Transfer

Phil Foden the pick for imperious champions

It’s about this time in the season when Man City normally go on an epic winning run, and if their performance against Aston Villa – which included a Phil Foden hat-trick – is anything to go by, then Arsenal and Liverpool have it all to do.

Unai Emery’s side were well in the game until Foden blasted in a free-kick just before half-time, but thereafter there was only one team in it.

Man City player ratings:

Stefan Ortega (5) – Had little to do but ensure he remained concentrated throughout. No chance with the goal.

Rico Lewis (6) – Did well in the absence of Kyle Walker if not a headline grabbing performance.

Ruben Dias (8) – Captain on the night, and he was rock solid at the back, notwithstanding being undone for Villa’s goal.

Manuel Akanji (7) – Was a good foil for Dias, allowing his defensive partner to roam if needed. Solid enough.

Josko Gvardiol (6) – Not one of his best games though far from his worst, Gvardiol did what needed to be done but no more.

Rodri (9) – An absolute powerhouse in the centre of midfield. Scored a season’s best eighth goal to set City on their way.

Phil Foden of Manchester City celebrates scoring his team’s fourth goal

Bernardo Silva (8) – Provides the class and intricate play that Man City thrive upon. A constant menace for Unai Emery’s side.

Jeremy Doku (6) – Had all of the trickery but little of the execution and it wasn’t a surprise when he was subbed late on.

Phil Foden (10) – One of his best games in a Man City shirt. Great goals, worked hard throughout until subbed off. Bodes well for England this summer.

Jack Grealish (5) – Booed every time he touched the ball against his old side. Keen to be involved at every opportunity but couldn’t make the most of chances that came his way.

Julian Alvarez (8) – Replaced Erling Haaland in the starting line-up and fully justified Pep Guardiola’s decision. A goal would’ve underscored a hard-working individual performance.

SUBS

Mateo Kovacic (4) – Kept things simple in the middle of the park after replacing Bernardo Silva.

Sergio Gomez (4) – Didn’t have long to impress but still managed to hit the post with a late effort.

Matheus Nunes (4) – Came on for Rodri and whilst not as imposing a presence, kept himself busy.

Oscar Bobb (4) – Replaced Foden with 10 minutes to go but wasn’t able to impose himself.

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