Man City player ratings: Riyad Mahrez shines vs Birmingham

Steffen: Considering Birmingham had so little of the ball, Steffen was kept surprisingly busy and had to make a few saves. A comfortable afternoon for the US stopper, who deserves more game time in future rounds. 7

Cancelo: He has arguably been the most creative player this season other than De Bruyne and was pushing forward in central midfield at every opportunity. He did, however, spend far too much of his half on the pitch losing possession unnecessarily. 6

Walker: Played as a right-back or a centre-back depending on where Cancelo was and how City were progressing with the ball. Vocal in organising the defence and encouraging to see him get through 90 minutes. 7

Dias: Guardiola spoke about how he can play three times a week before this one, so maybe it shouldn’t have been a surprise to see him start. One rash lunge but otherwise did his job with minimal fuss. 7

Mendy: His first start since the turgid draw against West Brom last month and Birmingham did enjoy getting in behind him on a few occasions. Didn’t really get forward to whip any balls into the box, the strongest part of his game. 6

Rodri: Upset his manager in the first half when he turned into trouble and didn’t get rid quickly enough, but otherwise he recycled possession efficiently and kept the team pointed in the right direction. 7

Bernardo: Lovely technique to score his first goal of the season and then made the right run to bag another. Could not replicate that success in the second half when a few opportunities for a hat-trick presented themselves. 8

De Bruyne: His class quickly shone through with a number of defence-splitting passes. Another assist for the season but will surely have been grateful to put his feet up for the second half. 8

Mahrez: City’s best player in the first half, close to his best as he clinically punched holes in the Birmingham defence. Quieter in the second half but unfortunately denied a lovely goal when he volleyed home from Rodri’s chip but was given offside in what looked a dubious decision. 9

Foden: Another start, another goal, and more promising signs. Foden is difficult to leave out of the team on this form and he also enjoyed dropping back into midfield. 7

Jesus: Promising to see him slot back into the team on his first appearance since testing positive for Covid-19. Should be disappointed to have missed a few opportunities to get on the scoresheet in what was a rout. 6


Harwood-Bellis (for Cancelo, 46): Nearly turned the ball home from a corner and settled in alongside Stones without a fuss. 7

Stones (for Dias, 46): Targeted by a Port Vale striker in the FA Cup last year, he was untouchable here as he led the defence in picking up where Dias had left off. 7

Nmecha (for De Bruyne, 46): Started off tentatively but grew into the game and a natural running with the ball. More difficult to impress with the contest over. 7

Fernandinho (for Rodri, 67): Needed to do more as the team slackened in the final 20 minutes and allowed Birmingham…

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