Football, Premier League

Man City vs Everton: Haaland returns to sublime form as City brush past Everton

With a 2-0 victory over Everton and a late double from Erling Haaland, Manchester City moved up to the top of the Premier League for the time being. They have now won 10 games in all competitions.

Following a corner in the 71st minute, the striker scored City’s first goal with a rocket of a shot on target. Substitute Kevin De Bruyne’s pass set up the striker’s second goal on a break.

Before then, Everton had persevered in defence even with Sean Dyche out of the dugout due to a touchline ban. However, City’s superiority was evident as top scorer Haaland scored in the Premier League for the first time since November, bringing his total to 16.

Prior to their victory over Burnley, Pep Guardiola’s team was just one point ahead of Liverpool. The result also guarantees that Everton, who were docked ten points earlier in the season, will continue to struggle in 18th position and have lost their last seven Premier League games.

Man City boss Pep Guardiola said: “I love to win this type of game. The difficulty is there. We knew it, we talked about it.

“Always Everton here at home is really complicated. We’ve lost a lot of points over many years. What pleased me the most is something the people cannot see – the body shape, the positivity, the body language.

“In the first half, we were complaining. I know a 12.30 [kick-off] is more difficult but our body language was not good. The chemistry between the players, when they lose a ball or something is not going well, has to be better.

“But in the second half, it was much better. In general, it was well deserved. I like to win this type of game – suffering and knowing how difficult everything is – because we learn the lessons for what’s coming.”

On Haaland and De Bruyne’s returns to fitness, he added: “With Erling and Kevin we are stronger, that’s obvious, but when a team loses the consistency, we have to be worried with the way they train, behave and run.

“But the good attitude was always there. When that happens the team is alive. I was never concerned. Since day one I didn’t have the feeling. There are ups and downs, it’s normal, but I still liked what I saw.”

Everton boss Sean Dyche said : “We did well at containing them, with that side of the game, but not as well in turnovers and transitions, which was frustrating because you’ve got to play both parts of the game.

“It was pleasing that their goal was their first shot on target, from the defensive perspective, but the transitions are massive. We gave the ball away so many times in good positions.

“We won the ball in good areas and then, getting to the final third, didn’t have the same kind of conviction.

“That’s why they are a top side, of course. They do both sides of the game very well, and if they’re not doing it very well, they bring five players on who can.

“The second goal is such a cheap goal and a cheap moment to give it away.”

On Everton’s seven-game winless run, he added: “I don’t think my noise changed when we had four wins on the trot. I think I stayed [even]. It’s no different to me. It’s a season’s work, even more so this season with all the noise about the 10 points – and we’ll see if that changes. But the commitment is very good.”

Man City travel next to Copenhagen in the Champions League on Tuesday before hosting Chelsea on Saturday.

Meanwhile Everton host Crystal Palace on Monday.

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