David Silva turns in artful display to help Manchester City past Stoke

David Silva turns in artful display to help Manchester City past Stoke
From ESPN - March 12, 2018

In a stadium that has traditionally produced problems for Manchester City in the Premier League era, Pep Guardiola's side coasted past Stoke City 2-0 on Monday -- gaining maximum points virtually unhindered for the second season running.

Adding two to the seven scored against the same opponent in October, Man City underlined their new found superiority over their once tricky rivals, moving to within two victories of this season's Premier League title. Guardiola's men have now won 101 points from the last 38 league games, the equivalent of a full season.


The team's ability to build in rest periods to games is becoming noteworthy. After an increasingly easy first half, City upped the tempo for 15 minutes at the start of the second half and then closed the game back down again at 2-0. This in-game management saves legs for more testing challenges still to come.


A (relative) proliferation of loose passes early on may have given the home side belief they could gain at least a point from their endeavours, but Man City soon had a familiar grip of proceedings as they were ably marshalled to victory by the returning David Silva.

Manager Rating out of 10

8 -- For a manager entering the stadium that is always used as the archetypal hostile English away ground, Guardiola has succeeded in cowing the Stoke public on both occasions he has visited the Potteries as City manager.

Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Ederson, 7 -- Scariest moment of the entire evening was provoked by Kyle Walker's misplaced back pass, which he did well to tip over his own bar. Raced out of his goal to chip capably over Eric-Maxim Choupo Moting, but otherwise had little to keep him warm.

DF Kyle Walker, 7 -- Produced the only shot his own goalkeeper had to save, but made a complete mess at the opposite end when presented with a good chance to score the third. Some pacey raids up the flank in the second period.

DF Vincent Kompany, 7 -- Little or nothing to do in the first half an hour. Occasionally a little hesitant in bringing the ball away, but won some good tackles and enjoyed the increased aerial threat from Peter Crouch's second half addition.


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