- Super User
- Category: Sports
- Sunday, 15 January 2017 16:48
5 things we learned as Everton beat Manchester City 4-0 at Goodison Park...
Belgian duo Lukaku and Mirallas both netted before Davies and Lookman both grabbed their first Toffees goals
Manchester City's title hopes have bitten the dust on Merseyside.
Just a fortnight after their crushing defeat at Liverpool, which left them clinging on in the race to be Champions, an even more abject performance at Goodison saw their Premier League ambition go up in smoke.
Pep Guardiola's side were taken apart by a rampart Everton, who weathered an early storm, before taking a grip on the game through a brilliant goal from Romelu Lukaku after a slick passing move.
Then Kevin Mirallas struck again just a minute after the break to totally deflate City – who seemed to give up after that blow.
And their inept second half display, where they looked shattered and totally lacking in ideas, was put into context with a third goal for the Blues late on, when youngster Tom Davies capped a fine display by steering the ball home.
Substitute Ademola Lookman capped a fine performance when he also netted his first goal for the club.
Here are five things we learned from Goodison.
1. Toure leaves defence exposed
Yaya Toure is no holding midfielder. Certainly not any more, he doesn't seem to have the legs to do the basic job of shielding his exposed defence, and that is putting yet more pressure on defenders who can't seem to cope at the best of times.
2. Case for the defence
Defence is City's fatal flaw. For all their attacking brio in this game, they were undone just after half time by an Everton side who were largely clinging on up to that point. Why? Because they didn't have to do anything much to score, and when you concede goals so cheaply, you will not win titles.
3. City still have attacking instinct
For all that, Pep Guardiola's side who have a sometimes vivacious attacking instinct. The combinations between De Bruyne, Silva and Sterling were often breathtaking, and it was a real mystery not only how they didn't score in the first half, but how they didn't put the game safe.
4. Everton turn on the style
Credit to Everton though, they did what they had to do with some style. They may have been forced to soak up a lot of pressure – who doesn't against City – but when the key moments arrived, they executed them with a real clinical instinct, their passing razor sharp to create chances.
5. Lukaku has his chances
Chances are what Romelu Lukaku needs. He has hardly pulled up trees of late, his work rate questionable, but seriously, give him the ball anywhere near the box and he will deliver. If Diego Costa does leave Chelsea in January, then you can bet there will be a MASSIVE bid for him from the Blues.
Robles 7 - Crucial block from Silva. Lucky not to concede a penalty.
Coleman 7 - Has remained consistent this season and full of energy again. Solid.
Holgate 7 - Booked. Looks a real prospect. Some outstanding blocks and interceptions.
Williams 7 - Some scary moments in the first half, but generally marshalled the defence well.
Funes Mori 6 - Enjoys stepping out of defence but also gets dragged horribly out of position.
Baines 7 - Enjoying brilliant renaissance as he defended and got forward well.
Barry 7 - Provided a steady head and composure in midfield. Still going strong.
Davies 8 - Hair straight out of a 90s boyband, he was terrific. And scored first senior goal.
Barkley 7 - Crowd turned the first (and only) time he gave the ball away. Two assists.
Mirallas 8 - Great assist for the opener and then brilliant finish for the second. Excellent.
Lukaku 8 - MotM. Fantastic finish for Everton opener. His power bullied City’s defence.
Schneiderlin, for Mirallas, 64 mins, 7
McCarthy, for Barry, 73 mins, 6
Jagielka, Lennon, McCarthy, Valencia, Stekelenburg, Lookman
Bravo 5 - Looks vulnerable in every game. Neither a sweeper or a keeper. Shaky.
Sagna 6 - Saw a header cleared off the line and was the better of City’s full backs.
Otamendi 5 - Often dragged out of position by Everton’s movement. Uncomfortable game.
Stones 7 - Booed on his return. Did OK but it is hard playing in this City defence.
Clichy 5 - Gave the ball away horribly in the build-up to Everton’s opener.
Zabaleta 5 - City spend so much money and end up with Zabaleta in midfield. Hooked early.
Toure 6 - Still possesses great quality but you can’t play him and Zabaleta together.
Silva 6 - Booked. Some quality moments in the first half but needed to be far more ruthless.
De Bruyne 7 - Good performance particularly first half. Full of ideas despite the result.
Sterling 6 - Long range shot hit the post, unlucky not to get a penalty and was generally lively.
Aguero 6 - Went close on numerous occasions. Needed to be far more ruthless and clinical.
Iheanacho, for Zabaleta, 62 mins, 6