Match Report | Manchester Away (A)

Honours even at the Etihad as Rooney’s first half strike was cancelled out late on in the 82nd minute by Raheem Sterling. An exciting game for the neutral, maybe not so much for us Evertonians who will once again wonder if Everton should have done more to make their one-man advantage count in the second half.

Rooney made himself acquainted with the City fans after his goal

The first half an hour of the game saw both teams probing and prodding, with Manchester City having the lion’s share of the chances. David Silva came the closest, seeing his effort rattle of the post in the 34rd Minute. But just one minute later Everton found a breakthrough. Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who played maybe his best game to date in an Everton shirt, played a square pass to Rooney who lashed the ball low into the middle of the goal. Glorious. Not to say I told you so, but I did tell you so. It was almost written in the stars that Rooney would score his 200th against Manchester City. The goal came much to the frustration of the home fans as he wheeled away celebrating, cupping both ears in their direction…. ah Wayne you cheeky monkey. Seriously though, 200 league goals, what a great achievement.

It looked like it was destined to be Everton’s night nine minutes later when Kyler Walker, making his home league debut, was shown a second yellow card and given his marching orders. Now, maybe I’m softening up as I get older, or maybe it’s because I’m about to rant about the Schneiderlin red card, but not for the first time in the game, referee Bobby Madley looked to have got this one wrong. A very soft card but Everton weren’t complaining and they took a 1-0 lead into the break.

Gylfi Sigurdsson came off the bench in the second half and made his debut for the blues

At half time, I imagined a controlled second half performance. Making Manchester City work hard to chase the ball, using the extra man in possession, making them desperate, picking them off on the break. Well, it never happened. It was a very frustrating second half performance. As eluded to in the match preview, the psychology of the club needs changing. I fear Everton were too worried about Man City’s potential threat coming forward to risk attempting to take control of the game, despite the extra man advantage. It was almost inevitable that City eventually found a break through when Sterling capitalised on Holgate’s attempted headed clearance and fired his shot into the bottom corner eight minutes from time. It would be harsh to throw any criticism Holgate’s way as he put in a very good performance and he was slightly unlucky to see his header land in Sterling’s path.

Morgan Schneiderlin was displeased with Aguero as he wrongfully dismissed

Following the goal, it was very much a case of Everton running down the clock and holding out for the draw. An Everton player only needed to fart to give Bobby Madley an excuse to even up the numbers, and that excuse came two minutes from time when Morgan Schneiderlin slid into a challenge with Augero and was shown his second yellow of the game. Another terrible decision by Madley. I think a trip down to the lower leagues awaits Madley once the red cards are inevitably overturned.

Everton held out in the final few minutes of the game to take a point back down the M62. In all honesty, despite how the game played out, it was a good point away from home against a very good team. The Toffees are still unbeaten in all of pre-season and this season thus far. We wanted to know exactly where the team was at against tougher opposition and we’ve picked up a solid point away from home. It wasn’t a bad way to start a difficult week. Keep an eye out for our Hajduk Split match preview coming up, until then…. onwards and upwards Toffees.

-David (DAHughes92)