Everton made an all-too predictable exit from the FA Cup at the quarter-final stage, holding off the Manchester City juggernaut until late on when the strength and depth available to Pep Guardiola proved decisive.
The Toffees' policy of containment had kept the champions-elect at bay for 84 minutes but they were undone once Riyad Mahrez and Kevin de Bruyne had been introduced as second-half substitutes and Ilkay Gundogan broke the deadlock in fortuitous fashion.
De Bruyne then finished the game off in the 90th minute as Everton were caught desperately trying to fashion an equaliser.
Taking a similar approach to the Premier League encounter between these two sides at Goodison Park last month, Carlo Ancelotti deployed a five-man defence with Seamus Coleman and Lucas Digne as wing-backs either side of a back three of Mason Holgate, Yerry Mina and Ben Godfrey.
The visitors had the lion's share of the possession and fashioned the early chances, with Phil Foden's attempted drive deflected off Mina's head for a corner in the second minute and stand-in goalkeeper Joao Virginia doing his confidence no harm with a low save from Raheem Sterling.
Everton's first chance came in the 19th minute and fell to Richarlison but he could only hook Godfrey's down-ward header over the crossbar. Mina, meanwhile, forced Zinchenko into heading away from his goal line following Digne's corner before Foden saw another effort deflected over after a quick counter-attacking move led by Bernardo Silva.
The pattern of precious few chances continued into the second half when the ball dropped to Richarlison again from a Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick but he half-volleyed wide while at the other end, Virginia pulled off a wonderful finger-tip save to deny Sterling after the ball had been cut back to him by Fernandinho in the 58th minute.
Mahrez found Foden eight minutes later and his shot flashed wide while André Gomes sent a half-volley drifting past the post two minutes after that.
It took De Bruyne's introduction and the space afforded to Aymeric Laporte to open the tie up in the final 10 minutes. The centre-half powered towards the Everton box and found De Bruyne who went down on the 18-yard line but play was allowed to continue. Laporte's shot came back off the crossbar via Virginia's fingers and the ball fell to the unmarked Gundogan who stooped to head into the empty goal.
Six minutes later with the Blues short-handed at the back after Alex Iwobi had been thrown in place of Holgate, De Bruyne was put in behind the defence where he evaded Godfrey's frantic attempt to get back and fired past Virginia to settle matters.
Joao Virginia was brilliant between the posts for Everton in the FA Cup Quarter-Final against Manchester City but Everton's valiant resistance was ultimately futile when the Champions elect scored with a little bit of luck to break the deadlock.
Both Pickford and Olsen were injured, along with four outfield players: Rodriguez, Doucouré, Delph and Gbamin. Sigurdsson and Gomes started; Davies, Iwobi and Keane are on the bench, where two substitute goalies are named, including elevation to this heady level for the first time for Zan-Luk Leban alongside Harry Tyrer.
Everton kicked off and tried to build an attack down the right. They continued to play a high press but would quickly have to reform their defence when possession was lost, then Allan was called for an early foul that Foden hit very hard from distance, Mina putting his head on it to give away the first corner. It was frenetic stuff, tremendous passing and movement from City.
Everton tried something clever from an advance throw-in but it didn't come off and City were quickly on the attack moving the ball around brilliantly but Everton were resolute in defence, and got a chance when Richarlison was fouled. Digne swung in a brilliant ball to the far post but the referee saw a foul by Everton.
Gomes fouled Bernardo, but The Blues were able to defend it high and look to gain possession, only to lose it immediately. Everton almost created aa counter with good work in the middle by Calvert-Lewin but Richarlison kept the ball too long and left Digne struggling.
City attacked again but Everton's defence was well marshalled, although Holgate almost fouled Jesus, and thought better of it. Digne marshalled a Foden overlap well at the expense of a corner that was repelled.
Virginia was required to collect a long shot from Sterling, and Everton got into the City area, Richarlison scooping a backwards shot just over the bar. City resumed their methodical probing until Fernandinho elbowed Richarlison in the face for a welcome pause in play.
Allan made a poor attempt to tackle Gundogan from behind and earned a really stupid yellow card. From the City free-kick it was Everton who mounted an attack, Gomes putting in a peach of a ball but Calvert-Lewin was the wrong side of the defender at the far post.
