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Man City: Review of February

TEAMWORK: David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane celebrate City's second

TEAMWORK: David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane celebrate City's second

Four wins and a draw. February was a good month for Manchester City and here we look back at some of the highlights.

Best game... 

Rob Pollard: City 5-3 Monaco

There’s a clear winner here - City 5-3 Monaco – and anyone who suggests otherwise is wrong!

This game set a new record for the most goals scored in the first leg of a Champions League tie – but it was so much more than a goal fest.

It had everything. Wonderful, end-to-end football, moments of individual brilliance and an incredible comeback that turned the tie on its head. A night few at the Etihad will ever forget.

Kylian Mbappe, Falcao, Fabinho and, in particular, Bernardo Silva all shone for Monaco and the game appeared to be slipping away from City when Leonardo Jardim’s side went 3-2 up. They were the better side at that stage and three away goals suggested they were in control of the tie.

But City rallied in spectacular fashion. Those three goals in the final 20 minutes were special.

The attacking quality on display – from both sides – will live long in the memory. This was a night that showcased the very best the game has to offer.

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David Clayton: City 5-3 Monaco

How could it not be this game?

Not only was it the best game of the month, it was probably the most entertaining game of the decade. Perhaps more.

Two teams, committed to attack and entertaining – it’s why we call football the beautiful game and while it was edgy and had us all biting our nails at times, it was mesmeric and thrilling.

Few who witnessed the match will ever forget it, with plenty more to come in the second leg.

Pundits largely focused on the defensive issues both teams had on the night, but occasionally, it’s more about the sheer spectacle and coming away knowing you’ve witnessed something special.

Paul Handler: City 2-1 Swansea

Football is a team game but after this match the focus fell firmly on one man: Gabriel Jesus.

City started well and went ahead when Jesus pounced on a loose ball in the box to volley into the corner. Would Paul Clement’s side crumble?

Not a bit of it. After holding on in the first half, the Swans hit back in the second and equalised with 10 minutes to go through Gylfi Sigurdsson's strike.

In the context of the Premier League race settling for a 1-1 home draw would have been a damaging blow - so it wasn't settled for!

Silva swung in a cross from the right, Jesus was onto it and scored at the second time of asking.

A star was born and the Etihad went wild. A 90th minute winner fills players and fans with belief and that was a pivotal point of a successful month.

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Jack Mumford: City 5-3 Monaco

A match we'll remember for decades to come!

We've craved a Champions League classic at the Etihad Stadium and last month, we got a special one.

Many chose to focus on the deficiencies of the defences after the eight-goal thriller but for any lover of football, such a high-speed encounter filled with attacking talent is something to be celebrated rather than berated.

The second leg will be played later this month...one you won't want to miss.

Best player...

Rob Pollard: David Silva

Guardiola’s system that sees David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne both play centrally is working superbly. Both have variable roles, switching between No. 8 and No. 10 positions, and both are excelling.

But February belonged to the Spanish magician, who was the stand-out player in wins over West Ham and Bournemouth, before producing a quite brilliant scooped pass in the build up to City’s crucial fifth against Monaco.

A special mention, too, for Leroy Sane who looks capable of scaling extreme heights in the game.

David Clayton: David Silva

In a month where so many of the City squad performed really well, I can’t see beyond David Silva who, again, has been in superlative form for the Blues.

He was the stand-out player in the 4-0 win at West Ham and against Bournemouth, he again mixed industry with magic – the way he controlled a long pass and turned in one movement drew audible gasps from the home fans inside the Vitality Stadium.

In an attacking feast of football against Monaco, he was again superb, providing that deft killer pass that created the fifth goal of the night.

He makes it all look simple, never tries to be flash and may be enjoying his best season yet for City.

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Paul Handler: David Silva

El Mago might have left the headlines for young trio Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane but as ever he was crafting the stories.

At 31 the Spanish midfielder seems at the peak of his powers, providing a goal against West Ham, assists against Swansea and Monaco and one of the moments of the month via his superlative take-down against Bournemouth.

There were countless other sublime snippets from Silva throughout the month, culminating in the delightful pass that led to City's fifth against Monaco.

He had a 100 per cent win ratio from his games played and was a joy to watch.

Jack Mumford: David Silva

A full house for our Spanish magician!

Silva's work ethic has become an indisputable feature of world class performances in recent years and this season more than ever, the Spaniard is at the heart of the side whether they have the ball or not.

Performing in a multi-functional role in the middle of the park, the 31-year-old is cementing his status as a club legend by adapting to the fresh demands of Pep Guardiola's system.

Best goal...

Rob Pollard: Silva vs West Ham

The finish was simple – but the wing play from Leroy Sane in the lead up was yet another sign of what he has to offer going forward.

De Bruyne fed the youngster on the left and he suddenly put his foot on the gas. He produced a trademark nutmeg to go past Sam Byram, took on Jose Fonte and roiled the ball across the face of goal for Silva who couldn’t miss.

Sane is a star of the present and the future.

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David Clayton:  Raheem Sterling v Monaco

The opening goal against Monaco came virtually out of nothing.

There was little on when Leroy Sane collected the ball on the left flank, but the young German has already shown he is able to make something out of nothing several times this season.

He cut past his marker with the drop of his shoulder, span around and then sped past another before the ball arrived at the feet of Silva who played it into Sane’s dash into the area before he played a simple pass that Sterling made no mistake with from close range.

Paul Handler: Sergio Aguero v Monaco

Earlier in the month Aguero found himself in the unusual position of starting on the bench as Jesus took centre stage.

But when a key occasion came against Monaco at home in the Champions League last 16, the Argentinian responded brilliantly.

His first goal came via a goalkeeping error by Danijel Subasic, his second wouldn't have been stopped by two goalkeepers.

Silva was the provider, swinging in a deep corner and Aguero found half a yard of space before smashing a precision volley into the corner.

That was City's second equaliser of the match, it was the goal that said "we are not going to be beaten". Hopefully it will help City into the quarter-finals…

Jack Mumford: Gabriel Jesus v West Ham

Incisive football involving all three of the attackers that have become the heart of City’s future.

Leroy Sane’s high pressing won the ball deep in the West Ham half before he broke at the Hammers defence and played an excellent through ball. Sterling was the player breaking the defensive line to latch on to the pass and square for Jesus to sweep home.

A goal that could be remembered as the start of something special…

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