Everton face the toughest test of their campaign so far on Monday night, when we lock horns with Manchester City, a fixture which has generated many memorable moments in recent years. But what happened last time we played Pep Guardiola’s side at the Etihad?
15th October 2016; Manchester 1-1 Everton
Maarten Stekelenburg gave a Man Of The Match performance saving 2 penalties
It was a game where we were bombarded from start to finish against a bullish, dominant City side. On another day, Everton could easily have been two or three goals down by the break. Despite the home team’s best efforts to break through, our shape was good and every player on the pitch dug in defensively to help our cause. This was dealt a bitter blow though on 42 minutes, when Phil Jagielka gave away a needless penalty. The huffing and puffing Everton team looked despondent, as it seemed their defensive efforts had all been in vein, as they were finally caught out just before half time. However, Kevin De Bruyne stepped up and missed, forcing a fine save from Stekelenberg in goal to take Everton into the break.
Lukaku got his 6th goal of the season at the Etihad
The save seemed to give the Toffees a lift, as they came out after half time scrapping and fighting even more so, despite heavy city pressure. The defenders were given a temporary respite on the hour mark, however, as a clearance broke to Romelu Lukaku just inside the city half, who produced a magnificent solo run and slotted home to put Everton 1-0 up, completely against the run of play. For all the possession and chances City had, they just hadn’t taken advantage of it.
Only 7 minutes later though, City had another wonderful chance to strike level yet again from the penalty spot, with Jagielka again making a clumsy challenge, this time after getting too tight to Aguero amid more City pressure.
City were taking no chances, and this time Sergio Aguero himself stepped up to take it, placing his penalty in the same spot De Bruyne had in the first half… Only too see it saved by Stekelenburg again! City continued to knock on the door, and it seemed to be a matter of when, rather than if, City would equalise.
Nolito scored to put the game level
It came just two minutes later. A teasing cross caught out the Everton back line and substitute Nolito nodded home on his birthday, to a chorus of relief, not delight from the baying home crowd. The game eventually finished 1-1. Everton fought hard and did well to come away with a point after working tirelessly to defend Stekelenburg’s net.
Everton can expect just as tough a test when they visit the Etihad tonight, with a confident and clinical looking City side hoping to make it two wins from two games. But so are Everton. Buoyed by four consecutive clean sheets and a more solid looking unit, Koeman’s men will ensure it won’t be a walk in the park for the Manchester side by any means.
– Rich McCann (@Richie3986)