Everton 0-2 Manchester City: 5 talking points as Cityzens secure hard-fought victory | FA Cup 2020-21 

Ume Elvis
Modified 21 Mar 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

#3 Kevin De Bruyne steps off the bench to make the difference for Manchester City

Kevin De Bruyne scored the second goal for Manchester City.
Kevin De Bruyne scored the second goal for Manchester City.

There might have been a few eyebrows raised when Kevin De Bruyne was not named in the Manchester City starting lineup.

However, with season-defining games coming up in the next few weeks, it was understandable that Pep Guardiola rested his most important player.

With the game against Everton deadlocked heading into the final ten minutes, the Manchester City manager was forced to call upon the creative genius of De Bruyne.

It took just four minutes for the former Chelsea man to make his impact felt in the game. His feint opened up space in the Everton defence, from which Laporte struck the post for Gundogan to score.

In the first minute of Injury time, De Bruyne timed his run to perfection to latch onto Rodri's pass, and his excellently-placed left-footed finish left Joao Virginia with no chance.

#4 Raheem Sterling's struggles continues

Raheem Sterling is struggling for form.
Raheem Sterling is struggling for form.

Raheem Sterling was arguably the most standout forward for Manchester City last season, producing a personal-best 31 goals in all competitions.

This term has, however, he has had a massive drop-off in performance, which has seen him lose his place in the Manchester City starting lineup.

He has started just two of Manchester City's last five Premier League games. Handed a chance to impress with several key first-teamers rested against Everton, Sterling failed to grab his opportunity with both hands. Many presentable opportunities went begging, thanks to Sterling's indifferent finishing.

His blank show at Goodison Park means the 26-year-old has not found the back of the net in any competition since scoring the winner against Arsenal exactly a month ago.

#5 Ilkay Gundogan continues his rich goal-scoring form

Ilkay Gundogan is Manchester City
Ilkay Gundogan is Manchester City's highest goal-scorer this season.

Ilkay Gundogan is currently Manchester City's top scorer in all competitions this season, scoring 16 goals in 34 games.

Incredibly, he did not open his Premier League account till Matchday 13 in the middle of December. But the injuries sustained to several key forwards saw the Germany international handed a more advanced role in the team, one where he has flourished.

Against Everton, Gundogan was on the periphery for most of the game but showed his new-found killer instincts in front of goal, as he popped up in the right place at the right time to score the opener.

Published 21 Mar 2021
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