Manchester City go top of the table for a few hours at least and continue to pile pressure on Liverpool with a strong performance against Everton on Saturday.
A second-half brace from Erling Haaland was the difference as the Norway international scored his 15th and 16th goals of the campaign to help Manchester City claim all three points at the Etihad Stadium.
As expected, City started in control of possession but had their work cut out against an Everton side that have defended so well this season. The Blues would need to move the ball quickly to get in behind Sean Dyche’s team and home run to 32 unbeaten games.
Most of City’s attacks came from the left side through Jeremy Doku. The Belgian used his blistering pace to get past defenders and put crosses into the box – one of which found Erling Haaland who couldn’t direct his header goalwards.
Despite the dominance from Pep Guardiola’s side, Everton still looked dangerous on the counter-attack and Jack Harrison found an opportunity on the edge of the Manchester City box but his effort was high and wide.
For a moment, it looked like all of the Toffee’s defending was about to be undone after Julian Alvarez intercepted a rogue pass from the Everton defence but he failed to find Erling Haaland in the middle and Jordan Pickford came to claim the loose pass from the Argentine.
The England goalkeeper had little to do in the first-half as the Treble Winners failed to register a single shot on target – something that would only change on 71 minutes. Guardiola did not look a happy man with his side going into the break not up to their usual high standards.
After a tame and lacklustre start to the second half, City finally found the breakthrough in the 71st minute through prolific number nine, Erling Haaland. A loose ball from a corner found its way to the Norwegian who smashed the ball past Jordan Pickford to break the deadlock.
City’s second goal came from the link-up that we saw so much of last season – Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland. De Bruyne played a lovely ball through to Haaland who shoved his defender out of the way before slotting the ball beautifully past Pickford.
As Manchester City moved above Liverpool ahead of Jurgen Klopp’s side’s meeting with Burnley later on Saturday afternoon, here are our thoughts on the individual performances of the players in action!
Ederson – 6
Didn’t have to do much but was there when called upon.
Nathan Ake – 7
Helped join the attack and support Jeremy Doku on the left. Defended well.
Manuel Akanji – 6
Good defensively and moved the ball well when pushing up into midfield.
Ruben Dias – 7
Solid as always and took command as he was wearing the armband from kick-off.
John Stones – 7
Always tried to move the ball forward and break the midfield line.
Rodri – 7
Moved the ball well across the pitch and stepped in to stop the Everton counter.
Matheus Nunes – 6
Looked to burst forward into the final third but the low block limited his impact.
Phil Foden – 7
Always in the pockets and ready to receive the ball looking to create chances.
Jeremy Doku – 7
Dynamic on the left side and was the main threat in the first half.
Julian Alvarez – 6
Was everywhere in the final third but struggled to create clear-cut chances.
Erling Haaland – 8
Came alive in the second half with his brace. He showed that he only needs a chance and he will score.
Kevin De Bruyne – 7
As soon as he came on he was trying to create chances and got his assist from Erling Haaland’s second.
Kyle Walker – 7
Pressed high and didn’t let anything past him. Really good showing from the club captain.
Bernardo Silva – 6
Brought on to calm the game down and did just so. Retained possession consistently.
Jack Grealish – 6
Came on as the game was settling down so didn’t have many chances but looked sharp on the ball.
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