Unsung Hero: Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan capped diligent display with superb assist

Unsung Hero: Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan capped diligent display with superb assist

Manchester City recovered from going a goal down to thrash Atalanta 5-1 in their Champions League clash at the Etihad Stadium last night and open up a significant lead in their group.

Ruslan Malinovskiy had given the visitors the lead from the penalty spot just before the half-hour, but two goals in quick succession from Sergio Aguero had the home side going in at half-time with the upper hand. [via Sky Sports]

Raheem Sterling then stole the show in the second half with an 11-minute hat-trick as Pep Guardiola’s side put Atalanta to the sword and pulled five points clear at the top of Group C following the earlier draw between Shakhtar Donetsk and Dinamo Zagreb.

The only blemish on the night was the late red card for Phil Foden, dismissed for two bookable offences, but one of his midfield colleagues made a valuable yet relatively unheralded contribution to the emphatic victory.

Sterling’s second goal of the night was set up by a brilliantly executed pass from Ilkay Gundogan, one of 56 that the German midfielder completed on the night.

He misplaced only three passes in the game, his pass completion rate of 94.9% the highest of anyone who started the match. [via WhoScored]

Gundogan also had two shots, one of which was on target, and won one aerial duel and two tackles, as well as recording one interception. [via WhoScored]

His hard-working performance was noted by some reporters afterwards. He was given a seven in Sky Sports‘ player ratings, with the narrative that he “had another quietly-effective game, with the highlight of his defence-splitting repertoire coming when his delicious pass set Sterling on his way for his second”.

The Mirror‘s David Anderson also awarded him a seven and said that he “worked hard in the middle of the park”, while Stuart Brennan of Manchester Evening News noted the “great pass for Sterling’s second goal” and that he “had his moments”.

Sterling and Aguero were the men with their names up in lights on the scoreboard, but Gundogan’s tidy passing display, the highlight of which was his ball for Sterling’s goal to make it 4-1, also deserves plenty of commendation.

Manchester City fans, do you think Gundogan was one of your team’s best performers against Atalanta last night? Have your say by commenting below!

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