Man City player ratings vs Nottingham Forest as Josko Gvardiol good but Kyle Walker poor

Manchester City took one big step towards the Premier League title with a 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest.

The Blues had to ride their luck as Forest missed a host of chances that could have changed the game. However, Josko Gvardiol headed in the opener in the first half and substitute Erling Haaland made things safe after coming on for his first minutes since the Real Madrid game.

It proved a perfect response to Arsenal's win in the North London derby and ended an excellent week for the reigning champions with two wins and two clean sheets; they remain a point behind Mikel Arteta's side with a game in hand. Here is how the players rated.

ALSO READ: Why Foden and Dias missed Forest trip

ALSO READ: Highlights and reaction from Forest win

Ederson: Ropey from the first minute until the 45th, dropping a number of easy balls from corners and not finding teammates with passes. 4

Walker: Beaten all afternoon by Aina, trying to organise teammates while being unable to carry out what was needed in his position. 4

Akanji: Picked as Guardiola's messenger to pass orders to the team when things weren't going well, and had a better second half. 7

Ake: The best defender on the pitch, albeit the standards were lower than usual in this game. He covered well for Gvardiol and largely stuck to his responsibilities. 7

Gvardiol: Some wayward touches and wild decisions that cost City possession and encouraged Forest, but also several important blocks and another important goal. 8

Rodri: Kept his head this time, having lost it so spectacularly in the reverse fixture. His class showed as the game went on. 7

Silva: Played wherever City needed him - often inside and back alongside Rodri - and kept on running right until the end when others wobbled to see out the win. 7

De Bruyne: More assists than Saka in a season where he has missed five months - make it make sense. Two more today to make the difference when City needed. 8

Doku: Carried the ball okay in the Forest half but struggled to help Walker out up against Aina and when he did get back it didn't always prove the relief it should have done. 6

Grealish: A surprise to see him taken off as one of the few offering City control in a game where they otherwise badly lacked it. 7

Alvarez: His pressing in the first half was essential to limit Forest's threat to what it was, although he lacked any real goal threat himself. 7


Ortega (for Ederson, 46): Had very little to do but made an important save towards the end to keep the clean sheet. 7

Kovacic (for Doku, 46): Stabilised the midfield, making it more difficult for Forest to play through City. 7

Haaland (for Grealish, 62): Scored a goal inside 10 minutes to change the game - exactly what he was brought on to do. 7

Nunes (for De Bruyne, 89): No time

Bobb (for Alvarez, 89): No time

Not used: Carson, Stones, Gomez, Lewis