Premier League – Sunday 15th January
Everton hosted Manchester City in the first of two huge Manchester Merseyside matches on Sunday. The four clubs Everton, Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United all in top 7 positions with all except Everton with a realistic chance of winning the title.
The first match saw Everton humiliate City by 4 goals to nil at Goodison Park with some scintillating football that keeps them in 7th place in the Premiership.
In the early stages the two teams cancelled each other out with City looking the likeliest team to break the deadlock as they gradually took control. Up front for Everton the first half hour saw Lukaku a lone figure up front with virtually no service provided to him. However Silva was having a poor game for City and Raheem Sterling was in and out of the game like a jack in the box.
City came into this game with a dreadful record of only four shut outs in the previous 24 matches so maybe it was no surprise for Manager Pep Guardiolla when Miralles passed a ball inside to an unmarked Lukaku who fired in from ten yards on 34 minutes to give Everton the lead.
The Manchester club could have equalized just 3 minutes later when a shot sliced across the Everton area from the left and Aguero failed to connect and in the same move barely 30 seconds later Sterling was in a good position to score but shot wide. Shortly after City could have laid claim to a penalty when Sterling broke through only to be brought down by both Everton defender Leighton Baines and goalkeeper Joel.
Perhaps harsh words were said by Pep at half time but you wouldn’t have known as The Toffees furthered their lead within 60 seconds of the restart when Lukaku’s through ball was semi cleared only for a neat pass from the left finding Miralles unmarked and he shot passed Bravo to make it two nil to the Sky Blues. This was Miralles first home goal of the season.
City found it hard to get back into the game and lacked flair and were simply devoid of good ideas. It took until the 72nd minute for another chance when Aguero’s snapshot was well saved as Joel parried the ball away for a corner.
Four minutes later Yaya Toure tried his luck with an attempt from 25 yards out but the shot lacked enough force and Joel’s job of gathering was an easy one.
With 11 minutes left on the clock local Merseyside boy Tom Davies made a great run down the right hand side beating a couple of City players and passing inside, despite being clipped and going down he got up immediately to continue his run accepted a return ball and from the edge of the 6 yard box scooped the ball over Bravo to score his first ever goal in Premiership football and one he will never ever forget. 3-0 to Everton and City heads were lower than a mole underground.
Both Schneiderlin and Lookman made their debuts in the closing stages. New signing Lookman appears a very tiny slender player but the introduction of the new boy for his first venture into Premiership football in injury time paid immediate dividends when he drilled in from the right with what may have been his first touch of the ball in the top flight.
Manchester City players looked forlorn at the final whistle as they had been hammered and humiliated by an Everton team full of confidence and commitments, traits that Manchester City seem to lack in abundance at the current time. There appears to be problems in the City camp, no one looks happy particularly Pep Guardiola.
It was the day the Toffees ate City and a day to be remembered for Everton fans that must be filled with relief that they have a side under Ronald Koeman playing decent football at long last. Four nil just about sums up City’s horrific day.
“Main photo: Oleskandr Osipov / Shutterstock, Inc.”