Rating the Manchester City Players Against Reading

Alex GruberFeatured ColumnistMay 14, 2013

Rating the Manchester City Players Against Reading

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    Manchester City's first game in the post-Roberto Mancini era ended in victory, as they comfortably defeated relegated Reading 2-0 at a rain-soaked Madejski Stadium. Goals from Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko ensured City a second consecutive top-two finish.

    Caretaker boss Brian Kidd sent out a mostly full-strength lineup, though five changes were made from the FA Cup final starting setup. Costel Pantilimon was denied a chance at a Premier League debut, while no youth players were included in the squad.

    Read on to see an assessment of how Kidd's men fared in Tuesday's Premier League clash.

Goalkeeper and Defense

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    Joe Hart 7/10: Was called upon to make a couple relatively comfortable stops in the first half but otherwise not threatened. Excellent save on a close-range Pavel Pogrebnyak header shortly after the restart, and hemade a couple more big stops in the late stages.

    A confident performance for the clean sheet.

    Micah Richards 6.5/10: Good to see him back in the fold. Started in his usual right-back spot, moved inside when Kolo Toure came off. Looked solid defensively, as should be expected of the England international. 

    Joleon Lescott 6.5/10: Big-time block off a Garath McCleary strike in the latter stages. Relatively untested defensively, as he put in a solid shift. Did what his team needed him to do

    Kolo Toure n/a: His night lasted less than 15 minutes as he seemed to injure his left knee with nobody around him. Limped off with some assistance and was replaced by Maicon.

    Gael Clichy 6.5/10: Did his defensive duties well enough as City controlled the game for long stretches at a time. Willing and able to move forward in support of attacking moves.

Defensive Midfield

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    Gareth Barry 6.5/10: A bit shaky in possession early on, with a couple poor giveaways. Grew into the game as it progressed, and was his usual solid presence defensively. Booked for a clumsy challenge. Withdrawn just short of the hour mark, replaced by Javi Garcia.

    Yaya Toure 7/10: His movement was always an asset as the ball seemed to find the Ivorian frequently. Took his fair share of cracks at goal, with one curling strike in the late stages being the best. Good passing display as well.

Attacking Midfield and Strikers

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    David Silva 8/10: Looked to be incisive, adding a few superb touches and flicks during attacking moves. Involved in the build-up to Aguero breaking the deadlock and put Edin Dzeko through with an excellent ball for the second goal.

    James Milner 9/10: His usual industrious self down the right flank, always willing to track back. Laid on plenty of good passes, always looking for teammates. Delightful one-touch passes on a corner routine assisted Aguero's first-half goal.

    Sergio Aguero 8.5/10: Dangerous throughout, giving the Reading back line nightmares and testing Alex McCarthy several times. Converted with a confident first-touch finish late in the first half. May have picked up a slight knock and was taken off in the 63rd minute.

    Carlos Tevez 7/10: Always jinking around in space, looking to make room for himself to get the ball. Had a few good opportunities to score but made little of them in most cases. Vital block off the line from a corner late on.

Substitutes

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    Maicon 6.5/10: Would not have been expecting to enter the fray so early as he replaced the injured Kolo Toure inside the first 15 minutes. As he is known for doing, he was always willing to join the attack. Did good work defensively to keep the game in City's favor.

    Javi Garcia 6/10: Got just over half an hour of action as he replaced Gareth Barry. Was not involved too much as City controlled the pace of the game, but was solid enough defensively.

    Edin Dzeko 7/10: Replaced goalscorer Aguero in the 63rd minute. Would have been hoping to add to his own goalscoring tally off the bench, and wasted a couple of good chances early on. Sealed the three points with a well-taken 88th-minute strike.

     

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