Manchester City

Unsung Hero: Manchester City’s Rodri excels on Etihad debut with composed display

Unsung Hero: Manchester City’s Rodri excels on Etihad debut with composed display

Manchester City had to settle for a point against Tottenham after a 2-2 draw in Saturday’s eventful Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium.

The Premier League champions thought they had snatched a stoppage-time winner through Gabriel Jesus but, with the ball striking Aymeric Laporte’s arm in the build-up, a VAR review resulted in the goal being disallowed. [via Sky Sports]

It isn’t the first time that VAR has intervened to deny Manchester City a decisive stoppage-time goal against Tottenham – just four months ago, Raheem Sterling’s last-gasp strike in a pulsating Champions League quarter-final was disallowed for offside, resulting in Spurs advancing on the away goals rule.

On Saturday, Pep Guardiola’s team twice led through goals from Sterling and Sergio Aguero, only to be pegged back on both occasions.

They dominated Tottenham throughout the match, having 30 shots to the visitors’ three, but ultimately dropped points in a Premier League game for the first time since losing to Newcastle at the end of January.

Over the summer, Manchester City broke their transfer record to sign midfielder Rodri from Atletico Madrid for £62.6m and the Spain midfielder has not taken long to show the Etihad faithful why the club were willing to make him their most expensive acquisition of all time.

In his 78 minutes on the pitch, the 23-year-old was incredibly composed in possession, recording a phenomenal passing success rate of 98.2% as he misplaced only one of 57 passes on his first home appearance for the Premier League champions. [via WhoScored.com]

Rodri had one shot on goal and also put in a tremendous shift for the good of his team, winning all three of his aerial duels (only Nicolas Otamendi won more) and four tackles, the most of any player in Guardiola’s team, as well as making two interceptions. [via WhoScored.com]

Daily Express writer Matt Atherton said that the midfielder was “fluid in possession from the first whistle, and appears to be gelling superbly into the team”, while for Sky Sports, Gerard Brand hailed his “solid display, keeping things ticking over in midfield”.

It is very early days at the Etihad for Rodri, but if he can produce such composed and industrious performances consistently over the season, that £62.6m fee could look like money very well spent by Manchester City.

Manchester City, what did you make of Rodri’s home debut for the club? Give us your thoughts by commenting below!

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