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Player Ratings: Manchester City 2-1 Sunderland

A threadbare Sunderland squad shuffled like a deck of cards were cruelly beaten today at the death in the first match of the new season - here's how the players were rated.

Michael Steele/Getty Images

Vito Mannone - 6

Two commendable saves stood out for Mannone today, but for all their possession Manchester City didn't test him all that much. The goals conceded were no fault of his own and he was generally calm and quick to crosses that came in to his area.

Donald Love - 7

Not many people knew what to expect from the debutante right-back and I think we were all rightly impressed. He put in a great shift despite a couple of gaffes as he settled in to the game and grew in confidence. His passing accuracy was high and he has a good cross in him, generally he held his own and when he was beaten by his man we made every effort to track back and recover or cut across to cover the pass.

Patrick Van Aanholt - 6

One very obvious balls-up from PvA saw us concede the first undeserved goal of the game. With that in mind it's hard to give him a high rating. Beyond that, as he grew in to the game he became a steadier hand and did a good job of containing Sterling for the most part. Certainly not his best performance, but not his worst.

Younes Kaboul - 8

A fine performance from the Frenchman saw him commanding his area for the majority of the match, making a dozen clearances and vital interceptions throughout to keep us very much in the game. Why Spurs sold him I've no idea. Looking ever more like a skipper and a defender of real quality.

Lamine Kone - 7

Whatever his problems off the pitch Kone doesn't seem effected by them on it. He did what we've come to love him for - played a good, solid game and did his job well. His partnership with Kaboul is something we've been lacking for a long time.

John O'Shea - 5

1. Why was he on the pitch? 2. Why is he in the team? 3. Did he touch the ball? 4. Midfield? Really? I don't believe you, you're pulling my leg. He was at home, I'm sure of it.

Jack Rodwell - 4

Tempting though it is to ask all of the above questions of Rodders - wait, scratch that, you should be good to deserve a nickname. Tempting as it is, there's not much point because I'm confident Jack Rodwell has a map on his arm telling him where his arse is.

Lynden Gooch - 7

A proper little firestarter! He was all over the pitch today, his work rate and his tenacity show that our academy has been managed well for the last few years at least. A very good run-out for the young man and something we can all hope to see more of the future.

Duncan Watmore - 6

I am becoming increasingly worried about Duncan Watmore's ability to beat his man. We all know he has bags of pace but it's becoming clear that his final product needs a lot of work and we can't simply rely on him to run down the wing anymore - our opponents have taken note of this ability and are wise to it. That said, he did his best and that's all that can be asked of him I suppose. Not pulling up any trees at the moment.

Fabio Borini - 6

Another of my chief concerns in the first team, Fabio is a shadow of his former self. He runs, he makes an effort and puts the shift in but his confidence is shot to pieces. Half a dozen opportunities saw him dither on the ball before being dispossessed, I wonder if his hesitancy to make the decision is costing him dearly. At no point did he look ready or willing to run with the ball and have a crack on goal, which is one of the reasons we fell in love with him in the first place. Time to call the psychologists in!

Jermain Defoe - 8

He scored the goal that gave us hope and it always seemed like it was coming. A good start to the season for the veteran goalscorer, if he keeps it up he will no doubt prove pivotal to our success in the coming months. You wouldn't think he was in his thirties; he runs like an eighteen year old and has the same fire in his gut.

Subs on:

Adnan Januzaj - 7

The Manchester United loanee came on to the pitch to a chorus of malice from the City fans, which is to be expected I suppose, but it didn't take him long to show his quality. Quick on the ball, quick to pass and dogged in his chasing, he did what he could in the relatively short period of time he had. It's easy to see why United didn't want rid on a permanent basis.

Wabhi Khazri - 6

Brought on to create a threat and breathe down the throat of City's defence, Khazri didn't really manage it. He made a couple of good passes and one good run, but he also made a ridiculous backpass to Mannone and was lucky the Italian shot-stopper was calm enough to deal with it. Doesn't strike me as the sort of player you want in a losing team, I think he thrives on success and a winning mentality, which we did not have.

Paddy McNair - 4

Now then. He was on the pitch for four minutes and scored an own goal. O'Shea has taken this one under his wing already, I see! Beyond that it was hard to notice the lad and I didn't figure he had time to make an impact. How wrong I was. Seriously, I don't care who gets blamed, I don't care if they're peppering our goal mouth with shots every two seconds, he shouldn't have been stood there and he shouldn't have turned his head towards goal. Poor decision making and something I'm sure he would sooner forget. But hey, remember Kirchhoff's debut? So there's that to look forward to.

Subs: Jordan Pickford, Papy Djilobodji, Jeremain Lens, Paddy McNair, Wabhi Khazri, Joel Asoro, Adnan Januzaj.

Man of the Match - Younes Kaboul.

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