Toffees Hit for Three at Goodison Park by Title-Chasing Manchester City on Sunday Afternoon.
Welcoming Manchester City and company to Goodison on Sunday afternoon saw Sean Dyche make only one change to the side that has become a mainstay and most recenty throttled Brighton and Hove Albion 1-5 at the Amex. Mason Holgate was introduced at left back as Vitali Mykolenko was unavailable for today’s match.
The first thirty minutes felt much like matches with Manchester City usually do, with Guardiola’s side dominating possession early on. Dyche would have been pleased however with the shape Everton kept at the back, creating organization that made the hosts quite difficult to break down. The first chance would finally fall to the visitors in the 28th minute however, as Gundogan found Mahrez outside who had a go from distance. He curled his effort towards the top corner but it wasn’t on target as it whizzed over the crossbar. Growing into the game, City found another chance via Phil Foden three minutes later, who dummied the shot before fizzing one at goal. James Tarkowski was on hand however and managed to stick a leg out and deflect the effort to keep the scoreline level.
Everton would get their first big chance of the match in the 34th minute, a corner was swung in and of course met by James Tarkowski. He headed the ball into the far post which dropped to Mason Holgate, who volleyed it over from close range on an effort that was perhaps more difficult than it looked at first glance. A minuet later City would fire back as Rodri had a go from distance, his low well-stricken effort was hit well but saved in the end by Jordan Pickford. The pressure from City would finally tell however, breaking the deadlock in the 37th minute. Mahrez fired in a ball to Gundogan, who took his touch in the box before somehow flicking it through an almost non-existent gap to put the visitors up 0-1. The gates opened and City found their second only two minutes later, with Gundogan once again pulling the strings for the Guardiola’s side. He clipped in a cross that was thundered home by the head of Erling Haaland to make the scoreline 0-2 where it would stay going into halftime.
Starting the second half Neal Maupay was introduced in place of Calvert-Lewin, who played quite well but had his day cut short by apparent tightness in his groin. Six minutes later Manchester City would well and truly put the game to bed as Gundogan curled in a free kick from just outside the box to go 0-3 up. The goal would cause a double Everton change as Onana and Coady came on for Gueye and Holgate, with Dyche and company switching to a 5 at the back. The change did allow Everton to grow into the match a bit, with perhaps a combination of the visitors taking their foot off the gas and Dyche’s men having a bit more stability in the back 5 against a rampant City side.
Everton would smack the bar in the 70th minute via a Tarkowski header from a great McNeil cross, and six minutes later would bring on Demari Gray for James Garner. Outside of a couple of headed efforts from Onana from set pieces, and despite growing into the match, the hosts could not affect the scoreline and the match would end 0-3. Looking for talking points from this match will be difficult, with an out of place Holgate at left back and an already difficult task against the defending champions and potential treble winners. Dyche will hope that Calvert-Lewin is fit and firing for Wolves on Saturday, with Everton staring down the barrel of a two game schedule that will make or break their Premier League status.