Player Ratings

Man City 2-0 Newcastle, Player Ratings: Ake shines as City move into fifth

Pep Guardiola's Manchester City side made short work of a stubborn and defensive Newcastle United in the Premier League.

 
10:53pm on Saturday 26th December 2020
By
Stefan Bienkowski

Manchester City moved into fifth place and just five points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool with a convincing 2-0 victory over Newcastle United.

Pep Guardiola’s side were forced to play without a recognised striker for the second game in a row, but the Spanish manager was able to call upon impressive performances from individuals in his team to pick up an important three points on a wet and windy December night.

Manchester City 2-0 Newcastle United: Player Ratings, Match Stats, Player Stats

So, who were the best and worst performers from both sides?

✔️ GOOD PERFORMANCE

Raheem Sterling: 8.3

Without an obvious striker in his team, Guardiola was undoubtedly relying on Raheem Sterling to lead the line and drive City towards goal at every opportunity. And that’s exactly what he did.

Sterling broke through a stubborn Newcastle defence just 14 minutes into the game when he darted into the box and twirled on the spot to square the ball to an on-running Ilkay Gundgoan, to tap home the opening goal.

Although Sterling didn’t get on the scoresheet himself, the England forward hit more shots than any other City player and had, by far, the most amount of touches in the opposing box.

City fans would have welcomed the late introduction of Sergio Aguero to the game but until that point they would have surely appreciated Sterling’s efforts up front.

BAD PERFORMANCE

DeAndre Yedlin: 5.4

Against a spirited Man City side, Newcastle needed composure and assurances from their defenders and unfortunately they got nothing of the sort from DeAndre Yedlin on Saturday evening.

The right wing-back offered very little in attack, with just five passes into the final third and a rather abysmal pass completion rate of just 47 percent.

Defensively he wasn’t very good either. Over the course of the game Yedlin attempted four defensive duels and won just one. Or, in other words, he didn’t win a single tackle or header.

STAR MAN

Nathan Ake: 8.4

It’s at this point in the season that a number of the biggest teams in the Premier League start to experience a number of injuries and as a result where a team finds itself in the league table come the turn of the year can often come down to squad depth more than anything else.

As such, Guardiola will be fortunate to have a player like Nathan Ake, who can seemingly fill in at centre back and left back with relative ease. And against Newcastle the Dutch defender showed exactly what he was capable of.

In a team tasked with scoring without an obvious striker, Ake was often seen bombing down the left wing to provide vital width. Over the course of the game he made 19 passes into the final third with an impressive accuracy of 94 percent.

No player offered the perfect balance in attack and defence quite like Ake and as such he was the best player on the pitch on Saturday.

Manchester City 2-0 Newcastle United: Player Ratings, Match Stats, Player Stats

Latest news

Player Ratings

Belgium 3-0 Russia: Lukaku on target as Red Devils start impressively

Belgium began their Euro 2020 campaign in impressive style as they beat Russia 3-0 thanks to goals from Romelu Lukaku and Thomas Meunier.

  • 10 hours
Predicted XI

No Van Dijk or Van de Beek - How the Netherlands will line up against Ukraine

Frank de Boer will have his work cut out for him as he tries to pull together a functional starting XI for the Netherlands in their opening Euro 2020 clash

  • 21 hours
Predicted XI

Rashford, Maguire and Henderson to miss out - How England will line up against Croatia

England manager Gareth Southgate will have to compensate for a number of experienced players not being fit enough for his side's opening game of Euro 2020

  • 22 hours
Player Ratings

Turkey 0-3 Italy Player Ratings: Immobile stars as the Azzurri kick off Euro 2020 in style

Italy kicked off Euro 2020 with a comprehensive and impressive 2-0 victory over dark horses Turkey thanks to a goal from Ciro Immobile

  • 1 day
Predicted XI

Hazard, De Bruyne to miss opener – How Belgium could line up against Russia

Kevin De Bruyne will miss Belgium’s Euro 2020 opener on Sunday, while Eden Hazard remains in doubt.

  • 1 day
Predicted XI

Verratti out, Locatelli in: How Italy could line up against Turkey

Italy kick off the European Championship in Rome against Turkey on Friday evening. How will Roberto Mancini's men line up?

  • 1 day

Most read