Calvert-Lewin ran forward with the ball and won a dead-ball chance albeit 30 yards from goal. Digne clipped it wide right and won Everton's first corner that he took but it was cleared. Fernandinho won a free-kick cleverly off Richarlison but Sterling skied it over the wall and the bar.
Richarlison was fouled again but the ball needed to be won back by Allan, yet the beginnings of an attack went nowhere. Richarlison was stretching when he saw a chance to shoot from distance, weak and well wide. A really lively move from Everton forced Steffen off his line and it almost fell for Calvert-Lewin, going for another Everton corner but Digne's good ball in was cleared.
Mina was called for a headlock on Jesus and Everton were out quickly to hunt down Sterling on the end of a square ball. There was a tremendously competitive spell with both sides at each other like terriers trying to retain the ball at close quarters. City won the corner but Everton cleared.
Everton were defending set-pieces with 11 men behind the ball, and unable to profit when they did disrupt the City attack. Richarlison picked up the ball from Gomes and swung in a half-decent ball that wasn't accurate enough for Calvert-Lewin.
Everton kept possession and won another corner, Digne again, with Mina advancing, winning a brilliant goal-bound header that he saw headed away agonizingly by Zinchenko on the line — Everton's best attempt so far, and a lot closer to scoring than City had been all the way through a very lively half of football. There was just time for Foden to fire in a shot that Godfrey did very well to block behind for a City corner, and that was cleared to end the half.
The visitors got things going after the break, building cagily from the back, Mina giving away an early corner, the defense of which was scrappy at best until Gomes fouled. Gundogan fierce shot fortunately his Fernandinho and flew away from goal, Sterling tried a volley that was high and wide. Sterling got loose but Mina defended well.
Calvert-Lewin won a good header and Richarlison just couldn't dig out the shot he wanted. Coleman almost got round Zinchenko but were struggling to get sustained possession. Fernandino fouled Richarlison again and was finally shown the yellow card. Mina won Sigurdsson' looping free-kick but it bounced up for Richarlison who could only volley wide.
A tremendous City attack saw a wicked shot from Sterling in acres of space and a brilliant finger-tip save for Virginia to turn it around the post. Everton had some possession but were very conservative with it when there was a chance to release Richarlison down the right. Digne tried to then plant one for Richarlison but it was covered by Laporte and Steffen.
City attacked and Godfrey made an excellent challenge before Mahrez replaced Bernado Silva. Their probing play resumed until Foden saw a chance to shoot, curling just away from goal. Digne did really well to keep pace with Walker and win a corner, this time for Sigurdsson on the left. It fell to Gomes who connected well but could not direct it at goal.
Calvert-Lewin did another fine layoff but Richarlison did not follow through well enough. City won a free-kick wide right that fell to Zinchenko but his shot was blocked. Gomes clipped Foden in midfield, earning yellow. Calvert-Lewin tried to release Digne with a clever ball that was read well by Walker.
De Bruyne replaced Sterling as Everton were increasingly penned back, defending well. When Everton did get possession, Coleman was hounded by 3 City players and forced to concede, restarting yet another attacking cycle. On this one, Foden drove his shot low, Virginia covering it well.
Laporte drove forward and it looked like De Bruyne was fouled but Laporte scooped the loose ball and Virginia touched his shot onto the face of the bar only for it to bounce back nicely for Gundogan to head easily into the empty net and bring to a painful end Everton's valiant defence.
Calvert-Lewin chased down a ball but his shot was blocked. De Bruyne got free and Everton were all at sea as the ball was scooped over Mina, allowing him to finish strongly under pressure from Godfrey. Everton complained vehemently about a high boot but Mahrez had clearly pulled back from the challenge and Everton were completely undone in the end.
Kick-off: 5:30 pm, Saturday 20 March 2021 on BT Sport 1
Everton: Virginia, Coleman, Holgate (87' Iwobi), Mina, Godfrey, Digne, Allan [Y], Gomes, Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin.
Subs not Used: Leban, Tyrer, Broadhead, Davies, John, Keane, Nkounkou, Onyango.
Manchester City: Steffen, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Zinchenko, Fernandinho [Y], Gundogan, Bernardo (64' Mahrez), Sterling (80' De Bruyne), Foden, Jesus (90' Rodrigo).
Subs not Used: Ederson, Stones, Aguero, Torres, Mendy, Cancelo.
Referee: Michael Oliver
VAR: Andre Marriner