Over 70% possession, Erling Haaland’s 21st goal of the season and a tentative lead aren’t enough for Sky Blue to beat relegation favorite Everton in front of their fans. Candy fought hard and ruined the happy new year.
The hosts started much better and were really the most dominant team in the early stages. Haaland got his first chance to score after just nine minutes, but the Norwegian fired home from a tight angle. City had few chances in the first half but managed to take the lead after 24 minutes. At the end of an impressive line-up, Riyad Mahrez set a goal for Haaland, who confidently rushed from six meters. For the Norwegian, it was already the 21st goal in a 16th league game, and he also scored the 1-0 win for the Skyblues for the fifth time in the current Premier League season.
Despite falling behind, the Toffees didn’t change their starting position and focused on keeping space closed in the final third. The Citizens didn’t have any chances to score from the game, but shortly before halftime there was a chance to make it 2-0 thanks to a record-breaking situation. John Stones crossed Kevin De Bruyne’s free kick to the right post (43′).
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The picture was the same as at the beginning of the second round. The Skyblues had plenty, the ball into the opposing half, but 25 meters from the opposing goal, it was over. The flow of the match was repeatedly interrupted by errors on both sides, which mainly hurt the hosts in their game. Then there were also technical problems, the referee had to be reconnected for a full seven minutes. After this mess, there was a carelessness from Cititzens, when Rodrigo played a poor pass on the halfway line, the Toffees went fast. Demerai Gray has been sent on his journey and cannot be stopped. In the end, he hit the ball into the corner from 17 yards and it was unstoppable for Ederson (64′).
This goal turned the whole game on its head and also punished Skyblues for their negligence in creating chances. As a result, City naturally increased the pressure on the guests, but all attempts were in vain. The best spectacle came in the 82nd minute when the Skyblues made several attempts in the penalty area, but either the defender’s leg got in the way or Jordan Pickford was there. In the eleventh minute of extra time, De Bruyne had another great chance, but Pickford was on the post again (90 + 4).
In the end, an unfortunate and unnecessary loss of points for Skyblues, especially in front of their fans. Manchester City is still at least four points behind Arsenal, who today can extend their lead even further. On the other hand, Everton is collecting important points in the relegation battle and can bring new hope from today’s match.
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