Everton 0-3 Manchester City: Ilkay Gundogan scores brilliant brace
Everton 0-3 Manchester City: Ilkay Gundogan scores stunning brace either side of Erling Haaland header as Premier League leaders sweep struggling Toffees aside at Goodison Park
- Manchester City’s Premier League title charge continues with a comfortable 0-3 win over Everton on Sunday
- City captain Ilkay Gundogan opened the scoring with a brilliantly creative strike from inside the box
- While Erling Haaland headed his 36th goal of the season past Jordan Pickford who was unable to keep it out
Before Manchester City’s win over Leeds United last weekend. Ilkay Gundogan had enjoyed a fine season but not a prolific one in front of goal. Since then and in the course of just two Premier League games, the German has doubled his goal tally from four to eight and as a result City have moved to within six points of yet another league title.
This is one of the true beauties of Pep Guardiola’s latest City incarnation. This version is not always as fabulously spell binding to watch as some that have passed before on Guardiola’s watch. But they remain just as monotonously reliable and ruthless and, importantly, can draw goals and inspiration from just about anybody when the moment requires it.
At Goodison Park, a place where hope has not been extinguished, they beat Everton without breaking sweat. The home team were competitive for 35 minutes and then Mason Holgate missed a chance at one end, City scored twice in a minute at the other and the game was done.
Gundogan’s opening goal – a flick over his shoulder with his right foot – was reminiscent of the kind of thing the great Dennis Bergkamp used to do. Erling Haaland’s header a minute later was a true centre forward’s strike and, remarkably, only his third touch in the game at that point.
As for Gundogan’s free-kick five minutes in to the second half, that was a football meets art moment. It seemed to take an age to arc in to the goal but still there was a sense of inevitability about it from the moment he drew his foot back to strike.
Ilkay Gundogan opened the scoring with a brilliantly creative strike from inside the Everton box that was initially controlled with his thigh
Manchester City controlled proceedings as they stormed to a three-nil lead over Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday
Manchester City’s Erling Haaland leapt highest in the Everton box to double his side’s lead through his 36th goal of the season
For Everton, the damage grew no greater and that may yet be important. They are only out of the bottom three by a point but their goal difference is also two better than that of Leeds, the team beneath them. So the fact there was no mirror of the collapse they suffered here against Newcastle in late April could yet serve them well.
MATCH FACTS AND PLAYER RATINGS
EVERTON: (4-2-3-1) Pickford 6; Patterson 6, Mina 6.5, Tarkowski 6.5, Holgate 6 (Coady 54mins 6); Garner 6, Gueye 5.5 (Onana 54mins 6) ; Iwobi 5, Doucoure 6, McNeil 6.5; Calvert-Lewin 5.5 (Maupay 45mins 6.5).
SEAN DYCHE: 6
MANCHESTER CITY: (4-2-3-1) Ederson 6; Walker 7, Ruben Dias 6 (Sergio Gomez 90mins 6), Akanji 6, Laporte 6; Rodri 6.5 (Phillips 87mins 6), Gundogan 8 (Grealish 78mins 6); Mahrez 6.5, Alvarez 6, Foden 7; Haaland 6 (Silva 77mins 6).
GOALS: Gundogan 37 & 41, Haaland 38
PEP GUARDIOLA: 7
REFEREE: Anthony Taylor 6
Gundogan’s goal tally in the league, however, would make him top scorer in Sean Dyche’s Everton squad. Dwight McNeill is Everton’s top league scorer with seven goals and that says much.
Here their best forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin was reasonably dangerous in the first half but failed to reappear for the second, presumably injured. Dyche, one senses, has had just about enough of that particular problem already.
His team’s approach to the game was hard to fault, at least. Compact across the middle of the field when City had the ball – which was often – they ran and pressed and closed opponents down.
For a while it worked to the extent that City hadn’t fashioned a chance at all until the moment they scored eight minutes before half-time. But this is the point. They did score.
And then, a matter of a minute or so later, they scored again. Suddenly, Everton were staring not at the possibility of a point but respectability and damage limitation. When people talk of how hard it is to play Guardiola’s team, this is what they mean.
Everton did have their opportunity just before Gundogan’s first goal and they didn’t take it. A goal then would have turned up the dial. It is always easier to summon energy when you have something tangible to cling to.
As it was, Holgate could only volley the ball over the bar from five yards after James Tarkowski had headed a corner down to him in the 35th minute. Less than two minutes later, City led.
The cross from Riyad Mahrez on the right was a decent one but left Gundogan, back to goal, with an awful lot to do. It took a split second and two touches to turn possibility in to reality.
First the ball was cushioned on the German’s thigh, then it was hooked back towards goal and over his right shoulder with his right foot. In Everton’s goal, Jordan Pickford doubtless didn’t even see the ball until it was almost past him. It was fruitless even diving.
When City score first, they can be devilishly difficult to reign in and Everton hadn’t even had time to think about how they may do that when they were two down.
This time the danger came from the other side and when Gundogan crossed, Haaland rose to head powerfully through Pickford’s attempt at a right-handed save from about seven yards.
On the touchline, Dyche put a finger to each of temples as if to urge his players to concentrate. It could be argued that it was a little too late for that.
Everton and England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford (green) got a hand to Haaland’s effort but was unable to keep it out
Pep Guardiola (middle) hauled off his two goalscorers in the closing stages of the Premier League encounter
Everton manager Sean Dyche (left) cut a frustrated figure at times as his Everton side started brightly but quickly faded against City
Gundogan (right) scored his second goal of the game with a perfectly-placed free-kick from the edge of the box
Gundogan came through for his own manager again five minutes in to the second half. Phil Foden was brought down by James Garner and punishment was exacted by the City midfielder who curled the resulting free-kick over the wall and in to the corner with his right foot.
Headers from successive Everton corners did cause City some mild alarm in the 66th minute as substitute Aamadou Onana and then Yerry Mina came close. But Everton’s attacking efforts were purely decorative by this stage.
At full-time, things grew lively. Guardiola and Mina seemed to exchange words while Everton stewards saw fit to form a protective ring of yellow around the technical areas.
By the away supporters, meanwhile, City’s players celebrated as though they knew another pivotal examination had been passed. This was consecutive league win number eleven. At Guardiola’s City, standards are rarely allowed do drop.
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