Everton youngsters grab the headlines in magnificent destruction of City

Sunday 15 January 2017  0 Comments  [Jump to last]
Everton 4 - 0 Manchester City
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Everton put on their best performance of the season as they thrashed Manchester City at Goodison Park.

Morgan Schneiderlin made his first appearance for the Blues following his move from Manchester United but the big-money signing's debut off the bench was a mere footnote as Ronald Koeman's men steamrollered Pep Guardiola's title-chasing outfit.

Romelu Lukaku grabbed his 12th goal of the season and Kevin Mirallas underlined his recent revival when he made it 2-0 early in the second half but the headlines will belong to two teenagers, with Tom Davies in particular a standout performer across 90 minutes before Ademola Lookman slotted home a stoppage-time goal just minutes after coming off the bench.

With Schneiderlin's match fitness perhaps a concern, Koeman started with Davies in midfield alongside the veteran Gareth Barry and Mason Holgate retained in a back three. Mirallas was deployed off Lukaku while Ross Barkley operated behind them in what began as a tenacious display from the home side.

While City played most of the eye-catching football in the early going, it was Everton who signalled what was to follow with a quick passing move but Seamus Coleman was flagged for offside as Mirallas tapped in his cross.

The visitors will feel they should have been given the chance to take the lead in the 12th minute when Raheem Sterling appeared to be clipped in the box by Joel Robles but referee Mark Clattenburg waved way his appeals.

The Spanish ‘keeper was called into action twice more before the half-hour mark, saving Sterling's volley from point-blank range and then saving at the feet of David Silva before the Blues took the lead in the 33rd minute.

Davies intercepted a pass out of City's defence and picked out Lukaku with a forward ball and the Belgian was on hand in the centre to fire home a crisp first-time finish from the resulting cross to make it 1-0.

Guardiola's men pressed going into the break and went close in stoppage time but Bacary Sagna's looping header from Gael Clichy's deep cross was headed off the line by Davies.

City had barely had time to settle after the break when it was 2-0. They were dispossessed in midfield again and when the ball broke for Barkley on the edge of the penalty area, he played in Mirallas who fired unerringly into the far corner.

And as the Manchester side were frustrated in their attempts to get back into the game at one end, Davies capped a brilliant individual showing with a goal to match. Picking the ball up in his own half and powering forward, he heel-flicked his way between two City players, laid the ball off, picked himself up after being bundled over by an opposition player and collected Barkley's weighted pass in the box. Still with the plenty to do, the 18-year-old confidently clipped the ball over the advancing goalkeeper to make it 3-0.

Lukaku missed with a chance as the clock wound down and Koeman then sent Lookman on for a couple of minutes to savour the atmosphere but the young debutant from Charlton would end up capping his first few minutes in an Everton shirt with a well-taken goal.

John Stones, playing at Goodison for the first time since his £47.5m move to the Etihad Stadium in August, was caught out at the back and the ball broke kindly to Lookman who struck a low shot through the goalkeeper's legs to round off a wonderful afternoon at the Grand Old Lady.

It's a result that finally signals what can be achieved by the team Koeman is building and indicates that a season that looked practically over a week ago might have plenty in store if this can be followed by a string of victories.

Full details: ToffeeWeb match page