Red Star 2-3 Man City: Player ratings as youngsters shine in Cityzens win

Manchester City became only the second English side in Champions League history to win all six of their group stage games on Wednesday evening after beating Red Star 3-2 in Serbia.

Having already sewn up first place in Group G, Pep Guardiola’s youthful side impressed in Belgrade, with Champions League debutant Micah Hamilton opening the scoring with a fine first half finish.

Oscar Bobb doubled the visitors’ advantage after an hour at the Rajko Mitic Stadium, producing a similarly delightful effort after some nice skill.

A 76th-minute consolation for the hosts did offer Man City a scare, but Kalvin Phillips’ late penalty ensured another win for the European champions despite Aleksandar Katai’s even later header.

How the game unfolded

Having already secured top spot in their Champions League group, Pep Guardiola was able to heavily rotate his Man City side, bringing in the likes of Phillips, Bobb and Hamilton. It was the latter that put the European champions in front after a tepid start to the game, the 20-year-old jinking on to his right foot and unleashing a powerful drive into the roof of the Red Star net.

While the Serbian side did almost draw level, 17-year-old Kosta Nedeljkovic cutting in on his left foot and curling an effort just over the crossbar, Man City extinguished any Red Star momentum with their dominance on the ball.

Hamilton almost turned provider just before half-time after he slid a delivery across the face of the Red Star goal, with Bobb just inches away from tapping home at the far post to double City’s advantage.

It was Man City’s dynamic young winger Hamilton who looked the most likely to add to their lead, curling an effort just wide of Omri Glazer’s post shortly after the break. However, Stefan Ortega had to be sharp to rebuff enticing efforts from Cherif Ndiaye and Guelor Kanga at the other end.

But it was soon time for Bobb to take some of the plaudits in Belgrade. The 20-year-old Norwegian danced into the penalty area just after the hour mark, cutting in on his left foot and calmly slotting into the back of the net off the inside of the post. A truly terrific finish from the Man City prodigy.

Red Star did pull a goal back for the hosts with 15 minutes remaining, Hwang rifling a low strike beyond a helpless Ortega, but the energetic Hamilton won a late penalty which Kalvin Phillips converted calmly.

The hosts responded once again in stoppage time, but it was an ultimately meaningless goal from Katai as Man City left Serbia with all three points.

Micah HamltonMicah Hamlton

Micah Hamilton opened the scoring for Man City / Srdjan Stevanovic/GettyImages

GK: Stefan Ortega – 7/10 – Made some good saves in the second half and was aggressive in sweeping up balls in behind. Ortega produced exactly the kind of performance you want from your back-up goalkeeper.

RB: Rico Lewis – 7/10 – Always made himself available on the right-hand side and showed great composure throughout. Looked like a senior player despite being the youngest City man on the pitch.

CB: John Stones – 7/10 – Donning the captain’s armband, he partnered Akanji well. Didn’t have too much defensive work to do but marshalled the backline well.

CB: Manuel Akanji – 7/10 – A very assured performance up against some tricky Red Star forwards. Unfortunate not to keep a clean sheet.

LB: Sergio Gomez – 6/10 – A solid display on a rare start. Nothing spectacular.

CM: Kalvin Phillips – 6/10 – Still looks a player short on confidence and sharpness, losing Hwang for his goal. Did take his penalty well.

CM: Mateo Kovacic – 7/10 – Grew into the game after some sloppy early moments and helped Guardiola’s side dictate the tempo of the match.

RM: Micah Hamilton – 9/10 – An incredible evening for the youngster, scoring on his Champions League debut with a delightful finish into the roof of Glazer’s net. Looked lively from start to finish and won the late penalty with his quick feet.

AM: Matheus Nunes – 7/10 – Some powerful runs deep into the Red Star half that lacked end product. Certainly one of his best performances in a Man City shirt and did provide the assist for Hamilton’s opener.

LM: Jack Grealish – 6/10 – Substituted at the break after picking up an injury in the first half. Couldn’t cause the hosts too many problems and made some poor decisions in the final third.

ST: Oscar Bobb – 8/10 – Clearly not a traditional centre-forward, with the youngster enjoying greater success on the right flank in the second half. Scored a superb solo goal, highlighting the brilliance of Man City’s conveyor belt academy once again.


SUB: Phil Foden (46′ for Grealish) – 6/10 – Not his best cameo and looked a little off the pace.

SUB: Mahamadou Susoho (76′ for Kovacic) – 6/10

SUB: Bernardo Silva (83′ for Nunes) – N/A

SUB: Nathan Ake (86′ for Stones) – N/A

Subs not used: Carson (GK), Grant (GK), Dias, Walker, Gvardiol, Alleyne, Rodri, Alvarez.


Pep Guardiola – 7/10 – Fielded a young and inexperienced team, but his faith was rewarded with an impressive display from the kids.

Player of the match: Micah Hamilton (Man City)


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