Man City closed the gap on Chelsea to just three points with a controversial 1-0 victory over an energetic Everton through a debatable penalty scored by Yaya Touré.
The game started off with a high pace and intensity as Manchester City looked to squeeze the gap between themselves and Chelsea to three points, after Chelsea's first loss of the season at Newcastle earlier today.
However, they were forced into bringing on 18-year-old Jose Pozo as Sergio Aguero came off injured with only 7 minutes played. Edin Dzeko was present on the Man City bench, but as he just recovered from an injury, Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini obviously thought he could not last a full 80 minutes so soon after returning.
Aguero has scored 14 of City's 31 goals - prior to this match - which is 45% of their goals scored by the Argentinian who is in exceptional form.
It could have gotten even worse for Pellegrini's side as from their own corner, Eliaquim Mangala went to attack the ball with his head and kicked Samuel Eto'o after leading in with a high foot. The reckless challenge was only given a yellow card despite protests from the travelling Everton supporters. Despite this, referee Andre Marriner only gave Mangala a yellow card.
Marriner is yet to send a player off in the Premier League this season, but that hasn't stopped him from handing out 19 yellow cards in four games this season (not including today's game).
Man City continued to attack with blistering pace. This threatening approach led to the opening goal - a penalty converted by Yaya Touré - despite protests from Everton fans yet again as Marriner gave the debatable penalty even though James Milner, who was supposedly fouled for the penalty by Phil Jagielka, did not appeal at all for the decision to go his way. Controversially, replays showed Milner admitting to Jagielka that he did in fact dive.
Marriner was yet again the centre of controversy again, as Fernando caught Gareth Barry with a high foot, whereas Marriner only gave Fernando a yellow card for the dangerous challenge.
Man City went into the half with a comfortable lead although they were only a goal ahead, as Everton had performed poorly in the first half. They'll have felt fortunate to go into the break only 1-0 down as Man City had multiple chances in the last 15 minutes of the half but failed to finish many of them, as they didn't look clinical at all without their scintillating striker Sergio Aguero.
The youngster Pozo went close to scoring five minutes into the second half, as some outstanding play from Milner led to him drilling the ball across the box which was met with a powerful shot by Pozo, who was only to be denied by a magnificent save from Tim Howard.
Everton were starting to get further forward and take more offensive risks, which was turning this game into a feisty affair. Ex-Chelsea striker Eto'o almost grabbed an equalisier as his shot was just deflected wide. Minutes later, he was fouled on the edge of the box by Touré, as Eto'o's impressive performance was spurring the rest of the Everton side on. The costless-kick he had won was taken by Mirallas and deflected over for a corner, which resulted in nothing after a poor delivery from Leighton Baines.
Soon after, Everton had a marvellous chance which was saved magnificently by Joe Hart. Ex-Chelsea striker Eto'o flicked the ball into the path of Romelu Lukaku who striked the ball brilliantly on the volley first-time but, as previously stated, he was denied by Joe Hart.
Man City were just about dealing with the pressure which Everton were piling on. However, they were also catching Everton on the counter-attack with the great amount of pace that is present in their side. This almost led to a great chance being created by Frank Lampard, which eventually was crossed into Milner who sliced his volley over the bar from the around the penalty spot. Despite this, and the earlier incident, Milner had had a fantastic game but couldn't cap it off with a goal.
Pellegrini's side managed to hold on despite the huge amount of pressure applied by Everton late on, pinning Man City back into their own half for the majority of the second half.
|Manchester City (1)||Everton (0)|