Everton 1-3 Manchester City: The Blues get back into the Top 4

Manchester City beat the high-flying Everton side at Goodison Park with a thrilling second-half performance – Haaland to remain out of action for a few more days

Everton v Manchester City: The World Champions returned to action following their triumph in Riyadh, a week prior to this game. Two big names that were still missing from the matchday squad were Jeremy Doku and Man City’s deadliest penetrating bullet, Erling Haaland.

Everton v Manchester City

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However, it seemed as though the Blues were unfazed with regards to their absence as Julian Alvarez put up another quaint display of his adept gameplay as he always does and Jack Grealish showed just what he’s capable of when given the chance. Though they were a goal down at half time, which has seemingly been a common theme for the European Champs this season, what’s added more fuel to the frustration is the constant misfiring in front of goal leading to unanticipated draws – like that one against Crystal Palace two weeks ago.

However, let us take a deep dive into the action that unfolded at Goodison Park.

Match Summary: Everton v Manchester City

It took the hosts about half an hour to break the deadlock courtesy of Jack Harrison. City continued to dominate the game but lacked that cutting edge to put it past England’s shot-stopper, Jordan Pickford. Seven minutes into the second half, Phil Foden finally found the net thanks to some assistance from Bernardo Silva before Julian Alvarez successfully fired a shot past Pickford from the Penalty spot. Despite already having a goal contribution, the Portuguese wizard Bernardo Silva decided to get himself on the scoresheet as well in the dying minutes of the game, making it 3-1.

As has always been the case, Manchester City dominated the possession, with over 72% and a passing accuracy of 91%, which is not too surprising of a statistic when attributed to Manchester City. The latter had a much higher xG, of 2.60 as opposed to Everton’s 0.98.

As mentioned earlier, they’ve been severely inadequate when it comes to scoring goals as of late – their build-up draws out a chef’s kiss but their execution of chances and the end product always seems to have some form of defect. They registered a staggering 23 shots, as opposed to Everton’s 7, and only had 9 on target, with 3 redeemed as goals – a rather busy evening for Jordan Pickford who had to make 6 saves.

Man of the Match

It was a close call between Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden but it was the Englishman who came out on top. Both players had a brilliant evening, playing influential roles in the team’s victory that marked their return as World Champions. The Man of the Match, Phil Foden had the following to say:

“I thought we played well in the first half, it seemed to be the same story as the previous games but the manager told us to keep believing.

“We haven’t got this gold badge (Club World Cup winners motif) for no reason. We have to believe in ourselves because we’re a top team.

“In the second half, wow, I think we blew them away with how we played. We have to praise Everton too as they did well, they’re a good side and made it difficult.

“I’m really happy with the result at a difficult place to come.”

Some Bad News for City

Despite their exhilarating win over Everton at Goodison Park, they were in for some bad news. John Stones was forced off the field courtesy of another injury. It’s not known how long he will be away from action but according to Pep, it ‘doesn’t look good.’

Pep Guardiola extends his record

With this win, the Spaniard extends his personal record in head to head clashes with Everton’s gaffer, Sean Dyche who is also Burnley’s ex-Manager. 

Out of a total 14 games played against him, he has 13 wins and just one draw, showcasing his dominance in the managerial arena once again. Following the win, he remarked:

It was a massive win for us after where we came from Saudi as world champions. I’m really pleased.

“We went down and how we react, these players the mentality that we have all of us in our bones.

“We want to be there, I know we aren’t top and lots can happen in the Premier League.

“Every game the mid-table can beat anyone, there will be lots of surprises. We’re pleased with the victory and the way we played

“In the second half, we increased our rhythm and played more direct to the wingers. It was really good.”

No Haaland, No Problem

The treble winner who made a very strong case as a contender for the 2023 Ballon d’Or has been out of action since that 1-0 loss to Aston Villa on the 7th of December. He has missed a total of six games and in his absence, the World Cup winner Julian Alvarez has filled in the gaps pretty well.

The Argentine has bagged 3 goals and 2 assists from the five games he featured in as a striker. Speaking of Haaland’s return, Pep says:

“Still he’s not with the team. He feels better with his bone but he hasn’t made one training session with us. Unfortunately, December is so congested with so many teams. January is so congested. Hopefully, in January he can come back with us.”

Keep reading: Everton says Goodbye to their Stadium after 134 Years

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