Manchester City exacted some revenge on Liverpool for dethroning them as Premier League champions by hammering the Merseysiders 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium last night.
A Kevin De Bruyne penalty began the rout as Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden also netted before half-time to leave the newly-crowned champions reeling. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain put through his own net for Manchester City’s fourth and Riyad Mahrez beat Alisson in stoppage time, only for the goal to be disallowed following a VAR review which spotted a Phil Foden handball in the build-up. [via Sky Sports]
De Bruyne took a lot of the post-match plaudits – he even got a perfect 10 in The Independent‘s player ratings – but one of his midfield colleagues who didn’t get on the scoresheet excelled in another sense.
Rodri was restored to Pep Guardiola’s starting line-up after being a substitute in last weekend’s FA Cup win at Newcastle and the 24-year-old ended the night with the kind of statistics which mark him out as a quality midfielder.
The Spaniard attempted 77 passes against the Reds and found a team-mate with 75 of them, giving him a phenomenal 97% success rate. Excluding substitutes, he was the only Manchester City player whose passing accuracy exceeded 90%, an indicator of just how tidy and effective he was in possession. The defensive midfielder also performed commendably without the ball, winning one tackle as well as making three clearances and two interceptions. [via Sofascore]
Even on a night when so many of his team-mates caught the eye, Rodri’s contribution wasn’t ignored by reporters at the Etihad. The Independent‘s Alex Pattle gave him a seven in his player ratings and said that he “was sharp and solid, allowing De Bruyne to create”, adding: “That’s all the Spaniard really needs to do.”
The 24-year-old also got a seven in Sky Sports‘ player ratings, with the verdict of: “Almost immaculate in possession, City’s composed stalwart in the centre of the park pulled off a fine long-range pass to find De Bruyne in the build up to the fourth.”
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Stuart Brennan of Manchester Evening News went one better by awarding him a rating of right, noting that he “matched that Liverpool physicality in midfield and linked up beautifully with [Ilkay] Gundogan”.
Rodri could be benched again for Sunday’s trip to Southampton if Guardiola decides to keep his squad fresh and ring the changes. However, when the higher-stakes FA Cup and Champions League games come around, performances like this should put him in the frame to be a certain starter in those competitions.
Man City fans, do you think Rodri’s contribution against Liverpool was underappreciated with much of the attention going on some of his attacking team-mates? Share your views in the comments section below!
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