Manchester City failed to make their chances count on Tuesday as they were held to a 0-0 draw at FC Porto in Group C of the UEFA Champions League.
FC Porto were defensive from the start of the game but made sure they took the opportunity to attack whenever afforded the same. Ederson was forced into making a good save to deny the home side an opening goal against the run of the play. Manchester City kept piling on the pressure, but Agustin Marchesin lapped up everything with ease.
Raheem Sterling looked lively, as did Bernardo Silva. However, Manchester City lacked that finishing edge and end product. The second half saw a repeat of the same, with Manchester City trying to get a goal and Porto doing all they can to prevent it. Raheem Sterling was one-on-one, but shot straight at the marauding Marchesin while Ferran Torres slipped as he tried to hit the rebound.
Gabriel Jesus seemed to have found the goal for City, but Bernardo Silva was adjudged to be in an offside position at the time of receiving the ball before crossing it to Jesus and the goal was disallowed after the VAR intervention. City came close on a few more occasions before the full-time whistle, with the ball cleared off the line by their own player attempting to put it in.
The game ended 0-0, which all but confirms City’s top position in Group C, unless something drastic happens on the final matchday. Let us now take a look at how the individuals fared.
Ederson – 7
Forced to make more than routine saves, despite City being oh-so dominant. The Brazilian stepped up whenever called upon to make the saves and continued to push his side for urgency in finding the winner.
Joao Cancelo – 7
🇵🇹 Joao Cancelo at Porto
3 aerial duels won
2 key passes
1 accurate cross
0x dribbled past
82% passing pic.twitter.com/sSn72cNqzC
— Matchday365 (@Matchday365) December 1, 2020
Did not have much defending to do and was one of the main proponents of City’s attacking threat. Ended the match with 2 key passes and 6 successful tackles, ensuring he was there for his team at both ends of the pitch.
Ruben Dias – 7
Continues to grow in confidence with each passing appearance for Manchester City. Dias proved his ball-playing abilities once again, with 2 key passes registered during the game. A lack of pressure from Porto meant Dias had all the time in the world to find his teammates with his dart-like passes and he did just that.
Eric Garcia – 7
Did equally well as his more experienced teammates in the backline on Tuesday. With no real defensive duty to do against a deep-sitting Porto side, Garcia was dominant and did not allow much to go past him. Needs more matches like these under his belt to grow in confidence before being considered as an option to be a regular at City.
Oleksandr Zinchenko – 7
It would almost seem like Zinchenko was hogging the ball but the truth is City chose to attack through the left side a lot, especially during the first half. Ended the game with most number of touches on the field (135) and was always pressing to deliver the end product. Needs to improve on his deliveries a bit, though.
Fernandinho – 6
Did his duty diligently and without any errors in his game on Tuesday. Could be chalked down as a night when the attackers failed to capitalise on the dominance of their teammates in midfield.
Rodri – 7
Controlled the tempo of the game and the ball in midfield to a great extent. Looking more and more like the holding midfielder Pep Guardiola was hoping the former Atletico Madrid to be at City. Ended the game with the most number of aerial duels won (8), showing another side of his game that will be needed in order to assert more control in midfield and recover second balls.
Raheem Sterling – 5
Took 5 shots against FC Porto and completed 5 dribbles. However, Sterling is yet to find his stride this season and that is a cause of worry for Pep. Sterling just doesn’t seem to be his clinical self in front of goal and that was once again evident in his game on Tuesday. Needs to be sharper.
Bernardo Silva – 8
Ran the show and was unlucky to not have assisted the winning goal for Gabriel Jesus, with the Portuguese adjudged to be coming back from an offside position to take the ball before putting in the cross. Could have easily had his own goal. Just a day of missed chances, but an encouraging comeback after injury nonetheless.
Phil Foden – 6
Afforded the chance to start after his sprightly cameo in the win over Burnley, Foden just did not seem to be involved to a great degree in City’s attacks. Looked lost on the pitch during some moments and seemed to be playing catch-up almost. Did well on corner duty, though.
Ferran Torres – 5
Guardiola would have hoped to see Torres use his goal against Burnley as a spring. However, Torres continued to give out a deflated look in front of goal. Missed key chances and the most crucial of all was his slip when trying to hit the rebound from Marchesin’s save as a result of Sterling’s attempt.
Gabriel Jesus – 8
Even though Jesus did not manage a goal, he got the ball in the back of the net with a beautiful finish, only for his goal to be disallowed. Changed the mood of the game and made City look more threatening instantly. Did more in front of goal in 20 minutes compared to what Torres managed in the first 70. Unlucky not to score the winner.
🗣️ Pep Guardiola after the Porto game: “I didn’t make substitutions, I thought about this but I think a few players need rhythm like Bernardo [Silva], Joao [Cancelo], Aleks [Zinchenko], Eric [Garcia], Dinho, for example”. #FFScout #FPL #GW11 #MCFC #FantasyPL pic.twitter.com/ivIA7HUzt0
— Fantasy Football Scout (@FFScout) December 2, 2020
Guardiola also seemed happy enough with what he saw from his City side after Jesus came on as he did not use any more of his available substitutes when he could have brought Foden off to add a fresh pair of legs in the form of Mahrez, who seems to be the only City player capable of finding the back of the net with regularity right now.