A rampant Manchester City side grabbed top spot on the Premier League table, as they smashed a sluggish West Bromich Albion 5-0 at Hawthorns on Tuesday.
Sam Allardyce’s men were desperate to find their groove in this figure, but Manchester City dominated the proceedings with finesse at the Hawthorns. The hosts started off brightly in the first few seconds of the game, but as soon as Pep Guardiola’s men began to unfold their menacing layers, the Baggies were not able to sustain such daunting pressure.
The visitors put the first dagger into the heart of West Brom in the 6th minute, as Ilkay Gundogan’s exquisite strike from the edge of the box opened their tally. West Brom’s defence was all over the place and as one would expect, the Citizens’ immensely fluid approach took the game by storm. The second goal came in the 20th minute, as Joao Cancelo placed the ball with perfection into the top left corner.
Gundogan yet again grabbed his moment incandescently in the 30th minute, as his calm and composed finish inside the box rattled the opposition’s cage for the third time. Just before the half-time whistle, the visitors extended their grip, as Riyad Mahrez’s left-footed screamer showcased this side’s endowment to kill the game within no time.
The fifth goal for Manchester City was orchestrated by Mahrez, whose daintily moulded pass was converted by Raheem Sterling in the 57th minute to put the game to bed. With seven consecutive wins in the league, Pep Guardiola’s men have now established themselves as the new leaders in the Premier League. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over the Citizens following their sumptuous victory over West Bromich Albion at the Hawthorns.
Ederson Moraes: 6.5/10
Only in the first minute, was Ederson needed to make a significant save, and the Brazilian goalkeeper had nothing much to worry about in this event. Ederson, in his 19 Premier League outings, has now kept 10 clean sheets, which is the highest in this campaign.
Joao Cancelo: 9/10
Joao Cancelo’s game by numbers vs. West Brom:
9 penalty area entries
7 duels won
3 chances created
3 ball recoveries
2 shots on target
1 clean sheet
Another great performance. pic.twitter.com/iewx7b9gr2
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 26, 2021
The Portuguese right-back was the standout performer of the game, as he not only scored a delicate goal to steal the show, but also provide the lofted assist to Ilkay Gundogan, which was the reason behind Manchester City striking first blow to West Brom.
All in all, Cancelo had a stellar evening, when he ventured through the right flank with ease. Cancelo also created four crucial chances for his forwards, and along with that, his tendency to hit West Brom on the break portrayed an illuminating exhibition.
Ruben Dias: 7.5/10
With another staggering performance to showcase his potential, the Portuguese centre-back keeps on proving solidity at the highest order for the Citizens. The player was at his influential best as he provided 92 accurate passes out of 96 attempted. Be it with his attribute to stand tall against the threats of the opposition or to command the backline with precedence, the player has been proving his worth valiantly.
John Stones and Ruben Dias starting together at CB:
11 clean sheets in 12 games ? pic.twitter.com/K6bi0Qv5gC
— B/R Football (@brfootball) January 26, 2021
John Stones: 7/10
Stones has been brilliant in the last few games, and on Tuesday, the player guided his defensive unit steadily to deny the Baggies whenever they posed any kind of intimidation. With 10 recoveries to display his game reading ability and with a 95 percent passing accuracy, the 26-year-old Englishman did a commendable job for Manchester City.
Oleksandr Zinchenko: 6.5/10
The Ukrainian international had a decent outing on his sixth appearance in the league, as he maintained the rhythm from the left flank. Few fragmentary moments in the first half where Zinchenko lost the ball on few occasions, but in the second half he sketched his passes through the midfield region perfectly. The player had a passing success rate of 89 percent.
Bernardo Silva: 7.5/10
The Portuguese midfielder’s ability to pull the strings in between the spaces yet again flourished at the Hawthorns. The player’s mirthful left foot was in full tune, as he crafted his work delicately throughout the game. Managed to dance through the right channel swiftly, creating three crucial chances. Silva provided an assist, which was converted by Cancelo.
In the absence of Manchester City’s midfield general Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri dictated the game through the middle of the park with finesse. The 24-year-old kept a firm grip in his territory, leading the pack from the centre. The player’s venomous strike from distance could have made the headline, but the shot rattled the crossbar.
Ilkay Gundogan: 9/10
Ilkay Gundogan vs @WBA:
86.5% Pass Accuracy
1 Key Pass
— Man City Xtra (@City_Xtra) January 26, 2021
Gundogan wreaked havoc in quick succession, as both his goals were enough to paint the highlights of this game. One was a thumping finish from outside the box and the other one was placed into the bottom left corner. The German international looked in good shape throughout his duration on the field, and as it seems, he has finally learned the principles of his manager.
Raheem Sterling: 7/10
In spite of his desire to look for a fresh adventure in his career, Sterling once again left no room for hesitation with his on-the-field theatrics. With a simple tap-in and an assist to Mahrez, the Manchester City no .7 was influential in this tie. The skipper for the night helped his frontline to pose constant threats from the right side and was desperate to get his name on the score sheet.
Rodri ➡️ Mahrez ➡️ Sterling! ⚽️
Terrific movement and it's Raheem Sterling's turn to score! ?
Wait for Pep Guardiola's reaction! ? pic.twitter.com/pfAlbPrsKr
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 26, 2021
Riyad Mahrez: 7.5/10
The Algerian played a pivotal part in this victory, causing problems whenever he was given opportunities from the fumbles of the oppositions. The 29-year-old slaughtered the ball into the net with a left-footed cannon, and his delightful assist to Manchester City skipper Sterling sealed three crucial points.
Phil Foden: 6.5/10
It was a 100th outing in Manchester City colours for Foden. After an excellent performance in the the FA Cup fourth round, he could have broken the deadlock in the very first attack here as well, but his strike was saved by Sam Johnstone. He seemed confident in his responsibility to originate attacking threat from the left flank before being substituted in the 52nd minute.
? 100 Appearances
⚽️ 24 Goals
?️ 17 Assists
? 2 Premier Leagues
? 1 FA Cup
? 3 League Cups
? 2 Community Shields
— City Chief (@City_Chief) January 26, 2021
Ferran Torres: 6/10
The Spaniard did not have to do much, as he came on as a substitute to replace of Phil Foden. Maintained the flow in the attacking zone, and created one chance.
Aymeric Laporte: 6.5/10
In an event that had already been over, the Frenchman had a captivating second half. Came on as a substitute in the 52nd minute and the player finished the game by winning 9 duels, which stands out as the most in the game.
Gabriel Jesus: 6/10
Came in to replace Bernardo Silva in the 60th minute. Hardly made an impact, though.