Everton 0 - 2 Manchester City

An unchanged Everton line-up were overawed by a confident Manchester City, Lukaku scoring a good goal that was given marginally (wrongly?) offside. He also clipped the bar with a late free-kick. Kolarov finally beat Howard at the near post, with Nasri chipping Howard easily to secure the points.

For the visit of Manchester City, Roberto Martinez stuck with last week's winning side, with Mirallas and Deulofeu on the bench, and Ramiro Funes Mori among the crowd, sporting an Everton scarf.

Everton started well and held possession until a poor pass from Lukaku that exposed Barry and Man City surged forward, Aguero firing in low, forcing an excellent one-footed save by Howard. There was more controlled football from Everton but it wasn't getting them far beyond the half-way line. When they did get forward, the control was poor on the crucial forward pass.

Man City attacked with pace Navas crossing for Aguero who had a lot of time to finish but Howard saved well. Everton decided to vary it, with a ball over the top for Lukaku to chase and the move ended with a poor over-hit cross from Cleverley, who then won a corner with a blocked cross.

The game initially was fairly even, with good possession and passing play from both siides, but City starting to put things together, Silva firing in on Howard, then Silva almost laying it on a plate for Sterling who just could not reach it. Galloway was getting a tough test from Navas down the Everton left but he did well to block the ball out for a corner.

Everton were now on the back foot, struggling to get the ball cleared as attack after attack from the light blue shirts. The Royal Blues slowed it down a bit, and did get forward, Barkley firing straight at Hart. Everton tried to build again through the middle but three successive dreadful touches from Lukaku lost the ball each time.

Everton tried to work the ball slowly down the right, and it was pace that was lacking until Coleman swung the ball over to Kone who set up Barkley but he played it to Lukaku who had strayed just offside as he slot the ball in past Hart. City attacked again after the restart and Howard had to save again, from Toure.

Coleman was allowed to stutter-step forward down the right to the edge of the City box and, with nothing else on, he poked the ball goalwards, just wide of the post. At the other end, Sterling dodged inside of Coleman and forced another save from Howard, and the defence looked shakey on the corner. A free-kick from the half-way line was wasted by Jagielka, lofted high and wide toward Stones.

Cleverley got another corner off a City defender and Cleverley swung out the set piece to Jageilka whose driving header was powered just over the bar from the edge of the area. But another City attack down Galloway's side again came close to breaking the deadlock, Toure firing across goal.

Stones was a little too strong on Aguero and City were given a very dangerous free-kick that Silva fired in but it was headed clear. But City kept pressing, Jagielka blocking superbly, Sagna begging for a penalty, as Galloway stayed down after tackling him, and needed treatment.

A better drive down the middle, Lukaku playing in Barkley, ended with a free-kick and a yellow card for Mangala. Barkley launched the set-piece in orbit around Pluto. Horrible waste. Galloway Was suffering and sat unhappily on the turf, before limping off, with Browning coming on to replace him during the 4 minutes of added time.

Cleverley went on another good run down the middle and was hacked down by Fernandinho, who saw yellow, this time Lukaku getting the honour to fire over the massive wall, just clipping the top of the crossbar.

The match was tied at half-time, but the feeling was that up until the action in added time, Everton had played far too much within themselves, and a little in awe of their well-endowed visitors.

City came at Everton with some determination after the break, Silva slashing a lethal shot against the post as he got behind the Blues defence. Everton looked even more starstruck and struggled to get on the ball. panicking when they did, as City surged at them again, Browning doing well to tackle Navas inside the penalty box but then switching off for the resulting short corner.

Coleman's fighting spirit wins the ball and advances down the right but the cross is heads away. But the play keeps going until Cleverley's inviting cross that Lukaku failed to run in for, and a brief respite to the City dominance ended with nothing. In the next attack, Cleverley almost plays in Kone, but not enough guile.

Another good move down the middle with Barry and Coleman almost broke the City defence but Lukaku's header was too close to Kompany with Barkley ready to receive and score behind him.

City attacked again and it seemed too simple, as Kolarov scored past Howard from an impossible angle, made possible only by Howard opening up the space criminally at the near post.

Stones and Browning fouled each other, give Navas acres of apace and 10 mins to beat Howard, which he failed to do, a tremendous save by Howard as Naismith replaced Kone. He worked well with Barkley who got a corner that Cleverley curled in well. Naismith drove off another defender for a second, then a third corner, these taken from the left by Barkley, as Toure towered over the rooted Jagielka to win the ball and head clear.

The crowd got more into it as the contest between Sterling and Coleman warmed things up, but the effect seemed to benefit City rather than the home side, who were forced back after a better spell. When Everton did go forward, Coleman strayed needlessly offside.

With Mirallas still on the bench, and time ticking away, it seemed to be an opportunity missed by Martinez, who needed to take a real risk here in order to get his side back in the match. Coleman was doing well, and won another corner from Cleverley that caused havoc before another chance McCarthy headed past Hart to the back post where Kompany cleared off the line.

The ball really just wasn't dropping for Everton as another move through the middle with Naismith and McCarthy broke down. Lukaku was having a terrible game nothing at all working for him. Another Everton corner, Jagielka could not get to Cleverley's quality delivery. Lukaku and Naismith then had a chance to create something from an ill-advised back-heel by Mangala but again it would not run for the Royal Blues who were once more crowded out.

With only 5 minutes left, Martinez finally made the change, Deulofeu on for Cleverley, far too late to make any difference, surely? But it was City who score after Navas stung Howard's gloves, Nasri chipped the ball simply over Howard for the final goal. Pathetic defending from Everton, who had failed to really challenge effectively.

A final corner came to nothing and summed things up. A very disappointing outcome after a respectable but uninspiring display considering what might have been if Everton had gone for the jugular a little more, sin meido, rather than showing the fear and trepidation that set in last season.

Everton: Howard; Coleman, Jagielka (c), Stones, Galloway (45+2' Browning); Barry, McCarthy; Cleverley (86' Deulofeu), Barkley; Kone (64' Naismith), Lukaku.
Subs not Used: Robles, Mirallas, Besic, Osman.

Manchester City: Hart, Sagna, Kompany (C), Mangala [Y:43'], Kolarov, Toure, Fernandinho [Y:45+4'], Navas, Sterling (76' Nasri [Y:86']), Silva (90' Delph), Aguero (81' Bony).
Subs not Used: Caballero, Demichelis, Denayer, Iheanacho.

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Attendance: 38,523

Share this article

About these ads

© ToffeeWeb