Manchester City record 17th straight win and go ten points clear at top of the table
Premier League, Goodison Park - Everton 1 (Richarlison 37') Manchester City 3 (Foden 32', Mahrez 63', Silva 77')
Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City is is congratulated by Phil Foden and team mates after scoring their side's second goal during the Premier League match between Everton and Manchester City at Goodison Park on February 17, 2021 in Liverpool, England
Brilliant goals from Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva and one from Phil Foden gave City their 17th – ! – straight win, sending them 10 points clear at the top of the league. Everton made them work for it but were well-beaten in the end and stay seventh.
City had most of the ball in an enjoyable first half and looked sharp, but they struggled to create – partly because Everton defended well while intimating a threat on the counter. On 32 minutes, the away side took the lead, Foden driving home off Seamus Coleman, but Everton then committed men forward and quickly forced an equaliser, Lucas Digne’s shot hitting the post and rebounding onto Richarlison, who inadvertently drew his team level.
Phil Foden of Manchester City celebrates with team mates (L - R) Rodrigo and Ruben Dias after scoring their side's first goal during the Premier League match between Everton and Manchester City at Goodison Park on February 17, 2021 in Liverpool, England.
Though City didn’t play that well, that they would at some point produce something to win the game seemed inevitable – and was. First, on 63 minutes, Mahrez bent a terrific curler into far corner, then on 77 minutes Bernardo completed a fine move. City winning the league now also seems inevitable.
For quite some time, it looked like the Premier League would be won with a relatively low points tally. That now looks extremely unlikely, because Manchester City look extremely likely to just keep winning.
The fixture list was kind to them, offering an easy run of fixtures to play into form and, as it turned out, the top of the table. And we should not be surprised in this season, of all seasons, to see by the far the best-funded club in such a commanding position.
Bernardo Silva of Manchester City celebrates with team mate Ruben Dias (L) after scoring their side's third goal during the Premier League match between Everton and Manchester City at Goodison Park on February 17, 2021 in Liverpool, England.
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What is surprising, though, is that they've become so good so fast, effortlessly coping without payers as definitive as Fernandinho and Sergio Aguero. After many years of searching Pep Guardiola finally has four defenders who can defend as well as play, which means that in front of his back four he can just allow his front six, whoever is in it, to be better at football than whichever team they play against. The only question now is what else City win this season.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Riyad Mahrez (Man City) Scored a belter, made another, was involved in a third.
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Everton: Pickford 6, Holgate 6, Keane 6, Godfrey 6, Mina 6, Doucoure 6 Davies 5, Sigurdsson 5, Iwobi 6, Richarlison 6. Subs: Coleman 6, King 6, James 6.
Man City: Ederson 6, Walker 7, Dias 6, Laporte 6, Cancelo 7, Rodri 7, Bernardo 7, Foden 7, Mahrez 8, Jesus 7, Sterling 7. Subs: De Buyne 6, Fernandinho 6.
Manchester City haven't trailed for a single minute in any of their last 16 league games. The only better run that than is Arsenal, who got to 19 between December 1998 and May 1999 - only to wind up winning nothing. On this occasion that looks unlikely.
18’ - Here's that chance! Davies dallies on the ball and Rodri nips in to rob, cushioning a fine pass through to Jesus. But just when he looks poised to score, Keane interjects, putting him under just enough pressure so that he lifts his finish over the top.
32’ - GOAL! Everton 0-1 Man City (Foden) Eleven for the season! Mahrez swings in another nice cross, and this time Keane's header falls to Foden, who lashes a shot that flicks off Coleman and wrongfoots Pickford, who probably had the original effort covered (but you can never be sure). Either way, City lead and Foden is unbelievable.
38’ - GOAL! Everton 1-1 Man City (Richarlison) Everton sustain the attack and Coleman dinks a fine cross to the far post, met on the volley by Digne, who punches a sidefooter past Ederson ... and onto the post. But Richarlison is prowling, and the ball hits the post then hits him, as he looks the other way, and that's a terrific finish.
55’ - Better from City, Walker driving forward and smacking a fine pass into Jesus, who sets himself then lamps a wasteful shot high and wide at the near post. You've gotta get those cross the keeper, or something.
63’ - WHAT A GOAL! Everton 1-2 Man City (Mahrez) Bernardo takes the ball off Walker and makes space, knowing that Mahrez is cruising around him. He slips the pass inside and his man steps onto it. absolutely pasting a curling sidefooter in off the far post. Brilliant finish.
77’ - GOAL! Everton 1-3 Manchester City (Bernardo) That was inevitable and brilliant. City move it about then injects some pace, Mahrez into Jesus, who touches off first-time for Bernardo, who smashes low and hard. Pickford gets a hand and should save but doesn't.