On a night when Manchester City looked to kick-start their European campaign following an opening day defeat to Bayern Munich, it was actually Rudi Garcia’s excellently drilled AS Roma side who will leave the North West of England much the happier side.
Joe Hart – 6
Hart made a number of impressive saves to keep City level. However England’s No. 1 goalkeeper will be ruing his rotten luck after a slip hindered his ability to close down Francesco Totti’s goal. Questions will be asked whether or not Hart should have continued to close the shot down following the slip.
Pablo Zabaleta – 5
Never really got into the game. Zabaleta, normally the heartbeat of City’s football, was given very little protection by Jesus Navas throughout the first half and thus found himself penned into his own defensive zone by Roma’s intense pressing game.
Vincent Kompany – 5
An unusually poor display from City’s captain. In truth had little to do in and around his own penalty area which the vast majority of Roma’s attacks coming from wide areas. He was guilty of poor positioning for Roma’s equaliser and rather unnecessarily ventured forwards leaving Martin Demichelis isolated.
Martin Demichelis – 6
Demichelis enjoyed a good evening on the whole. Similarly to Kompany had little to do but kept position well and made a couple of vital interceptions.
Gael Clichy – 5
Poorly protected throughout the first half with just David Silva in front of him. Clichy was given a real run-around by the pairing of Gervinho and Maicon on the right. Seemed to settle in the second half and recovered well from his first half display.
Yaya Toure – 6
An unusual Yaya Toure performance with some excellent moments and some rather forgettable ones. The Ivorian seems to not suit Manuel Pellegrini’s 4-2-2-2 system in European competition and Roma manage to overrun the host’s midfield in the first-half. Toure was much better in the second 45 minutes providing key physical strength against the impressive Radja Nainggolan.
Fernandinho – 6
One of City’s better performers although still hampered by the midfield difficulties in the first half. Drifted in and out of the match.
David Silva – 7
Silva didn’t track the runs of Gervinho and Alessandro Florenzi in the first half but offensively was a real threat all evening long. The Spaniard wasn’t given much help by the players around him and was often forced to hold the ball too long.
Jesus Navas – 4
Anonymous throughout. Didn’t offer any help to Zabaleta defensively and was out matched by the superior hard-work of Florenzi when City were on the attack. Substituted at half-time.
Sergio Aguero – 7
Was a threat for 50 minutes and opened the scoring just three minutes in from the penalty spot after a clever run across the box tied Maicon in all sorts of knots.
Edin Dzeko – 6
Held the ball up really well but found himself taken out of the game by Roma’s rather physical approach to bringing him down. Looked to bring others into play but often City’s tempo was far too slow.
James Milner -6
Brought on as a half-time replacement for Navas and worked well down the left hand side, couldn’t find the perfect final ball with a number of testing crosses.
Frank Lampard – 6
Gave City a lot more balance and rhythm in midfield but a confident Roma defence kept him at arm’s length.
Didn’t really have time to assert himself on the game and had only a couple of touches of note.
Lukasz Skorupski – 7
The 23-year-old goalkeeper brought in at short notice due to an injury to Morgan De Sanctis performed well dealing confidently with a barrage of City crosses late on.
Maicon – 5
Started very poorly giving away a penalty after three minutes for a lazy pull on Aguero rather than following the run. Went on to have a productive evening going forward, first hitting the bar and then forcing a smart save from Hart.
Kostas Manolas – 7
The Greek international was solid throughout and positionally aware, showed a real quality necessary to replace the void left by Mehdi Benatia.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa – 6
Defended well for portions of the game but struggled to keep up with Aguero. Gave away a number of cheap fouls throughout the match which put his team under pressure.
Ashley Cole – 8
If Cole’s performance against Atletico Madrid in the first-leg of last year’s semi-final was a masterclass then tonight was just as good, if not slightly better. Brought an air of calm to Roma’s defence and showed clever game management skills.
Seydou Keita – 7
Kept Roma ticking over well in midfield. Although now 34-years-old, the Mali midfielder gave Roma their tempo and protected the back four well.
Miralem Pjanic – 6
The Bosnian popped in and out of the game whilst showing some neat touches and passes but missed a whole host of chances which could have given Roma a crucial victory.
Radja Nainggolan – 9
The Belgian midfield was on a different level tonight. His energetic box-to-box style caused City constant headaches and he even provided the assist for Totti’s goal. Physically Nainggolan was a match for Toure on several occasions.
Gervinho – 7
The Ivorian showed both the best and worst parts of his game tonight. We saw the speed and ability to beat up to three players before firing a shot at goal but we also saw the slightly unstable legged run with the ball never truly under control before a poor final decision. Was a threat to Clichy and appeared to target the French full-back.
Alessandro Florenzi – 6
A hard working display from the Rome born winger. Whilst there was little going on in his attacking play, Florenzi played a key role in limiting Jesus Navas’ effectiveness in the first-half.
Francesco Totti – 10
On a night when Roma’s favourite ‘Bandiera’ broke Ryan Giggs’ record as the oldest ever Champions League goalscorer at 38, it was Totti who scored Roma’s equalizing goal. The veteran got on the end of a Nainggolan pass and expertly chipped the ball over Hart. It was a performance fitting of such a legendary figure as Totti kept his teammates going and everything offensively went through him.
Juan Iturbe – 5
Offered little defensive cover and had few opportunities to run with the ball.
Jose Holebas – 5
Came on and was a fresh outlet on the left, made a couple of puzzling defensive movements however.
Vasilis Torosidis – N/A
The Greek full-back came on very late on for the injured Maicon and had very little involvement.
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