Manchester City ended a three-match home winless streak and moved two points behind the league leaders when they beat Sheffield United at the Etihad.
City dominated possession in the early stages and were rewarded when Rodri raced past the Sheffield United defense and struck into the bottom corner to open the scoring.
Phil Foden had a good chance to make it 2-0 early in the second half when he latched on to Jack Grealish’s ball over the top, but goalkeeper Wes Foderingham did well to snuff out the chance.
The second goal came on the hour and Foden was the provider, rolling the ball across goal for Julián Álvarez to tap home.
Man City player ratings
GK: Ederson – 6/10 – Barely tested, with the saves he made incredibly routine.
RB: Kyle Walker – 7/10 – Far more impactful going forward as he was seldom called on defensively. Frequently showed his blistering pace, making runs beyond Luke Thomas at wing-back.
CB: Manuel Akanji – 7/10 – His incisive pass ultimately led to the opener. A comfortable afternoon in his own half.
CB: Nathan Ake – 8/10 – Showed his class defensively, often using his pace to make up ground. Won all of his physical battles.
LB: Josko Gvardiol – 7/10 – Made some good forward runs to support Jack Grealish and Bobb and looked sharp down the left flank.
CM: Mateo Kovacic – 6/10 – Helped progress the ball up the pitch for the hosts but often ended up deeper than Rodri. Booked for a cynical foul on Osula after surrendering possession in the first half.
CM: Rodri – 8/10 – Scored a wonderful opener that the benched Kevin De Bruyne would have been proud of in the first half. Broke up play typically well when required.
RM: Bernardo Silva – 7/10 – A wonderfully intelligent footballer who caused plenty of problems for the Blades’ backline. Sheffield United couldn’t handle his movement in the final third.
AM: Phil Foden – 9/10 – Was given the freedom of the Etihad as he waltzed in and out of Sheffield United defenders. Grabbed two assists and his influence grew as the game wore on. Another effortless showing.
LM: Jack Grealish – 5/10 – Couldn’t get any joy up against a resolute Sheffield United defence in the first half and was withdrawn early in the second. Bogle dealt with him relatively comfortably.
ST: Julian Alvarez – 7/10 – Grabbed one of the easiest goals he is ever likely to score thanks to Foden’s lovely pass. Plenty of neat touches in and around the box.
SUB: Oscar Bobb (51′ for Grealish) – 7/10 – Helped create City’s second with a wonderful ball to Foden.
SUB: Ruben Dias (67′ for Walker) – 6/10
SUB: Rico Lewis (67′ for Kovacic) – 6/10
Subs not used: Stefan Ortega (GK), Sergio Gomez, Kalvin Phillips, Matheus Nunes, Kevin De Bruyne, Micah Hamilton.