Ranking Manchester City's Top 5 Players for November 2015

Rob Pollard@@RobPollard_Featured ColumnistNovember 30, 2015

Ranking Manchester City's Top 5 Players for November 2015

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    It's not been a great month for Manchester City. Their five games in November yielded just two wins, with back-to-back defeats to Liverpool and Juventus proving costly, halting their progress in both the Premier League and Champions League. 

    The pinnacle was undoubtedly the 3-1 win in Seville—City's best performance in the Champions League to date—but then a three-game run without a win saw them criticised. 

    November Results: 

    Sevilla 1-3 City 

    Aston Villa 0-0 City 

    City 1-4 Liverpool 

    Juventus 1-0 City

    City 3-1 Southampton 

    However, their season is still looking strong. They're top of the table, even if their goal-difference lead over Leicester City isn't quite what they would ideally want, and they remain the only English side through to the last 16 of the Champions League. They also have a quarter-final match with Hull City to look forward to in a League Cup competition that has opened up nicely. 

    Given their long injury list, it's a commendable position to be in. 

    Here we look back at November and pick the Blues' top five players based on the quality of their performances and their impact on the side.

5. Raheem Sterling

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    It's been a mixed month for Raheem Sterling, but with candidates for this list few and far between, he makes it on here thanks to two excellent performances. 

    The brilliance he showed in Seville will be remembered as the moment his City career truly came alive. He ran the Sevilla defence ragged throughout and scored a wonderful goal that was composed and deadly. It was his best game for City by some considerable distance, one full of maturity and bravery. 

    He missed some gilt-edged chances against Villa and was poor against his former club Liverpool, and he was rightly dropped to the bench against Juventus. 

    However, against Southampton, he showed once again he has the quality to be a great player for years to come, tormenting Maya Yoshida and assisting the opener brilliantly.

4. Bacary Sagna

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    Given Bacary Sagna was playing for France in the Stade de France when the Paris attacks took place, he deserves credit for even turning out for City in the games afterward. After Pablo Zabaleta’s injury, though, he’s been relied upon.

    He started the month with an excellent showing in Seville. He was as reliable as ever and comfortable in possession during City’s keep-ball periods that visibly sapped the home side’s energy.

    Against Villa, he was solid again, and when Jesus Navas came on and injected some life into City down the right, Sagna linked up with him very well.

    The Liverpool game, his first for the Blues after the terrorist attacks, was the nadir of his season, losing the ball badly for the opener and playing nervously thereafter. He can surely be afforded some slack given the circumstances, however.

    The final game in November saw him up against Ryan Bertrand and Sadio Manetwo excellent playersand he handled them expertly.

3. Nicolas Otamendi

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    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    It’s been a solid month for Nicolas Otamendi. The defender played well in Seville, although he could perhaps have done more to stop the home side scoring. He was then typically impressive away at Villa.

    He missed the Liverpool game, presumably because of his international exertions, although Manuel Pellegrini wouldn’t elaborate, and he was sorely missed.

    Otamendi returned against Juventus and City looked a lot stronger for it, and he then gave a superb display against Southampton.

    He’s settling nicely and is beginning to fit in well.

2. Joe Hart

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    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Joe Hart has been one of City’s most consistent players this season, and November was no different.

    His best game came against Juventus in Turin, where he made a string of good saves to keep the score down, including an absolute moment of brilliance to deny Mario Mandzukic.

    Against Liverpool, he was left exposed by the mess in front of him, but he still managed to deny the visitors on a number occasions.

    In Seville, he was solid, if unspectacular, and he missed the final game of the month with Southampton through injury.

    City need him fit—he’s been excellent so far.

1. Fernandinho

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    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Fernandinho’s performance against Sevilla alone is worthy of his inclusion in this list. The Brazilian was the major catalyst for that victory—a truly world-class display from City’s most energetic, dynamic midfielder.

    He made the first, scored the second and played a role in third as City steamrollered the Europa League holders on their own pitch. It was the best individual performance from any Blues player this season.

    He gave a typically hard-working display against Villa, but was inexplicably left on the bench against Liverpoola move which angered the City fans.

    But he returned against Juventus and was City’s best outfield player, before playing a defensive-midfield role against Southampton and providing an assured, professional showing.

    In a difficult month for City, Fernandinho has enhanced his reputation.

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