The Etihad Stadium once again played host to a free-scoring exhibition from Manchester City yesterday as they put five goals without reply past Newcastle, taking their cumulative score from their last four home matches to 17-0.
Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez struck in the first 20 minutes to set the tone for yet another stroll for Pep Guardiola’s side. Federico Fernandez diverted the ball into his own net for City’s third and the win was rounded off with a sumptuous David Silva free kick and a stoppage time Raheem Sterling strike. [via Sky Sports]
Silva earned many of the headlines with his magnificent performance – WhoScored even gave him a perfect 10 rating as he added to his goal with two assists – although the contribution of one of the men who came into Manchester City’s revamped back-line also deserves to be highlighted.
Nicolas Otamendi has been in and out of the team this season, having started half of City’s 34 Premier League games so far. He was recalled yesterday for his second post-lockdown start in the division and, just as he did against Burnley two weeks ago, played his part in a 5-0 win. [via TransferMarkt]
The Argentine has come under fire from the likes of Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher for some unconvincing displays in recent months but he can feel very pleased with his contribution against the Magpies. He won all nine of his duels in the game, including seven headers, while his total of completed passes hit the three-figure mark, finding a team-mate with 101 out of 109 (93% accuracy), as per Sofascore.
He ended the match with four clearances, two clearances, one successful tackle and one block, while he also did a bit with the ball when in possession, playing four accurate long balls out of six and even registering a shot on target. [via Sofascore]
Would you have Otamendi in your first-choice Man City XI?
Daily Express reporter Gideon Brooks described Otamendi’s performance as “typically aggressive” as he “started plenty of movement going forward”, although he only awarded him a six in the player ratings – as did Simon Bajkowski of Manchester Evening News, whose review of the 32-year-old was rather unflattering.
He wrote that the match “largely passed him by with little to take care of at the back” and said that he “still managed the odd erratic moment at both ends of the pitch, including shinning the ball across his box and taking a decisive touch away from Mahrez”.
Perhaps Otamendi’s display wasn’t flawless but, considering the tremendous statistics with which he ended the game, it seemed like a harsh verdict on what was a tenacious and tidy performance from the Argentine defender, even if Newcastle didn’t exactly ask many questions of him and his team-mates with only six shots in the whole match.
Man City fans, do you Otamendi had a good game against Newcastle or were there some unconvincing moments? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
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