Rodri was the star of the show while Raheem Sterling was impressive as Manchester City beat Swansea City 3-1 to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals
Manchester City appeared to be hot off the gates, as Gabriel Jesus forced Freddie Woodman into a solid save. However, thereafter, the chances did not flow as much as the visitors would have liked, with Ferran Torres the only one who came close to scoring in the first half an hour before the deadlock was finally broken, and in the most bizarre way.
Kyle Walker received the ball deep in the right flank and attempted to fire in a cross to pick out Torres, only for the ball to evade everyone and go into the Swansea City goal. The next goal came early in the second half, as Rodri set Raheem Sterling up for the simplest of finishes from close range.
Shortly after, Manchester City put the game to bed, with Jesus producing a stunning finish after receiving the ball from Bernardo Silva. Swansea did pull a goal back through Morgan Whittaker, but it was a mere consolation, as City booked their place in the FA Cup quarter-finals. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Pep Guardiola’s men.
Zack Steffen: 6/10
A comfortable evening for the most part, considering he did not have a single save to make while completing each of the 28 passes he attempted. Would be disappointed at not having kept a clean sheet.
Kyle Walker: 7/10
Walker scored perhaps the strangest goal of his career as his searching cross evaded everyone, including Swansea goalkeeper Freddie Woodman. Had the most touches in the game (140) and utilised the ball smartly, linking up well with Ferran Torres and Bernardo Silva on his side.
Eric Garcia: 7/10
Back into the starting lineup, Garcia combined well with Aymeric Laporte at the heart of the Manchester City defence, winning 3 duels as well. A big block on Jamal Lowe in the first half was crucial, but he allowed Morgan Whittaker a bit too much space to shoot when Swansea pulled the goal back. Solid otherwise.
Aymeric Laporte: 7/10
A solid night’s work for Laporte, who hardly allowed Jordan Morris and Lowe any time on the ball. Made 4 clearances in addition to winning 4 aerial duels as well. Popped up at the other end a couple of times, but could not manage to find the back of the net.
Benjamin Mendy: 7/10
Handed a rare start, Mendy was a little slow off the blocks despite enjoying a lot of space down the left flank. Initially, the Frenchman was wasteful with his crosses, but the chances flew better once he grew into the game. Did some solid work off the ball as well, making a couple of fine recoveries while also winning each of the 3 aerial duels he contested.
Bernardo Silva: 7/10
Manchester City were thoroughly dominant against Swansea and a lot of that was down to their midfielders, who did not give an inch in the middle of the park. Silva was professional in his display and provided the assist for Gabriel Jesus’s goal while completing 49 of the 52 passes he attempted. Continues to grow in stature with each passing game.
🧠 Rodri vs Swansea:
72' minutes played
82 accurate passes (98,8%)
6 key passes
1 big chance created
5 accurate long balls (out of 5)
Incredible performance by the spanish! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/V1jItN693F
— The Footy DAT (@thefootydat) February 10, 2021
Rodri appeared to be in his elements right from the early stages of the game, when he intercepted a dangerous cut-back by Jordan Morris. The Spaniard was basically everywhere on the pitch, playing a game-high 6 key passes, which included the assists for the goals that Kyle Walker and Raheem Sterling scored, with the latter being particularly delightful. Seemed to be hobbling when taken off.
Ilkay Gundogan: 7/10
Another superb performance by Gundogan, who just continues to go from strength to strength. The German international pulled the strings effortlessly during his stay on the pitch, completing 39 of the 41 passes he attempted while also creating a couple of half-chances. Put a shift in off the ball as well.
Ferran Torres: 6/10
A frustrating evening for Torres, who came the closest to scoring in the opening 30 minutes before the deadlock was broken. Saw a lot of the ball and misplaced just one pass all game, but could not manage to make a telling difference in the game.
Gabriel Jesus: 8/10
The Player to Watch in our preview, this was the chance for Jesus to impress, and that is exactly what he did. The Brazilian striker tested Woodman early on before finding the back of the net later on in the game, but not before showing an exquisite first touch while collecting the ball from Silva. Played as many as 5 key passes as well. A step in the right direction.
Gabriel Jesus’ game by numbers vs. Swansea City:
89% pass accuracy
10 penalty area touches
5 chances created
3 shots [2 on target]
Took his goal very well. 🇧🇷 pic.twitter.com/aFvmZ2yPmG
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) February 10, 2021
Raheem Sterling: 8/10
A top class display, wherein Sterling did not put a single foot wrong. The Manchester City skipper completed each of the 31 passes he attempted and showed superb chemistry with Mendy on the left flank. Most importantly, he scored the goal that was effectively the match-winner, linking up well with Rodri before calmly slotting the ball into the back of the Swansea goal.
Riyad Mahrez: 7/10
On for Sterling, Mahrez showed a lot of desire to make things happen and was nearly involved in a goal moments after coming on. On another day, he could have celebrated a goal or an assist.
Thomas Doyle: 7/10
Introduced early in the first half, as Guardiola sought to hand a breather to Gundoga, Doyle saw a lot of the ball and utilised it pretty well. The youngster boasted an impressive 92 percent passing rate and even came close to scoring once.
Phil Foden: 6/10
On for Silva, Foden nearly scored moments after being introduced, only to have his effort blocked. Helped see the game out late on.
Claudio Gomes: 6/10
Showed some good touches after replacing Rodri for the final 20 minutes or so, but it was his mistake that enabled Swansea to pull a goal back late on.