Player ratings: West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City

Hart – Commanded his area well, ensuring the defence kept their focus when having to defend in the second half. 7

Boateng – Looked more at ease going forward from right-back. Jerome’s defending was also more solid than we’ve previously seen, with one perfectly executed penalty area tackle standing out. 7

Zabaleta (Kolarov 86) – Surely the full-back who opposing wingers least enjoy facing. Tackles, blocks, gets tight and does whatever is necessary to keep the opposition at bay. Should retain the left-back slot for the derby. 7

K Toure – Back to his best form and no coincidence that we kept a clean sheet. Excelled at covering for colleagues and closing off any defensive gaps. 7

Kompany – Another commanding display during the second half when we needed to show our defensive mettle. 8

Barry – Best game for weeks. Back in his most effective position, alongside de Jong, and able to demonstrate his tidy passing. With this we were able to dominate midfield possession, particularly during the first half. 7

De Jong – With Nigel in the middle, we’re a different side. All the other midfielders can relax and play their own game. Started the game with a yellow card for a needless handball but, as always, he was clever enough to avoid a second one. 7

Y Toure – Mancini’s decision to leave Yaya in England during the week to work on his fitness was thoroughly vindicated. Pushed up closer to Tevez than usual, the Ivorian was a threat throughout. The bulldozing runs are becoming his trademark, and here we saw more of them in his best performance so far. 8

Silva (A Johnson 66) – A key player in both goals as his passes unlocked the West Brom defence. Also played in Boateng during the second half and constantly knitted together our midfield and attack with consumate skill. 8

Balotelli – The first goal was reminiscent of the one in the Europa League where he used pace and strength to get on the end of a cross. The second was better still, flicking the ball up with his ankle, controling it again while holding off the defender before shooting across the goalkeeper. The red card was harsh, yet there was always an incident waiting to happen. It’s hard to recall a signing whose temperament appears less suited to the English game. Mancini is going to need to show teriffic man-management skills to keep Mario focussed on the good in his game and remove the controversies. Whether Mario would be an asset or a liability in the derby is open to debate. It would be thrilling to watch. 7

Tevez – Crucial to have him back, even without a goal. His tendency to drop deep enabled us to swamp the midfield and dominate possession. The ability to hold the ball up, particularly when we were a man down, was outstanding. West Brom simply couldn’t handle him. 8


A Johnson – A slight surprise to see Adam brought on when we were down to ten men. Diligent in his defensive duties, while always looking to spring an attack and kill the game. 7

Kolarov – Good to see him being eased in rather than rushed. Could probably do with a few more minutes than he had here though.

Man of the match: David Silva.

Europa League verdict: Lech Poznan 3 Manchester City 1
Preview: Manchester City v Manchester United

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