Manchester City vs Liverpool player ratings: Did Stevan Jovetic get the highest score?
A look at the individual performances following Manchester City's 3-1 victory at the Etihad
James Mariner is a journalist who has been boring The Independent sports desk with mindless statistics since June 2007. Helping with various, wide-ranging desk duties (I made the tea once), supervising workies and the endless researching of panels, James has an unnatural love of all things football, and in particular the Europa League, being a Tottenham Hotspur supporter. He cites Brian Sears and Ledley King among his heroes and can even find something interesting in Burnley v Hull City. On a good day.
Monday 25 August 2014
Manchester City striker Stevan Jovetic ensured former club favourite Mario Balotelli's return to England was relegated to a sideshow as the Premier League champions ruthlessly brushed aside the team who ran them so close last season.
While all the pre-match talk was of Liverpool's new £16million striker - watching from the directors' box just hours after finalising his move from AC Milan - it was another forward who had previously made the move from Italy who took centre-stage.
The Montenegro international endured a miserable maiden campaign dogged by illness and injury but is now reaping the benefits of a full pre-season with City's first two goals either side of half-time in a 3-1 victory.
Sergio Aguero, his main rival for a starting spot up front, added a third less than 20 seconds after coming off the bench to wrap up victory before Pablo Zabaleta's late own goal offered Liverpool some consolation.
Here, we take a look at how those involved performed...
England man offered a strong presence throughout to reaffirm claims to be City’s No 1. Stood up well to Sterling and Sturridge’s efforts.7/10
Had hands full with pace of Sterling on his belated first appearance of season. Fine run halted by Gerrard just before opener and also blazed over.6
Troubled by the trickery of Sturridge in opening exchanges but remained in control. Fine tackle on the England forward after the break. 7
Commanding display from the Argentine. Hacked clear from Moreno as visitors started strongly. Ever-improving partnership with Kompany.7
Restored to left-back berth and looked far more comfortable, both going forward and in defensive mode. Set up Zabaleta for early effort. 6
Has impressed since move from Porto and continues to keep near-namesake out. Unfussed and unhurried in possession and rarely ceded ball.7
Ivorian has yet to catch fire this season. Fired one shot from outside the box straight at Mignolet and booked for pulling back Coutinho.6
Played his part in both of Jovetic’s goals – beginning the move for the first with a lovely chip to Silva before passing across the box for the second.7
Again put his heel to good use to send Zabaleta clear. Shot wide early on but offered foil to Jovetic’s movement. Taken off for Aguero for final quarter.6
Found space behind Gerrard and offered continual threat on left side. Enjoyed better of battle with Glen Johnson before being replaced by Navas.7
Returned to haunt Liverpool five years after scoring against them in the Champions League with Fiorentina. Showed fine composure for his goals.8
BEST OFF THE BENCH: Sergio Aguero
Replaced Dzeko for final 20 minutes and found the net within seconds. Ran onto Navas’ through ball before slotting past Mignolet.7
Was not overly extended before opener other than gather Touré’s effort but could do little with Jovetic’s first. Left exposed for other two goals.6/10
Left oceans of space for Jovetic to hit his and City’s second - reduced to flailing helplessly on the line as the Serb thrashed in. Struggled throughout.5
Made crucial interceptions in front of Dzeko and Jovetic but struggled along with the rest of his backline as City turned up the pressure.6
The Croat’s first real test in a Liverpool shirt and his hurried header presented Jovetic with his opener. Easily beaten for pace by Aguero for City’s third. 5
Offered encouragement on debut but erred badly for City’s first. Crucial block on Dzeko before losing Nasri for the second and nowhere for the third. 5
Added to defensive cover but not able to repel City onslaught after positive start to the game. Did not enjoy one of his better showings for Liverpool.5
Good in possession and with distribution but unable to track quick feet of Silva. Game seemed to pass him by as City upped the tempo toward end.6
As with last season, impressed at the Etihad. Buzzed around to varying effect but no end product. Shot wide after dinking early run.7
Showed why Rodgers keeps faith and stuck dilligently to task but given too much to do as City surged on. Taken off for Emre Can towards the end. 6
Finished last season strongly, including the winner against City in April, but struggled to have an impact on game here. Pulled back by Touré.5
Tricked his way past Kompany but found Hart equal to his effort at the near post. Early second-half effort ruled out for offside and left frustrated.6
BEST OFF THE BENCH: Rickie Lambert
Came on for Sterling for final 11 minutes and forced Zabaleta to put through his own goal before going close to an improbable second. n/a
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