Manchester City Top EPL After Edging Out Everton 2-0

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Manchester City
Manchester City

Champions Manchester City returned to the top of the Premier League table on Wednesday evening at stoppage time after edging out Everton 2-0 at Goodison Park.

The match was rescheduled due to City’s participation in the Carabao Cup final and combined with the Champions League fixtures this was left as the only acceptable date.

City and Liverpool are paired with 62 points but superior goal difference put City on top of the league.

Under pressure Blues boss Marco Silva rung the changes, benching Gylfi Sigurdsson, Richarlison and Seamus Coleman in favour of a youthful XI and the Portuguese would have been encouraged with his side’s first-half display.

City were far from dominant but still created a couple of good early chances as Aymeric Laporte missed a simple header and Ilkay Gundogan hit the crossbar.

It was Everton’s failure to deal with set-pieces that came back to haunt them once again, however, as Laporte broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time with a bullet-header from David Silva’s delightful free-kick. It was the 14th time the Toffees have conceded from a free-kick this season – and it was City’s first shot on target of the evening.

Everton rallied after the restart and though their build-up play was impressive they failed to create a clear-cut opportunity. And they were made to pay for a lack of penetration as City caught them cold on the counter-attack in stoppage time when Gabriel Jesus headed home after being played through by Kevin De Bruyne to seal the points.

City now lead the way with a goal difference of +48 compared to Liverpool’s +41. Jurgen Klopp’s side face Bournemouth on Saturday with the chance to go back top.

It’s Advantage City In The Title Race

It is only a week since City surrendered a one-goal lead to lose 2-1 at Newcastle, giving Liverpool a chance to restore a seven-point advantage at the top of the table. The Reds went on to draw with Leicester and West Ham, however, while City beat Arsenal – and here we are, City move to the summit for the first time since December 15 following this hard-fought and nervy victory over Everton, though they have played a game more than Liverpool.

Under pressure Blues boss Marco Silva rung the changes, benching Gylfi Sigurdsson, Richarlison and Seamus Coleman in favour of a youthful XI and the Portuguese would have been encouraged with his side’s first-half display.

City were far from dominant but still created a couple of good early chances as Aymeric Laporte missed a simple header and Ilkay Gundogan hit the crossbar.

It was Everton’s failure to deal with set-pieces that came back to haunt them once again, however, as Laporte broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time with a bullet-header from David Silva’s delightful free-kick. It was the 14th time the Toffees have conceded from a free-kick this season – and it was City’s first shot on target of the evening.

Everton rallied after the restart and though their build-up play was impressive they failed to create a clear-cut opportunity. And they were made to pay for a lack of penetration as City caught them cold on the counter-attack in stoppage time when Gabriel Jesus headed home after The final whistle prompted huge celebrations from the City players and their jubilant fans – just how significant will this victory prove to be in the title race come May? If they can beat Chelsea on Sunday, City will have come through a very difficult week with three wins from three.

Man Of The Match – Aymeric Laporte (Man City)

Standing in at left-back for the second consecutive contest, Laporte is proving himself to be Mr Versatile. This was another impressive performance from the defender in an unfamiliar position – his range of passing was superb and he popped up with the game’s all-important opening goal.

(The Straits Times)