City reassert dominance over Everton with comfortable win

Saturday, 15 December, 2018 0comments  |  Jump to last
Manchester City 3 - 1 Everton

Dominic Calvert-Lewin gave Everton hope with a 65th-minute header but City quickly restored their two-goal cushion

Everton's winless run extended to four games as they succumbed to Manchester City's might at the Etihad Stadium for the first time in four seasons.

Gabriel Jesus put his recent struggles for form behind him by scoring twice and Raheem Sterling killed off any prospects of a revival from Marco Silva's men after Dominic Calvert-Lewin had headed home Lucas Digne's cross in the 65th minute.

The Blues had their chances to narrow the deficit but Richarlison spurned a couple of decent opportunities and Theo Walcott put one over the bar after coming on as a second-half substitute.

With Idrissa Gueye failing a fitness test on a groin injury, Silva pulled Gylfi Sigurdsson back alongside André Gomes and handed Calvert-Lewin a chance to impress up front with Richarlison and Bernard on the flanks.

It was a formation that appeared to be working well in the early stages, with City dominant in possession but largely kept at bay until a couple of mistakes by the Blues presented the hosts with their first clear openings after Fernandinho had fired one effort well over in the 19th minute.

First, Michael Keane misjudged a floated cross from the left and almost turned the ball last his own goalkeeper but Jordan Pickford reacted brilliantly to turn it past his post with his fingertips.

Then, when Yerry Mina dumped the ball aimlessly into midfield from deep, City punished the error with two quick passes that ended with Jesus beating the offside trap and slotting past Pickford to make it 1-0 in the 22nd minute.

At the other end, Everton had occasionally looked bright going forward but they lacked City's slick and incisive passing. After Calvert-Lewin had drawn a smart save from Ederson with a low shot after some neat control and a smart turn that would have been ruled out for offside, Richarlison had had Everton's only genuine chance of the first half.

Digne capitalised on a mistake by Kyle Walker and clipped a cross into the box where the Brazilian arrived but couldn't steer his volley on target and smashed it over the bar.

Then, as the first half was drawing to a close, the home side went close to doubling their lead when the ball sat up nicely for Riyad Mahrez in front of goal but Pickford was equal to his shot, parrying it away to safety.

It only took Guardiola's men five minutes after half-time to pick the visitors apart, however, and get that second goal. A typical passing move dragged Everton's defence around sufficiently that when Leroy Sané chipped a pin-point cross into the centre onto Jesus's head between Keane and Mina, the Brazilian was able to power a header past Pickford.

Silva made his first changes a few minutes later, withdrawing Bernard and Seamus Coleman in favour of Ademola Lookman and Walcott and they were back in the game within eight minutes through a nicely-worked goal.

Digne was the provider from the left flank with a whipped delivery that Calvert-Lewin steered home via the head of Fabian Delph.

The fightback was short-lived, however. Guardiola had introduced Sterling in place of Sané in the 66th minute and within three minutes, the England winger had scored with his first touch. Zouma was slow to cover Fernandinho as he drove to the byline, was able to loft the ball into the six-yard box where Sterling had stolen in untracked behind Mina to head in City's third.

Great work by Lookman at the end of a promising counter-attack saw him tee up Richarlison but he sliced high and wide and the young midfielder was there again in the 74th minute to deliver a teasing cross that Walcott could only turn over the bar.

Calvert-Lewin had one final chance to set up a grandstand finish when he tried an enterprising heel flick off Walcott's low cross but Ederson read it and made the save.

With just one win in six now in the League, Everton slip to 8th on the back of this result with Champions League-chasing Tottenham next up at Goodison Park next Sunday.