Sheffield United 1- 2 Manchester City: Player Ratings As Man City Win After Rodri Late Strike


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Manchester City struck late to win at Sheffield United – moments after conceding an equalizer it looked like the champions were dropping points.

City were without Pep Guardiola, who is still recovering in Spain from back surgery, leaving assistant Juanma Lillo to oversee things on the touchline.

However, he was left frustrated when his side were awarded a penalty when John Egan’s outstretched arm in the area blocked Julian Álvarez’s attempted cross.

Erling Haaland curled his effort against the post from the spot, sending the keeper the wrong way before the Norwegian waved away two big challenges for further penalties after being brought down in the area.

Haaland’s exasperation continued after half-time as he headed the ball just outside the six-yard box after being picked out in the middle before Wes Foderingham came up with a huge save to keep him out.
But after denying him for just over an hour, United were finally beaten by the striker when he struck a high header at the back post from Jack Grealish’s deep cross.

City then handed Sheffield United a late equalizer with five minutes remaining when Kyle Walker attempted a backheel in his own area, losing possession and the ball was worked just wide for Jayden Bogle to find the far corner.

However, the equalizer lasted just three minutes as City quickly took the lead as Walker made amends for his mistake of leaving the ball alive and clipped Rodri inside the area to strike home emphatically.

As a result of this late drama, City are the only team with a 100% record after three games, while the Blades are one of four teams yet to pick up a point.

Man City player ratings (4-3-3)

GK: Ederson – 5/10 – Barely involved despite conceding.

RB: Kyle Walker – 7/10 – City’s set-up handed Walker plenty of freedom to advance into the final third, and he was a very handy outlet throughout. Delivery into the box was often superb. Poor for Bogle’s goal, but response was excellent.

CB: Ruben Dias – 7/10 – Had no issues dealing with Sheffield Utd on the counter, and offered himself in the final third, too. His aggression aided City’s counter-press.

CB: Nathan Ake – 7/10 – Like Dias, Ake was rarely troubled, but the Dutchman masterfully dealt with the Blades’ threat whenever they ventured into City’s half.

LB: Josko Gvardiol – 7/10 – Very little to do defensively, but Gvardiol’s work with the ball was crisp throughout. Very assured.

CM: Rodri – 8/10 – With the hosts happy to cede territory, Rodri’s average position was deep in the opposition’s half. The Spaniard was pinpoint in possession, showing off his ability to combine in more advanced areas which eventually paid dividends as he bagged City’s winner.

CM: Mateo Kovacic – 7/10 – An efficient showing. Kovacic ticked things over and he had a couple of majestic ball-carrying sequences.

AM: Julian Alvarez – 7/10 – An exhibition in off-the-ball movement. Alvarez was a thorn in the Blades’ block as a result of his crafty darts across and in behind Sheffield Utd’s defence. Wasteful in front of goal.

RW: Bernardo Silva – 7/10 – A magician in tight spaces, Bernardo relentlessly probed but not everything came off.

ST: Erling Haaland – 6/10 – It was quite the afternoon for Haaland, who was perhaps thrown off somewhat by the physicality of Sheffield Utd’s back three. He was hardly efficient in front of goal despite scoring, and he struggled at times to retain possession in the final third.

LW: Jack Grealish – 8/10 – It took some time for the wide man to get into the contest, but Grealish was superb for the remaining hour or so. Did brilliantly to set up Haaland’s goal.


Phil Foden (86′ for Mateo Kovacic) – 6/10 – Some lovely touches. A surprise omission from the starting XI.

Subs not used: Stefan Ortega (GK), Kalvin Phillips, Jeremy Doku, Sergio Gomez, Oscar Bobb, Cole Palmer, Rico Lewis, James McAtee.


Juanma Lillo – 6/10 – Stepping in for the absent Pep Guardiola, Lillo let the boys do their thing. Didn’t venture into the manager’s box once, I don’t believe.

Player of the match – Rodri

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