After each home game I will bring you a round up of how each player performed along with a rating out of 10, I will try to do the same for both sides involved.
Yesterday was a massive day for both City and Sunderland. The North East side came into the game on the back of 1 win in 7, and City knew that a win would move them upto third and create a 6 point gap between themselves and Spurs. After the run around that Asamoah Gyan gave Joleon Lescott on Tuesday night City fans had every reason to fear the Sunderland attacking unit, on top of that was the ‘typical City’ tag that dictated that it would be an opportunity not to be taken.
The game however was pretty much over after 20 minutes, City raced into a 2 goal lead and Sunderland never really got going. Despite ditching one of his central midfield men, Roberto Mancini’s side still dominated the Mackem midfield and that for me was where the game was won and lost. For once my trusty pre-game balti pie wasn’t the highlight and it was another game that hopefully can start to put the ‘boring boring City’ tag to bed.
Lets get on with these ratings then:
Dedryck Boyata – 7 – A lot was made of the sides lack of a right back going into the game, but the young centreback was solid defensively and showed some nice dribbling ability coming forward.
Joleon Lescott – 8 – Vowed to keep Gyan quiet, and he did. Dominant in the air, composed. It is amazing what a run in the team is doing for his confidence and performance levels.
Vincent Kompany – 8 – Imperious again, sorely underrated centreback. One of the best in the league in my eyes, absolute quality again, didn’t put a foot wrong.
Aleksandar Kolarov – 7 – His best performance in a City shirt, a constant threat down the left flank, he and David Silva tortured the right side of the Sunderland defense, solid going backwards as well.
Adam Johnson – 8 – Great to see him back, offers something different to the rest of the side, provides width and trickery. Scored the vital first goal and looked lively throughout.
Nigel De Jong – 9 – Immense and impeccable. He dominated Sulley Muntari and Jordan Henderson, snuffed out everything and played the pass of the game to help create City’s third.
Yaya Toure – 7 – Really put a shift in, was vital in the first goal and scored a deserved goal himself late on. Looked a lot more comfortable playing a deeper roll.
David Silva – 8 – Very good performance, some great passing and link up with his team mates and finished neatly for the third, was at the heart of all of City’s good work.
Mario Balotelli – 7 – Finally a demonstration of nothing but the good sides of his game. Played with a smile, worked hard for the team and showed some real hunger, unlucky to not get on the score sheet.
Carlos Tevez – 7 – Scored a slightly dodgy penalty, worked tirelessly, but that is to be expected by this point. Still shows great understanding with Silva and his link up with Balotelli is improving.
Patrick Vieira – 6 – Scored a goal with his first touch, worked hard and moped up well and kept City ticking.
Ryan McGivern – 6 – Always nice to see an academy graduate do well, very neat and tidy and seemed to enjoy himself
Shaun Wright-Phillips – 6 – Good Cameo from the winger, made some nice runs late on to stretch a tired defense.
Now some painful reading for Sunderland fans i’m afraid:
Anton Ferdinand – 4 – Ineffectual for the most part, never really got to grips with City’s attacking play.
Michael Turner – 5 – Won some headers and was probably the most commanding at the back in my mind, however he was beaten for pace too often really.
John Mensah – 4 – Put in some very sturdy tackles and never stopped working, used strength well but was at times not entirely aware of what was happening around him.
Phil Bardsley – 4 – Roasted by Adam Johnson numerous times, he also conceded a penalty and had to be subbed at half time, not a good day at the office.
Jordan Henderson – 5 – Not noticeable for the most part, that was the problem, he was dominated by Yaya Toure and Nigel De Jong, barely made an impression.
Sulley Muntari –3 – Muntari is capable of so much more, he was in the centre of the park to battle and stifle, but sadly he did neither and was put in his place by City’s midfield engine room.
Stephane Sessegnon – 6 – Never stopped working and put in a real shift for the cause, he looked a threat and caused one or two problems, sadly his team mates didn’t match his level of performance.
Lee Catermole – 4 – Offered very little, he battled which is to be expected, but what he was trying to do when he set up Toure for the 5th I have no idea, a great assist I suppose!
Asamoah Gyan – 5 – It was all a bit after the Lord Mayor’s show for Gyan, he caused one or two problems and had a good shot in the first half, but very little after that.
Danny Welbeck – 4 – Bad day for Welbeck, he really struggled and he was totally snuffed out by City’s defense, he had nothing all game.
Bolo Zenden – 5 – Couple of efforts late on that nearly worked Joe Hart, but nothing of note.
Ahmed Elmohamady – 5 – Should have scored a consolation from a header late on, decent attacking threat, but he played from fullback and was all at sea defensively.
Jack Colback – 5 – Really tough game for a youngster to be introuced into, he struggled to make any sort of impression, but don’t judge him on that.
Well that was how I saw it, now all that remains is to make a couple of awards:
The Balti Pie Award for Top Performance this time goes to Nigel De Jong, he stopped everything, snuffed out any attacking threat and totally dominated Sulley Muntari and Jordan Henderson. On top of that for all those that say he doesn’t have a forward pass in him, take a look at that pass for the third! In a game where a team scores 5 goals, maybe it seems strange to award it to a holding player, but Nigel was superb yesterday and fully deserves this award!
The Prawn Sandwich Award for Worst Performance goes to Sulley Muntari, he never got into the game and for a player of his ability he should really have done a better job in the engine room of the Sunderland team, but he never did anything to compete with Yaya Toure and Nigel De Jong. He offered no real protection to his defense and to be honest I am not sure he did anything at all really.
Now, where’s the towel, im still soaking from that rain storm that started when I was walking to my car!
For more of my stories about City and the world of football as a whole, follow me on twitter @soccercityjoe!