Do not let the scoreline of the first half fool you into thinking that it was a game of 2 halves. City were absolutely fantastic in both the halves. It was just that the tactics from Pep needed a little bit tweaking at halftime to get us at full speed. It was a memorable match for our academy with Rico Lewis announcing himself to the footballing world.
Stefan Ortega – 7
It was his second consecutive Champions League start ahead of Ederson. He did extremely well with his feet when playing out from the back. He is so comfortable on the ball that you have to commend the transfer team for getting Ortega ahead of many other clubs who were ready to offer him first team football. He could not have done anything to prevent the goal. Apart from that it was a routine day for him. Did not have many saves to make
Rico Lewis – 9
Adapted extremely well to the complex tactical system in the first half. He played in at least 3 positions across the midfield in the first half and did extremely well with his positional sense. Never looked out of place when inverting into the midfield. When Pep played him in his conventional full back role in the second half, he was electric. He made some very intelligent runs with fantastic timing. The positions he took up always gave a headache to the Sevilla defenders. The goal was struck with so much confidence that he seems to have a natural knack of finishing chances
Ruben Dias – 7
On an other day he could have scored a hat-trick from set pieces. he had 3 glorious unopposed chances in the box. It wasn’t to be for Dias. Let us hope that he has saved his hat-trick for a big knock out game. The confidence of Dias seems to have returned. You could see the warrior like look that he had before that injury last season. He defended commendably and for the most part organized the defense well. Looks like City have 4 center backs in top form and this is just exciting times for us as a club
Aymeric Laporte – 7
Watching Laporte this season feels a bit different. It looks like Laporte is showing the levels that made him one of the best defenders in the league in his first season. Passing is what seperates Laporte from all of the other center backs we have. Laporte can break the opposition defensive lines with his passing and this is a very lethal weapon. He did exactly that yesterday and he was very assured in dealing with Rafa Mir. it would be safe to say that our Laporte is back from injury in top form
Sergio Gomez – 6
I thought he was at fault for the first goal from the corner. He had an average game and nothing more than that. He was good with his crosses, but he seemed to be lacking a bit of depth in his positional sense. I can understand that it can take time for even the best of players to learn the Pep system inside out. Sergio Gomez is still learning and it is nights like these that will make him into a very good full back. On the positive side, he was very comfortable in the inverted full back system and played well in tight spaces. He was extremely good in possession and carried the ball very well through a sea of defenders on several occasions
Gundogan – 7
Played extremely well at the base of midfield. I know that he has played there before, but his sense of making those forward runs is just amazing. I do not know of an other midfielder who can make those late runs even while playing in the CDM position. Gundo looks to be on the top of his game and his ball control in tight spaces almost crafted a goal for us in the first half. He also made several good tactical fouls to stop potentially dangerous counter attacks form Sevilla.
Cole Palmer – 7
Cole Palmer might not have grabbed the headlines in the game. But, he was superb in his positional rotation with the wide player and the full back. He carried the ball very well through tight spaces and always made the right decision with the pass. Watching Cole Palmer play you can sense that he is always ahead of the game and he finds space when there is none available. It is this quality of Palmer that makes me confidently believe that he is the next big thing out of City’s academy.
Phil Foden – 7
He started in the midfield role and often exchanged positions with Jack Grealish. His tight close control was on supreme display. He played a sumptuous one two with Gundogan and Gundogan just missed the goal. I got goosebumps when i saw that one two. It almost took you back to the days of David Silva and Leroy Sane playing one twos at a speed that was just on an other level. I thought that he could have been a little bit more clinical in the final third. Apart from that Foden was at his best levels like always
Jack Grealish – 6
I did not quite understand why Pep did not play Jack in the midfield and Foden out wide. Jack tried everything he could do to create attacking moves from out wide but he encountered the same problems of people doubling up on him. When Sergio Gomez started to make a few overlapping runs, that is when Jack seemed to come on his own. I think if Pep wants to play Jack out wide then he should have his full back making those overlapping runs. Otherwise Jack might not be as effective and the overall tempo of the game will be effected as well.
Riyad Mahrez – 7
Everyone knew that he was going through a patchy run of form. Some City fans were even coming to conclusions that we might be seeing the end of Mahrez. But, I never once believed that Mahrez was done. He was looking absolutely fantastic from the off. He maintained extreme discipline by sticking to the byline for the most part in the first half. But, it was in the second half when Pep tweaked it a bit tactically that he found his freedom. He was given the license to go inside and you could see Mahrez taking on players and playing some sumptuous balls into the box. Even before the goal you could sense that Mahrez was back to form. The eyes of Mahrez said it all after he scored the goal. I can firmly say with Conviction that Mahrez was back
Julian Alvarez – 9
He was absolutely out of this world. His pressing, his energy, his endeavor to get on to the ball in tight spaces was superb. He played like a perfect Pep Guardiola forward in every aspect. He led the press and he pressed relentlessly till the last whistle. His pass for the first goal of Rico Lewis was something you would normally expect from a Kevin de Bruyne. The pass was of such high quality. The finish from that Majestic Kevin De Bruyne ball was just out of this world. His composure to round off the goal keeper and finish off in the top corner with his left foot was outstanding. This is the reason why we let Gabriel Jesus go. Alvarez gives you all of the energy and intensity like Gabriel Jesus, but he is a far greater finisher than Gabriel Jesus. Pep should some how look to play Haaland and Alvarez together. That partnership would be lethal beyond our wildest imagination
Kevin De Bruyne – 8
What else is left to say about king Kevin. We are in the midst of the greatest midfielder of this decade. He sees things that us mortals can’t even dare to dream of. That Pass to Alvarez was just undefendable. No team and no system could have prevented that pass from reaching Alvarez. It was that good. With Haaland and Alvarez in the striking ranks this season, Kevin De Bruyne will be eyeing every assist record that is there to be beaten.