Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan were on the scoresheet as Manchester City defeated a dogged Aston Villa side 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

It was an entertaining encounter that saw plenty of goalmouth action in the opening period. But some brilliant goalkeeping from Emiliano Martinez and dogged defending from the Aston Villa backline meant Manchester City were unable to open the scoring in the first half, while the visitors themselves caused a few problems at the other end.

Things got more exciting after the break as Ederson Moraes was called into action a couple of times while Villa continued to thwart Manchester City’s waves of attacks. However, in the 78th minute, the Villans’ goal was finally breached courtesy of a brilliant strike from Bernardo Silva, although there was a dubious offside call, or a lack thereof, in the lead-up to the goal.

A handball in the penalty box by Matty Cash late in the game allowed Manchester City to kill the game off as Ilkay Gundogan buried home from the spot to go to the top of the table for the first time this season before Manchester United reclaimed the position. And here’s how we rated the performances of Pep Guardiola’s men on the night at the Etihad Stadium.

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Ederson Moraes: 7/10

The Manchester City goalkeeper was called into action by Ross Barkley in the first period, but he was up to the task. Made a couple of important saves in the second half as well to deny Bertrand Traore and Douglas Luiz. Misplaced just four of his passes.

Kyle Walker: 6/10

Looked good in the initial stages but the Manchester City right-back picked up a hamstring injury early in the game. Tried to run it off but was not able to and had to be taken off in the 28th minute.

John Stones: 7/10

Another solid performance from the resurgent Stones as he helped Manchester City to another clean sheet. There was one moment when he was beaten in the air which caused some nerves, but assured otherwise. Helped build play up with his passing, completing 62 of his 67 attempted passes.

Ruben Dias: 7.5/10

What an inspired signing he is proving to be for Manchester City! Another fine performance from Ruben Dias, who swept up everything that came his way and cut out counter-attacks effectively. Finished the game with three interceptions, one of which came in the goalmouth to deny a goalscoring opportunity for Villa in the second period. Also made two clearances, two tackles and won three aerials.

Joao Cancelo: 8/10

Be it on the left side or on the right, the Portuguese full-back provided a constant attacking outlet for Manchester City, pushing forward with intent while remaining alert to any threat at the back. Saw plenty of the ball as he also drifted into central areas regularly and made very good use of it, playing two key passes and completing three dribbles – the joint-highest in the game.

Could have scored himself but hit the woodwork early in the second period before being denied by Martinez. Brilliant.

Kevin De Bruyne: 7.5/10

The Manchester City captain on the day looked in his elements in the first half play as he played dangerous pass after dangerous pass to create chances for his teammates, stitching together three key passes. Had a couple of shots blocked by the dogged ASton Villa backline as well. Withdrawn near the hour mark with a potential injury. Fans will be hoping that it is nothing serious.

Rodri: 7.5/10

Went about his job in midfield with minimum fuss as he made four tackles, four clearances and an interception to keep Aston Villa in check. Did well to push forward whenever the opportunity presented itself.

Created the early chance for Silva, which Martinez saved brilliantly and got the assist for the opener, although there will be questions asked about it, as he was coming from an offside position to win the ball from Tyrone Mings.

Ilkay Gundogan: 7/10

On another day, the German international could have had two or three goals on the night. But some stubborn defending by the likes of Mings and Ezri Konsa meant he had a couple of goal-bound efforts blocked.

But, Gundogan did manage to get his name on the scoresheet from the penalty spot late in the game. Pushed forward with great intent and purpose all game; played two key passes and completed a dribble as well.

Raheem Sterling: 6/10

Starting in his favoured right-wing berth, Sterling looked bright in the early exchanges. However, the England international found it hard to get past a solid Matt Targett. Did make a couple of key passes, but was the quietest of the Manchester City attackers and made way for Riyad Mahrez in the second half.

Bernardo Silva: 8/10

Should have opened the scoring less than ten minutes in, but his close range effort was brilliantly blocked by Martinez. Continued to cause problems with his movement and link-up play before breaking the deadlock with a sumptuous finish in the second half – his first league goal of the season. Attempted (7) and completed (3) the most number of dribbles on the night and played a key pass as well.

Phil Foden: 8/10

A livewire in the attacking third of the pitch, Foden looked the likeliest to make things happen for Manchester City as he constantly got into dangerous positions and created opportunities. Made a game-high six passes and three interceptions and could have scored himself, but had one shot saved by the goalkeeper and another blocked by Konsa. Consistently showing why he is held in such high regard.


Oleksandr Zinchenko: 6.5/10

On for the injured Walker before the half-hour mark and slotted in at left-back, with Cancelo moving to the right. Resolute at the back, barring one or two moments. Made one interception, one clearance and one tackle each, while winning two of his six aerial duels.

Gabriel Jesus: 6/10

Replaced De Bruyne just shy of the hour mark. Looked a tad bit scratchy during his cameo. Completed a key pass and won the penalty late in the game.

Riyad Mahrez: 6/10

Came on for Sterling in the 72nd minute. Got into dangerous positions on a couple of occasions and played one key pass.

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