Manchester City overcame a slow start in freezing conditions to beat Everton 3-1 with a brace of Gabriel Jesus goals and a Raheem Sterling header.
Everton had their chances and converted one through Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s header to give the visitors hope but in truth they were undone by poor defending.Embed from Getty Images
City made four changes from the side that beat Hoffenheim on Wednesday. Kyle Walker, Fabian Delph, Riyad Mahrez and Fernandinho returned to the starting lineup while John Stones, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Raheem Sterling, and Phil Foden joined fit-again Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne on a formidable bench.
City were pressed high by Everton in the early stages with Bernard lively and thought they had the first chance when Gylfi Sigurdsson found Dominic Calvert-Lewin for a shot but the youngster was wrongly deemed offside after Ederson had tipped his shot away.
Richarlison volleyed over from Lucas Digne’s cross from the byline after 15 minutes in a start which seemed to anger City boss Pep Guardiola.
City had offered little aside from some half chances for Leroy Sane and Fernandinho.
After 21 minutes Jesus was denied by Michael Keane as he tried to get on the end of Gundogan’s cross from the left.
Keane diverted it away from Jesus and Pickford made the save but couldn’t prevent City from taking the lead a minute later when Yerry Mina’s clearance went straight to Gundogan.
Gundogan picked out Sane who slide the ball through for Jesus who was grateful to score only his 6th goal of the season – and only his second Premier League goal in 4 months – from 6 yards out.
City took control of the game but didn’t muster much impetus except for a brace of blocked shots by Gundogan and Mahrez.
Mahrez slipped in Jesus whose goal was immediately chalked off for offside just before the break.
Jesus scored again shortly after the break, converting a Sane cross from the left on 50 minutes.
Everton were back into the game after a lapse of concentration by City in the 65th minute saw Nicola Otamendi’s poor clearance fall to Lucas Digne who crossed for Dominic Calvert-Lewin to head Everton back into the game.
City restored their 2 goal cushion four minutes later when Fernandinho crossed for Raheem Sterling to head home from 6 yards.
Everton were not out of it though, and Richarlison fired over after exchanging passes with Ademola Lookman while Walcott also blazed over after capitalising over defensive weakness on City’s right flank.
Kevin De Bruyne made a long awaited return from injury to big cheers after 75 minutes for Riyad Mahrez and tested his range with some probing passes forward.
But it was Calvert-Lewin who almost overshadowed the Belgian’s return with a superb flying backheel after meeting Theo Walcott’s cross from the right while Richarlison’s shot was blocked by Otamendi.
Mina hadn’t had a good game and reacted badly when picked up by Ederson after Everton had wasted another chance to score for the visitors who piled on the pressure late.
PLAYER RATINGS – Manchester City 3, Everton 1
Ederson: 7. Early action for City’s Brazilian meant he could keep warm.
Kyle Walker: 6. Misplaced passes going forward. Everton did better attacking his flank than Delph’s.
Nicolas Otamendi: 6. Lunging for some early tackles as Everton pressed high. Caught out of position for Everton’s goal – his poor clearance fell to Lucas Digne who crossed for Dominc Calvert-Lewin’s goal.
Aymeric Laporte: 7. Getting used to Premier League battles. Took a clattering in the second half but carried on – went down at full time too.
Fabian Delph: 6. Quiet start, hit a shot over the bar. Couldn’t stop Dominic Calvert-Lewin scoring and the pair were booked for tussling late in the game.
Fernandinho: 8. City have missed his distribution but he got forward too and troubled the Everton defence as well.
Ilkay Gundogan: 8. Quick reactions to start the counter attack for City’s first half goal. Had shots blocked and wasn’t afraid of raiding forwards for closer attempts.
Bernardo Silva: 6. Hared around getting tackles in and linking up things in midfield.
Riyad Mahrez: 7. Gave Lucas Digne plenty to think about down City’s right flank.
Gabriel Jesus: 8. Always hard working, today he got his reward after getting into the right positions and scoring twice. His confidence levels looked high after a great performance.
Leroy Sane: 8. Slide rule pass for Jesus’ first goal and a superb cross for his second half header.
Raheem Sterling (for Leroy Sane 66): 7. Scored a fine header after finding plenty of space between Everton’s defence. Kept the pressure up for City.
Kevin De Bruyne (for Riyad Mahrez 75): 6. Getting his passing range back again with 15 minute run-out.
GOALS – Manchester City 3, Everton 1
Man City 1, Everton 0: 22. Gabriel Jesus broke his goalscoring duck after Ilkay Gundogan collected a poor Everton clearance by Yerry Mina and picked out Leroy Sane whose well placed through ball fell nicely for the Brazilian who slotted home from 6 yards out.
Man City 2, Everton 0: 50. Gabriel Jesus scores again, converting Leroy Sane’s left wing cross from 6 yards out with a header after getting in front of Yerry Mina.
Man City 2, Everton 1: 65. Nicolas Otamendi was caught out of position and his clearance fell to Lucas Digne whose subsequent cross found Dominic Calvert-Lewin who rose to meet it ahead of Fabian Delph and beat Ederson.
Man City 3, Everton 1: 69. Gabriel Jesus slid in Fernandinho whose cut back from the left was headed in by Raheem Sterling from 6 yards out after slipping into the yawning gap between Everton’s defenders.
MATCH STATS – Manchester City 3, Everton 1
Man City: Ederson, Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Delph, Fernandinho, Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Mahrez (De Bruyne 75), Jesus, Sane (Sterling 66)
Man City Subs not used: Muric, Stones, Aguero, Zinchenko, Foden
Booked: Delph 76
Goals: Jesus 22, 50; Sterling 69
Everton: Pickford, Coleman (Lookman 57), Zouma, Keane, Mina, Digne, Gomes, Sigurdsson (Davies 81), Bernard (Walcott 57), Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Everton Subs not used: Stekelenburg, Baines, Tosun, Schneiderlin
Bookings: Digne 19, Calvert-Lewin 76
Goal: Calvert-Lewin 65