean who had an incredible match. Even though he missed one hard to spot penalty, he was fantastic in having the guts to give two others. The first big moment of the game came off of a corner kick when Ryan Shawcross was caught holding the arm of Nicholas Otamendi which obstructed his ability to reach the ball. Mike Dean was decisive and immediately awarded a penalty to City in which Sergio Aguero stepped up to convert after missing two earlier in the week. Sergio Aguero was the man to find the back of the net again as Kevin de Bruyne whipped in an amazing cross from a free kick and Aguero headed it into the bottom left corner.

Early on in the second half Stoke found a way back into the match after Raheem Sterling obstructed Ryan Shawcross’ ability to win the ball from a corner kick and the Potters were awarded a penalty. Sterling was foolish in not even looking at the ball and instead doing everything he could to put the big man off. Bojan Krkic stepped up and hammed home the penalty.

Mike Dean also played an excellent role in the match in letting the game flow. Whenever players feigned injury or he could tell they were alright, he didn’t let the medical staff enter the field which allowed play to continue more rapidly. He was also fantastically consistent with his cards. Giving one to both Sterling and Shawcross for the penalties they gave away and for any late tackle that looked malicious enough.

Nolito and Iheanacho Off The Bench 

As the game went on, Stoke’s leg clearly started to tire as Manchester City started to take control of the game. With ten minutes to go, Pep Guardiola added Kelechi Iheanacho to the mix after already putting on Nolito fifteen minutes earlier. The two combined brilliantly for the rest of the game including the scoring of City’s third goal of the match. Iheanacho played a one-two with de Bruyne, took it past the goalkeeper and then cut it back for Nolito who fired it in from close range. Then with just minutes left in the game, Raheem Sterling found himself in acres of space after a flick from Iheanacho and took the ball all the way into the box before passing to a wide open Nolito who tapped in from close range once again.

Player Ratings – Stoke 1-4 Manchester City 

GK Given – 4.5
RB Bardsley – 5
CB Shawcross – 4.5
CB Wollscheid – 5
LB Pieters – 5
DM Whelan – 5.5
DM Imbula – 5.5
AM Allen – 6.5
RAM Bojan – 7
LAM Arnautovic – 6
CF Diouf – 6.5RW Walters – 5.5
LW Sobhi – 5
GK Caballero – 7
RB Zabaleta – 7
CB Stones – 6
CB Otamendi – 8
LB Kolarov – 7
DM Fernandinho – 7.5
RAM Navas – 6.5
AM de Bruyne – 7.5
AM Silva – 7
LAM Sterling – 7.5
CF Aguero – 8.5LW Nolito – 8
CF Iheanacho – 7.5
CM Delph – 5.5

Conclusion:

Many people have City and United favourites for the title and after Manchester United secured a comfortable three points yesterday, Manchester City had to follow that up with an emphatic performance of their own to keep the pressure on their rivals. Aguero and Nolito were excellent in scoring two goals but it was a very good team performance from the blue side of Manchester overall. Manchester City didn’t look all that comfortable for large parts of the game but in the end walked away with a very comfortable win.

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