Manchester City dominated possession but were unable to crack a resolute Porto defence, as the home side were held to a goalless stalemate on Matchday 5 in the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League.
With qualification to the knockout phase already secured before this game, Pep Guardiola made a bevvy of changes to his team that thumped Burnley 5-0 in the Premier League last weekend. While the much-changed Citizens managed to knock the ball around quite competently, they lacked their usual sharpness in the final third.
Porto had a couple of half-chances but were pegged to their own half for much of the ninety minutes. Sergio Conceicao would be proud of the effort his defenders and goalkeeper put in and would hope for more of the same in the remainder of their European campaign.
On that note, let’s take a look at how Manchester City players fared in this entertaining draw.
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Ederson – 6/10
Ederson reacted sharply to a long throw-in taken by Porto that could well have gone in. The Brazilian could consider himself lucky not to concede a penalty for a strong challenge inside the box. He hardly had any saves to make against Porto, though.
Joao Cancelo – 5/10
Joao Cancelo gave the ball away needlessly a few times.
While Joao Cancelo never stopped trying to create something out of nothing, he often ended up giving the ball away to the opposition cheaply. It was not a bad game from the Manchester City player, but he is capable of so much more.
Eric Garcia – 6/10
Eric Garcia was handed a rare start despite a transfer to Barcelona seemingly on the cards, The young Spaniard did a very decent job by winning his aerial duels. Apart from one sloppy pass, Garcia’s distribution too was relatively secure.
Ruben Dias – 7/10
The former Benfica man, Ruben Dias, was inches away from scoring a late winner for Manchester City, but his outstretched foot failed to make the contact needed to help the ball into an empty net. Regardless, he could be happy with yet another clean sheet to his name since his arrival in England.
Oleksandr Zinchenko – 5/10
While the Ukrainian was untroubled in defence, Oleksandr Zinchenko was guilty of squandering possession a few times when Manchester City were in attack mode. His final delivery was pretty disappointing, and his influence fizzled out gradually.
Fernandinho – 7/10
Manchester City’s captain and veteran defensive midfielder Fernandinho had a very decent game in the middle of the park. The 35-year-old, who is reportedly playing his final season at Manchester City, played some neat passes while also making numerous important interceptions and tackles.
Rodri – 7/10
Rodri was pressed hard by the opposition whenever he was in possession, but he was hardly bothered and kept the ball ticking expertly for Manchester City. He almost operated as a centre-back when his full-backs ventured forward, doing the job fairly well.
Bernardo Silva – 8/10
It was a classic Bernardo Silva performance. The Portuguese was in fine form on his visit to his home country. He carried the ball forward magnificently at times, and his silky feet were just too much for the Porto defenders. He won a lot of key free-kicks and also worked hard defensively.
Phil Foden – 8/10
Phil Foden was the chirpiest of Manchester City’s three attackers, looking to make something happen every time he had the ball at his feet. His trickery and passing meant that the Porto defence had to stay alert at all times. Foden nearly provided Raheem Sterling with the perfect assist.
Raheem Sterling – 6/10
Raheem Sterling nearly scored against Porto.
Raheem Sterling came closest to scoring in the first half when his curling effort was cleared of the line. His threat as a goal-scorer reduced as the game grew, but he continued to stay heavily involved with much of the good work Manchester City did in the second half.
Ferran Torres – 6/10
After scoring in each of his last three Champions League matches, young Spanish forward Ferran Torres drew a blank against Porto. He did get a couple of chances to open the scoring. Although they weren’t easy to convert, he has proven before that he is capable of a lot more.
Plater Ratings of Manchester City Substitutes
Gabriel Jesus – 7/10
Gabriel Jesus scored what surely would have been the winner if not for an unlucky offside infringement in the build-up to the goal. The Brazilian was like a breath of fresh air in a Manchester City offence that had almost stagnated before his introduction.
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