Monday, 22 September 2008

City 6 - 0 Portsmouth Player Ratings

Hart Had no difficult saves to make, but dealt comfortably with all the high balls Portsmouth put into the box. None of the communication errors noticeable in recent weeks. 7

Garrido. Before we do anything else in January, can we please buy a left back who can play? In the first half Glen Johnson skinned him time after time (Redknapp moving to 4-4-2 at half time really helped us out in this regard). And when he had the ball, Javi frequently put the rest of the defence under pressure with his poor distribution. A few nice attacking moves in the second half, including the cross for Gelson's goal. But it really shouldn't feel like a bonus whenever he wins a tackle or a header. 5

Dunne One of the two remaining links with the Benarbia and Berkovic era, he must be pleased to see such quality finally reproduced at the other end of the pitch. Had a few problems with the height of Peter Crouch in the first half, but more sure-footed as the game went on. Took his goal well, his first for almost two years. 7

Richards Dealt better with Defoe than Dunne did with Crouch. Too quick and strong for his occassional England teammate. Probably his best performance of the season. Attempted a shot on the turn from 20 yards out - should stick to getting on the end of set pieces. 8

Zabaleta. After a shaky start, put in his second consecutive improved performance. Linked up well with Wright-Phillips down the right, overlapping at pace. Never really troubled by Armand Traore, but was defensively competent when called upon. Looks quicker and tougher than Corluka, and runs back when he has to. 8

Kompany May well turn out to be Hughes' best buy - another player putting in his best ever City performance today. An interesting duel with Lassana Diarra in midfield, but Kompany always matched him for strength and skill. Won a good number of defensive headers, but his passing was most impressive: finding not just Ireland and Elano in front of him but Wright-Phillips and Robinho on the wings with relentless efficiency. 8

Ireland The player of the season thus far impressed again - even more so than in this fixture five months ago. Completely outshone Elano in central midfield: not just for tenacity but also for flair. He worked tirelessly, chasing down Portsmouth midfielders and winning tackles. On the ball, he was as creative as anyone on the pitch - his passes for Robinho and Wright-Phillips' goals were perfect. Will this finally silence the haters? 9

Elano Looks like the older sibling jealous at the attention lavished on his newborn younger brother. Has completely lost his Unique Selling Point, and, playing in central midfield, did not offer very much today. One or two nice passes, but not enough to keep out a fit Michael Johnson (whenever that is). Clearly frustrated by his failure to convert any of his free kicks. 6

Robinho One of the many impressive performances. Predictable only in his brilliance, is building an understanding with Ireland and Wright-Phillips to match his one with Jô. Took his goal very well, and had a hand in some of the others. Some of the tricks were astonishing: a shimmy round James and cross legged shot in the first half, a dummy dragbackheel in the second half. There was one late on where I had literally no idea what he had done, but I could tell that it was good. Shares the knack with Wright-Phillips of timing his runs so as to always get behind the defence whilst rarely straying offside. 8

Nice for the £19million man to get his first league and home goal, after his midweek success. Smart hold up play, tireless running and a well taken finish marked another improvement from a summer buy. Would you have backed Vassell or Benjani to get to Robinho's pass, take it round James and score like that? Given the benefit of the doubt for his touch to set up Robinho from Ireland's pass. 8

Wright-Phillips ADUG and Robinho have taken attention away from what would otherwise be the story of the year. Plays in as Brazilian a style as the paulistos themselves - full of skill, flair and joy. The goal was fantastic, but so was the backheel for Evans or any of the jinking runs from the right. Looks almost as happy as we are for him to be back. 9


Evans and Gelson Both in line to start at the Withdean on Wedesday, they ran hard and did not give the tiring Portsmouth players a minute of rest. Each deserved their first goals of the season - let's hope there are more to come.

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