Manchester City 5-1 Atalanta player ratings - Raheem Sterling continues devastating form as John Stones struggles

Premier League champions laid down a marker to move to the brink of qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages

Raheem Sterling celebrates his first goal against Atalanta
Image: Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick as Manchester City thrashed Atalanta

Manchester City thrashed Atalanta 5-1 in the Champions League, but which player has 'learned to finish like Sergio Aguero' and who 'struggled with the pace of the game'?

Ederson - 7

Couldn't do anything about the penalty, made multiple sharp saves when called upon and set up several attacks all over the pitch with raking, accurate passes.

Kyle Walker - 6

A nervy start on his return to the side but grew into the game. Offers a physical edge in attack but can get caught out in defence.

Rodri - 6

Looked solid in an unorthodox position for him. Clearly isn't a centre-back but has the awareness, composure and deftness of touch to be an able temporary deputy. His injury will be a deep concern for Pep Guardiola.

Also See:

Rodri faces an anxious wait to learn the extent of his hamstring injury
Image: Rodri faces an anxious wait to learn the extent of his hamstring injury

Fernandinho - 6

Put in a clumsy challenge for the penalty, a needless tackle probably caused by lack of pace and positioning which wouldn't have happened if he were playing in midfield. Otherwise snuffed out most attacks.

Benjamin Mendy - 6

A rash tackle in the first few minutes could have been worse than a yellow if more mistimed than it was. Contributes to attacks well and more of a natural left-back than Zinchenko. Not fully up to fitness.

Phil Foden - 6

Phil Foden saw red for two bookable offences late on at the Etihad
Image: Phil Foden saw red for two bookable offences late on at the Etihad

Foden had a fine game, but it would end on a sour note as moments after being booked harshly for a foul, he was shown a second yellow card and then a red for pulling back former Middlesbrough midfielder Marten De Roon.

Ilkay Gundogan - 7

Gundogan had another quietly-effective game, with the highlight of his defence-splitting repertoire coming when his delicious pass set Sterling on his way for his second.

Kevin De Bruyne - 7

Kevin De Bruyne escapes four Atalanta players during another fine display
Image: Kevin De Bruyne escapes four Atalanta players during another fine display

De Bruyne is important to Guardiola that the Belgian was immediately hooked once Sterling flashed home his second of the night. But it wasn't before he had sent an Atalanta defender to the shops with a brilliant chop to provide Sterling with his first.

Riyad Mahrez - 7

Mahrez was spotted speaking to Sterling as the pair headed off the Etihad turf. The inquest had begun into how Sterling had missed the chance of a fourth goal, but he revealed he was trying to set up Mahrez. He was hoping to return the favour after the Algerian had produced a brilliant cross for the hat-trick goal.

Raheem Sterling - 9

Raheem Sterling scored a brilliant second-half hat-trick for Manchester City
Image: Raheem Sterling scored a brilliant second-half hat-trick for Manchester City

Sterling had already provided two assists when he got the goal his performance richly deserved on 58 minutes, and after another emphatic strike, he completed his hat-trick with another deft finish from Mahrez's cross.

He really ought to have scored a fourth, but his overall contribution was devastating, and here was yet more evidence that he has mastered how to finish like Sergio Aguero.

Sergio Aguero - 8

Sergio Aguero celebrates giving Manchester City the lead against Atalanta
Image: Sergio Aguero scored twice in the first half to underline his clinical ability

After losing his place to Gabriel Jesus in the Premier League last Saturday, here was Aguero reminding Pep Guardiola who is boss by ending his three-game barren run with two well-taken finishes to calm any nerves following Atalanta's shock opener.

SUBS

John Stones - 5

John Stones struggled after being called on to replace the injured Rodri
Image: John Stones struggled after being called on to replace the injured Rodri

Guardiola lost his cool with Stones when he realised he wasn't ready to replace the injured Rodri, and as City's defensive injury crisis worsens, there was little to suggest in his 49 minutes on the pitch that the centre-back is ready to fill the void. Struggled to pick up the pace of the game.

Nicolas Otamendi - 5

Replaced De Bruyne with the game won at 4-1, perhaps to build up a better understanding with Stones, Atalanta very nearly reduced the deficit when Remo Freuler struck the post, but the assistant referee's flag would have spared any blushes. Remains unconvincing.

Joao Cancelo - n/a

The Portuguese took the place of Mendy for the final 19 minutes and has little time to make an impact, but Walker's early struggles to contain Robin Gosens means he has a strong chance of regaining the right-back berth come the weekend.

Atalanta ratings

Starting line-up: Gollini (6), Toloi (5), Djimsiti (5), Masiello (4), Castagne (5), de Roon (6), Freuler (5), Gosens (6), Malinovsky (6), Gomez (4), Ilicic (6).

Subs: Muriel (5), Hateboer (5), Pasalic (5).

Win £250,000 on Tuesday

Win £250,000 on Tuesday

FREE TO PLAY: Do not miss your chance to land the £250,000 jackpot on Tuesday, for the fifth time this year!

Around Sky