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Man City 2-0 Everton: Erling Haaland’s late double breaks Toffees’ resistance and sends champions top

Manchester City and Everton football players

Report and free highlights as Erling Haaland scores twice to give Man City a 2-0 win over Everton; Pep Guardiola’s side briefly moved above Liverpool at the top of the Premier League; 18th-placed Everton now winless in seven games.

Erling Haaland’s late double sent Manchester City temporarily top of the Premier League as they beat Everton 2-0 to extend their winning run to 10 games in all competitions.

The striker rifled home the opening goal with City’s first shot on target following a corner in the 71st minute before adding a breakaway second from substitute Kevin De Bruyne’s pass.

Everton had defended doggedly before that, despite Sean Dyche’s absence from the dugout as he served a touchline ban, but City’s quality told as top scorer Haaland found the net in the Premier League for the first time since November, taking his tally to 16.

The victory briefly put Pep Guardiola’s side a point ahead of Liverpool prior to their victory over Burnley, and ensures Everton, deducted 10 points earlier this season, remain in trouble in 18th place and without a win in seven Premier League games.

Player ratings

Man City: Ederson (7), Stones (7), Akanji (6), Dias (7), Ake (7), Rodri (7), Nunes (6), Foden (7), Alvarez (6), Doku (7), Haaland (9).

Subs used: De Bruyne (7), Walker (7), Bernardo Silva (7), Grealish (6).

Everton: Pickford (6), Godfrey (7), Tarkowski (7), Branthwaite (6), Mykolenko (6), Young (6), Garner (7), Gueye (7), McNeil (6), Harrison (6), Calvert-Lewin (6).

Subs used: Coleman (6), Beto (5), Onana (6), Dobbin (6), Chermiti (6).

Player of the match: Erling Haaland

How Haaland broke Everton’s resistance

Everton claimed a point in this fixture last season, holding the champions to a 1-1 draw, and they picked up where they left off at the Etihad Stadium with an obstinate first-half performance.

City, missing the thrust and quality of the benched De Bruyne, struggled to create any chances of note, with their only meaningful openings coming on the rare occasions Jeremy Doku was able to escape Ben Godfrey and Ashley Young’s attentions on the left.

Haaland headed over from one Doku cross but was otherwise a peripheral figure, with City’s approach play lacking speed and incisiveness against their well-organised opponents.

Everton sought to break forward when possible, causing occasional problems for the hosts, with Jack Harrison firing one half-chance over at the far post. For the most part, though, they were focused on protecting their own goal.

There was a string of Everton blocks in the first period, including one by James Tarkowski from a close-range Manuel Akanji effort which had City optimistically appealing for handball.

And the visitors continued to frustrate City after the break, with Guardiola’s side mostly reduced to speculative long-range efforts as Julian Alvarez and Rodri fired over the bar.

Manchester City football players

Guardiola leant into City’s formidable strength in depth, however, as the rested De Bruyne and Kyle Walker came on for Matheus Nunes and Akanji, and finally the breakthrough arrived.

It resulted from a set-piece as City’s initial header was blocked and Everton failed to clear their lines, allowing Haaland to smash a first-time shot into the net past Jordan Pickford.

Everton tried to muster a response but substitute Beto wasted their best openings by twice drifting offside and their efforts to find a leveller left more space for City, which they exploited on the break as De Bruyne’s early pass released Haaland for the second.

Manchester City and Everton football players

The big Norwegian outmuscled Jarrad Branthwaite to go one-on-one with Pickford before stroking a calm finish into the far corner to wrap up the win and move two goals clear of Mohamed Salah at the top of the Premier League scoring charts.

City had a chance to add to their lead in the closing stages as De Bruyne’s attempted lob of a stranded Pickford landed on the roof of the net. But the win was already assured, adding to City’s momentum and extending Everton’s winless run.

Pep: I love winning games like this

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.”

Dyche: We didn’t do enough offensively

Everton boss Sean Dyche to TNT Sports: “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’s deadly duo – Opta stats
  • Kevin De Bruyne’s 12 assists for Erling Haaland is the most of any Premier League player for a specific team-mate in all competitions since the start of last season.
  • Erling Haaland’s opener ended his run of 17 shots and 418 minutes without scoring a Premier League goal. The Norwegian has scored in all three of his league appearances against Everton (four goals).
  • Kevin De Bruyne has been involved in 23 goals across his last 23 appearances for Manchester City in all competitions (six goals, 17 assists), either scoring or assisting in six of his eight games this term.
  • Manchester City scored with their first shot on target in this game in the 71st minute, their longest wait for an attempt on target in a Premier League match since September 2021 vs Southampton (90th minute).
  • Everton are now winless in seven Premier League games (D3 L4), having won four on the bounce directly before this run, while no side has failed to score in more top-flight matches than the Toffees this term (10).

 

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