By Shane Thomas
JOE HART (7)
His role in the win was as important as any of his teammates. Dealt faultlessly with the Stoke aerial bombardment and made a crucial save to deny Kenwyne Jones at 0-0.
MICAH RICHARDS (7)
Wasn't as much as a force going forward as one would have anticipated but was needed to make a series of important headed clearances to help City keep a clean sheet. Looks to have come of age as a defender this season.
VINCENT KOMPANY (7)
Performed as well on the day as he's done all season. Marshalled the City back four superbly. Has proven an absolute snip at £6 million. Should have been called out for a handball in the box though.
JOLEON LESCOTT (6)
Was solid for the most part, but was caught wanting when he allowed Jones to break clear far too easily. Still seems to be the weakest link in City's defensive chain.
ALEKSANDAR KOLOROV (6)
Attacked with gusto, but his final ball was often lacking. However, his forward thrusts helped negate the threat of Jermaine Pennant.
NIGEL DE JONG (8)
I cede to no one in my dislike of the Dutchman. But he remains a key cog in the City machine. And he played the Claude Makelele role as good as Makelele ever did. His tackling & distribution was the key part of City controlling the game. Man of the match.
GARETH BARRY (6)
Started the match strongly as City dominated the early proceedings. His promptings set up many a City attack in the first half. But faded in the second as was sacrificed for Adam Johnson.
DAVID SILVA (6)
Seemed to be overawed at times by the occasion. Often struggled to open Stoke up, and missed a sitter before half time. But always remained a danger and forced Thomas Sorensen into a fine save near the end.
YAYA TOURE (7)
Is probably not best suited to the second striker position, as he's more an athlete than an aesthete. But was in the right place at the right time to write himself into City folklore for ever. Could have been sent off for a rash challenge on Andy Wilkinson.
MARIO BALOTELLI (7)
A lively presence who worked extremely hard in both attack and defence. Was unlucky not to score with a sumptuous effort that was saved by Sorensen. Is definitely a player worth persevering with for next season.
CARLOS TEVEZ (7)
Given that he couldn't have been 100% fit, he led the line manfully. Tested Sorensen with a couple of long range efforts. And should also get plenty of credit for his part in the goal. His sharp reactions enabled him to get out of the way of Toure's shot just in the nick of time.
THOMAS SORENSEN (8)
Is Stoke's number two goalkeeper, but you wouldn't have known it from how he played. Made some excellent saves, especially one from Balotelli. But he couldn't keep City out on his own.
ANDY WILKINSON (6)
Was caught with a terrible tackle from Toure in the second half. But found Balotelli a handful, and failed to make any inroads going forward in support of Pennant.
ROBERT HUTH (6)
Should have been sent off for an elbow on Balotelli. And made a slight error of judgement in the lead up to the goal. But came into the game less than match fit and gave everything.
RYAN SHAWCROSS (6)
Like Huth, effort was not an issue. Was occupied with Tevez throughout and always found him a handful.
MARC WILSON (6)
Inexplicably went for a Paul Gascoigne like attempt with a free kick in the first half. But kept the City threat to a minimum on his side of the pitch.
JERMAINE PENNANT (7)
Fought through the pain barrier after twisting an ankle just before half time. Looked the most likely source of a Stoke goal. Has fully repaid that faith that Tony Pulis showed in him at the start of the season.
RORY DELAP (5)
His throw-ins failed to make an impact on the City defence, and can sometimes be a passenger when that is the case. However, his substitution for John Carew still puzzles somewhat.
GLEN WHELAN (7)
Performed well in the middle on the park with little assistance. Stoke's strong second half response had a lot to do with the industry of the Irishman.
MATTHEW ETHERINGTON (5)
A gamble that backfired. Was patently unfit for action and was always on the margins of the match. However, his ball to Jones could have won the game if the Trinidadian had been more clinical.
JON WALTERS (6)
Was caught between a rock and a hard place, trying to assist his midfield while also supporting Jones. In the end he got caught between two stalls, but you'll struggle to find a player who expended more energy.
KENWYNE JONES (6)
His game was a microcosm of his club's. Maximum endeavour but a lack of class when it mattered. Will have nightmares about the chance he failed to take in the second half.
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