Jonathan Lee >
Despite a spirited second half we never really managed to create any clear cut chances, and the game was effectively over once that farcical red card was handed out, for the first time in weeks it feels like Champions League football is just starting to slip away (but how mental we can actually say that though !!) and the focus will now be on gaining some form of European football which after Man City’s cup win now opens up 6thplace (Europa League) and, with a Chelsea v Leicester FA Cup final, 7th place (the new Europa Conference league) is also highly likely to qualify a team for Europe too.
Fabianski – 8 after last week’s nightmare much better this week with three or four very decent saves;
Coufal – 6.5 consistent as ever in defence but struggled to make any headway the other way;
Balbuena – 7 solid in the main, one of three players who could be called culpable for the goal conceded as he looked somewhat flat footed as the ball was crossed, received a ludicrous red card on 81 minutes for daring to clear the ball and his kicking foot naturally connecting with Chilwell, how could two professional referees get it so wrong?
Ogbonna – 7.5 looked nearer to his best but allowed Werner to spin him in lead up to the goal, made a couple of very decent interceptions and tackles;
Diop – 7.5 played well enough on the left of a back three supporting Fredericks and often found himself playing quite high, much better than last time out;
Fredericks – 8 credit where it’s due he put in a very decent shift down the left wing just his final ball letting him down a couple of times, also fizzed in a good long range shot second half which was blocked;
Noble – 6.5 kept the team ticking over and laid off a very good ball for Fredericks shot;
Soucek – 6.5 first half shot blocked from going in by Azpilicueta and provided decent safety net in front of back three but got caught ball watching as Werner drifted in behind him to score;
Fornals – 6 had a half decent effort on goal second half (our only effort to trouble Mendy) and the usual energy but flitted in and out the game;
Lingard – 6 closely marked by the away defence and came close with a curling effort second half but overall a relatively quiet game, should have played Fornals in when well placed first half but took an extra touch and then got fouled;
Bowen – 6.5 put in a shift but never quite stamped his mark on the game against a tough back three, one awful wayward pass almost cost us second half, should have played Lingard in quicker on first half counter attack;
Lanzini (69 mins for Noble) – 5.5 some early neat layoffs but never found a way to unlock the away defence, feels like we may seeing the end of his playing days with us come the summer;
Benrahma (69 mins for Fornals) – 5.5 turning into something of an enigma, one decent tricky run down the left wing that caused some panic but a poor cross into the box, one promising position wasted with a wasteful long range shot that went well wide;
Johnson (83 mins for Fredericks) – a couple of good challenges but not on long enough to fairly mark.