Premier League 2018-19, Manchester City 3-1 Everton: 5 Hits and Flops
Manchester City hosted Everton at the Etihad in the first clash of match-week 17. The Cityzens set aside their blip against Chelsea to put in a commanding display and emerge 3-1 winners.
The game had a good tempo to it throughout with both sides not holding back. Surprisingly, the away side raced off the blocks quicker and put City under pressure by attacking down Kyle Walker’s flank.
However, the defending champions quickly grew into the game with Fernandinho and Gundogan acting as orchestrators for their attacking play.
The home’s side dominance was rewarded when Mina gave the ball away to Gundogan. The German then picked out his compatriot, Sane, who laid the ball for Gabriel Jesus. The Brazilian displayed exemplary composure to slip the ball past Pickford.
City went into the break ahead by a goal and continued with their attacking verve in the second period.
Jesus got on the end of a delightful Sane cross and made it two for the evening. Although Everton provided a brief scare with a Calvert-Lewin goal in the 65th minute, Sterling made sure the points remained at the Etihad with a header in the 69th minute.
The win propelled City to the top of the table and Liverpool’s upcoming game on Sunday means that the former would remain toppers overnight.
For Everton, their away troubles continued as they still await their second win on the road in the league.
With an entertaining match behind us, it is warranted to cast an eye on the players who either shone or flopped badly. Here is a closer look at them:
#5 Hit – Kurt Zouma
The French centre-back started alongside Keane and Mina in central defence as Marco Silva switched to a back three for the travel to Manchester.
Playing as the right-sided centre-back, Zouma put in an accomplished display while others around him capitulated under pressure.
Zouma was a towering presence at the back and rarely let any play build on his side of the defence.
Apart from his inability to close down Fernandinho for the third goal, he looked strong in the challenge and used his pace to get out of tricky situations.
As Everton chased the game, they switched to a back four, meaning that the Frenchman had to be shunted out to right-back. Yet, Zouma was unfazed and the likes of Sane and Sterling got little change out of him.
After a long-term knee injury, Zouma seems to be hitting his straps finally. Looked upon as a bright prospect at Chelsea, he is slowly but surely resurrecting his career with the Toffees.
Everton have some real problems to tackle on the road this term. However, if Zouma is as solid as he was at the Eithad, the Toffees’ second away win might not be too far away.