Manchester City closed the gap on league leaders Chelsea to just three points with a convincing 3-0 victory over Everton at the Etihad Stadium thanks to goals from Raheem Sterling, Rodri and Bernardo Silva.
City were denied a first-half penalty when Sterling appeared to have been brought down by Michael Keane, but a VAR review saw the decision overturned. However, there was no denying Sterling on the stroke of half time as he converted a sublime pass from Joao Cancelo to break the deadlock.
The hosts doubled their lead 10 minutes into the second half when Rodri picked out the top corner with a thunderous effort from range which left Jordan Pickford stranded. City added a third late on as Silva got on the scoresheet and the hosts secured all three points and the clean sheet.
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This victory ensures that City keep the pressure up on Chelsea and Liverpool above them as the title race begins to gather pace, meanwhile defeat for Everton sees their winless run in the Premier League extended to six matches.
City need only wait three days until they return to action when they host Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League group stages on Wednesday night, while Everton return to league action with a trip to Brentford next Sunday.
Talking Point – Champions' Response
The last time City took to the Etihad turf, they were on the wrong end of a 2-0 score-line against Crystal Palace. Each of the title challengers thus far have dropped points in unlikely scenarios, with Chelsea and Liverpool being held at home to Burnley and Brighton respectively. Guardiola will have asked for a response and he has got one. It was a stylish, clinical and professional victory from a City side who have reiterated to their fellow title challengers that they are here to play.
Man of the Match – Rodri
If the Spaniard’s all-round play wasn’t enough to warrant the Man of the Match award, then his goal certainly was. Rodri unleashed a fantastic strike to double City’s advantage, a moment of real class, but his overall match stats are those of a player whose talent can be underrated. He had the second most touches of the ball and the second most touches in the Everton half. He creates, dictates and delivers – a vital component of a Guardiola midfield – almost Busquets-esque.
Man City: Ederson 7, Walker 7, Stones 7, Laporte 7, Cancelo 8, Rodri 8, Gundogan 7, Palmer 7, Bernardo Silva 8, Sterling 8, Foden 7.
Subs: Ake 6, Mahrez 7, McAtee 6.
Everton: Pickford 6, Coleman 6, Keane 6, Godfrey 6, Digne 6, Delph 6, Allan 6, Townsend 6, Gordon 6, Gray 6, Richarlison 6.
Subs: Iwobi 6, Rondon 6, Onyango 6.
33’ PENALTY TO CITY! Sterling drives into the box and is brought down clumsily by Keane. City now have a golden chance to take the lead, but VAR will take a look at the foul before we continue...
36’ PENALTY OVERTURNED! Well, after all that excitement, VAR suggest the referee uses the pitch-side monitor to see for himself and he decides to overturn his initial decision. No penalty for City!
44’ GOAL! City 1-0 Everton! (Sterling) Wow, a brilliant move from City who break the deadlock on the stroke of half-time. Cancelo plays a sublime ball with the outside of his boot into the box and Sterling is there to thrash the ball home with a first-time finish!
55’ GOAL! City 2-0 Everton! (Rodri) An absolute stunner from Rodri gives City a two-goal lead! Allan's clearance runs into the path of Rodri who belts a thunderous strike from distance into the top corner beyond a helpless Pickford. What a brilliant goal!
86’ GOAL! City 3-0 Everton! (B. Silva) It's a third goal for City, they are home and dry now! Palmer's shot is deflected into the path of Silva, who passes the ball into the net from close range, rounding off an enjoyable afternoon for the home side.
- Joao Cancelo provided his sixth assist of the season in 18 games for Man City, as many as he produced in both his first two seasons with the club in all competitions combined (six in 76 apps)
- Raheem Sterling made his 300th Premier League appearance today, aged 26 years and 348 days, becoming the fourth-youngest player to hit that total in the division and the youngest since James Milner in April 2012, also for City.
- All four of Rodri’s open play goals in the Premier League have come from outside the box. He only scored once from outside the box in La Liga before joining City.
- Bernardo Silva now has exactly 50 Premier League goal involvements for City (25 goals and 25 assists) and has scored in back-to-back league appearances for the first time since March 2018.
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