Manchester City average across the board ahead of crunch Liverpool match
Manchester City blew a half-time lead to draw 1-1 against Atalanta in a remarkable Group C game in the Champions League.
Raheem Sterling got City off to the perfect start when he slotted home in the penalty area after just eight minutes, but Pep Guardiola's side were made to pay for a missed Gabriel Jesus penalty, as Mario Pasalic headed home an Alejandro Gomez cross in the opening minutes of the second half to draw level.
Things got worse for City, as a combination of injury to goalkeeper Ederson, and the sending-off of replacement stopper Claudio Bravo meant right-back Kyle Walker, who started the game on the bench, finished the match between the sticks.
The early opener was the result of gorgeous centre forward play from Jesus, and a finish from Sterling that displayed the clinical composure that Guardiola has bred into the Englishman's game.
Goalkeeper Ederson was substituted at half-time with what we can only presume was an injury, and replacement Bravo's red card means City will now be sweating over the fitness of their number one ahead of a trip to Anfield to face Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday.
Manager rating out of 10
6 -- Guardiola is doing what he can in the face of multiple first-team absences, but will be bitterly disappointed with his side's lacklustre display in the second half.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Ederson, 6 -- Not the keeper's most convincing night between the sticks. The former Benfica man didn't have much to do in the way of saves, but was occasionally sloppy with his kicking, and was replaced by Claudio Bravo at half-time.
DF Joao Cancelo, 6 -- A steady yet unspectacular night's work from the right-back, who was solid defensively, but didn't quite get forward enough on the overlap in support of Riyad Mahrez.
DF Nicolas Otamendi, 5 -- Didn't do nearly enough to stop compatriot Alejandro Gomez finding space out wide before crossing for Pasalic to head the Italians level.
DF Fernandinho, 5 -- Caught ball-watching in the build up to Atalanta's equaliser, allowing Pasalic a free header for 1-1, but nearly made amends shortly after with a great through ball for Sterling that the forward wasted. Booked for body-checking Hans Hateboer in the second half.
DF Benjamin Mendy, 6 -- Had a very comfortable first half, but had a tough examination in the second, and a lack of communication to make Fernandinho aware of Pasalic's run made it all too easy for the Croatian to score. Booked for dissent in the closing stages.
MF Ilkay Gundogan, 6 -- Provided a brilliant through-ball for Kevin De Bruyne on the half-hour mark on the way to one of many City chances in the first half, but the German was robbed of the ball in the build up to Bravo's red card.
MF Bernardo Silva, 6 -- The former Monaco man played his part in the opener with an excellent slide-rule pass for Gabriel Jesus to lay off for Sterling, but didn't have a consistent influence on the game. Yellow carded for time-wasting late on.
MF Kevin De Bruyne, 6 -- Drifted in and out of the game, but provided a sublime pass with the outside of his boot to release Sterling, in a move that led to a free kick that ultimately resulted in the awarding of City's penalty via VAR.
FW Raheem Sterling, 6 - Coolly slotted home an excellent first-time finish from 12 yards out for his fourth goal against Atalanta this season, but was extremely wasteful with several promising openings in the opposition penalty area.
FW Riyad Mahrez, 6 -- Worked space well after cutting in from the right and fired a stinging shot that was well saved after 34 minutes in what was the Algerian's only serious sight of goal, but the winger was a danger. Brought off in the closing stages for stand-in goalkeeper Walker.
FW Gabriel Jesus, 6 -- The Brazilian provided a beautiful flick into the path of Sterling to stroke home the opener, but the City No. 9 let himself down as he dragged a poor penalty wide just before half-time. Replaced by Sergio Aguero for the final 17 minutes.
Claudio Bravo, 4 -- Nothing the Chilean could do about Palasic's bullet header to restore parity, but crazy to come rushing out his goal to take out Josip Ilicic and receive a red card.
Sergio Aguero, NR -- Unable to get into the game in a crazy final 15 minutes.
Kyle Walker, NR -- Had just one save to make in his ten-minute goalkeeping cameo, as the England international scooped up a free kick at the second time of asking.