Manchester City 4-1 Burnley Player Ratings: Super Sane

Aguero celebrates – aol.co.uk

Anyone claiming the magic FA Cup to have died should watch Manchester City’s 4-1 Third Round victory over Burnley. Both halves of the game were beautifully captivating, but for entirely opposing reasons. Ashley Barnes’ first half strike threatened to hand the Clarets an epic scalp, before Sergio Aguero’s three-minute second half brace gave way to City excellence. Here’s our Player Ratings from the game.

The Citizens

Claudio Bravo – hard to escape the sense that Ederson might have kept out Barnes’ opener, which the ex-Barcelona man shouldn’t have let inside his near-post. Only had to face one other shot on target. 4

Danilo – not at his best in the first half, when he mishit one or two passes. His switching of play improved drastically in the second half though and he found Sane with some excellent balls, before slotting in at left-back in the latter stages. 7
John Stones – gave the ball away in a dangerous area in the build-up to the opener, which suggest a degree of rustiness after six weeks away. Dominated Vokes in the second half though. 5
Nicolas Otamendi – a solid enough performance, if a tad slow to recover his position in the build-up to Burnley’s goal. Tosin Adarabioyo might feel unfortunate not to have been given a chance at centre-back after his display at Leicester in the League Cup. 6
Oleksandr Zinchenko – endured the occasional nervy moment up against Gudmundsson in the first half and didn’t play many passes that improved City’s attacking prospects. If he is to force his way into this elite side he needs to be a little braver on the ball, although that will come with time and he did have the confidence to shoot from range a couple of times. 5

Fernandinho – bailed Zinchenko out with one or two covering runs and tidied things up effectively, giving the more creative players a platform in the second half. A hugely important cog in this City machine – there aren’t too many players like him in the squad. 9
Ilkay Gundogan – posed a threat from set pieces, his cunningly quick one to Aguero leading to the equalizer. A little too deep in the first half but got closer to Aguero following the interval and played an excellent reverse pass to the Argentine for his second assist. 8
David Silva – arguably the home side’s brightest spark in the first half and at times he was asked to make runs that one might have expected from the front three. An excellent passer of a ball and we saw this countless times after the interval. Showed remarkable courage in spite of the personal issues he faces. 9

Raheem Sterling – quiet in the first half but looked sharper in his movement after the break, even if the right channel wasn’t City’s main port of call. 7
Leroy Sane – didn’t get in behind Lowton as often as he might have done in the first half, but was helped by the second half ploy to overload the right channel, thus creating space for him on the left. His end product let him down at the beginning of the second period but he kept getting into good positions and the German’s quality really shone through in that last half hour. 8
Sergio Aguero – looked sharp in the first half, winning a free-kick on the quarter hour mark and wriggling in between defenders. Even sharper after the break when he scored a wonderfully ruthless three-minute double-salvo. 9

Kyle Walker (on 72) – didn’t provide his usual rampaging runs, just shored things up in the latter stages with the game safe. 6
Kevin De Bruyne (on 76) – showed some delightful touches in his short time on the pitch, including a wonderful ball to Sane en route to the fourth. 7
Bernardo Silva (on 79) – only needed 11-minutes of normal time to grab a goal, tapping home Sane’s cut-back. 7

The Clarets

Nick Pope – wasn’t tested enough in the first half, but was possibly tested too much in the second! Wrong-footed for the equalizer and was a tad naive in rushing out of goal in the build-up to the fourth. 2

Matthew Lowton – industrious in the first half but couldn’t live with Sane after the break, when he was sometimes guilty of watching the ball rather than sticking to his man. 3
Kevin Long – did well in the first half but his positioning was very suspect in the second, often relying on other players to cover for him when the ball was in his vicinity. Caught ball-watching for Aguero’s second. 2
Ben Mee – marginally the better of the two centre-backs. Made block after block in the first half and even in the second, he was normally the one putting his body on the line where others didn’t. 4
Charlie Taylor – solid enough in the first half but guilty of the odd ill-judged pass. City didn’t target his flank so much in the second half, although he did allow Sterling and Danilo to play around him on one or two occasions. 4

Ashley Westwood – eager to press in the first half and in doing so, he occasionally left gaps through which City played. We saw an example of this in City’s second goal, when he was so eager to close-down that he didn’t keep his tabs on Aguero. Normally composed in possession but struggled to hold onto the ball here due to the onslaught he faced. 3
Jack Cork – got the flick-on that led to Barnes’ opener but also let Aguero escape his attentions for the equalizer. There had been question marks about his fitness and the former Chelsea man dropped deeper as the game went on, struggling to handle the intensity of City’s play. Taken off on 69 minutes. 3

Johann Berg Gudmunsson – drew occasional bursts of excitement from away fans whenever he targeted Zinchenko on the break down that right side and looked lively throughout that first half, delivering a corner that led to Barnes’ first chance too. Got dragged inside in the second half and thus didn’t give Lowton the necessary protection and that became problematic in the lead-up to the third goal. 4
Jeff Hendrick – an eager presser early on, often up alongside Vokes out of possession. Didn’t quite have the energy to sustain that for 90 minutes and ran out of steam in the second half. 2
Ashley Barnes – a real workhorse throughout, quicker to loose balls than Danilo in the first half, when he could have had a close-range tap-in to go with his one-on-one opener, which he took with real aplomb. Quieter in an attacking sense in the second half but roundly protected Taylor well. 5

Sam Vokes – mobility has never been his strong point, so his only advantage was his height and aerial ability. The fact he also struggled to win headers shows he had a limited influence on proceedings. 2

Nahki Wells (on 69) – brought on to provide some fresh legs but his teammates rarely saw them in action due to the limited possession they had. 4
Jonathan Walters (on 75) – showed an eagerness to press but without the support of a tiring central midfield, his endeavour was fruitless. 4