Manchester City were held to an uninspiring 1-1 draw by a stubborn West Bromwich Albion, who put in a tremendous defensive shift at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.
Manchester City failed to seize yet another opportunity to climb up the table as minnows, West Bromwich Albion, made life difficult for the Cityzens. This is the 7th game wherein Manchester City have dropped points in the 12 games this season.
West Brom started the game brightly when Karlan Grant came close to scoring but was denied by a good save by Ederson. However, it was Manchester City who ultimately broke the deadlock at the half-hour mark through Ilkay Gundogan’s neat finish, set up by Raheem Sterling.
Right at the end of the first half, Semi Ajayi took a shot from the edge of the box that took a heavy deflection of Ruben Dias and crept into the goal. The first half ended level and City had yet another mountain to climb.
Man City have dropped points against West Brom for the first time in 14 Premier League games.
More ground lost. 😬 pic.twitter.com/H4oCkzfWVM
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) December 15, 2020
West Brom defended terrifically with the brightest of City’s chances coming after the 90 minute mark when two point-blank headers by Gundogan and Sterling from typical Kevin De Bruyne crosses were saved superbly by Sam Johnstone. It was an emphatic performance by the Baggies, who earned a deserved point for it. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Pep Guardiola’s men.
Made a smart stop at the very start, but was not tested that much otherwise. Left wrong-footed for the goal that Manchester City conceded and could not do much to deal with the deflection.
Joao Cancelo: 6/10
Cancelo was very threatening going forward, playing key passes and testing the keeper from long range. Gave away a silly free-kick that led to the goal and also took an unnecessary yellow card.
Ruben Dias: 5/10
Was at the receiving end of an unlucky deflection but it was his weak clearance that led to the goal-scoring opportunity. Rather uncharacteristic of Dias, who has looked very solid otherwise.
Manchester City have conceded their first goal across all competitions since 21st November when they lost 2-0 to Spurs.
A run of six consecutive clean sheets comes to an end. pic.twitter.com/zKbmDLzHYM
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 15, 2020
Nathan Ake: 6/10
Made a start in the Premier League after a long period out and looked pretty good. Did not make errors, was good in the air and came close to scoring as well.
Benjamin Mendy: 6/10
His performance was as good as his new hairstyle is, with both being rather disappointing. Mendy looked energetic but did not seem to have his head in the game. Subbed for Walker in the 70th minute.
Recycled the possession like his usual self but was guilty of slowing the game down at times. Was rarely threatened defensively. However, Rodri was guilty of making some poor decisions and being overly ambitious in the final third.
Ilkay Gundogan: 7/10
Started the game rather slowly, but got into a fantastic position for scoring the goal. It was a neat finish by the German, who ghosted into the box in a sly manner. Played the full ninety and came close to scoring towards the end. He could have won the game for the men in blue with a clearer heading opportunity and a very good attempt from a free-kick.
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 15, 2020
Kevin De Bruyne: 7/10
It was a rather poor first-half performance from De Bruyne by his standards, as he took a lot of time to get involved. But, he was far more intense in the second half and tried his best to break down the stubborn Baggies defence. He created two brilliant opportunities for Gundogan and Sterling, who failed to find the back of the net. The Belgian still awaits his first goal from open play this season.
Phil Foden: 5/10
Got into good positions and looked energetic for the majority of the first half. Looked less effective in the second and was subbed for Aguero.
Gabriel Jesus: 4/10
His off the ball movement has been the only reason he has stuck around this City first team. The Brazilian pressed well and linked up smartly with his teammates, but was rather poor in the box. Jesus has not found the back of the net in his last 5 Premier League starts.
Raheem Sterling: 6/10
Played from the right-hand side and did very well to set up Gundogan for the opener. He would feel that he could have been more involved as the game went on. Should have scored with the opportunity in the end, but headed the ball straight at Johnstone.
Raheem Sterling has now provided as many Premier League assists for Man City (32) as Yaya Touré.
Levelling up with a club legend. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/b2Yw9SCcIW
— William Hill (@WilliamHill) December 15, 2020
Kyle Walker: 6/10
Added another dimension to the attack, as West Brom sat deeper and deeper. However, Walker failed to make a difference.
Sergio Aguero: 6/10
Came closing to scoring a goal in his short cameo with a shot that perhaps should have been aimed at the far post instead of the near.