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Yaya Toure takes control, Olivier Giroud shows his worth and Henrik Mkhitaryan puts Wayne Rooney place in jeopardy

Yaya sets the tone for City

The most important player in a Pep Guardiola team is the ‘organising midfielder’, which is why he moved so quickly to sign Ilkay Gundogan this summer. But with Gundogan out long term, City need a replacement, and who better than Yaya Toure?

He cannot play like he did in his 20s any more, but he proved at Hull City on Monday that he still has the brain and the skill for that role.

He completed more than 100 passes, giving City control of the game which they eventually broke open thanks to his penalty. He may only have six months left at City, but he clearly still has a lot to offer.

Giroud can still do it

Olivier Giroud is no longer first choice at Arsenal but he can still score goals that no-one else on his team can score. His headed winner with four minutes left against West Bromwich Albion was a classic Giroud goal, holding off Gareth McAuley and still getting enough power on the ball.

One month ago he did the same at Old Trafford, leaping in the last minute up at the far post to head in an equalising goal. Arsenal want to go in a new direction now, away from Giroud, and understandably so. But he still has unique skills and Arsenal are far more dangerous if he is their Plan B. Whether he is happy to be that is a different question.


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