Manchester City strolled past Swindon Town to reach the fourth round of the FA Cup, with Cole Palmer and Bernardo Silva impressing.

To everyone’s surprise, Pep Guardiola decided to field a team full of first-teamers rather than giving some of the academy graduates a chance to shine against lower league opposition. Cole Palmer was the only one from the youth ranks to feature, with first team players making up the rest of the starting eleven.

Despite that, it took some time for the Premier League leaders to open up Swindon Town, with Bernardo Silva opening the scoring in the 15th minute. Palmer here was the architect as all the Portuguese had to do was tap the ball into the net.

Gabriel Jesus then added the second around the half-hour mark as Swindon’s style of playing out from the back gifted the Brazilian an easy goal. Joao Cancelo came very close to scoring a third before half-time as his thunderbolt from distance nearly went into the net.

Ilkay Gundogan’s free-kick around the hour mark gave Manchester City the third goal. Immediately afterwards, Manchester City were awarded a penalty, although Lewis Ward saved Jesus’s tame effort.

Against the odds, Swindon launched some pressure on Manchester City after that, which eventually yielded a goal for Harry McKirdy, giving the home crowd something to cheer about. Their happiness was short-lived as Palmer bagged his first for Manchester City. Here’s how Pep Guardiola’s men fared in their sweeping win over Swindon Town.

Zack Steffen: 6/10

Steffen was alert at all times when he was called upon and did a fine job in goal as his team dominated proceedings for the most part. However, he should have done better to keep out Harry McKirdy’s effort.

Kyle Walker: 6.5/10

It was a good return to the first team as Walker made some crucial interceptions around the back post to deny the Swindon forwards a sniff at the goal. Did well in his customary right-back role.

Ruben Dias: 6/10

Dias was in his regular form, keeping things tight at the back and showing enough composure not to risk anything dangerous from Swindon.

Embed from Getty Images

Nathan Ake: 6/10

A solid performance from the Dutchman as he showed his superiority in the air against some tricky balls. Ake kept things tight at the back and has seemingly become a trusted player under Guardiola.

Joao Cancelo: 7.5/10

Cancelo was back in the left-back role after Walker’s return, which did not change his style or influence. The Portuguese international was superb all evening and probably should have scored in the first half with a blistering strike that went just wide.

Rodri: 7/10

A very comfortable game for the Spaniard. Rodri kept things ticking and recycling possession from his midfield base position.

Ilkay Gundogan: 6/10

Manchester City’s central midfielders were barely using half their powers against Swindon, and yet Gundogan scored a beautiful free-kick to make it 3-0.

Kevin De Bruyne: 6/10

Like Gundogan, De Bruyne had a quiet yet effective game in the middle of the park. He played a good ball for the second goal and kept things sharp in attack.

Cole Palmer: 8.5/10

Palmer always kept asking for the ball in tight areas and did well, all in all. The prodigious attacker got his first-ever goal for Manchester City, and he looks like a real deal.

Bernardo Silva: 8/10

The Portuguese international kept up with his recent good performances, putting in another impressive display, including scoring a goal on the night.

Gabriel Jesus: 6/10

Jesus took his goal well in the first half after being gifted the ball in a promising position. He missed a glorious chance to double his tally from the penalty spot as Lewis Ward saved his tame effort well.

SUBSTITUTES

James McAtee: 5/10

McAtee got some precious minutes under his belt and should be happy with his inclusion. Guardiola should have started him in a game like this one against lower league opposition.

Romeo Lavia: N/A

Did not play enough to get a rating.

Luke Mbete: N/A

Did not play enough to get a rating.

Kayky: N/A

Did not play enough to get a rating.

Leave A Comment...

*