Manchester City v Stoke City: Man-for-man marking


Manchester City

Joe Hart Handled well and was off his line quickly to thwart Jones when Stoke finally made a chance. Kicking was less reliable. 7/10

Micah Richards Justified his place at right-back, even if swearing live on TV confirms he is still not as mature as he should be. 7

Vincent Kompany A star all season, the Belgian defender helped Lescott throughout and was not discomfited by the occasional aerial threat. 7

Joleon Lescott Stronger in the air than on the ground, he allowed Jones past him once while winning countless headers. 6

Aleksandar Kolarov Found himself facing Stoke's best outfield player in Jermaine Pennant and sometimes struggled to control him. Whipped in one good cross. 6

Nigel de Jong A fearsome competitor as ever in central midfield, winning his tackles and passing to more creative players. 8

Gareth Barry Tends to be overshadowed by De Jong, which was again the case, despite some neat passing. Sacrificed for Johnson as City sought a goal. 6

David Silva Just the right balance between holding his position on the right and drifting inside. A shame he passed up a good scoring chance in each half. 7

Yaya Touré Seems to like the Wembley stage, as well as his role behind the main striker. Fine finish to win the game. 8

Mario Balotelli Will this be remembered as the game in which the young Italian striker came of age? Refused to be provoked, deserved to score and made Touré's goal. 8

Carlos Tevez The captain soon removed any doubts about his fitness with a typically energetic performance. He will be badly missed if this proves to have been his last big game. 7

Substitutes

Adam Johnson. Injected pace.

Pablo Zabaleta. Late run.

Patrick Vieira. Made one important clearance.

Stoke City

Thomas Sorensen One of only a couple of Stoke players who could be satisfied with his efforts. Superb saves from curling shots by Tevez and Balotelli. 8/10

Andy Wilkinson Was often caught out of position by Balotelli's movement and Kolarov's surges forward. Frustration showed with late booking. 5

Robert Huth Whether or not he was fit, was well below his best. Fortunate to stay on the pitch for forearm to Balotelli's throat. Booked. 5

Ryan Shawcross Showed up better than Huth on difficult afternoon with some saving tackles. Like his team-mates, no set-piece chances. 6

Marc Wilson Silva's guile and then Johnson's trickery often too much for him. One embarrassing free-kick high into the crowd. 5

Jermaine Pennant Stoke's best outfield player offered hope with running and crossing but was slowed by knocks, one self-inflicted. 7

Glenn Whelan Along with Delap found himself outnumbered and overwhelmed in midfield, unable to win the ball or create anything. 5

Rory Delap Would he be in the team but for his throw-ins? Once they were nullified, his presence was superfluous. Dreadful passing. 4

Matthew Etherington Clearly handicapped by his lingering injury, he lasted barely an hour, having been anonymous on the left for most of that time. 4

Jonathan Walters Had clearly been told to sit deeper than Jones but he was unable to forge any link between the striker and his midfield. 5

Kenwyne Jones Unenviable task against Kompany and Lescott and thwarted by good defending when his only two chances of the game materialised. 6

Substitutes

Dean Whitehead. Offered no improvement in midfield. 5

John Carew. On too late.

Danny Pugh. One good cross.

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