Player ratings: Manchester City v Stoke City

Given – A vital save with the game goalless set the tone. Good to see him coming off his line for crosses. Shay now has another fan in Mancini who called him “the best”. 8

Zabaleta – Pablo has always looked like the kind of defender who would do well in Serie A, and he was at ease in this new-look defence. 7

Toure – Any fears that the captain might struggle against an aerial bombardment proved unfounded. His best performance for weeks as he rarely put a foot wrong. 7

Kompany – As the only City player over 6 feet tall, there was a big onus on Vince to keep Stoke at bay. He was up to it in what was an outstanding performance given his lack of matches this season. 8

Sylvinho – The kind of dependable performance for which he was purchased. The old pro looked delighted to restore his reputation after the mauling at Spurs. Possibly substituted with Monday in mind. 7

Ireland – Given the chance to play in his favoured role in advanced midfield, his passes and runs regularly looked our best hope of breaking through the Stoke lines. The fact we didn’t do it more often shows it wasn’t quite his best game. 7

Barry – The more disciplined style of play completely suited the England international. His passing and interceptions were excellent in one of his finest performances. 8

De Jong – An effective return for the Dutchman. Dished out a few strong challenges and didn’t mind being on the receiving end of a few either. Tendency to drop a little deep when we’re under pressure is the only concern. 7

Petrov – Give him a start and he scores a goal! Seeing the Bulgarian on the flank in a Serie A style performance, it felt like a return to the days of Sven. Only this time there was regular tracking back. 7

Tevez – With injuries to Adebayor and Santa Cruz, Carlos put in a terrific shift as lone striker. Scored his now customary goal and carried the game to Stoke, even if he didn’t always pick the right pass to a team-mate. 7

Robinho – A lack of sharpness to his play resulted in misplaced passes and fluffed chances. There was frustration where confidence should be. Often taking instructions from the bench, at least the positional play was better. 5


Richards – Slotted in well to help close the game out. 6

Bellamy – One terriffic burst of pace left Huth trailing and the Welshman could have had a penalty. 6

Garrido – Return of a forgotten man. Just enough time to get a touch of the ball. 6

Man of the match: Gareth Barry.

Verdict: Manchester City 2 Stoke City 0
Semi-final against United postponed – good news or bad?

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