Manchester City travelled to Goodison Park hoping to secure a fifth successive Premier League victory, and more importantly, move within’ three points of capturing another title.
Surprisingly, Pep Guardiola named Aymeric Laporte at left-back for City in what seemed an experimental decision ahead of City’s Champions League clash with Liverpool. The Spaniard appeared unfazed in his new role and played a crucial part in City’s first goal.
His clever pass into David Silva enabled his compatriot to fire a cross into the box before Leroy Sané’s thunderous volley put City in-front within’ four minutes. Eight minutes later, a quick goal-kick from Ederson, incredible skill from Leroy Sané and a fantastic lobbed cross from Kevin De Bruyne allowed Gabriel Jesus to nod home City’s second goal.
The first-half continued to be dominated by City with chance after chance being created with ease before some neat work down the left flank saw David Silva in space once again. The 31-year-old ran the channel before a pinpoint pass gave Raheem Sterling the opportunity to score from ten yards – a gift he accepted and warranted based on his first-half efforts.
The second-half started with City still dominating possession before Yannick Bolasie gave Everton hope with a low shot from outside the box beating Ederson at his near post to make it 1-3.
City controlled the game for the remainder of the game with Everton not getting a sniff of their box to create any cause for concern. Should City beat United next week in the Derby, Pep Guardiola’s side will become Premier League champions for the third time in six years.
Here’s how the Blues’ performances are rated:
Ederson – 7
The Brazilian highlighted his importance to Guardiola’s system once again produced some top quality moments offensively – as shown in City’s second goal – and defensively.
Kyle Walker – 6
After being sent-off for City against Everton in August, Walker had a point to prove against the Toffees today. Defensively solid but Walker was a constant threat to Leighton Baines throughout the match.
Vincent Kompany – 7
Kompany wasn’t tipped by many to start against Everton due to his inability to play on a regular basis ahead of City’s matches with Liverpool and Manchester United. However, controlling performance from the skipper made sure City’s defence remained solid.
Nicolas Otamendi – 7
Throughout the entire campaign, it has been unknown who would start alongside Nicolas Otamendi such is the Argentine’s consistency. Again, Otamendi showed the improvement in his game defensively and was a constant threat from set-pieces.
Aymeric Laporte – 7
The most surprising name on the team-sheet only because of his starting position but within’ moments he looked composed and assured. Laporte’s passing and ball control were warmly welcomed by Silva and Sané as the trio struck up a devastating partnership.
Fernandinho – 8
The 32-year-old went into the game on nine yellow cards knowing a mistimed challenge against Everton would see him miss the next two Premier League games. He almost scored on a couple of occasions, most notably when his deflected shot was narrowly parried away for a corner by Jordan Pickford at 0-3.
Kevin De Bruyne – 9
City’s player of the season hadn’t registered a goal or assist in his last three Premier League games. Nonetheless, it took twelve minutes for De Bruyne to find his twentieth assist of the season but it was his control of the game that will be fondly remembered by the City faithful from today.
David Silva – 9
In a hot goal-scoring streak, Silva would have been hoping to add to his three goals in three games before the international break. Despite not scoring, Silva assisted two of City’s goals and continuously found space in tight positions to open the play up for the Blues. In a controlled second-half performance, Silva was City’s one constant attacking threat.
Raheem Sterling – 7
Much has been made of Sterling returning to Merseyside this week with many believing he could struggle under the crowd pressure. A first-half goal was deserving of his performance as he was working well under pressure while working the ball fantastically in possession.
Leroy Sané – 8
Sané against Coleman was considered a kay-battle by many experts when previewing the contest. Within’ minutes, Sané got the better of Coleman and scored City’s first goal of the game. Every time the German received the ball, it was apparent he had the beating of the Irishman.
Gabriel Jesus – 8
Sergio Aguero was not fit enough to return for City this weekend nor was he risked by Guardiola with such a crucial part of the season upcoming. Jesus looked back to his best today with intensity, ball control in tight situations, attacking threat and bringing others into play all superbly executed.