It’s no secret that Kevin De Bruyne has been Manchester City’s outstanding player this season and leads the way in the Citizens’ independent social brand City Xtra’s matchday rating.
City performances have slipped from the standard they’ve set the last two seasons which has accumulated 198 points and two Premier Leagues titles as they sit second in the league, 25 points in arrears of Liverpool.
Using City Xtra matchday player ratings has led to a lot of low matchday average scores amongst Pep Guardiola’s squad as well as some surprisingly consistent performers.
Kevin De Bruyne is the star of the show
After an injury-hit 2018/2019 campaign, City’s Belgian craftsman has been unplayable at times this season and is reflective through his 2019/2020 match ratings where he averaged a 7.1 score.
City’s no.17 started the season in blistering fashion as his performances in the first four games before the autumn international break averaged a rating of 8.1.
His standout game was against Watford where City ran riot in an 8-0 hammering of the relegation-threatened Hornets. De Bruyne was at the heart of everything good about City that day with two assists and a belter to grab his side’s eighth, earning him a perfect 10 matchday rating.
Another outstanding showing from De Bruyne at the Emirates was where he ripped Arsenal apart with two goals and an assist. He was a Bernd Leno top save away from scoring a sensational hattrick and accumulated a 9.5 rating.
On the other hand, his worst outing was at Anfield in November as he scored a minimal 4 for an abject performance which was not helped by poor performances from the rest of his side.
Raheem Sterling – a season of two halves
Raheem Sterling has been labelled Man City’s and England’s golden boy through his actions on and off the pitch. After a prolific 2018/2019 which ended with Premier League glory and being named PFA Young Player of the Year much was expected of him this season.
The 25-year-old England international started the season on fire with a hattrick on the opening day against West Ham and went on to average a 6.5 rating over the first 12.
Then came his trip to his former club Liverpool where he played well, scoring a matchday rating 7, but a particular incident caught the headlines.
An altercation with Liverpool’s Joe Gomez spilled over into international duty where Sterling confronted his England teammate again. His form dipped significantly since his visit to Anfield as his 6.5 rating dropped to 5.3 in the corresponding 13 games after the Liverpool game.
Stones on the decline?
With Vincent Kompany no longer at the club, City’s £50million investment in John Stones was going to be tested this season as he picked up the mantle from the Belgian veteran.
However, out of City’s three senior centre backs, Nicolas Otamendi, Aymeric Laporte, and Stones, only two of them completed more than ten Premier League matches as Laporte picked up a long-term injury early into the season.
Yet John Stones’ average rating of 2.2 through a mixture of injury absences and poor performance has contributed to his team’s worst defensive record in the last three years.
Compare that to his fellow centre back Otamendi who averages 4.3 and there are now questions over Stone’s future at the club, due to not living up to his potential which was emphasised in the Yorkshire born defender’s best days at Everton.
City’s highest and lowest point
In a season where Pep Guardiola is two Liverpool wins away from losing his Premier League title, there have been some unbelievable and abject showings this season. But which was the best and the worst from them?
The 8-0 thumping of Watford was not just a great day for City’s craftsman De Bruyne but several of the attacking players all scored highly. Combining the matchday ratings of the whole team and substitutes there was a total of 112.5 which was the highest-ranking of the season.
On the other hand, the lowest point of the season came in their most costly defeat of the campaign against their title rivals Liverpool away at Anfield which left the Citizens nine points behind Jurgen Klopp’s Reds.
It was a day where the likes of Kyle Walker, Ilkay Gundogan, and De Bruyne all scored 4 which were their lowest of the season and contributed to a substandard combined team matchday rating of 57.